So the other day I stopped by the new Trader Joe’s here in town – just for one item, as you can clearly see. I was actually in need of cream cheese & sour cream, but all I found was vegan cream cheese. And then I found…
-Chickenless Crispy Tenders
-Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
-Strawberry Frozen Dessert
First I went for the chickenless tenders. I was in a hurry to get ready for a night out, so I simply put them in a pita pocket with sauteed veggies and covered them with mustard. I love mustard. I’m pretty sure these are a store brand version of Gardein. They have the same texture and taste, but for a $1 or so less :) They get nice and crispy on the outside, but stayed tender and juicy on the inside. In sandwiches, there’s enough here to feed two.
Later I cooked up the mandarin orange morsels with nothing but sauteed onions & garlic. This is a pretty big portion for one, but if you added rice and more veggies you could easily feed four. The sauce is good, not too sweet. Definitely something I’d have again.
I sauteed the soy chorizo with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, then added my Pasta Zero and let the flavors cook in. Towards the end I added a handful of the mozzarella-style shreds. The chorizo is pretty spicy, but has a good flavor. I’m not a huge fan of the shreds – they’re just like (and maybe are) Go Veggie shreds in that they melt down into a sticky puddle that kind of sticks to your teeth. This is not good on pizza or nachos unless you make sure to completely cover the cheesy puddle with toppings. It does work well for things like bean dip, though.
We had a bottle of Hawaiian BBQ sauce in the fridge that no one liked. I spiced it up and added minced onion & garlic, then simmered the meatballs for about 10-15 minutes. They were perfect. I could’ve eaten them just like that, but I made a little sandwich since I’m so fond of carbs. You could also do a traditional meatball sub with marinara sauce, and even use those shreds if you melt them down in the sauce.
Lastly, I made these little pickle appetizers as a midnight snack one night when there was nothing else in the house. The cream cheese is definitely not my favorite. It has a weird taste, I’m not sure if it’s soy or coconut coming through, but it’s unpleasant. Luckily I had these dill pickles with a strong garlic taste, and they helped cover the strange aftertaste of the cream cheese. With the saltiness of the crackers, it was good enough. I would not like it plain on a bagel. I added salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and dried dill to it and although it was better, it still had an aftertaste. I don’t think I’ll buy it again.
The tikka masala frozen dinner was very good, but I didn’t get a good picture of it. I also didn’t take a picture of myself eating the strawberry ice cream straight out of the carton :)
I know I still have a lot stuff to try. What are your favorite vegan items from Trader Joe’s?