Cioppino Seafood Stew
Traditionally, this popular Italian dish is a pretty pricey seafood stew in a tangy wine sauce made with tomatoes and fresh fish, so to find an inexpensive version of cioppino at Trader Joe’s was quite a surprise. “Although it’s generally pretty healthy, this dish is really high in sodium,” explained Flavin. “If you’re going to indulge in this, just know that it should be your one high-sodium food for the day. You’re supposed to have 2,400mg in a day, so this is almost a third of what you should have.”
Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons
A lot of Chinese takeout is extremely salty, but these are low in sodium, fat, and calories. You can pan fry them, put them in the microwave, or heat them on the stovetop with some greens and low-sodium chicken broth to make wonton soup. Amid Trader Joe's -- sorry, Trader Ming's -- huge collection of east Asian fare, they're a rare bite that manages to be delicious without overloading you with calories, sauces, or carbs.
Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of frozen Indian dishes, but if you’re going for a healthy option you’ll want to grab the channa masala. The base of the dish is a type of chickpea named channa, which are cooked until tender with garlic, bay leaves, cilantro, tomatoes, a splash of milk, and a variety of spices like turmeric and mango powder to create a flavorful Indian dish in the comfort of your own home. “It’s a little bit higher in fat than some of the other options, but that’s ok,” said Flavin. “Try balancing it with a grain like quinoa, brown rice, or couscous for a balanced dish.”