Teach Me How to TJ's is the busy (and/or lazy?) girl's guide to weeknight meals: 100+ FAST, delicious, fun, healthy, no recipe recipe ideas–for the price of a few lattes. 😉
(Yes, that IS a "Teach Me How to Dougie" reference, if you're wondering 😂. Shout out to my reader Tanya for coming up with the title!)
Teach Me How to TJ's is a digital PDF e-Book (written and designed by me!) that contains over 100+ easy Trader Joe's Hacks designed to make ALL your weeknight meals (dinners, lunches, and even some breakfast, snack, and entertaining ideas to boot!) healthy, tasty, fun, and most importantly–FAST.
What does $19 look like?
A couple Starbucks coffees.
Dinner for two at Chipotle.
Less than what you'll pay in ATM fees this year.
How much you'll pay for a martini in Manhattan.
Would you trade all those things to be EXCITED about cooking during the week? To have hundreds of meal ideas that you can whip up in minutes–for cheap?
If you said "YAS!" to any of the above, allow me to teach you how to TJ's, will you? 😉
My TJ's Staples Shopping List
My giant list of ALL my favorites for easy reference–from frozen favorites to produce, sauces, spices, and everything in between. What I buy week after week to make healthy meals at home.
Four "Recipe Idea" Generators
One page generators designed to forever solve the "what the heck do I make with what I have in my fridge?" question–I've created one fo Tacos (or bowls), grilling + roasting, salads, and pastas!
No Recipe Recipes:
In addition to the matrices that can lead you to HUNDREDS of different delicious and fast meal combinations–I'm also sharing 100+ pages of TJ's "no recipe recipes" that you can pull together in a snap!
There are no official serving sizes, so you can adjust as needed–there ara all types of cuisines–from Tacos to Asian food, Mediterranean, Soups, Salads, Lightened-up Comfort Food, there is a LOT to choose from! These are all recipes you'll want to cook year round.
But really Jess...tell me more about the FOOD!
I've got all the bases covered!
From Shawarma to Sloppy Joe's, Fried rice to Falafel, Cauli gnocchi (yes, it has a whole section) to chickpea salad even meat lovers will inhale–the gang's all here! Your palette will never get bored with these options!
All meals are examples of the flavor-forward and healthy dishes (with a few indulgent exceptions) I cook for myself and Neal week after week!
Plenty of options and substitutions based on what you like to eat!
This book is designed to allow you the creative freedom to make substitutions however you please, to suit whatever diet you may follow!
There are lot of options for plant-based, gluten-free, dairy free, low-carb, whatever–and are focused on better-for-you options that don't sacrifice flavor.
Lot's of no-cook or "barely cook" options that leverage the best TJ's has to offer!
Want to know how to make a full meal out of a TJ's frozen entree?
How to whip up dinner for one or two in five minutes flat?
I'll show you how!
Here is a taste (see what I did there?) of the "no recipe" recipe hacks you'll find in the e-Book!
I'm so confident you'll love them, I'll even let you see four of 'em for free 😉
HMMM...I have more questions!
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "no recipe recipes"?
Great question! Let me reiterate here–this is NOT a cookbook. This is a HACKS book. The reason I use the term "no recipe recipes" is because these "recipes" are not exact. These are not supposed to be exact, or defined by a specific serving size. They are designed to give you tons of ideas and then be adjusted to your own preferences– made for improvisation, whether you're cooking for one, or for ten! If this worries you–I urge you to give it a go. You'll be surprised at quickly your cooking skills improve when you aren't using exact recipes as training wheels!
What about recipe serving sizes?
These are all very easy to scale whether you're cooking for one or for a crowd.
I follow [insert type of diet here]–will there be enough variety for me in this book?
I designed this book to be very substitution-friendly–so whether you're avoiding meat, dairy, gluten, etc–yes, I do think there will be plenty of options for you as long as you're comfortable with substitutions. The more restrictive your diet, obviously the more challenging this will be, but I really focused on making it as friendly for all as I possibly could!
I don't live near a Trader Joe's–will I still get a lot out of this book?
Personally, it really depends on how well versed you are in the kitchen. If you are the kind of person who can intuitively say, "oh–I know what kind of salad mix I can buy at Whole Foods instead of the Trader Joe's Southwest Salad mix"–then yes, totally. BUT you have be okay with getting a little more creative. I mean, let's be honest–$19 is the price of a few lattes, so I think it's far and away worth more than that even if you've never set foot in a TJ's––but that's a personal opinion! The people who will get the most out of this book are those who shop at TJ's.
Do you strictly use items from TJ's or do you use spices, etc from other stores?
You don't have to buy eveything from TJ's! Some recipes are very specific to TJ's, you can easily find many other comparable versions at say, Whole Foods. If you prefer to buy meat from your local butcher or spices from your favorite spice market, that's great! This WHOLE book is designed to be VERY subsitution friendly and whatever you'd like make it!
I can't even boil water. Will this book be attainable for me?
There are two types of people who can't boil water: Those who just don't have a lot of experience cooking, but really want to get better, and those hate cooking, would rather die than go grocery shopping, and use their kitchen to store shoes– if you are the former, ABSOLUTELY. This will teach you so much about cooking and how to put together flavors intuitively. If you are the latter–no–just own those takeout skills, girlfriend!
If I purchase and this book isn't for me, can I get a refund?
Since this is an e-book, I can't really police people who purchase it and then ask for a refund just so they can get it for free. I can't take back something I emailed to you–so there are no refunds given for my TJ's Hacks e-Book!
Does it include nutrition info?
No it doesn't, for a couple of reasons: First, because I'm not a dietician so I'm not quaified to calculate or provide advice on that information. Second, because there are SO many customizations (see the "recipe generator" above) and substitutions–I wouldn't be able to provide nutrition information for all of those combinations–it would just be impossible! I would need a whole new book just for nutrition information, haha!
That being said, the book is FULL of healthy options that are meant for customization, so as long as you are comfortable making substitutions for your particular nutrition guidelines you will get a lot of out this book! Again, this book is for a busy gal/TJ's lover who wants quick/healthy/delicious recipes to whip up, but if you have VERY strict dietary restrictions and calculated nutritional info per meal is really important to you, then this probably isn't the book for you.
Does it include a TJ's Cocktails with Neal section!?
It does not–the book is already 100 pages so adding yet another section just seemed like overkill–and we've been wanting to come out with a Cocktails with Neal e-Book as well–not JUST specific to TJ's! (Although it will definitely have a TJ's section!) Stay tuned for that in the coming months! I am also hoping to do a smaller holiday focused e-book, so wine pairings will likely go along with that too!
"I LOVE THIS BOOK because I never have time during the week to make a real dinner and I feel like the worst wife ever–but that ends now––this is made for people who are always on the go! 🙌🏻 It also helps that everything is budget-friendly too!––Melissa
"I'm not a frequent Trader Joe's shopper (I don't have one close to me!) but even I got a lot of value out of this book that I'll be able to use shopping at Whole Foods buying similar products and brands! So many great ideas I never would've though of otherwise!" –– Nicole
"I'm only 18 pages in and I'm very impressed with how well-written it is (not surprised) but love "hearing" your voice and personality throughout! I can tell you put a ton of time into this and you have something for everyone. I keep a gluten free, vegan household so the options you give are huge coming from someone who is used to making so many substitutions! You have also made navigating one store SO easy!" ––Madelyn
"I am majorly on the struggle bus at the end of my pregnancy, and I've reluctantly been forced to turn dinner control over to my husband. I am SO picky these days, and I shared this e-book with him–it's going SO GREAT! We've made the Veggie Burger Tacos and Enchilada casserole so far–this book is saving my ass! I spend $19 on one night of takeout–these recipes are just as good but easy, AND easy on the wallet! A no brainer, in my opinion! --- Steph
Hi! I'm Jess!
New around here? WELCOME! If we haven't met yet, my name is Jess! I'm the founder of The Golden Girl–a blog for real women, in real life!
I created my blog many years ago because I found myself stalking my favorite blogs–as one does–and feeling a sense of inadequacy. I didn’t have a perfectly pinnable home, I couldn’t afford designer clothing (nor did I have any interest in it) and honestly, I just felt like everywhere I looked on the internet–everyone had this perfect life that seemed very far out of reach.
So–I started my own imperfect corner of the internet. A place where real women can go to feel inspired, not inadequate.
That same sentiment is why I grew to love Trader Joe's so much–real delicious meals, for real life! The more "TJ's Hacks" I posted on my Instagram stories, the more positive and excited feedback I received from you guys–my readers, who requested more and more TJ's content–thus, this e-book was born!
Aside from being a TJ's fangirl, blogger, and avid cook, I am also a book nerd, fan of grandma chic clothing, and wife to the most incredibly supportive husband in the world, Neal. We live in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. I am the cook, and he is the bartender/professional dishwasher. 😂We make a good team.
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Teach Me How to TJ's is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Trader Joe's. ©2019