Trader Joe’s: Meal Prep Ideas

If you love Trader Joe’s and meal prep, this is for you! As a fellow TJ lover myself, I figured it would be a fun idea to create a Trader Joe’s Meal Prep Series. I’m going to share my favorite meal prep recipes every week that I create using ingredients found at Trader Joe’s (for the most part.) Let’s get prepping!

What is meal prep? In short, meal prep is a life saver. As someone who works a 9-5, goes to the gym, and also likes to have a social life, cooking is not always easy to squeeze into my schedule. To ensure I am eating healthy, well balanced meals every day, meal prep is my go to. Every sunday I prep some form of protein, carb, and vegetable, and this is how I prioritize my dietary health. I prefer to meal prep the same meal(s) for 3 – 5 days of the week, but you can also make something different if that’s boring to you. If you’re new to a plant-based lifestyle, meal prepping will be a life saver for you!

Do I have to use Trader Joe’s products? Of course not! I, however, love the affordability of TJ products, so I wanted to base my series off of their products to provide a cheap meal prep options for my readers. You can find 99% of these ingredients in most grocery stores, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have a trader Joe’s near you.


Recipe #1: Falafel Wraps + Homemade Salsa

Category: Meal Prep, Lunch, Dinner | Prep time: 40 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Allergens: none | Servings: 4 – 6


If you’ve ever been to the Minnesota state fair and had the falafel wraps, you have experienced a slice of heaven. If you haven’t, let me explain it to you: a warm, pillowy pita stuffed with crispy, fried falafel and topped with onions, crisp cucumbers, and the most creamy tzatziki sauce. I am not sure why, but I have been dreaming about these lately, so I used it for my inspiration for my weekly meal prep

Although I would love to eat deep fried falafel on pita bread every day, it’s probably not the healthiest option. Therefore, I put a lighter spin on the classic falafel wrap by baking the falafel + using a whole wheat tortilla instead of pita bread. This is one of the easiest meal preps I have done, and I have yet to get sick of it (and I’m on day 4!)

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, no worries. Most of these ingredients can be found at any grocery store. I’m just a Trader Joe’s groupie, so I prefer to shop there.


Ingredients:

  • 1 package whole wheat tortillas (or wrap of choice)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 package falafel mix (or frozen falafel)
  • 1 container of vegan tzatziki
  • 1 lime
  • cilantro to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: green olives

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 bell peppers
  • 1 handful baby tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro to taste

Instructions:

A charcuterie board for falafel wraps? Yes please!
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and greasing a baking sheet
  2. If using falafel mix, follow directions on package and set aside for 40 minutes. If using frozen falafel, heat after the veggies are done.
  3. While the falafel sets, slice your bell peppers and onion into long slices. Slice the cucumber as well and set aside for later
  4. Once the falafel mix is set and ready to bake, place the peppers, onions, and falafel (follow instructions on box on how to create the proper shapes) on a baking sheet. Season the vegetables with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes
  5. While the ingredients are in the oven, prep the salsa. Start by chopping the onion, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Set in a small bowl
  6. Next, heat the corn to room temperature and add to the bowl
  7. Lastly, add in the garlic powder, S&P, juice of 2 limes, and olive oil. Mix well, then top with cilantro. Refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving
  8. Once the falafel, peppers, and onions are done, place the ingredients in separate tupperware and refrigerate. When you’re ready to assemble, heat your tortillas, add in your ingredients (falafel, pepper, onion, cucumber, tzatziki) and top with salsa and cilantro for a delicious prepped meal!

Notes:

  • These ingredients, when covered and refrigerated, can be stored for up to 7 days
  • I recommend adding hot sauce to the inside of the wrap for an extra kick!
  • If you cannot find vegan tzatziki, you can use vegan sour cream & add in chopped chives and garlic salt for a similar flavor. You could also substitute hummus

Recipe #2: Veggie Bowls with Coconut Rice + Tahini Dressing

Prep Time: 35 minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes | Category: Dinner, Lunch, Meal prep | Allergens: Soy, coconut | Servings: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups broccoli (I used frozen)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 block tofu (extra firm preferred)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 cup white rice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 – 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp plant-based butter (optional)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • arugula (or green of choice)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • splash of white vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 – 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 – 2 tbsp water (if needed)

Instructions:

  1. Begin the recipe by pressing your tofu for 20 – 25 minutes. Once pressed, cube the tofu and add soy sauce, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tbsp sriracha to a tupperware (or bag.) Add the tofu, mix, and marinate for one hour minimum
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil
  3. Chop the sweet potatoes and onion and add to sheet pan. Add the broccoli as well and coat the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, mixing the vegetables around half way through
  4. Once the tofu is ready, either bake (or air fry) the tofu at 375 degrees for 15 – 25 minutes (if air frying, cook for 15 – 20 minutes. If baking, cook for 20 – 25 minutes)
  5. For the rice, I used a rice cooker (but this can be done on the stove as well.) Add the coconut milk, water, and coconut oil to a saucepan (or rice cooker) and cook your rice in the mixture. Add salt and/or butter to taste once finished and fluff the rice
  6. While the rice, tofu, and vegetables cook, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a mixing bowl (or blender) and combine. Adjust spicy and acidic flavors to your liking
  7. When everything is cooked, it’s ready to eat! I recommend serving it on a bed of arugula. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can keep this stored in the fridge for 7 – 10 days
  • I recommend storing all ingredients separately (i.e. the vegetables, rice, arugula, and sauce)
  • Do not dress the dish in advance; dress it when you are ready to eat to avoid soggy components
  • If you want more flavor from the tofu, marinate it overnight

Recipe #3: Chickpea Curry

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Category: Meal Prep, Dinner | Allergens: Coconut | Servings: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes
  • 4 -5 cups spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 3/4 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 package red curry sauce (could substitute curry paste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups rice of choice

Instructions:

  1. Start by preparing your rice (on the stovetop, in a rice cooker, etc.)
  2. Next, chop the bell peppers, onion, and garlic and add them to a large saucepan; saute with olive oil for 8 – 10 minutes. Add in the spinach for the remaining two minutes and cover
  3. Once the spinach becomes vibrant in color, add in the tomatoes (chopped), the curry sauce, chickpeas, cumin, pepper, red pepper flakes, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer
  4. After the curry reaches a simmer, lower the heat, cover, and let cook for another 5 minutes
  5. Pour the curry over rice & enjoy!

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