My Trader Joe’s Must Haves

What I buy at Trader Joe’s.

People always ask me why I love Trader Joe’s. When I claim my love, there is always someone who says they don’t know what to buy there.

I had my first TJ’s experience in Las Vegas around 2000. I lived down the street from this gem. Wow! I was hooked.

I moved back to Dallas about a year later. My sister was living with her family in LA. So, she frequently brought me goodies that I missed. Who doesn’t need some 21 Seasoning Salute?!

Dallas was buzzing for years about us getting a Trader Joe’s of our own. Years before we got these lovelies, we heard that distribution was the issue. Low and Behold… Houston get the first one! Dallas had to be more than a rumor now.

Dallas was maybe a year after. Now, in 2018, I have four within a few miles!

My kids used to tease me about how everything I had in the house was the Trader Joe’s brand. Those little stinkers just wanted the brand name cereals. They agreed that the ice cream, the tamales, the pizza dough, etc. were better at Trader Joe’s. They now even ask for in season flavor of Trader Joe’s O’s!

They still roll their eyes about what Mom can’t live without from Trader Joe’s, but they love to go shopping with me!

Trader Joe’s had been my go to for years. But, since I changed to a vegan diet, it has become even more of a necessity in my life.

Why you ask? Well, let’s discuss my shopping list!

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  1. Nutritional Yeast – you may be wondering what this crazy sounding stuff is. Well, if you are cooking vegan meals, you will soon learn you can’t live without it for any cheesy flavoring. I hear lot’s of people even use it in place of salt. I add it to my tofu scrambles. I buy two bags at a time.
  2. Soy Cheese Slices – My sister and I called the fake cheese slices that are individually wrapped “Grandma Cheese” when we were kids. Our Great Grandmother always put a Kraft single on food. These soy slices are not too bad! I like them on an English Muffin for breakfast.
  3. Fresh Pizza Dough – Regular and Whole Wheat balls of dough are in the produce section cold. And, they are VEGAN! High Five! Things Kids Will Eat!
  4. Olives – Everything Olives! They have the best deal (hands down) on seeded Kalamatas, Green Olives, stuffed green olives, and even tapenades!
  5. Unsweetened Almond Milk – my very favorite. I don’t know why, but their brand is the best!
  6. Nuts – Any nuts you could want. Bags of nuts are good and super affordable.
  7. Butter Lettuce in a bag – So good with the dressing that follows;)
  8. Carrot, Ginger, Miso Dressing – this is next to the salad mixes. It is orange. This may easily be the tastiest thing in the store. I use a bottle a week.
  9. Avocado Oil – This used to be the only place I could find the stuff. Now I see it at CostCo. It has a high smoking temp and a very light flavor.
  10. Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – I bought a can of these by mistake once a couple of years ago. Now I must have them for certain recipes because the flavor is a little smoky and deep.
  11. Fire Roasted Frozen Corn Kernels – Much like the Fire Roasted Tomatoes.
  12. Hummus – Just the Classic, Trader Joe’s Brand Hummus. It is delicious!
  13. Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning – With the spices and sometimes in the produce section. I used to put it on plain cream cheese if I wanted a kick. I saw a post online recently where someone sprinkled it on avocado. A must try!
  14. Coconut Aminos – Also sometime hard to find until recently. Use in place of Soy Sauce.
  15. Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip – A frozen treat that I LOVE! If you miss ice cream you should buy this.
  16. Harissa – Sometimes an Indian dish requires this and you can find it near the spices.
  17. Vegan Tikka Masala – This is an easy frozen meal. If you have time, make rice and grab some vegan Naan.
  18. Quick Cooking Brown Rice – This changed my life. Brown Rice in 15 Minutes! Ge tout of town! It is for real, and real good.
  19. Fig Butter – I mean… come one! So yummy!
  20. Organic Sprouted Tofu – I love this stuff. It is Extra Firm, and also in two individually wrapped packages in case you only want half. Smart! I use one half for my scrambles. Great for the gal who is usually hesitant about leftover tofu.

These are my Top 20. Now, if I wasn’t vegan…. I would have a Top 50;) Try the dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They are worth the trip.

Not only is Trader Joe’s an amazing place to find some vegan friendly foods at amazing prices, they have the most wonderful staff ever! I love to visit my friends.

Happy Shopping!



One Comment Add yours

  1. chaosmotic says:

    I made mayo with Avocado Oil once. It tasted like Mayo. I wanted it to be greener than it was. Fresh made Mayo is the best. It’s like a magic trick, too.


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