Favorite Trader Joe's Food Hacks (with Recipes)

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

For me, it's the Pound Plus dark chocolate bar. For my kids, it's the Chocolate Cat Cookies for People. For Beau, it is the Mint Chip Ice cream.

You can see where our allegiance lies at ol' Trader Joe's. Mmmm...sugar.

This is full disclosure from your nutritionist. She like chocolate.

This is not me.

What are your favorite foods from Trader Joes? Everything is so delicious. And everyone is so friendly. If I am in a funk, I won't even go to Trader Joes because I don't feel like turning my frown upside down. Don't be nice to me today, you big friendly jerks.

But aside from the delicious treats, there are some super practical items at Trader Joe's that help you stick to your nourishing diet and feel great at the same time.

1) Carnitas

Their prepackaged, pre-made carnitas are so delicious. With six people in my family, we need two packages to get through dinner, but all of that meat comes in at under 13$. This is one of my favorite meals to take to someone's home, or to serve when hosting.

I just heat up the carnitas in my Le Creuset in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes and then shred with a fork. I serve with butter lettuce cups, homemade guacamole, olives, and diced green onions.

2) Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Roast

My kids love Tri Tip so much. Originally, tri tip hails from the Santa Maria Valley of California and we visit that valley often. My husband grills an incredible tri tip at home, but if you don't have time or the inclination, grab TJ's Sirloin Roast. It is already cut into cute little servings. One or two packages will serve a family. I just heat it up in the oven, let it rest a bit, and serve it with mashed sweet potatoes and salad. Sometimes, I will make chimichurri sauce to spoon over it. Yes, please.

3) Steamed Lentils

These lentils are by the lettuce and carrots in the refrigerated section. They are in a vacuum pack, and are already fully cooked. While we don't do legumes often, I love to make a Mediterranean salad every once and awhile, and my little Roman Bradley likes to eat them out of the package. Lentils are among the easiest legumes to digest, and they are versatile. The fiber and prebiotics and b vitamins in lentils make them a great choice for a grain-free side.

4) Grass Fed Beef Burgers

These are in the frozen section, and they are so convenient. When I start my clients on my diet plan, I tell them to utilize the frozen section at Trader Joe's. These burgers are so easy to unwrap, lay on top of a bed of frozen cauliflower, season with Herbs de Provence and salt, and cook in the toaster oven for 45 minutes while you attend to other and more pressing business like watching the Crown. Or homeschooling your kids. Come back to a warm and healthy lunch.

5) Sweet Chicken Apple Sausages

I am a fan of meat. And I am a fan of toaster ovens. They are a great stand in for a gonad-frying, endocrine-system-disrupting microwave.

A woman's body needs the leucine from meat for muscle protein synthesis. We also need the other amino acids, the B vitamins, and the clean dietary fats. Order a CSA and eat meat. Life is simple.

This is not me either.

The sweet chicken apple sausages are a client favorite. It feels so right to eat meat in the morning. I rarely get complaints when I add these into the morning rotation for my girls' breakfasts. Eat one or two or three with some avocado and some berries and you have stable blood sugar and plenty of energy and satiety to get through to lunch.

Start here, and go forth to the bounty of literal pounds of chocolate, delicious canned(!) wine, and perfectly portioned bags of carrots. You would be hard pressed to find me without a Trader Joe's carrot in my work bag or my tummy on any given day.

What are your favorites?

To your hormonal health,



jennifer woodward

Soothe your Gut

Speed your Metabolism

Stabilize your Hormones


ANWCB Board Certified 

Board Certified Functional Wellness Coach

GEMA License #LEPH575


Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® health coaches do not diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.  Nothing we share with our clients is intended to substitute for the advice, treatment or diagnosis of a qualified licensed physician.  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) Practitioners may not make any medical diagnoses or claim, nor substitute for your personal physician’s care.  It is the role of a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner to partner with their clients to provide ongoing support and accountability in an opt-in model of self-care and should be done under the supervision of a licensed physician.

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