EASY Trader Joe’s Meals + Life Chat

But first let’s chat about just a few things…

8 miles with friends @ 8:30 pace yesterday and a speed workout is going to happen today.  The girls were then off to school and I can’t believe the school year is almost over.  Next school year Brooke will be in 4th grade (WHAT), Knox in 3rd and Skye will go to two days of pre-school.

Beck’s first sandals!

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I am positive Beck gave me a hug yesterday!

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Getting back into pickle ball… I won the first set and then Andrew won the next two sets. The girls road their scooters around the court and Beck napped in his carseat.  With Andrew’s work/school schedule we are doing what we can to fit in mini activities together whenever we can and sometimes that means from 4:00-4:42 pm in the afternoon.

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And Beck helped me to research races on my computer before bedtime!

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I thought it would be fun to share my favorite easy TJ’s meals all in one place and I would love to hear your favorites in the comments!

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*Cook this focaccia bread (according to it’s instructions) with mozzarella cheese on top and then top it with this Brushetta once it is out of the oven. Roast the shaved brussels on the side and you have a very yummy meal.

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True love and my sister agrees with me, it’s the best.

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*Grab the Vegetable Fried Rice and cook it up in some olive oil with your favorite protein!  These spring rolls on the side are delicious too in the air fryer.

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*Clearly I love their shaved brussels!  This pasta below is from Costco but use any pasta and once it is cooked and drained then mix in the marinated fresh mozzarella cheese mix and some protein and mix it all together.  SO GOOD.

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*Bangs friend taught me this combo.

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I’m drooling just thinking about how good this combo is.

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*DELICIOUS on so many levels.

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*Of course the TJ’s Everything but the Bagel blend just takes anything to the next level.

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*Grab the Caesar salad mix and combine it in their homemade flour tortillas (so good) with some protein for a really good wrap!

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*Once again with the bruschetta (it is so so good)… Grab the lentils and some feta and combine!

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And a few of my other favorites for meals!  Their carne asada meat for tacos, their sweet potato frites to go with a burger, their mandarin orange chicken with brown rice, pesto tortellini for a quick lunch, their pizza dough for pizza at home and their sweet potato gnocchi!

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Let me know if you want me to do a snacks/treats list of favorites too from TJ’s or any other store:)


Give me your favorite quick TJ’s meals!  Hopefully this post and the comments can be an awesome resource for when you want some quick meals!

What do you eat for lunch usually?  Does it change often or do you stick to the same thing?

Ever played pickle ball?  What are your thoughts on it?  Do you get competitive with games like this?

What is school like in your area and when does the school year end?

-My kids still get out early every day and wear masks but they are saying that in August things will be back to normal!

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I want to eat this blog post


Come over for dinner tonight! Have the best day friend!


Thanks for this list, so helpful! One of my favorite easy-ish meals is getting salmon and teeny tiny potatoes- roast in over or air fryer! And drizzle with TJ pesto.

The butter chicken frozen meal is also amazing!


I will absolutely be trying both of those things. Thanks Mariah! Have a wonderful day!


Our favorite Trader Joe’s meal is pesto pasta! The kale cashew pesto is divine, and we just mix one container of pesto with a prepared 16 oz package of farfalle and a protein. I’m vegan so we cook up half an onion and a block of tempeh with Italian herbs, soy sauce, and lemon juice before mixing it in – but chicken would be good too!


Awesome! I can’t wait to try that pesto, yum. Have a beautiful day, Hollie!


Ooooh, I took pics of all of those meals to put in a folder! Great idea!! My only problem is that my closest TJs is about an hour away—tragic, I know! But, we do go every couple of months! We have a Whole Foods and a Wegmans locally but no TJs :(

I’ll mix things up for lunch over the summer (and not eat lunch at 10:30 like I do at school!!!!!). During school right now my usual is a clementine, and a brown rice/veggie/chicken bowl. I make the same thing every day because it’s just easy…….Packing my lunch is not one of my fav tasks!!!! :)

I’m done with students June 8th and with in-services June 11th, and then it’s JEN TIME, and I can’t wait! My daughters go to a different school from where I teach, but they’re done June 8th, too. It’s been a long and weird year for all of us, for sure.

Oh, and Beck was definitely hugging you in that picture :) :) :)


HEY JEN! I really wish that you guys had a TJs close by! I wish we had a whole foods closeby! Oh that is an early lunch time… I totally remember that happening when I taught too. Your lunch sounds delicious! JEN TIME hallelujah, I am so thrilled for all of you to have this summer! Thanks friend, enjoy the rest of your day!


All the food looks amazing, I am really hoping that they build a TJs closer to us!

Love that you are finding ways to have quality time together, I am sure it’s a challenge with a new baby, school and work!

It’s very impressive how you guys make it all work =)

I hope you feel good for your speed work today


Beth! They really do need to get you guys a TJs closer. Thank you friend and today really did feel so good. I hope your day has been a great one too and that you aren’t getting anymore snow!


Their “super burrito” (found near the breakfast burrito) is delicious! I also really like making one of their frozen tamales with some beans from a can and some of their shredded cabbage, topped with salsa, of course!

My school finishes tomorrow and I am counting down the hours haha :)

Have a great day, Janae!


THANK YOU so much for telling about the super burrito, I will have to grab that and their tamales next time. YUM! TOMORROW… you are so close. You too, friend!


I’m drooling over here! Fantastic post idea! We don’t have a TJs so I will have to improvise but I love the ideas thank you.

Kids are back to online learning for 3 weeks. We’re in our 3rd lockdown here in Canada and hair salons are closed, restaurants are take out or delivery (patios are closed)…it’s draining but thankfully the weather has been wonderful :). Have a great day Janae.


Hey Gillian! You are so welcome! Third lockdown, that is so so hard. I am truly so sorry friend. Praying for improvements in your area asap. Enjoy as much sunshine as possible. Keep me updated on it all!


I am off to TJ’s today so this is perfect!!


YAY! Enjoy and let me know what you try and if you like it. Have a great day Jen!


Ok, take your gyro concoction but switch the meat for their frozen turkey party size meatballs! It’s SO good and is my weeknight meal for the fam when the kids are in sports. Takes 10 minutes to toss it all together. I put their sweet potato fries on the side if I have a bit more time to bake them.


DONE AND DONE… grabbing those next time I’m there. Thanks for sharing Tracy, that sounds so good. Have a beautiful day friend.


I knew I had to go to the grocery store when I take my lunch break today (we are making Greek chicken for dinner tonight, but that means I need to still get like 85% of the ingredients to throw in the crock pot…), but now I have to make it a TJ’s run and get myself some of these things. I might have to get the pre-cooked and cut up chicken breasts AND get tortilla shells just for those chicken caesar salad wraps. And I might have to get the gyro meat and the naan flatbreads and make (fake) gyros. Seriously.

I already have the sweet potato gnocchi in the freezer. I need to figure out how I want to make it for my first introduction to having that in my mouth and belly. How have you made and served it? I’d love to know! And I think you need the cauliflower gnocchi and to make that + cut-up chicken + pesto (+ the fresh mozzarella because why not) (+ baby arugula or baby spinach cut up and shredded because YAY GREENS).

I’ve heard the words PICKLE BALL before, but I totally don’t know what the game entails. What do you like about it?

The kids are getting BIG. I bet Skye is already counting down the days to really go to pre-school. And somehow I can’t help but wonder if that girl will want two backpacks–one for each of her 2 days per week at preschool.

And Beck was TOTALLY hugging you, mama!



Can I come over for the Greek chicken, yum! Let me know what you end up trying and what you think of them:). YES, the cauliflower gnocchi is so so good too! I need to try your combos with it though. With the sweet potato gnocchi I usually just add some chicken and steamed veggies and call it good:)
Pickleball is kind of like tennis and ping pong all in one. It’s fun because it is easy to catch the hang of it which makes you feel like a pro pretty easily. You and Tom must go try it.
BAHAH you are so right about the two backpack thing.. I love it!
Hope your Tuesday has been a really great one. Thanks Stephanie!


Beck in those Nike slides…. Cutest little feet ?. And he was totally hugging you!
Ok, I never did get to Trader Joe’s last week, so now I really need to go! I definitely want to try Bangs friend’s combo. But all your suggestions look so good!sugar cookie
Oh my gosh…. I finally tried Crumbl yesterday. The cookies are really good! Very sweet (I know that sounds strange for a cookie), but good. We tried their chocolate chip, oreo, and the classic sugar cookie. I can see how these would be perfect for a special treat.
We have 2 weeks of school left, but we’re supposed to be back to a normal school year in August! Wahoo!! I really think kids need that!
Have a really good Wednesday ?


I agree, hist little feet are the cutest! Let me know what you think of the gyro combo! You are so right about Crumbl cookies being amazing and really sweet ha. The oreo one is my favorite. I am so happy to hear that they are planning on school being back to normal in August! Thank you Wendy, you too!


I might go to Trader Joes this weekend so love the meal ideas. I feel like I’ve been in a food rut and now that I’m done with school, it’s time to cook some new recipes :)


Let me know which items you try and what you think! YAY for finishing up school and you’ll have to share any new recipes that you find and love:). Thanks Alicia.


I can’t believe Brooke will be in FOURTH grade! That is my favorite grade to teach (I teach all of elementary), so I am so excited for her!

I love the Trader Joe’s cowboy burgers and will add them as protein to salads, rice, eat them on a bun . . . pretty much however. :-) I also liked getting smoked salmon, mozzarella, and some good pita crackers from there and doing a little spread with that and some fruit! And right now, not a meal, but their presliced pineapple is AMAZING. It’s like eating sunshine.


Hey Kristin! That is so so cool that you teach all of elementary, your students are so lucky to have you. She is already so excited for fourth grade. I will be picking those burgers up along with copying you on that spread and the pineapple, YUM! Have a beautiful rest of your day.


I live in Southern Utah so we don’t have a TJ’s although I have requested that they put one in St. George, it has about everything else so why not!! My daughter and son live in Northern Utah so when I visit them, I take a cooler and make a stop at TJ’s. I get my ideas from you, so thanks!! Also, I would love snack ideas from any place you frequent. I have also used your Costco meal ideas.

For my lunch I vary between frozen meals, salads and the super hero muffins which I make a 6x batch and freeze as I also share them with my daughter.

I love, love, love Pickle Ball. I stink at it so I don’t follow the rules. I just say hit the ball when you can. It is a blast!! I bought the net that you have since we now have a huge amount of cement in our yard. I am also taking a Pickle Ball class this summer at the University that I work at and as of Monday we don’t have to wear masks!!

School gets out here in two weeks. I don’t have kids in Public schools anymore. My youngest just finished up a semester at BYU and has one year left in their nursing program, yay!!

Beck was definitely hugging you!! My two year old granddaughter hates goodbyes so I have to pick her up and hug her when it’s time for me to leave!! Littles are so much fun!!


Hey Shirley! I hope they get one in St. George too, my brother would be so happy! That makes me happy that you take a cooler with you when you visit! I will totally make a Costco list and snacks list:). Thank you for reminding me about superhero muffins, I love those so much. SO happy you bought the net for your house and that you will be taking a class this summer! So much good news in your comment, I’m loving it. Congrats to your youngest, wow. Your granddaughter is the luckiest to have you. Have a beautiful rest of your day!


Hi Janae! What a great post idea, you’re making me want to stop at TJs later. I usually think of TJs as a great place for snacks so defs share those too!
Have an awesome speed workout today! I did one yesterday and felt like it was harder because the sun is extra shiny now and it’s getting warmer earlier.


Let me know if you try any of these meals and what you think! I’ll put together a snacks post next. Thank you so much and way to go on your workout yesterday in the SUN. Have a beautiful rest of your day!


Now I’m starving. :) Would love a Costco round up and/or a roundup of easy baby/toddler snacks/meals!



LOVE both of these ideas, I’ll start putting them together! Thanks Tricia and I hope your day is a great one.


salivating at those meals!!
Canada’s school year goes from beg sept to end of June. Unfortunately Ontario schools have been virtual since April … I don’t see them opening back up until September, BOOOOO ! Allie is signed up for lots of camps to keep her busy this summer while I wait for baby to come out (august 20) but my water broke 33 weeks with Allie so who knows!! They might come in June!! So I am prepared for him/her to come early but I think the universe will have a laugh at me and baby won’t come till September , ha ha…..
Lunch is always changing!! Whatever is in the fridge or freezer. I rarely buy lunch cause I just find it annoying to wait in line. Today I packed kale slaw salad and leftover pizza!!!


I just need to mail you a bunch of TJs items!
Andrea, that is so so hard about the schools being virtual again since last month. I hope that Allie has the best time at the camps! Wait, your water broke at 33 weeks with Allie, WOW! This little one might be here before we know it. I can’t wait to find out what you are having. Sounds like a delicious lunch to me. Have a beautiful rest of your day!


Love your TJ’s ideas! We get their roasted bell peppers in the jar and make sandwiches. We toast up either sourdough or their little French rolls, then add roasted bells, prosciutto or sliced chicken, mozzeralla or provolone and put that back in the toaster or broiler until the cheese is bubbly, top with avocado (your bruschetta would probably be amazing too). We use a cilantro lime mayo for dipping.


THANK YOU for sharing this with me Michelle, I will have to try this… drooling just reading about it! Have a beautiful day friend!


I love all of these meal ideas!!

I’m a teacher in central California and we are just barely back in in-person school. About 35% of my students chose to return for the last 6 weeks and we don’t get out until June 9th because our district opted to start late.

We are expecting to be back to normal school next year too!! I really hope so for all of our sake.


Hey Marissa! I am so so happy that you guys are back in-person.. I bet your students are so happy to be back with you. SO so good to hear that things will be back to normal next year. It feels so good to have some normalcy again. Hope you are having a great day with your students!


I need all these ideas right now because quick dinners are going to be every night this Fall ;) that or sandwiches or cereal every night. lol. I feel like we are kind of limited with Anna’s egg allergies, but we like the frozen teriyaki chicken with bell pepper and onions served over rice.
School this Fall just got changed for Alpine School District. No more two start times, which is so great for the teachers. But I am praying I can stick with an 8am start time (the school will be told whether they are an 8am start time or 9:15 now) because I have no idea how Felicity will get to school if it starts at 9:15. Gotta love when you make plans and then TWIST it can all change. But yay for longer school days and no masks!
Also, Ross can drink warm soda too because of his mission to Mexico (for the same reasons as your brother). Sometimes I comment in my head and I then I forget to actually comment on the blog. If only you could receive my mental messages.


Love me some tjs meals!! I like to use their frozen breaded chicken tenderloins to make chicken Parmesan, you can do it in the air fryer and it’s so easy! Also a family fav is a one pan sheet roast of their sweet apple chicken sausage, shaved Brussels, and the sweet potato gnocchi! It’s sooo good!


Favorite fast meal. Tortillas, frozen breaded fish (or fish sticks), shredded cabbage, guacamole, and pick. Air fry the fish and bam…super fast fish tacos.

My kids have been in school all year. My 2, now 3 year old has been going all year and no masks for her. My oldest (2nd grade) started with like 3 weeks of hybrid and virtual, and then back to full time. They get out early on Mondays and have been wearing masks the whole time. New rules now though and masks outside during recess, etc. are optional.


Thank you for the TJ ideas. I am having a total knee replacement in 2 weeks. I need easy meals in the freezer! I am mourning the demise of my running days. They are over, but I can live vicariously through you! I am a high school teacher in North Carolina. My school system has had students on campus all year. For the first 3 quarters we were on an alternate day schedule. Now all students, except for those who choose remote, are on campus daily!


Laura. I am so incredibly sorry about your upcoming knee replacement. I wish I could bring you over dinner after your surgery. Will you please keep me updated with how the recovery goes. I am so glad that your students have been able to be there all year! They are so lucky to have you as a teacher. I hope you are having a beautiful day and good luck!


Yum! This all looks amazing. Grocery shopping motivation :)

I’m a big fan of the cauliflower gnocchi with their kale pesto and a dollop of goat cheese (melts right in). Top w any veg and protein you’d like! I’ve never tried the sweet potato gnocchi, but now it’s on my list!

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