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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

Top 5 Vegan Trader Joe’s Must Haves

All throughout high school, I would see people constantly raving about Trader Joe’s on social media, but I never understood the hype. Moving to a city with the renowned grocery store fully shifted my perspective, and I now find myself shopping at Trader Joe’s more than once a week in the way that I would browse Target for fun. I’m not quite sure if this is a good habit or one that’s just draining my bank account. Every time I’m unloading my groceries I realize I’ve picked up a new fun food to try, and for that reason, I’m able to share five of my favorites: 


Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto

Pesto is one of the foods I deeply missed when I initially went vegan, but Trader Joe’s definitely fixed that short term sadness. What I love about this pesto is how universal it is. You can use it to top off a salad, make a bruschetta-like toast, use it as an avocado toast base, or make pesto pasta. My favorite use for it is pesto gnocchi with vegan cheese and topped with cherry tomatoes. 


Chickenless Crispy Tenders

The vegan chicken comes next on the list because I usually eat it with my pesto pasta. Now, I’ve always been an avid garden chicken lover, but there’s something about Trader Joe’s chicken that just hits. 


Green Goddess Dressing

 So, hear me out. I’ve just recently tried this dressing for the first time, and I’m not sure why I didn’t try it sooner. It’s incredible, really. I’ve found it to be a great -and healthy- topping for all of my weekly “kitchen sink” type veggie bowls. It works on my favorite vegan chicken, veggie burgers, salad, etc. All I’m saying is you need this dressing. Like, now. 


Organic Creamy Cashew Fiesta Dip   

In simpler terms, this is an adequate substitute for queso. My favorite way to eat it is heated up with some hot sauce because it’s not as spicy as it claims to be (and it adds that needed kick of flavor). This is one of my more recent purchases, so I have yet to become obsessed, but who doesn’t love good queso? 


Chili & Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips  

Yes. Just yes. There’s really no need for an explanation. These chips are similar to Takis appearance-wise, but the flavor hits differently than Takis. It really is just better, and something you have to pick up on your next grocery trip. 


Honorable Mention: Everything But the Bagel Seasoning 

I felt obligated to include the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, but I’m sure we're all very familiar with it, so it didn’t make the cut for my top five picks. Although, I do find myself using this seasoning on almost every breakfast food I prepare. My two favorite foods to top with the seasoning are avocado toast or an English muffin with vegan cream cheese. So if you have yet to try it, now’s your chance. 


Emma is a Senior Advertising and Public Relations major and Women and Gender Studies/Journalism minor at The University of Tampa. She loves the beach, graphic design, photography, and traveling.
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