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  • Rebecca Landesman

Trader Joe's Food Guide: Alt Options

One of the plethora of reasons we're crazy about Trader Joe's is the array of alt-carb, veggie-replacement options. Here are our tried-and-true options for a healthier carb substitute or meat-free meal that actually tastes good.

Via iowa girl eats

Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry: For a stir fry substitute that does the trick


This is the closest we'll get to healthy stir fry. Cauliflower rice with tamari sauce, sesame oil, green peas, red bell peppers, grilled corn, and spring onions. There's just 50 calories, two grams of fat, and seven grams of carbs in a one-cup serving, so we can eat this on the floor in our pajamas on a Sunday night and feel pretty good about ourselves.


Frozen Carrot Spirals: For those who hate carbs and spiralizers, here are veg noodles without the effort


For the perfect pasta substitute these pre-spiralized carrots are our go-to. Obviously, carrot noodles can never replace the sanctity of pasta, but if you're looking to limit your carbs while somewhat feeling like you're eating noodles, these carrots get the job done. They're a blank canvas for adding sauces, spices, cheeses, or whatever else you're craving, with way less guilt.

Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers: For a reliable veggie burger you always want on hand


A good veggie burger is hard enough to find, but a great one is nearly impossible to. Luckily Trader Joe's has a solid variety of vegetable burgers that are all pretty decent, but the quinoa cowboy is one of our absolute favorites. We keep it stocked in the freezer at all times for an easy lunch or a dinner companion to a salad or riced cauliflower stir fry. If you have the patience to fry the patty long enough it turns perfectly crispy on the outside. Plus, its got a spicy kick that we respect.

Organic Vegetarian Chili: For a hearty protein addition to dishes


It's fun finding new Trader Joe's treasures, and the discovery of this veggie chili was one of those moments. This chili is so good it makes you wonder why regular chili exists at all. It elevates Mexican-style dishes and makes for an epic dip for nachos. Don't knock it until you try.

Cauliflower Gnocchi: For cheat days without fully falling off the wagon


You'll find that cauliflower is a popular starch substitute at TJ's. This gnocchi needs to be cooked right to achieve maximum enjoyment. The frozen bag comes sauceless, and believe us when we say that sauce is essential with this dish. Try topping these fluffy potato-less clouds with a turkey bolognese or vegan pesto, and you'll never know it's not the real thing.


Mildly Spiced Organic Vegetable Burrito: For a quick, yummy meal on the go


These dairy-free burritos are packed with good veggies like tomatoes, corn, onion, black beans, and bell peppers. We like that they're frozen because they keep indefinitely and can make for a quick food fix if you're feeling lazy or are in a rush. These burrito babies are heavenly when crisped in the oven. They've got our vote.

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