I threw the question up there on Facebook, then doubled back to the list the next time my house needed stocking. Based on the suggestions of friends, he’s what I plucked.
Trader Joe’s Peach Salsa: I love sweet with my salty, or I’d never have married Phil. When he tasted this salsa he grunted and snarled, then said, “Eh, it’s fine I guess.” Rainin’ on my peachy-keen moment? Not a chance. Forget tortilla chips; I could eat this with a spoon… or over fish.
Trader Joe’s Rice Medley: I’ve had this stocked in our house before. I like that the packets are quick, microwavable. I add this, and broccoli, to creamy parmesan chicken made with coconut milk (recipe from The Wheat Belly Cookbook).
Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers: I made all four, served them on buttered toasted buns with lettuce, avocado, and a hint of mayo. Peach salsa on the side with tortilla chips. Side salad. I like that the burgers are thin and that I can quickly fire them up on the stove, perfect for days when I don’t want to have to think about what to make for dinner.
Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Bird’s Nests: I have yet to try these, and I still haven’t figured out with what to serve them. I do know enough to know that just because something is vegetarian, it doesn’t mean it’s in any way healthy. I suppose I’ll serve them as an appetizer, along with some miso soup (Abigail loves it, and I love that she now loves tofu and seaweed). Last week I made an incredible quick salmon dinner using just fresh scallions and ingredients from my pantry… and everyone, including Phil, asked for seconds. That recipe was from Nigella Express.
Trader Joe’s Gorgonzola Chicken: I have yet to try it.
Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tacos + Trader Joe’s Mini Beef Tacos: Haven’t tried them. But as a general rule, I love things with the word “mini” for all things save for the mighty penis.
Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Macaroni & Cheese: To begin, let me slam home the point that guilt is useless. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel it, but it is a truly wasted emotion. I try to contain my guilt to specific episodes of regret (like the time I used the F-word while speaking at a high school — I still mildly hate myself for this), but when it comes to eating? Really? No. Never. Seriously. So, I have no problem eating a small portion of the real deal. Still, I’m eager to try this, just because of the raves I’ve heard from others.
Trader Joe’s Paneer: It’s the cheesy ethnic version of Popeye.
Trader Joe’s Lemon & Triple Ginger Snap Ice Cream: It’s something of an acquired taste. The lemon zest has a bite to it. Literally, it will wedge its way into your molars, giving you a bitter aftertaste. Or perhaps those were chunks of ginger. I enjoyed the swirls of what seemed like gingersnap cookie dough, but overall, this wasn’t for me.
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds: These are way dark, so dark, in fact, that the chocolate coating almost tastes like espresso. Far better, the Almond Bark from Costco.
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter: I haven’t tried this yet. I hid it away in the cabinet where I store all our peanut/almond/hazelnut butters. I’ve overdosed on sweets lately, so I cannot bring myself to try it now. Tonight, however, is another story. I hope beyond hope that it doesn’t taste like Biscoff spread, which makes me wince. This is one of the most popular items sold at Trader Joe’s, so I will update this post once I’ve done some proper sampling.