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Three Easy Trader Joe's Lunch Recipes

Updated: Oct 6

When I was in my 20s, freshly out of college and living in the big city, a Trader Joe’s opened up right down the street from my apartment. While I wasn’t much into wellness then, I knew the importance of eating healthy for weight loss; Trader Joe’s was supposed to be a healthy food store, so I was told. I made several trips there over the course of a few months to see what the buzz was all about, only to leave feeling like it was expensive food that I didn’t know how to cook! Focused on other things like hanging out with my friends on Division Street, I gave up and went back to my usual grocery shopping ways.


Flash forward ten years, and Trader Joe’s kept coming up on the podcast. I heard several of our guests rave about the grocery store, including Julie Keene, the Los Angeles Nutritionist. Since COVID had left me working from home for most of 2020 and generally stressed out most of the time, when my kids went back to daycare I was out of good excuses to put off trying to eat healthier. In came Trader Joe’s and the amazing food options they have created to help busy moms like me make eating healthy a bit easier. Here are my three favorite recipes for quick lunches to make if you’re working from home right now.


#1. Apple Chicken Sausage With Quinoa Duo & Pepita Salsa

This apple chicken sausage quinoa dish is a wonderful hot dish, especially during fall. The pepita salsa has several pumpkin & chipotle undertones and the chicken sausage blends with it to make a yummy, healthy recipe that takes less than 15 minutes to prepare!


Prep Time - 3 minutes

Cook Time - 8 minutes

Total Time - 11 minutes

Servings - 2

What You’ll Need:

  1. 2 Apple Chicken Sausage (I get this from a general grocery store to save on cost, but any chicken sausage can work)

  2. Trader Joe’s Quinoa Duo Vegetable Melange

  3. Trader Joe’s Pepita Salsa

Preparation:

Heat up olive or avocado oil on the stovetop. Add the Trader Joe’s Quinoa Duo to the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and cover the mixture, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes. Separately, microwave the apple chicken sausage for about a minute. Cut it up into smaller pieces, then add it to the Quinoa Duo. Stir for about two more minutes, then spoon into whatever serving bowl you like & add some pepita salsa to mix in before serving.



#2. Ginger Miso Soup With Veggies

I love this twist on a basic miso soup. The heart of palm pasta and carrots add just the right amount of texture while the red pepper flakes give it a nice kick. It’s a really great option, especially on a rainy, gloomy day!


Prep Time - 3 minutes

Cook Time - 7 minutes

Total Time - 10 minutes

Servings - 2

What You’ll Need:

  1. Trader Joe’s Ginger Miso Soup

  2. Trader Joe’s Heart of Palm Pasta

  3. Carrots, cut into smaller chunks

  4. Red Pepper Flakes

  5. Black Pepper

Preparation:

Heat up olive oil on the stovetop, and add the Trader Joe’s Heart of Palm Pasta to it. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped carrots, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to the pan, and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until carrots are to desired softness. Meanwhile, heat up miso soup in microwave for 1 minute. Add all ingredients to a bowl and serve.



#3. Cauliflower Rice, Veggie & Kale Stir-Fry

I love this stir-fry recipe as a vegetarian option, but it’s also delicious if you add some leftover chicken from dinner. The kale blends well with the butter sauce that comes in the vegetable melange, and the Tsang classic sauce gives it a little extra oomph. The cooking portion takes a couple of extra minutes, but it’s well worth the wait!


Prep Time - 3 minutes

Cook Time - 9 minutes

Total Time - 12 minutes

Servings - 2

What You’ll Need:

  1. Trader Giotto’s Organic Riced Cauliflower

  2. Trader Joe’s Vegetable Melange

  3. Tsang Stir-Fry Classic Sauce

  4. Kale, chopped

  5. Chicken [optional]

Preparation:

Heat up olive oil on the stove top, and add the riced cauliflower and vegetable mélange. Let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale and cook for an additional ~3 minutes, until the kale is to desired texture. Add stir-fry classic sauce to taste & serve immediately. This also tastes great with leftover chicken, if you have it.



Final Thoughts

I understand the struggle to keep things healthy and new at lunchtime. Hopefully these quick, easy recipes can be a great addition to your meal rotation!


Want to learn more about nutrition & how to eat healthy?

Check out our episode with Juli Keene: Episode 29: Nutritious Health Hacks with Juli Keene, the Los Angeles Nutritionist


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