For many Americans, Trader Joe’s is their food safe haven. I can still remember when my newly married daughter living in Israel called with her list of the Trader Joe’s products that she just couldn’t live without. Their products are terrific, produced with high quality ingredients, very on trend, seasonal and super affordable.

Over the years I’ve fallen in love with a wide range of Trader Joe’s products that I use in my everyday cooking, from nuts and spices, to coffee, snacks and chips, granola bars, and gummy candies. Not every product is kosher so check each product carefully. Check out their new dark chocolate chips that are pareve and extra rich dark chocolate. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in close proximity, many of these items (or similar) are sold at other markets as well. If you’re a foodie like me I highly recommend venturing out and taking a trip to one. You’ll fall in love!

Here are some of my favorite products and creative ways to use them.

Everything But The Bagel Cabbage Steaks

Photo by Trader Joe’s

Serves 4-5

I saw versions of this concept trending on Instagram and needed to come up with my own version. We use Everything But the Bagel topping in so many dishes because it is packed with excellent flavor. It’s a sensational combination. The cabbage steaks have a soft center is soft and the outside pieces get a nice crispy crunch. This dish has become part of our regular weeknight vegetable repertoire.

  • 1 large head red cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Everything But the Bagel Spice Blend

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Slice cabbage in half, cutting through the center core. Carefully use a sharp knife to remove the tough inner core. Slice cabbage into 1-inch wedges and place each wedge onto a baking sheet, keeping the layers of cabbage together as one piece.

In a small bowl, whisk Dijon mustard with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. With a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, brush the Dijon mixture onto the cabbage. Sprinkle generously with Everything But the Bagel Spice.

Roast for 22-25 minutes, until softened and crispy around the edges.

Sweet and Spicy Nut Crusted Salmon

Photo by meikoandthedish.com

Even non fish lovers go crazy for this! Sweet, spicy, crunchy and stays tasty for a few days. This is a great make ahead salmon that tastes delicious both warm and cold.

  • 1 side of salmon, skin removed, full piece (or about 10-12 5 ounce pieces)
  • Juice half lemon
  • 2 bags Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the salmon on a lined baking sheet and pat dry, squeeze lemon juice from half a lemon over salmon.

In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients, the nuts should be chunky but not too big. Cover the salmon with nut mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes until fish is opaque and cooked through.

Moroccan Shakshuka

Photo by themeditteraneandish.com

Serves 5

Not just for breakfast but great for breakfast...this shakshuka is super simple and very satiating. It’s a one pan meal. Feel free to add spinach, turmeric, kale, or any onions. Serve with toasted bread or atop a baked potato.

  • 2 Trader Joe’s frozen shakshuka starter kits
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Chopped parsley

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm frozen shakshuka starter kits. Once shakshuka sauce is defrosted completely and starting to warm up, add in chickpeas, cumin, curry and paprika. Allow chickpeas to cook through about 4-5 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer. Carve out circle shaped holes in mixture using a spoon, crack the eggs, and gently place them in the carve outs. Cook eggs until desired consistency (4 - 5 minutes for runnier eggs and 7- 8 for more well done). Garnish with chopped parsley.

Coffee Rub Marinated London Broil

Photo by vintagekitty.com

Serves 5

London Broil is an affordable cut of meat. It does have a grizzle vein that runs through it but it becomes tender in the cooking process. It’s a shoulder cut of meat so it needs tenderizing and lower heat cooking. It comes out rich, soft, tasty and is best made a day ahead of time and reheated.

  • 2 - 3 lb London broil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Trader Joes BBQ coffee rub

Preheat the oven to 325°F and allow steak to come to room temperature.

In a bowl, combine honey, Dijon mustard and oil.

Place meat on a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Coat meat in oil mixture then rub coffee mixture onto meat, covering all sides. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

In a large, oven-safe, saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot, carefully add London Broil to the pan and sear for 5 minutes on each side. Once seared, transfer to the oven.

Cook until a thermometer reaches 125°F (about 15-20 minutes more), for rare meat (note* meat will continue to cook for a few minutes even out of the oven, do not overcook). Remove from the oven and let meat rest for 5 - 10 minutes.

Slice meat as thinly as possible against the grain.

Reminds Me of Sweet Cereal and Milk Counter Cake

Photo by aspicyperspective.com

Serves 10

One of the most underrated Trader Joe's finds are their freeze dried berries. They’re tangy, sweet and super crunchy. If you grew up eating lots of Special K cereal with berries or even Captain Crunch then this cake is for you! It has that sweet cream taste with tart berries. The color bleeds a little into the cake, making it tie-dye looking in parts. Both delicious and beautiful.

1 box white or yellow cake mix (or a Trader Joe’s cake mix or muffin mix, Note* these are usually dairy)

  • 1 small (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding (unprepared)
  • 1 cup non dairy sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups freeze dried strawberries crushed up

For the glaze:

  • 2 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, softened (or dairy cream cheese)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Soy Milk as needed

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a bundt pan.

For the cake: In a large bowl combine cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, sour cream/greek yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, and warm water and mix well. Stir in crushed up strawberries.

Pour the cake batter into the pan, spreading evenly.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before turning the cake out onto a cooling rack.

Prepare the glaze. Mix together cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Add soy milk 1 tablespoon at a time until a pourable consistency is reached. Drizzle over cake, then top with the additional cup of crushed up strawberries. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.