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It’s a big win for the food world that Molly Yeh’s Juilliard degree in percussion isn’t her top priority these days. The chef, who moved from Brooklyn to a farm in North Dakota with her husband, turned her full attention to cooking post-graduation—and it’s definitely paid off: She has an über-popular blog, two best-selling cookbooks, and a TV show that’s both Emmy- and James Beard–nominated under her belt. 

The recipes on her Food Network show, Girl Meets Farm—cheesy fried pickles, tahini Oreos—are the perfect combination of innovative and accessible. Even the most loyal takeout enthusiast will be tempted to turn on the oven. The fact that her dishes are a mix of locally sourced goodies and supermarket scores makes them even easier to earmark. There’s no Trader Joe’s in town, but Yeh finds ways to snag her must-haves. “Whenever I’m in a city with a Trader Joe’s, I stock up—or I have my parents bring things to me when they visit,” she says. Prepare for a serious sweet tooth craving to hit. 

Photo Courtesy of Food Network | Image by Belle Morizio

The Shopping List:

  1. Birthday Cake Bar
  2. Super Seed & Ancient Grain Blend
  3. Bamba Peanut Snacks
  4. Spud Crunchies Potato Snacks
  5. Candy Coated Chocolate Drops

The Dishes: 

The Upscale Granola Bar

Most people eat their granola with a handful of nuts and maybe a touch of honey.Yeh loves to break up the Birthday Cake chocolate bars and add them to her homemade granola for a little treat. “They’ve got sprinkles!” she says. An irrefutable argument. 

The Healthy Breakfast

Yeh swears by TJ’s super-seed mix for early-morning starts. Sometimes, she mixes it into her summer smoothies, other times into hearty oatmeal. Either way, the crunch and Omega-3s take the whole thing up a notch.

The Twist on a Classic

“Sub out Rice Krispies for Bamba next time you make Rice Krispies Treats,” recommends the chef. Then bring the reimagined childhood favorite to your next potluck. 

The Anti–Sad Desk Salad

“I’m newly addicted,” says Yeh of the Spud Crunchies potato snacks. And they’re not just for snacking. “I’m totally going to put them on a salad one day—maybe a romaine one with ranch.” 

The Dessert Decoration

Trader Joe’s M&M’s alternative comes in the best colors (including purple). “I use them as easy cake decorations, in granola bars, and in monster cookies,” says Yeh.  Keep a bag in your desk, too. You never know when that mid-afternoon sugar crash will hit; it’s best to be prepared. 

See more Trader Joe’s shopping lists: What Vegan Chef Chloe Coscarelli Buys at Trader Joe’s What a James Beard–Nominated Chef Buys at Trader Joe’s What a Gluten-Free Cookbook Author Buys at Trader Joe’s