(Photo Credit: kthread)
In my humble opinion, it doesn't get much better than a weekend night with a good movie, a cup of tea, and a nice bowl of popcorn. I was ecstatic when companies began making smaller "100 calorie" bags of popcorn to accommodate those of us that love to munch, but don't want a huge bowl all at once. Seeing as though Trader Joe's rocks my socks off in most cases, I decided to give Trader Joe's 94% Fat Free Popcorn mini bags a try.
Each bag of popcorn (makes about 3.5 cups) provides 130 calories, 2 grams of total fat, 1 gram of which is saturated, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. A box contains four single serving bags.
Once again, Trade Joe's did not disappoint. The flavor was light, slightly buttery, and perfectly YUM ! The bag lasted a nice long time, which is a huge bonus for a volume eater.
(Photo Credit: Cooking with Kate)
Since August is National Sandwich Month, we've been featuring a sandwich almost daily here at Iateapie.net. But, that's not all we eat! I was in Trader Joe's the other day, scanning the pre-made foods section (I never realized what a great selection they have), when a range of egg white salads caught my eye. The Egg White Salad with Chives in particular caught my eye as it looked both appealing and ... strange (the yellow color was a bit off-putting). Regardless, I decided pony up the $2.69 to see what this would taste like.
I looked at the nutritional information first and was impressed, to say the least. For half of the 6 ounce container of Trader Joe's Egg White Salad with Chives, there are 50 calories, 2 grams of total fat (no saturated or trans fats), 26% of the daily value for sodium, and 7 grams of protein.
My eyes next went to the ingredients list, and I saw the following: egg whites, celery, canola oil, water, cider vinegar, brown rice syrup, soy protein, sea salt, xanthan gum, lemon juice, ground mustard, granulated garlic, granulated onion, dried chives, white pepper, citric acid, and tumeric. I love that the first ingredient is egg whites and that most of the ingredients are quite natural; I'd expect nothing less from Trader Joe's!
When I read the package directions on Trader Joe's Chicken Gyoza Potstickers, I opted to skip the stovetop directions of pan-frying the gyoza in favor of the microwave directions. However, even covering the potstickers with a wet paper towel, they came out a bit dry and rubbery in places. I think the healthiest bet would be to steam these so that they're moist but not oily.
The flavor is a tasty sweet and sour blend, and the filling is definitely more chicken-based than vegetable. However, the taste isn't very complex, having really just a generic and standard flavor - I think Trader Joe's could have kicked this up with a bit of lemongrass or coconut. There is the slightest touch of spice, but these are certainly not spicy. However, they aren't bland enough to require me to use dipping sauce - score one for not needing to add more calories!
Each sizeable serving of 7 Trader Joe's Chicken Gyoza Potstickers (140 grams) provides 230 calories, 5% of the daily value for total fat, 0.5 grams of which is saturated fat, 27% of daily value for sodium (yikes - ).
I was craving Asian food, but wanted something light for dinner. Spotting Trader Joe's Lemongrass Chicken Stix on my shopping trip, I decided to supplement a healthy bowl of miso and vegetable soup with a few of these delicious treats. I was not disappointed!
The cooking instructions indicate that you can bake these spring rolls in a conventional oven for 10-12 minutes, or deep fry them for 3-4 minutes. I opted for the healthier approach (baking), but you could probably also put them in the microwave for a quick solution; they would just lose a bit of their crispness. Peeking in at them while baking, they looked a bit greasy, but when they came out, they were fine - no blotting required.
Each stick is about half the length of a restaurant-sized spring roll, but unlike restaurant rolls, you get a lot of meat in each one with just a bit of cabbage and vegetables. This bumps the value up and makes you feel like you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. The flavor was delicious, though the lemongrass was very strong. I love lemongrass, but it definitely overpowers the flavor of the chicken in this filling.
While picking up chicken sausage at Trader Joe's, I saw a product I hadn't tried: Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo. I often need chorizo for stew recipes, and usually just substitute spicy chicken sausage, but seeing a vegetarian option made me curious. Would the extra spice give my stews more flavor? I decided to find out.
Each package contains two large links with five servings each. For my recipe, I wanted to use just one link, but I found the packaging a little difficult to maneuver. First, there was a dark red juice in the package that got everywhere when I cut the package open. Next, I tried to slip one link out of the stiff plastic, but after struggling for a bit, I found that the two casings were tied together. Finally I cut them apart and put the chorizo on my cutting board.
The outside of the package said to remove the casing before cooking, and my recipe said to slice the chorizo. I started by pulling the casing off one end - only to find that the soy chorizo crumbled upon removal of the casing that held it together. On the other side, I tried to slice it with the casing still on, removing the casing after slicing, but even slicing it made the soy crumble out the sides of the casing. Finally, I just put it into my stew as crumbles instead of slices.
In its raw form, the chorizo was quite spicy, but once cooked, it didn't really add much heat to my dish. Unfortunately, it did give a lot of that telltale soy aftertaste, common in products like soy yogurt or ice cream. I was really disappointed with the flavor and consistency.
Since reviewing Tribe 40 Spices Hummus, one of my lunchtime staples, I have branched out into the world of hummus, trying different flavors and even attempting my own (which sadly, I am not talented at). I continue to be amazed at the diversity of hummus: it can be used as a dip for both crackers and veggies, and even incorporated into wraps and sandwiches nicely. Recently, I spotted Trader Joe's Kalamata Olive Hummus, a flavor I had yet to try. Intrigued, I snapped it up for a taste test.
I decided the best way to judge this snack would be alongside my old standby of baby carrots. Wow ! There are no other words. This hummus easily took the place of my old favorite. It's rich flavor, complete with little chunks of kalamata olives, paired easily with veggies and cracker alike. I even admit to dipping straight into the tub to get some of the savory yumminess, a feat I have not yet been tempted to do with any other hummus! The only minor complaint I have is that I wish this product came in a larger size.