5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Deep question of the day: where do you guys grocery shop?

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

I tend to shop based on proximity, but the store has to have the natural and organic selection of foods I’m looking for or it just won’t work. In my current neighborhood (West Hollywood!) there are quite a few options within walking distance. I tend to visit most of them (Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms) on a pretty regular basis to see what new foods are out there, but Trader Joe’s is, without a doubt, a weekly stop for me. I can find most of the things I need – and for a pretty reasonable price – but I’ve got to admit that I love the frozen and convenience foods that Trader Joe’s offers. (If you’re ever wondering how something is, just ask. I’ve probably tried it!)

Recently, my friend Lynn and her husband came up with this super-clever buzzfeed video featuring Trader Joe’s mashups:

I loved the video and the premise –  it’s absolutely what inspired this post!

I started brainstorming some of my favorite trader joe’s combinations that fit the following criteria:

  1. under five ingredients (all but one are made with three ingredients)
  2. fairly healthy (all of them come in under or around 500 calories)
  3. include a vegetable (because every meal should!)
  4. delicious (again, because every meal should be!)

Here are the 5 Trader Joe’s meals that I came up with:

Classic Southern Dinner:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s start with an easy, classic meal: bbq chicken breast, mac & cheese and collard greens. Prepare the mac & cheese and bbq chicken as directed and lightly steam or saute the collard greens. *I really like their “reduced-guilt” mac & cheese, but have yet to try the gluten-free variety!

Palak Paneer Eggs:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Why have I not combined Indian food with eggs before? Ah-mazing. Top cooked palak paneer with a fried or poached egg and serve with hot naan. This will definitely become a regular in our meal rotation – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Tortilla Pizza:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats
Tortilla pizzas are one of my favorite meals and considering that I’ve eaten them on  regular basis for years, it was a no-brainer. When topped with sauce, arugula, cheese and turkey meatballs, this is a particularly filling pizza. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp, top with sauce, cheese arugula and warmed meatballs and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)

Chimichurri Rice & Sausage:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Chimichurri rice is a somewhat new item and I’m so glad I finally put it in my cart – it’s delicious (so is the kimchee rice!).  When it’s combined with chicken sausage and a vegetable, you’ve got a balanced dinner that comes together in minutes. Slice and saute the sausage and rice as directed while you roast the broccoli in the oven.

Pasta with Mushrooms & Parmesan:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

This vegetarian meal is delicious and simple. And absolutely OUTSTANDING if you add a drizzle of truffle oil or sprinkling of truffle salt. Simply prepare the pasta and mushrooms as directed and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Use your favorite pasta variety.

Got any favorite quick meals to share? 

P.S. I’m really sorry if you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s! Come visit and I’ll take on a tour. :)

chicken recipes easy, hellmans mayo chicken, crusted chicken parmesan, hellman parmesan crusted chicken, recipe parmesan crusted chicken, parmesan crusted chicken

parmesan crusted chicken

Can I share a total midwest recipe with you? I know, I live in LA – land of green juice and salads – and I want to share a not-so-healthy recipe that is comprised of mayonnaise and cheese. But we can call it parmesan crusted chicken and pretend it’s fancier than it really is. As

Read more…

turkey meatloaf, paleo meatloaf, healthy meatloaf, glutenfree meatloaf

perfect meatloaf meal

Meatloaf. It’s so meat & potatoes midwest right? Well, this is not yo mama’s meatloaf. (Anybody watch that show?) This perfect meatloaf meal was inspired by a My Fit Foods meal (more on them soon) and I recreated it at home for a bunch of meals this week. I’m really trying to focus on recipes

Read more…

huevos rancheros recipes, recipe for huevos rancheros, huevos rancheros recipe, recipe huevos rancheros

simple & healthy: huevos rancheros

I’ve decided that I need to start making breakfast for dinner more often. There are a lot of things to love about breakfasts for dinner. In my world, that would mean eggs. These huevos rancheros are great: flavorful, filling and so budget friendly. There are many varieties of huevos rancheros, with some more difficult than

Read more…

ricotta on pizza, pizza with ricotta, dinner ideas, pizza recipes, quick healthy meals, vegetarian pizza recipe, ricotta recipes, meal ideas

simple & healthy: ricotta pizza

Martha (Stewart) strikes again. I don’t have many of her cookbooks, but I’m a regular on her site and appreciate her knack for beautiful recipes using simple ingredients. Her ricotta pizza combines simple ingredients that come together in minutes – perfect for weeknight dinners or those Friday nights when take-out is calling your name. If

Read more…

chicken

twenty-five ideas for shredded chicken

I’ve gotten into the habit of cooking a chicken in the crock pot on Sundays. Cooking it in the crockpot is easy (and doesn’t require the oven – it is still hot in Southern California!) and creates delicious, flavorful and really easy shredded chicken. I’ve been eating buffalo chicken salads, curried chicken salads and plain chicken

Read more…

fish packets, simple meals

simple & healthy: pesto fish packets

  I was really glad that one of the outcomes of my little poll was that you are interested in more of the healthy & simple meal ideas. For many reasons, but partly because it seems that everyone can use more simple meals ideas, and partly because it is challenging for me. I tend to

Read more…