The picture on the box looked way better than the finished product. Yes, this is always true, but more so in this case. The pizza ended up tasting better than it looked but not as good as the picture looked. The flavor was very much dominated by the kalamata olives. Other than that there isn’t much to say about it. It’s not bad and not great, just pretty unremarkable. As far as Trader Joes frozen pizzas go, there are much better choices on the shelf.
This salad has a bright array of crunchy vegetables, combined with a vinaigrette, white beans and parmesan cheese. It tastes just as you would expect from looking at it. The dressings flavor is that of a classic vinaigrette that we’ve all had countless times, it’s the combination of other ingredients that really make the salad. We’ll be back for more.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this meal. The vegetables were a bit too soggy, the tomato skins were tough and the tortelloni were cooked unevenly, while all were heated thoroughly some were hard and dry while others were soft and moist. At most I would call it unremarkable, and with so many other great heat and serve Pasta options I won’t be picking this one up again. I will say that the other pasta that was introduced at the same time, with identical packaging, which is a farfalle with green pesto minus the veggies, was very good.
Today I tried the new Reduced Guilt Fillet of Sole. I was not impressed. It wasn’t horrible, but I won’t be going back for seconds. The finished product really looks nothing like the picture on the box and isn’t visually appealing. The fish itself is pretty bland and the spinach and butter beans don’t make up for it. I understand that some fish is light in flavor by nature, and that’s what spices are for. I never seam to have much luck with microwavable fish meals, maybe this would have been better baked in the oven, but I doubt it. I think if I want a low calorie healthy meal made with fish the only way to go is cooking from scratch, and if I want a fast meal made with fish, I may have to stick to tuna salad.
Last night I managed to prepare a quick and inexpensive meal that was low in fat, net carbs and calories. I simply pan fried two of the Trader Joe’s Roasted Chicken Patties, nuked a package of the Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pilaf, and steamed a package of the Trader Joe’s Organic Broccoli Florettes. Additionally I topped the Chicken Patties off with some of the Trader Joe’s Fat Free Feta Crumbles, which I melted on towards the end of the heating to give them a little something extra. I’m a huge fan of the roasted chicken patties and always have them on hand, I’ll often chop them up and use them in a dish that requires chicken pieces to make that part of the prep as easy as possible, cooking chicken isn’t my favorite thing to do and I will pass that responsibility on if possible. The grains turned out to be a yummy and satisfying substitute for white rice or potatoes. Our meal turned out delicious and filling for under 500 calories, a low amount of carbohydrates and a very reasonable price.
Yum! Just tried the White Chicken and Roasted Beet Salad and am very happy with this ready to eat meal. First off I do love beats and this salad has two kinds, Red and Golden. The Beets combined with the Vinaigrette made this a very sweet salad and the chicken and feta add a much appreciated savory to that sweet. The whole container is considered 1 serving with a total of 290 calories and 16 grams of fat. While that doesn’t make this the most guilt free salad on the shelves of Trader Joe’s its definitely a contender. My one complaint is that a few pieces of lettuce were brown on the edges which no one ever likes to see in their salad, but I don’t usually have this problem with the TJ salads so it’s easily overlooked.
So last month Mark tells me about his desire to start doing a blog based entirely on food you can buy at Trader Joe’s. I was skeptical at first but the more I thought about it the better I liked the idea. With his graphic design skills and my experience writing all of those college papers I figure we have as good a shot as anyone at making it happen so here it goes, our first blog . . .
Well its been weeks since the New Year and my commitment to eat better has been lukewarm at best. Sure, we’ve been making a lot of diners at home that have been nutritious and reasonable as far as fat and calories go, but I’ve been more than compensating for our light dinners with very heavy lunches, one of my favorites being Jimboy’s, a local Mexican restaurant with semi-authentic fast food. Here I will order a veggie burrito, French fries and a bean taco. So today I decided to break my bad habit. I got in my car, headed down the street, and gathered all the will power I had to resist turning left towards Jimboy’s and instead turned right towards Trader Joe’s. I was determined to have a delicious but low calorie burrito.
After looking at the various tortillas and wraps in the bread and baked goods section I decided on the Sonoma Whole Wheat wraps. I hadn’t tried them before but they met my qualifications of being “healthy” and although they weren’t much bigger than a corn tortilla they were only 60 calories a pop, so I would have two burritos instead of one. Next I headed over to the canned food aisle and picked out the Trader Jose’s Fat Free Refried Beans, the only choice for refried beans in the store by the way. I finished my shopping trip by picking up some of the packaged fresh spinach, and a bag of the shredded low fat three cheese blend.
Once I got home my cooking method was simple, laid out a wrap, put a scoop of beans and some shredded cheese on the wrap and zapped it in the microwave for 45 seconds, when it was finished heating up and the cheese was well melted I put some spinach over the whole thing, added a little Tabasco and viola, I had my guilt free burrito. I actually ended up having two and tried some Tapatio hot sauce on the second one. With the amount of beans and cheese I put on I figure they were about 150 calories each and they were filling, I could have probably gotten by on one. They were very tasty, especially for being low calorie and low fat everything. The wraps were better than most whole wheat tortillas I’ve tried. The beans were unremarkable but as good as any other fat free refried beans in a can that you’ll find. I really can’t tell the difference between the regular shredded cheese and the low fat so thats a good thing. The spinach is spinach, ’nuff said. One critique I do have of my improvised recipe is that they were a little on the dry side, at least for me. They need a little bit of salsa next time, or perhaps I’ll try some of that Trader Jose’s bottled enchilada sauce I noticed on the shelf by the refried beans.