Top: Off the shoulder chambray top (I also love this longer sleeved version by Madewell, so cute! Also, this feminine version that ties at the shoulders from J.Crew! This bell sleeved ruffle version is also soo cute! // Jeans: Rag & Bone skinny jeans (run TTS but stretchy, so when in doubt, I’d size down!) The AG jeans, which are also on sale, are similar and have equally rave reviews. (Kelly is obsessed!) This Topshop pair looks really similar, too, and only $75!// Initial necklace: Similar here and here // Lipstick: Givenchy lipstick in “Carmin Escarpin”
(How did that happen!?)
Anyyyway. It’s been a longgg time since I wrote this post on my favorite Trader Joe’s buys, but funny enough–it continues to be one of my most popular posts! You guys have been asking for a TJ’s haul round two, and also for more info on how I stay healthy and what I typically eat during a given week. Well, we’re combining these two topics in today’s post–so, I give you….
My healthy grocery list! Ba da daaaa!
Some of these items are pretty straightforward, but many aren’t! Here is what I usually buy on a weekly basis, and what I use to make healthy meals at home.
As you might already know, I am a ranch dressing snob. I love sauces in general, but especially anything herby or creamy–which, traditionally, is an indication that something is absolutely terrible for you.
This is why I buy greek yogurt in bulk–I use it instead of mayo for pretty much everything–from homemade dips for veggies, to salad dressing, to pasta sauce, soup, and my favorite–using it to make healthy chicken salad. If you give me greek yogurt, fresh herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper, I can make something delicious and healthy out of it! I like both Trader Joe’s brand as well as Fage. (Pronounced Fah-yay, fun fact!)
I love salty and crunchy carbs, which are why crackers are my saving grace. I usually go for something like plain thin Triscuits, because they’re really substantial and you only need a couple to fill you up! The flavored kinds are good, but I typically choose plain so I can eat them with both savory dips, cheese, and also peanut butter.
I also like Blue Diamond’s Nut Thins (they have lot’s of varieties–the “Artisan flax seed” flavor pictured here–yum!) because they’re super crunchy and flavorful! (They’re also gluten free, if that’s your thing.)
One of my go-to snacks in the afternoon when I need a little pick-me-up. String cheese with a couple apple slices or a few crackers are enough to get me through until dinner. It lasts for a really long time too, so it’s always good to have some stashed in your fridge.
Mini sweet peppers
These things are EVERYTHING. I absolutely love them–they taste like bell peppers but are sweeter and more poppable. I dip them in healthy greek yogurt dip or my favorite hummus, but also use them in cooking things like soups, stir fries, lettuce wraps, and more.
Right now, I’ve been buying up lot’s of nectarines and peaches, but I also I love Pink Lady apples for so many reasons–they taste delicious but also fill you up more than most fruits do. Plus, they’re a natural source of caffeine! The Pink Lady kind is more expensive, but they are the most consistent apples that I’ve found–they’re always really crisp, crunchy, and really sweet! I also usually get some type of berry, because they’re rich in antioxidants and are lower in calories.
In a perfect world, I wouldn’t murder my herb garden so frequently. (Neal likes to call me “the plant assassin.) Unfortunately keeping herbs alive has not been my specialty this summer, so on the grocery list they go!
I like to keep fresh herbs on hand at all times because they add so much fresh flavor to all types of food! Italian flat-leaf parsley (not the curly kind–yucky) and dill are my go-to’s because I think they’re the most versatile, but I love basil, too!
Ground chicken or turkey and thinly sliced chicken breasts
I usually buy these and keep them in the freezer so I’m never caught with nothing to make for dinner. Ground chicken is great for making lettuce wraps, healthy sloppy joes, or meatballs. I buy thinly sliced chicken breasts because they cook a lot more quickly and evenly (thick chicken breasts are tough to cook because one end is usually thicker than the other). Plus, since one serving of protein is about the size of your palm, it’s a much better portion size if you’re trying to watch what you’re eating.
Ready cooked chicken sausage is something I like to have on hand to whip up something really quick. Chicken sausage and peppers make for a great speedy meal all by themselves, but are even better in a pasta or a soup! I sliced some up to put in homemade minestrone the other day and it was delicious. I like Trader Joe’s variety but also buy the Kroger/Roundy’s store brand frequently.
We go through a LOT of eggs in our house–I usually hard boil a few to have on hand for a quick breakfast or snack. I like to drizzle them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and dill, and pop them in the microwave for a few seconds–the yolks get creamy combined with the olive oil and they taste SO much better than regular old hard boiled eggs! I also like to mash them up with half an avocado to put atop toast in the mornings.
Ezekiel or Dave’s Bread
In addition to a ranch snob, I am also a bread snob. I really hate regular old wheat bread–it tastes like cardboard. But Ezekiel or Dave’s bread is sprouted and has so much more flavor and has a ton of nutritional value. I feel a lot less guilty eating carbs when this is the bread I’m eating! It also makes really good grilled cheese!
Whole Wheat Pitas, English Muffins and Whole Wheat Baguette
“This is a lot of bread” you are saying. I know. Being the bread snob that I am, I like different types of bread for different scenarios. I love english muffins for breakfast sandwiches, I like whole wheat pitas for lunch (great stuffed with healthy chicken salad or chicken breasts to make pitas for lunch!) and I can’t have any soup or pasta without a couple small slices of crusty baguette. (Would no bread be better? I’m sure, but a whole wheat baguette is much better for you and still tastes pretty darn good!) Keep them all in the freezer and they will last for a long time! All you have to do is pop them in the microwave on defrost and you’re ready to go!
Have you ever had kefir? It’s a tangy dairy drink that is kind of like a lightly sweetened yogurt and milk smoothie. I like to add it to my green smoothies in the morning for both extra protein and flavor. It has tons of probiotics in it! It’s also lactose-free. In a pinch, I’ll also drink some before yoga as a snack to tide me over until the next meal.
I recently discovered my love for farro, which was kind of a godsend seeing as quinoa and brown rice (with the exception of eating it with asian food) make me totally yawn. BLEH. Boorrrinnggg.
Farro is also a grain, but it’s chewier and more substantial in texture and is delicious with all kinds of things. I make a bunch and put it in my salads all week, or serve it with your favorite pasta sauce (like a ragu of some sort) or as a great side with any meat.
Peter Pan Simply Ground Peanut Butter
Here’s the thing–I really hate natural peanut butter. The fact that it sits with all that oil on top and doesn’t actually taste good kind of defeats the purpose that it’s even peanut butter, you know? Would it be better if I chose some hoity toity sunflower seed or almond nut butter? Yes, probably. But sometimes, I just like to stick to the classics. I really like this kind of peanut butter and it’s made with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It also doesn’t cost like $75. Balance, people.
Lantana Yellow Lentil Hummus
You might be sensing a pattern now–I think most health food is really boring. Hummus is another thing I’m pretty particular about, as I strongly feel that most varieties taste like dirty socks.
Then I found Lantana’s Yellow Lentil hummus and it changed everything. It’s made from lentils instead of chickpeas, and has this spicy apricot chutney on top that is to DIE FOR. I’ve been able to find it at most grocery stores in the hummus section. Stuff this good is how cults begin.
Trader Joe’s Matcha Powder Packets
Sometimes I like to drink matcha in the afternoon as an alternative to coffee because it gives me a little pick-me-up without the coffee shakes. I love these little single serve packets which are easy to pop into a water bottle on the go. It’s also really good with a dash of Trader Joe’s coconut milk creamer (which is only 5 calories per serving!)
Trader Joe’s Curry
I actually just realized I already mentioned this in my last Trader Joe’s favorites post, which should reiterate the fact that I absolutely LOVE this product. I never buy canned or jarred ready-made sauces, because I think they taste fake and terrible and I would always rather make my sauces from scratch–HOWEVER–this sauce is definitely the exception to the rule! (A lot of Trader Joe’s sauces are, actually!)
I love both the yellow and red curry sauce. It’s the easiest dinner to throw together, especially if you get the TJ’s microwavable brown rice packets. Just add sautéed veggies and a protein and it tastes just as good as Thai takeout, but much cheaper and healthier! I also always have a jar of chili paste on hand too, and it tastes amazing added to the curry sauce!
Trader Joes Red Pepper spreads
My friend Kai owns a catering company and got me hooked on this stuff! She swears it’s one of the most delicious easy kitchen shortcuts of all time. It’s great on sandwiches, as a pasta sauce, on burgers, smeared on crostini–whatever you put it on turns to gold. The Kitchen also wrote a whole article about it here.
I drink this stuff like it’s going out of style.
I really don’t ever buy or drink soda for obvious reasons (plus, it makes me feel gross whenever I do–chemicals. Mmmmm.) But La Croix? I can’t get enough. It is naturally flavored, unsweetened, with no calories. My go-to classics are the Coconut and Berry flavor, but most recently I bought the skinny cans in the Pineapple Strawberry flavor, and they’re a new favorite! They’re so good and make you feel like you got something that’s bad for you, but it actually isn’t.
(P.S. Had to add one with the Loftus photobomb :-P)
What are your favorite healthy grocery buys?
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