Foodie Friday: saved by Trader Joes

What a week. 

If I thought I needed the time savers last week I was sadly mistaken.  This week has been full of late nights at work, followed by errand running and evening group runs.  Those all lead to coming home late, hungry and being very limited with time and patience on what to make.  I just want to shove my face with whatever is ready!

I really try not to buy too many pre-cut vegetables.  For one, they are usually more expensive, and two, I just feel like they are much fresher when you cut them yourself.  But sometimes the key to a healthy meal is having easy pre-cut food on hand.  When I know I am going to have a busier week, I definitely try to stock up a little on the convenience food.

Thank you Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s organic frozen brown rice saves my life many days during weeks like these when I don’t have time to sit and wait for it to took.  3 minutes in the microwave and you have brown rice! 

Their pre-cut vegetables also save a ton of time since I don’t have to cut up 5 different vegetables individually.  I just throw them in the pan with some olive oil and sea salt and we are good to go.  I added some garbanzo beans for some protein.

3 minutes later, after the rice is cooked and vegetables are done, I throw it all in a bowl and you have a fast healthy meal that contains good carbohydrates, vegetables, protein and fat. 

Trader Joe’s for the win!

I had already started eating it, I would make a terrible food blogger.021011.1

My goal for next week is to start trying out some recipes from this book. 


I have had it for a long time now and just never open it because I get impatient.  This weekend I will find a couple recipes, buy the ingredients, and actually cook them next week!

Do you plan meals for the week or just wing it?

We have tried many times to plan meals and then the weekend comes, we go to the store and just buy whatever because we weren’t organized enough before we went.  I love those weeks we actually plan things out and it is something I really want to try to get in the habit of.  

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21 Responses to Foodie Friday: saved by Trader Joes

  1. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate February 11, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Wing it all the way ;)

  2. Kim February 11, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I go back and forth between winging it and planning. I really wish I could plan more, but since my boyfriend and I don’t live together we are always going back and forth and end up wasting a lot of food :( I really want to read that Clean Food book, I can’t wait to hear how you like it. Happy Friday :)

  3. lisa February 11, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    we’ve been planning meals for years and years. once kids were in the picture, it was pretty much required.

  4. Chris February 11, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    We are plan-your-meals kind of people – no kids, we just find it easier to stay on a budget and it makes the trip to the store a lot faster when you know what you want and aren’t wandering around trying to think of ideas. My fiance does all the cooking, so we usually make a list, then hit the store together and kind of divvy up the aisles as we go down them so we are in and out as quickly as possible. Works really well for us. Plus, I love knowing what we will eat in advance b/c I like thinking about the yummy meal I get that night – he’s a great cook! We do this for Sun-Thurs and then just wing it Fri/Sat since we usually go out or are with family or do take out (he needs a break from cooking too!).

  5. Lizzy February 11, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I love planning out my meals : )
    I carry a notebook around with me and when I get inspired from other blogs or magazines, I write down the name of the recipe and where I saw it then I make my grocery list based on what I want to make. (Usually do this while in bed resting after a long run!). I also cook multiple meals one night so I don’t have to cook every night. Or I prep a lot ahead of time. Like this week, I roasted all my butternut squash on Sunday and used it in two dishes throughout the week.

  6. Denise February 11, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    i plan everything!!! have to or it’s too easy to make a stupid choice.

    i used to eat that rice all the time, it’s so good and super easy!

  7. Karyn February 11, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    i kind of wing it. i always have ideas of what i might want to eat (and on nights that i work late i pack a dinner so i do plan that) but i never actually know until i get home from work.

  8. Rachel February 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    TJs is the BEST! and that brown rice is awesome, totally a time saver!

  9. Shutupandrun February 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I’m a planner. Try to plan out at least four meals before hitting the grocery store. I think this is the trick that keeps our meals healthy and stops us from going out to eat when we have nothing in the house.

    Interested to know how that book is!

  10. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy February 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    I love TJs for many reasons. They have a cheap cashew chicken stir fry in the frozen section that is good for nights when you just need something healthy fast. I also like their frozen roasted peppers and onions. So good!

  11. Holly February 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    i so wish we had a Trader Joe’s–boo! i try to plan our meals for the week on the weekends and shop based on the list. depending on the meals i’m going to make, i might also do some prep work/pre cooking on sunday afternoon/evening. it’s just my husband and i and we both work- a lot- so i also leave room on the meal schedule for eating out- sometimes it just happens (and social things come up). i love it when we cook a meal that leaves enough for lunch leftovers the next day- perfect! :)

  12. Kristen February 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Some weeks I am ver good about meal planning and others I’m very bad. This week was a bad week and I suffered because of it ( dinner was ridiculous yesterday).

    Very much wish I had a TJ’s to help pick up some slack every so often (I’d settle for a whole foods though…I think the fact that I live in a French province throws a loop into some stores wanting to come here)

  13. Amanda February 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I have a strict budget so we meal plan every week. Every now and then we plan for a wing it night and go to the store and everyone gets to pick what they want. Dessert included :)

  14. Carlee February 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    I mostly wing it. I LOVE Trader Joes and it’s right on the way home. The tough part for me is that I am a vegetarian and my husband LOVES meat. I try to make meals that one portion can have meat and the other portion doesn’t but it’s tough sometimes. At times I’m even making two meals.

    Luckily my leftovers last much longer than Erics.

  15. Marlene February 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Sorry to hear that you had such a crazy week! Hope you get some downtime this weekend!!

    I am not a meal planner. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of one or two things I want to have during the week, but mostly I just wing it. I like to wait til I get home and see what I have time for/what I feel like/what needs to be used up, etc.

  16. katie February 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    oh i’m a planner. i used to not be but we’ve started cooking at home more and more and now i’m that person with all the dinners planned. ugh, who am i?

    anyhow, i just went to trader joe’s for the first time (I KNOW) and i’m in love! wowza!

  17. Mica February 13, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    I’m actually really, really neurotic about planning. I spend 30 minutes making the list with Harrison on Saturday where we plan what we want to make on what days and then check the pantry for what we need. Then the grocery list is organized by section of the store. (It drives me nuts to be in the cereal aisle and remember that I forgot some kind of produce.)

    Brown rice is a pain. I’m almost going back to my Korean roots and just eating white.

  18. Page February 13, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Mmmmmmm….the TJ frozen rice is the BEST! Seriously…45 min the rice cooker or 3 minutes? No question asked.

  19. Naomi February 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    after watching robin miller on the food network for about a year, i’ve gotten in the habit of planning my meals. i usually swim on sunday’s so before leaving for the gym, i make a list of the groceries that i need, then stop at the store on my way home. i make/plan for a few meals on sunday that carry me throughout the week from sunday to thursday. friday’s i wing it and saturday’s i usually eat out. save’s a lot of time during the week.

  20. Christina February 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I usually plan dinners and try to cook about 3 or 4 times a week. I will include a big-pot dish so we can have it as leftovers or freeze it for later use.
    Sometimes I take the time on the weekends to precut the vegetables.


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