If you’ve been following me for awhile you know I’m a HUGE Instacart fan. I’d rather be spending time with Max, hanging out with a friend, working out, or working, than grocery shopping. Anything but grocery shopping. BUT… Trader Joe’s. I love it and they don’t deliver. So once a month I pack up max and load up the tiny red cart with enough meals and snacks for the week. It feels like the most stressful hour of my life- dodging people to find what I need on the shelf, staying out of peoples way, waiting for aisles to clear… Shopping at TJ’s in not my idea of a fun time, but their prices and amazing choices make it worth the trip.
I’ve sectioned my finds into 4 easy lists below. There’s also a few frozen & dry items I stock up on and keep on hand for the month like- carrot noodles, quinoa, red lentil noodles, and coconut oil. If you are into these kind of posts, I can do more and share my TJ’s staples, more meals, apps and snacks because SNACK ATTACK is real and TJ’s has the best selection.
I love to dip the plantain chips in bruschetta, hummus, and even guacamole. I buy 2-4 bags per trip.
TIP: always squeeze fresh lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over store bought hummus to make it taste homemade.
Weeknights I tend to keep my meals so simple that I don’t do sides. It’s a one and done kind of situations because… #MOMLIFE but I do grab a few salad and side options to freeze (superfood pilaf) and have on hand or to use for lunches or to make a meal a little more fancy if we have an impromptu guest!
TIP: mix the superfood pilaf with avocado for a perfect meal to give to baby!
If you have yet to try the butternut squash ravioli… what are you waiting for?? I’m not a cheese fan so I use this in place of regular ravioli. Max loves it too. In the fall I use their autumnal harvest sauce, but I also mix it up with vegan pesto sauce and regular pasta sauce.
TIP: When making the chicken sausage for dinner I will cook up an extra pack for lunch during the week and throw it over the broccoli slaw (super duper easy + healthy). I’ll also cook up extra cauliflower fried rice from dinner (without the bacon) and add the orange chicken (or chicken-less) for lunch. Leftovers = simple.
What’s for dinner? Might be my most hated question EVER! Can you relate? It’s annoying and time consuming and pinterest makes me feel like I’m a hotmess of a wife and mom. UGH. I hope that these 5 weekday TJ’s meals help inspire you and make you feel like the hot wife and amazing mama YOU REALLY ARE!
Refrigerated herb pizza crust, shredded mozzarella and/or cheddar cheese, sliced pepperoni.
You can find all of the ingredients in the refrigerated section near the lunch meat and prepared salads.
Prepare according to the directions on the back of the crust. I recently started heating up my pizza pan with the oven and it was a game changer in how the crust cooked. Try it!
CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE
Frozen organic cauliflower rice (cook 2 bags if you want one for lunch), bacon, Asian veggie medley (found with the fresh packaged veggies), TJ’s soyaki sauce, ginger (i use the seasoning bottle- dried kind) and soy sauce OR coconut aminos.
Cut up the bacon in bite size pieces (or buy the already cut up pieces they sell) and fry up until crispy. Set them aside and drain the pan of almost all the bacon fat. Leave just enough bacon fat to cook the cauliflower rice. Add minced garlic to the rice and cook it according to the package. Set aside with the bacon. Add the veggie medley to the pan and cook just a few minutes (don’t make them soggy).
Add the bacon and rice back into the pan with the veggies. Add the soyaki, soy sauce (or aminos) and ginger to taste.
ONE PAN CHICKEN & VEGGIES
Assorted fresh chopped veggies, chicken sausage, 1 jar of drained sun dried tomatoes, TJ’s everyday seasoning, garlic (powder or minced), sea salt, pepper.
Preheat oven to 420 and drizzle olive oil on sheet pan (or pans depending on how much you want to make- I always do a double batch for leftovers). Wash veggies, chop sausage, and lay flat on sheet pan(s). Add seasoning to taste. Cook for 20 min, remove and stir, cook for 20 more minutes. Add sun dried tomatoes for the final 5 min of cooking, don’t cook the whole time or they will burn. Lesson learned.
You can use whichever veggies you and your family love. I always use organic and precut to save time, but do you boo. Here are the ones I used this time: brussels sprouts ( 1 bag of shaved, one bag of sliced), zig zag butternut squash, green beans, broccoli.
I posted this to instagram stories last night and had dm’s about it. So glad that you are interested because it’s DELISH and healthier than traditional potato gnocchi.
2 bags of frozen cauliflower gnocchi, your favorite red pasta sauce (I use tomato basil), TJ’s bruschetta, organic sweet Italian chicken sausage, minced garlic, 1 frozen basil cube.
Heat the frying pan on medium and drizzle with olive avocado oil. Chop and brown the chicken sausage- set aside after it’s brown. Add another drizzle of oil and the frozen (don’t thaw) gnocchi. Don’t add water like the package says, it falls apart and just doesn’t work. Instead just brown them in the pan with the oil and add minced garlic, the cube of basil, and some sea salt. Once the gnocchi is browned add the chicken sausage and your favorite sauce to the pan and turn the heat to low. I use a little bit of bruschetta and a bit of the tomato basil- but this is personal preference. Add as much or little as you like.
CARNE ASADA TACOS
Marinated carne asada (near all the fresh meats), romaine lettuce, avocado, black beans, lime. You could also add sour cream or plain greek yogurt.
Heat your pan ( I use a grill pan) and drizzle with olive or avocado oil. Brown the meat to your desired doneness. Wash the romaine and chop off the bottom ends, they will look like mini lettuce boats to use in place of shells. Heat your black beans in a sauce pan. Slice your avocado and lime. Once everything is prepped, I put each item on a plate or bowl and make a taco bar so that everyone can make their lettuce tacos however they wish. You could also set out salsa, hot sauce… the options are almost endless. I top my tacos with a squeeze of lime, and I also squeeze some into the carne asada while it’s cooking.
I hope you will try some of these easy weekday meals! Let me know if you want more of these and what categories you would like. You can also head over to INSTAGRAM STORIES to see my haul for the week!
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