WIAW: Trader Joe’s special

Before I get to this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post, I have to know one thing: Am I the only one who HATES the self-checkout lanes at the grocery store?

I didn’t get a chance to go shopping until after work, which means after midnight. Staffing of the real checkout lane is hit or miss at that hour. Some nights, they have a lane open with no one standing there. You squeeze the squeaky frog at the checkstand and they’ll come check you out. Other nights, you’re stuck with self checkout.

Me, I’d rather wait in line than do it myself (unless I have just one or two items). It takes me about ten times as long to check myself out as it does for the nice, helpful, trained cashier to do it for me. That’s what happened to me on Tuesday. I walked into the store at 12:09 and didn’t walk out until 12:40 — and it wasn’t because I spent an inordinate amount of time strolling the aisles. Nope. I had to self-check, keying in produce codes and weighing things.


Okay. Rant over. Now let’s get to the good stuff. And it really was all good stuff — both in taste and nutrition.

As always, thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW link-up. Hop on over to Peas and Crayons for a glimpse into the eating habits of a couple hundred of your closest Internet friends.

Like I said, I had a fantastic eating day. With some help from Trader Joe’s, I spent less than 45 minutes in the kitchen whipping up a breakfast smoothie, prepping snacks, lunch and dinner and washing dishes. And the best thing? I got to eat MORE food for FEWER calories. I actually came in 160 calories UNDER Lose It’s limit for the day.


Berry Smoothie

A mixed berry smoothie. In the mix: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup TJ’s mixed berries, 4 oz. C Monster juice, 8 oz. water, 10 ice cubes. Certainly colorful enough to qualify for the #colourfulsmoothie challenge. It tasted pretty good, too — except for the seeds. I hate raspberry seeds. I always forget how much I detest the tiny, hard bits until I try making a smoothie with mixed berries.

Once I’d finished up in the kitchen, I ran a few errands and headed to Starbucks. To avoid the too-yummy pastries, I took my lunch inside with me. (Last week while on vacation and spending 5-6 hours a day warming a seat at the Bux to write, I helped myself to WAY more pastries than I should have.)

Iced Coffee and Sandwich

A Sandwich Thin with TJ’s Less-Guilt spinach/kale dip. That stuff tastes just as good as I remember it from last time. I could have probably used a hit of protein, though. I’m wondering about adding a sliced hard-boiled egg or maybe even a hamburger patty to the bread/dip combo. I also ordered a black iced coffee, which I mixed with a cup of unsweetened almond milk I brought from home, doctored with some sugar-free chocolate syrup and coconut extract.

I wish they offered almond milk at Starbucks. Unsweetened almond milk would be superb.

When I got to the office at 3 p.m., I ate the rest of my lunch: Broccoli-Cranberry Slaw and the TJ’s brand of snap pea crisps, Visualize World Peas, with hummus for dipping.

Broccoli Slaw Crispy Peas and hummusThe broccoli slaw was based on a recipe they demo’ed at Trader Joe’s when I was there a couple of weeks ago. I used a bag of broccoli slaw, dried Craisins (cherry flavored because I didn’t have plain ones like I thought), chopped walnuts and Cranberry-Walnut-Gorgonzola dressing.

The recipe called for slivered almonds, which I also thought I had at home. Turns out I was wrong. Walnuts were an excellent substitution, though.

I think I’ll end up with five one-cup servings, each with 200 calories, 11 grams fat, 22 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber and 4.8 grams protein.

Those stats aren’t too shabby. I wonder if it’d make a good bed for  chopped grilled chicken.

I also had a Grande iced caramel latte, made with 2% milk and sugar-free caramel syrup. Had to use my Treat Receipt, after all.

My latte was good — but not nearly as tasty as the drink I got with Monday’s Treat Receipt. I saw it on Facebook Monday morning. It involved a Frappuccino blended with banana, dark caramel drizzle and whipped cream. Like Bananas Foster, perhaps? That was lip-smacking, glass-licking good. It probably also had enough sugar, calories and junk to keep a 10-year-old wired for a week.

At about 7 p.m., I was ready for dinner.

Spaghetti Squash and meatballs Muesli

That’s spaghetti squash topped with sauce and three Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs. (The bag says 2 are a serving, but that didn’t look like enough, so I ate 1 1/2 servings.)

I loved the meatballs — and they made dinner so easy. All I had to do was throw together a cup of spaghetti squash, 1/2 cup of sauce and the meatballs.

I also had some Muesli Fusion Morning Zen with almond milk and 1 Tablespoon of Cookie Butter stirred in.

As I’ve told the Chicklets, that Cookie Butter is like crack.

Cookie Butter-filled chocolateWhile I was on vacation last week, the Boyfriend stopped at Verizon looking for a new phone. (He had to have the Galaxy Note, which I think is about three times too big to be a phone. It’s more like a mini iPad Mini.) The Verizon store happened to be next to Trader Joe’s, so I hopped over there to grab another one of those dark-chocolate bars filled with cookie butter.

So good! (And so NOT good for me.)

Sugar, why can’t I quit you?

Sometimes I think about going back on Atkins again … and then I see recipes like Jenn’s Dreamy Dark Chocolate Scones.

And then I remember Atkins would mean no more Chobani.

Chobani Key Lime Crumble

Not sure I want to give that up, either. This Key Lime Crumble Flip was the perfect sweet snack at 10 p.m.

I had more than a little help from Trader Joe’s. But that’s okay. If I lived closer to one, I’d use their products even more.

On the plus side, they are opening a Sprouts in Flagstaff later this month. I know Sprouts has killer cheap produce. Maybe it’ll become my new favorite store.


3 responses to “WIAW: Trader Joe’s special

  1. I actually am a big fan of self check out since unless I am at whole foods or trader joes which don’t offer them, the check out people tend to be confused by my produce purchase and then are mad when I correct them.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever had to correct them … but maybe I’m missing something. I have had them ask “what’s this?” though.

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