A Love Affair

I’m lucky enough to live only about 30 minutes away from my parents, so I’m able to stop by and visit a few times a month. They happen to live in a town that’s full of yummy restaurants, specialty shops, and grocery stores, so it’s only natural that I try to take advantage of that as much as possible. There is one place, though, that seems to have a magnetic pull, and I can’t bear to leave without making a pit-stop – Trader Joe’s! Naturally I went this past weekend when I was visiting for Mother’s Day.

The store is always packed, and parking can be a nightmare. That would typically keep me away from a store, but I’m never disappointed with what I find once inside. There are some things I grab every single time I go, whether or not I’m actually in need of them. I’m a big fan of tempeh and tofu, and theirs is always reasonably priced. I can get a block of 7 grain tempeh for under $2, and it’s usually double at most grocery stores near me. They also have really delicious soy chorizo and sausage-less sausage. Non-meat and meat eaters alike should be impressed with their substitutes!

I also almost always pick up some quick lunch options, and can never pass up some Indian Fare. Paired with a tortilla or naan, all you need to do is heat up the pouch in the microwave for about a minute or two, and lunch is served! It’s also really great over rice. They have a bunch of different kinds – some with chickpeas, lentils, paneer, spinach… you name it, they’ve got it. I have one in my lunchbox for today.

There are a lot of other “staples” I pick-up from Trader Joe’s each time I visit, but the most decadent and far from necessary treat is their Cookie Butter. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know I’m obsessed. I had it for the first time in the winter, and was immediately hooked. There was a brief period after I had it for the first time where it was on hiatus at the store (I think they underestimated it’s popularity), so as soon as it was back in stock I grabbed multiple jars. Now that it’s regularly in stock I make sure to grab just one jar. If you’ve never had it before and there’s a Trader Joes anywhere near you (or you have someone that can mail it to you), I HIGHLY suggest getting it. But, be forewarned – it’s addicting!

So there you have it  – my love affair with Trader Joe’s. I’m sure if I lived closer to a Whole Foods that would be an equal affair as well (it’s just a little too far, but I get excited any time I do have the opportunity to go). I have quite a few trips to Westfield planned for the next few weeks, so Trader Joes will definitely be seeing me more, and I don’t think my bank account is going to like it!

Do you have any favorite groceries, or particular grocery items?