Part of the problem is that their stock fluctuates. I can't tell you how many times I have headed to TJs to pick up a particular item, only to find that it has vanished from their shelves. What a disappointment!
Another factor is the size of their inventory. Did you know that a traditional supermarket stocks about 50,000 items? Or that Trader Joe's, by comparison, only stocks about 4,000 items? So if you go there with a menu plan and corresponding shopping list, you might be out of luck when it comes to picking up all the ingredients you need.
Knowing this, it almost seems wiser to come prepared with several recipe cards in hand and decided what to prepare at home based on their inventory that day.
I just so happen to have the recipe for my Crockpot Chicken Soup pretty much memorized, so on a recent trip to Trader Joe's I started hunting for ingredients to make it. And success--I was able to get everything I needed to make it! So I am passing along my good fortune and presenting my recipe using the Trader Joe's ingredients that I used to prepare it this time around. Enjoy!
Selena's Crockpot Chicken Soup
with a Trader Joe's Twistmakes 12 servings
- 1 box Trader Joe's Savory Broth chicken flavor (dry goods aisle)
- 1 package Trader Joe's organic baby carrots (refrigerated case)
- 1 package Trader Joe's organic celery hearts (refrigerated case)
- 1 large white or yellow onion (produce section)
- 1 head elephant or regular garlic (produce section)
- 2 6 oz. bags Trader Joe's organics baby spinach (refrigerated case)
- 2 package Trader Joe's Just Chicken (refrigerated case)
- 1 bottle Trader Joe's Spices of the World French Thyme (dry goods aisle)
- 1 bottle Trader Joe's Black Peppercorns with grinder
- Rice or noodles (your choice, find on the dry goods aisle)
1. In a 5 to 7 quart crockpot, empty the packages of liquid concentrate and reconstitute with 12 cups of water. Stir to dissolve.2. Slice 2 cups of baby carrots and 2 cups of celery. Chop 1 cup of onions. Finely dice one clove of elephant garlic (or 5-6 cloves of regular garlic.) Add to the crockpot along with the two bags of spinach.3. Cut the Just Chicken slices into bite-sized pieces and measure out 4 cups, which will take one full package and 1/2 of the other. (Use the left over chicken for chicken salad sandwiches or chicken nachos.) Add to the crockpot.4. Season with freshly ground pepper and a palm full of thyme (a la Rachel Ray.) Stir to combine all ingredients. Place lid on crockpot and cook on LOW for 8 hours.5. Reduce heat to the KEEP WARM setting. The soup can stay in the crock for many hours on KEEP WARM, which deepens the flavor over time.6. Prior to serving, prepare rice or pasta following package directions. Try using Trader Joe's speedy pre-cooked, packaged 90 second white or brown rice or pre-cooked and frozen portions of Trader Joe's pastas from the freezer section.TIPS:
It is best to add the rice or pasta to your serving bowl rather than in the crockpot, as starches disintegrate over time if left in the crock. Ladle soup over rice or pasta and enjoy.
This soup freezes well, so consider making a batch just to have on hand when cold and flu season hits your house.