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The fall semester was my first semester having a kitchen in my dorm. It was something exciting because I enjoy cooking and baking but I was also nervous because it can be a bit daunting to cook whole, healthy meals daily with a busy schedule. I found myself completely leaning on Trader Joe’s and I want to share with you some of my favorite snacks and meals. 

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Cups

While I am not someone who ordinarily reaches for dark chocolate, these peanut butter cups are the exception. I always have these as a little sweet treat after a meal. These are a fan favorite in our dorm and we always have them stocked up.

Individual Lemon Herb Butter Salmon

This is my most recent Trader Joe’s find and it has immediately become a favorite. It is an individual salmon with the most amazing herb butter. It is perfect because oftentimes I am just cooking for myself so all I need is a single piece. Salmon in general cooks quickly so it is a great meal for busy college students. 

Mini Chicken Cilantro Wontons 

I found myself trying these on a whim and they are now my lunch staple. I simply pan fry them for a few minutes then steam them for a few minutes. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I always pair these with white rice and vegetables. 

Soup Dumplings  

There are several options with these delicious soup dumplings. They come in pork, chicken, beef and vegetables. Personally, I prefer the chicken and vegetables but I would love to try the others. I am usually not a fan of microwave means but this one is different. You would not even know it is a meal that takes two minutes and comes from a microwave. 

Pasadena Salad

This is a classic, simple salad that has the most amazing dressing. This is a perfect light lunch for in between classes. It was something I tired because my roommates were obsessed with it and now I understand the hype. 

White cheddar popcorn 

My ultimate favorite snack! This is so addicting and I love the cheddar flavor over regular butter or salt. This snack is perfect for any movie night or just a snack in between meals.

Tuna Salad

I am always looking for filling snacks that have some protein in them. I came across the tuna salad in the refrigerator section and now I can’t live without it. I put it on butter crackers or toasted sourdough bread and it is fantastic. While not everyone enjoys tuna salad, everyone I recommend it to and has tried it has loved it. 

Hash Browns

Lastly, Trader Joe’s has these hash browns that are in the shape of patties and when you put them in the air fryer they come out golden brown and crunchy. They are now a crucial part of a delicious breakfast. They have made me excited about making breakfast before class!

These are just a few of my staples that I always reach for! I hope you try them out the next time you are at Trader Joe’s and in need of a quick meal. Enjoy!

Sophia Placencio

Cal Lutheran '22

Hi, my name Sophia Placencio and I am the HCCLU president! I am a senior at California Lutheran University majoring in Criminal Justice!
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