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Top Three Easy, Healthy(ish) Trader Joe’s Dinners

This is my first semester at Brown with access to my own kitchen, which is super exciting but also requires some planning. With all the craziness of school and activities picking up, I usually make meals that don’t require a ton of (if any) preparation. Needless to say, Trader Joe’s is my saving grace. The store has tons of frozen meals, many of which are fairly healthy. Here are my top three frozen items from Trader Joe’s that allow for an easy and nutritious dinner.

Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry

This cauliflower rice requires pretty much zero effort to prepare and it tastes amazing. You cook it on the stove top like normal fried rice. Just add a bit of oil to a pan (avocado oil, olive oil etc.), put the frozen cauliflower stir fry in and cook to your desired consistency. It tastes like fried rice, just with extra vegetables instead of actual rice. I like to add an egg or egg whites to my stir fry, which I cook on the same pan after the cauliflower has been cooking for a good 5-7 minutes. I also add a little soy sauce when everything is done cooking for some extra flavor. If you’re looking for more protein, this meal pairs well with pretty much anything – chicken, shrimp, tofu, or whatever else you may want! 

Turkey Burgers

These burgers are super easy to cook on the stove top. Just put a little bit of oil in a pan and cook the burger on each side for 6-8 minutes. The burgers are a great source of protein and have a really clean ingredient list (just turkey, kosher salt, and rosemary extract). They are delicious on top of a salad, on a bun/bread, or just on their own! Also, if you don’t eat meat, I’ve heard that Trader Joes’ veggie burgers are also very good. 

Cauliflower Gnocchi

The cauliflower gnocchi is a fan favorite product at Trader Joe’s, and it definitely lives up to its reputation. If you follow the cooking instructions on the bag it is really yummy, but I recommend cooking the gnocchi in an air fryer if you have one. I tried this airfryer cauliflower gnocchi recipe last week, and it turned out really well. Enjoy it with your favorite sauce – I really like the vegan kale, cashew, and basil pesto from Trader Joe’s! 

There are plenty of other products from Trader Joe’s to check out as well, frozen and non-frozen. These three options are my favorite because they are so convenient and also pretty healthy. I’ve survived my first couple of weeks off of meal plan by pretty much living off of these foods for dinner! Each product takes a maximum of 15-20 minutes to prepare, so they are good staples to keep in the freezer for when you need to make a meal quickly. It can be easy to fall into a routine of buying takeout or eating less nutritious things when you’re pressed for time, but these yummy, time-efficient meals can keep you on track. The drive from College Hill to Warwick is well worth it for a Trader Joe’s run!

Hannah is a sophomore at Brown from the D.C. area in Virginia. She is concentrating in public policy.
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