By Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD
The perfect time to think about our favorite things is during the
holidays. Here are a few of my favorite things from one of my favorite
places, Trader Joe’s. These items make it easier and quicker to do the right thing—eat healthy and tasty foods!
I worte a whole post on kale, but the bottom line is that it’s a top-rated veggie that it is full of nutrients. It’s great in salads, smoothies, or as a side dish. And you have no excuses because it is easy to use since it’s already washed and cut. Since it’s organic, it does not have any of the neurotoxic organophosphate pesticides!
Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes
I love sweet potatoes. They are high in vitamin A and fiber and they taste good!The one disadvantage is the time to prepare and cook them. Trader Joe’s makes them easy to eat with their already mashed potatoes. They come in small frozen pellets that you just heat up with a dash of water in a pan. Yum!
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
This mild-tasting vinegar is great on a salad all by itself. It can also be used to enhance the flavor of everything from chili to a raspberry reduction.
They are low in calories and a good source of vitamin C, K, and folic acid. Try adding them to a salad or even by themselves with a little balsamic vinegar.
This sauce is so tasty, that I have been known to eat it right out of the jar! I primarily use it on pasta and on top of grilled tofu
Organic Sprouted Tofu
Organic, no GMOs, a good source of calcium, inexpensive, and a great source of protein. What more can I say? Try it with the Bruschetta sauce on top for a yummy quick meal.
Canned Organic Beans
Beans are loaded with fiber, and they are a great source of phytochemicals and protein. I love kidney beans and garbanzo beans in salads and black, pinto, and kidney beans for chili. Their newest option, great northern white beans, is one of my favs to use in soup with carrots and sage. And Trader Joe’s organic beans are in cans without BPA (Bisphenol A), a compound that can mimic estrogen and may be associated with health problems. If you have high blood pressure, rinse the beans with water to remove a lot of the sodium.
Fully Cooked Brown Rice
Healthy eating can’t get any easier than already cooked brown rice. I like to use it in soups instead of noodles and as a side dish with a meal.
Organic White Quinoa
Quinoa is such a super food. It acts like a grain, but it is actually a seed, which is why is has all the essential amino acids. It has a low glycemic load (which means it doesn’t raiser your blood sugar) and is a good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Best of all, it cooks in about 10 minutes and can be used as a side dish or even a breakfast cereal.
Move over McDonalds, hello hummus, the perfect healthy fast food. You can have it with carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas or any veggie. It’s a great tasting and healthy meal on the run.
Organic Sugar Plum Tomatoes
These tomatoes are the perfect snack. Everyone loves them, even kids. The trick is to make sure they are a rich red, especially the area close to the stem.
From the moment I first visited a Trader Joe’s store, I was hooked. They always have interesting, trendy, and tasty offerings for a good price. So now you know my favorites. What are yours??
Copyright © 2012 Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD. All rights reserved.