Trader Joe's Recipes

Feeding the Kids at Trader Joe’s

Feeding Kids: Easy recipe ideas using ingredients from Trader Joe's.

With two picky kids and a for mom with too little time (and patience), preparing healthy meals can get to be a real chore. Luckily they are creatures of habit and don’t mind eating the same things, a lot. Here are some of the meals I prepare for them, using only Trader Joe’s ingredients. See recipes below.

Chicken Quesadillas

Fried Rice

Taquitos

Chicken Tenders & Mashed Potatoes

Egg in a Basket

Chicken Noodle Soup

Potsticker Soup

Chicken Pockets

For sides to these meals, these are my go to’s that they actually eat. Spinach salad with balsamic vinegar, baby carrots, cut up fresh fruit, yogurt tube, cheese stick.

Trader Joe’s is also perfect for preparing lunch box meals. TJ’s nitrate free lunch meats are a very good value and taste great too. My kids aren’t a big fan of TJ’s bread and tortillas, so I usually get those at HEB. If your kids like cereal bars, TJ’s has a nice selection in many different flavors and textures. Yogurt tubes, cheese sticks, Baby Bell’s, peanut butter pretzels, baby carrots, grapes, trail mix and juice boxes are staples in my house for lunch box meals.

Trader Joe’s also has a fairly large selection of cereal, granola and oat meal for healthy breakfasts. My kids also like TJ’s frozen waffles, pancake balls and mini pancakes. TJ’s orange juice is also a great price. I find their eggs and dairy products to be much less than chain stores too.

Recipe Directions

Chicken Quesadillas
Ingredients: TJ’s Frozen Chicken Breasts, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Salsa, Butter, Olive Oil, Tortillas, TJ’s Shredded Mexican Cheese, TJ’s Organic Grape Tomatoes, Sour Cream.

Directions: Thaw chicken breasts and cut into strips. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Add a small amount of oil to pan on med/high heat. Add chicken to brown. Add a little salsa and cook until chicken is done. Turn off heat. In another pan on medium heat, add a buttered tortilla, top with chicken mixture, some chopped tomatoes and cheese. Top with another buttered tortilla and flip. Serve with sour cream, salad and fresh fruit.

Fried Rice
Ingredients: TJ’s Frozen White Rice, Baby Carrots, Frozen Peas, Eggs, Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, salt and pepper.

Directions: Cook rice in microwave and set aside. Add a little coconut oil and sesame oil to a wok. Add diced carrots and peas. Cook until carrots are semi-soft and peas are warm. Remove veggies. Scramble 2 eggs per package of rice. Cooks eggs in wok. Add everything back into wok and drizzle with soy sauce and toss.

Sometimes I serve with TJ’s Frozen Chicken Goyza Potstickers. Cook in wok in coconut oil before preparing fried rice. Note: the Pork Potstickers are too “oniony” for my kids.

Taquitos
Trader Joe’s frozen Taquitos and Burritos are always an easy go-to for a quick dinner. Serve with fresh fruit and a salad or steamed veggies.

Chicken Tenders & Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients: TJ’s Frozen Chicken Breasts, Flour, TJ’s Everyday Seasoning, Egg, Olive Oil, Potatoes, Butter, Milk.

Directions: Peel and cut potatoes. Boil until tender, drain and mash with salt, pepper, butter and milk. Cover and set aside. Cut thawed chicken breasts into tenders. Season with salt, pepper and seasoning. In two bowls, whisk together egg and a splash of milk in one bowl. In second bowl combine flour, salt, pepper and seasoning. Dip chicken tenders into egg mix and then into flour mix and set aside on a plate. Heat oil in a pan on med/high heat. Fry tenders until golden and crisp. Serve with mashed potatoes, fruit and steamed veggies.

Egg in a Basket
Ingredients: Sliced Bread, Eggs, Butter, Salt & Pepper.

Directions: Cut center out of the bread to make a hole. Butter both sides of the bread and the hole cut out. In a non-stick pan, toast the buttered rounds and remove. Add the slice of bread with the hole and crack and egg in it. Gently flip and cook until whites are done, but yolk is runny.

Many nights, when I am preparing a real grown up meal for me and my husband, I just prepare the kids scrambled eggs, with toast, fruit, carrots and yogurt. They love it and it’s super quick, easy and healthy. And I don’t have to cook two separate dinners.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Ingredients: 1 Whole Chicken, Carrots, Onion, Celery, Grape Tomatoes, Water, Salt & Pepper, Dried or Fresh Herbs, Pappardelle Pasta, Parmesan Cheese.

Directions: Put all ingredients in a large pot and cover with water. Boil for at least an hour. After cooking for an hour, taste the broth to see if it needs more seasoning. Remove chicken and let it cool to handle. Remove all the meat from the bones. If kids aren’t picky about floating things in the soup, you can add the chicken back to pot. Mine are picky so I have to strain the broth first and pick out the carrots to add back. Break up pasta into pieces and boil in a separate pot of salted water. Drain and add pasta to bowls. Ladle broth and chicken over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. You can use the leftover broth and chicken for other recipes.

Potsticker Soup
Ingredients: Leftover Broth from Chicken Noodle Soup, Fresh Ginger, TJ’s Frozen Chicken Goyza Potstickers.

Directions: Boil leftover chicken broth with a few slices of fresh ginger to give it an Asian flare. Add potstickers and boil until cooked through. If you don’t have leftover chicken broth, you can use a carton of TJ’s chicken or beef broth.

Chicken Pockets
Ingredients: Leftover Chicken, Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Salt & Pepper, TJ’s Everyday Seasoning, TJ’s Refrigerated Crescent Rolls.

Directions: Mix chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper & seasoning. Open crescent rolls and shape two triangles into a square on greased baking sheet. Add a scoop of chicken mixture on top and fold over dough to seal all the way around ball of mixture. Bake at 350 until golden brown.

If you don’t have leftover chicken, you can boil frozen chicken breasts with TJ’s Chicken Stock, salt & pepper, then shred. Or just grab a rotisserie chicken and remove the meat (not at TJ). But roasting your own chicken is super easy. Just put the whole chicken in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 400 for 20 minutes and reduce to 350 for another 30-40 minutes, depending on the size.

I hope these easy recipes will inspire you to give Trader Joe’s a try. Follow us on Facebook and let us know how you did. Post your recipes and tips too! Bring Trader Joe’s to Cedar Park TX

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