Trader Joe’s Frozen Food Favorites (plus meal plan)

 

I am not big on food prep nor do I really feel like whipping up involved recipes every day of the week.

I think part of the reason I get away with my way of meal preparation is because I rely on a bunch of frozen food favorites from Trader Joe’s to help me get our food on the table without much fuss and as fast as possible.

frozen food favorites from Trader Joe's

There is nothing wrong with meal planning from your freezer so long as you select lots of nutrient-dense frozen foods to stock up on, rather than survive solely on prepackaged processed sodium loaded frozen meals.

While most grocery stores can offer you terrific frozen food options, lately I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s and have come to rely on these frozen food favorites:

Frozen vegetables: Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of frozen vegetables, both seasoned and unseasoned. I tend to go with the unseasoned frozen vegetables so that I can prepare them my own way but have bought a few of their seasoned blends which I have used in various dishes or have mixed with the unseasoned frozen vegetables to extend the flavoring.

My How To Roast Frozen Vegetables post is one of my most popular posts ever – be sure to check it out if you missed it.

Fun fact: Frozen vegetables are nutrient dense, just like fresh! In fact, frozen vegetable may contain even more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants because they are frozen at peak ripeness.

Frozen fruit: Perfect year round to add to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods and snacks. The same theory applies to frozen fruit as the frozen vegetables – lots of nutrients and antioxidants just like the fresh fruits.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal: While I do make my own fresh oatmeal, these frozen blocks of steel-cut oatmeal are perfect for emergency meals when you are short on time, ran out of the oatmeal you prepared ahead of time (it happens to the best of us) and need your steel-cut oatmeal immediately.

Organic Pizza Crust: We are loving this pizza crust and use one every week for pizza night!

Trader Joe's frozen organic whole wheat pizza crust

While Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of frozen pizzas, we prefer the plain crust so that we can add our own toppings while also avoiding the extra ingredients and sodium.

Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers: Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers are not exclusive to Trader Joe’s but I do find that they are sold at a good price on a regular basis. Trader Joe’s does have other veggie burgers, however, I like Dr. Praeger’s for their minimal list of ingredients. Plus, my son really likes them which is a rarity when it comes to anything with a vegetable involved.

Frozen Fully-Cooked Rice Medleys and/or Quinoa: Total convenience right here! I love these steam pouches which contain no added ingredients or salt.

frozen rice

 

The Sometimes & Extras:

I call these frozen foods the sometimes and extras because Trader Joe’s is either out of these frozen foods, has discontinued them (I am talking about you, onion rings) or they only end up in my shopping cart when my son is with me.

I try to avoid a lot of the frozen food options because even though they may look yummy and you are in Trader Joe’s, that doesn’t mean they are healthy/low in fat/low in sodium/necessary to eat on the regular.

Vegetable Bird’s Nests: My son loves these and since they are made with kale and carrots, I justify them as his vegetables.

Vegetable Birds Nests

I usually serve them with stir frys or when I make him unfried fried rice (need to share that recipe I think).

Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets: Usually a bag in the freezer.

Low Fat Fish Sticks – Not always in the freezer but on occasion.

Wild Shrimp: I do not eat fish on a regular basis but sometimes when Trader Joe’s has the frozen wild shrimp in stock (which isn’t often), I buy it because it’s the best frozen shrimp I have found. Remember, you want wild caught fish, not farm raised!

Missing from the Trader Joe’s frozen section lately:

  • Onion rings
  • Wild Shrimp
  • Whipped cream
  • Greek frozen yogurt
  • Sweet potato tots

weekly meal planning menu

SundayVeggie Fajita Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

MondayBaked Falafel Salad Bowls – Will heat up a frozen pouch of brown rice and add extra vegetables too.

Tuesday – Pizza Night! Using the frozen organic pizza crust and then picking toppings from these 15 fall pizza options.

Wednesday – Veggie Burgers served with Roasted Potato Wedges & Veggies – The plan is Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers, but if I feel like it, I may try following this guide to building the perfect veggie burger

ThursdayStir Fry BowlsMade with another pouch of brown rice, frozen vegetables and the bird’s nests on the side.

Friday -Out

Saturday – Out

In case you missed my Trader Joe’s Favorites For Runners post, click here 🙂

Frozen food favorites from Trader Joe's plus next week's meal plan #traderjoes #mealplan #frozenfoods #fitlfuential Click To Tweet

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3 frozen foods always in your freezer?

3 things you are doing this weekend?

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Comments

  1. says

    Have you ever tried Trader Joe’s pizza dough? It’s SO good and really easy to use! It probably takes longer than the crust to use, but I think it’s so much better! It’s probably also cheaper, so you might want to give it a shot! I always have pierogies, frozen mango and chicken in my freezer!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Top Five Friday #33My Profile

  2. says

    The things I usually have in my freezer are bananas, burritos and squash (random, I know). I don’t really eat too many frozen things unless I am on a banana ice cream kick, then I go through bananas like it’s going out of style!
    This weekend I am working at the running store, going to church and maybe getting waffles with a friend for lunch today.
    I wish there was a Trader Joe’s near me, but I have found a lot of great stuff at Aldi’s and the Dollar Store that are cheap supplements to the produce I eat (cookie butter FTW!)
    Ellie recently posted…Spiritual fullnessMy Profile

  3. says

    I always keep some frozen wild salmon fillets, veggies, and some Seeds of Change quinoa or brown rice microwavable packets on hand so that when I come home tired I can toss together a ten minute healthy dinner. Frozen works well because it sucks to buy too much fresh food, unexpectedly not eat in, and then have it go to waste – OTOH, it also sucks not to have food in the house when you’re starving! I usually just steam the frozen veggies but I have to check out that post of yours now 🙂
    Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Pumpkin PouffléMy Profile

  4. says

    3 frozen foods always in your freezer: bananas, acai berries, and cauliflower

    3 things you are doing this weekend: SoulCycle, visiting my best friend in NYC, and watching the Giants (duh) 🙂
    Jamie recently posted…NYCM ThoughtsMy Profile

  5. Anne says

    I always have TJs frozen vegetables in my freezer. Top 3 are probably brussel sprouts, some plain stir fry mix they always have, and spinach. I usually have frozen edamame as well as bunch of their frozen fruits. I don’t know about your store, but they’ve been missing the frozen cauliflower rice now for months in mine (I live in the DC area). Another good option for frozen plain vegetables (I’m like you; I don’t like anything added so I can do my own thing with them): Bird’s Eye makes some good simple veggie mixes–they have one with broccoli, cauliflower, & carrots, one with water chestnuts, and one with edamame. Usually they’re on special at the local grocery chains here (like 2 for $4 or something).

    • says

      I haven’t seen the frozen cauliflower either which is surprising because I think it was pretty popular! We love the bird’s eye mix with the water chestnuts, broccoli, snap peas and carrots! I wish they would put less carrots and more water chestnuts!

  6. says

    My freezer always has the strangest things it in: celery, carrot, and onion scraps for the next time I make stock (I freeze them to save them), dark chocolate chips, and leftover soups and chilis frozen for easy meals. I used to always have frozen berries on hand also – I should buy some soon now that they’re out of season.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese and PepitasMy Profile

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