A Week’s Worth of Trader Joe’s Dinners

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What you'll need for this meal

I usually shop once a week for groceries and I spend a little time before I head out planning 4 or 5 dinners.  We rely on the leftovers for lunches, and staples like oatmeal, fruit, and cereal for breakfasts. It actually takes a lot of the stress out of weeknight cooking when you have a list of options to look at and you know all the ingredients are on hand.   I figured as long as I was making a menu, it might be helpful to share it.

Normally, I shop at regular grocery stores or our local Co-op, but when Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) came to town it was an event.  Bellinghamsters like food and TJ’s has some pretty unique products.  I end up there about once a month and I’m impressed with some of their healthier options.

I humbly present to you:

Bruschetta Pasta

Cheddar Potato Pizza

Easy Weeknight Stir-fry with Noodle Cake

Caramelized Tofu Cover

Quick Quesadillas and Aroma’s San Antonio Rice

A few of the ingredients will end up getting used in more than one meal like leeks, red pepper, millet bread, and cheddar cheese.  This means the price listed for individual recipes would go down if you shopped for and made the full week of meals. For example, added up recipe by recipe, the total cost is $96.40, but when taken all together the total is only $82.90.  I already had some staples on hand, like olive oil, but I got everything else I needed at TJ’s.  And, in case you’re running low, most all of the pantry staples are available at TJ’s, too.

The TJ’s in your neck of the woods might be laid out differently, but I tried to put the ingredients sort of in order of how I found them in my store.  This list is for all 5 recipes plus recommended accompaniments:

Week of Trader Joe’s Dinners Shopping List

16 oz. TJ’s High Protein Organic Tofu Super Firm ($1.99)
8 oz. TJ’s Organic 3-Grain Tempeh ($1.69)
1 1-lb. TJ’s Wheat Pizza Dough ($1.29)
12 oz. TJ’s Mild Salsa ($2.29)
16 oz. TJ’s Brussels Sprouts ($2.29)
4 oz. TJ’s Organics Organic Fresh Basil ($2.79)
2 Count TJ’s Organics Organic Washington Leeks ($2.79)
2 Count TJ’s Red Bell Peppers ($2.29)
12 oz. TJ’s Vegetable Medley (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) ($2.29)
9 oz. TJ’s Snow Peas ($2.29)
12 oz. TJ’s Haricots Verts ($2.99)
15 oz. TJ’s A Complete Salad, Caesar Style ($3.49)
1 bag Fresh Produce Red Potatoes ($1.49)
16 oz. TJ’s Light Sour Cream ($1.79)
16 oz. TJ’s Millet Bread ($3.69)
16.5 oz. TJ’s Whole Grain Flour Tortillas with Rolled Oats and Flax Seed ($2.79)
8 oz. TJ’s Raw Pecan Pieces or Raw Pecan Halves ($4.99)
8 oz. TJ’s Raw Pine Nuts ($7.99)
20 oz. TJ’s Island Soyaki Sauce ($3.69)
16 oz. TJ’s Italian Capellini Pasta ($0.99)
16 oz. TJ’s Italian Orecchiette Pasta ($0.99)
12 oz. Trader Giotto’s Bruschetta (sauce) ($2.49)
15 oz. can TJ’s Garbanzo Beans ($0.89)
16 oz. TJ’s Lowfat Vegetarian Refried Pinto Beans Salsa Style ($1.09)
3.8 oz. can TJ’s Sliced Black Olives ($1.19)
32 oz. TJ’s Genuine 100% White Basmati Rice From India ($2.99)
16 oz. TJ’s Organic Quinoa ($3.99)
16 oz. TJ’s Organic Super Sweet Cut Corn ($1.79)
5 oz. TJ’s Grana Padano cheese  ($3.72)
13 oz. TJ’s Light Sharp Celtic Cheddar ($4.73)
12 oz. TJ’s Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Cheese ($3.13)

Total:  $82.90

Pantry Staples (available at TJ’s)
Olive oil
Reduced sodium soy sauce
Toasted sesame oil
Fresh or dried thyme
Butter or magarine

Pantry Staples (not available at TJ’s)

Dark brown sugar
Chili powder


This project did show me that many of our quick meals are high in sodium, so I’m going to work on improving that going forward.

The Monday-to-Friday order of recipes isn’t terribly important – Jeff actually likes letting his mood determine which one gets picked on a given night – but I try to consider using up the fresh foods first, so they don’t spoil before their meal pops up in the queue.

I’d love to hear feedback on the recipes and how everything comes together in your kitchen.

6 thoughts on “A Week’s Worth of Trader Joe’s Dinners”

  1. Pingback: Bruschetta Pasta |

  2. We plan our menus too and eat leftovers for lunch. Seafood (for freshness) on Monday, Meat on Tuesday, Vegetarian on Wednesday, and Poultry on Thursday. We usually have enough leftovers for other days as well. Also, we keep some items in the freezer to make quick and easy meals when we don’t feel like cooking 🙂

  3. Pingback: Cheddar Potato Pizza |

  4. Pingback: Easy Weeknight Stir-fry with Noodle Cake |

  5. Pingback: Caramelized Tofu Cover |

  6. Pingback: Quick Quesadillas |

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