Posts Tagged ‘food’

Amy’s Thai Green Curry – Target – Food Review – Vegan


Amy's Thai Green Curry, vegan, review, nutrition, price, calories, target

March 5, 2018

Certified vegan, certified organic, non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free, family owned, 100% recycled paperboard carton and re-recyclable, Amy ticks off almost all the check boxes.  It even tastes pretty good.

The green curry is medium spicy. More than the heat, it also a nice flavor. The flavor is not as complex as what can be found at a good Thai restaurant, but still nice by frozen box-food standards. The rice and vegetables are a bit softer than I like, but not overly so. Like many commercial products, the amount of sodium in the product is on the high side, 780 mg. At 360 calories per container, it’s a light lunch, but still filling.  The$3.75 sale price is getting up there for a single portion frozen boxed meal. However if you need one of those check boxes listed above, this product could be for you.

Amy's Thai Green Curry, vegan, review, nutrition, price, calories, targetPrice $3.75 (on sale, Target) ($4.19 regular price)
Calories 360 per single serving container






Trader Joe’s – Hatch Chili Mac & Cheese – Food Review


Trader Joe's, hatch chili mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionFebruary 9, 2018

This is another grown-up mac & cheese. This has a nice earthy depth of flavor but less complex than the recently reviewed Truffle Mac & Cheese.  This product adds Hatch Chiles to a classic cheddar cheese base.  If you’re worried that the chiles make this mac & cheese spicy hot, no need for that.  Only a very very mild heat can be detected in sporadic bites when a bit of the green chili actually finds its way to your fork.  Mostly, the chiles just adds a secondary complementary flavor to the cheese adding to the depth of flavor.

Trader Joe's, hatch chili mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionAgain, half the container was more than adequate as a side to dinner.  While I prepared this in the microwave, using the oven, taking another 20 minutes or so, might add a nice browning to the top. But I leave that experiment for you.

What’s a Hatch Chili?  Well it’s hard to say other than these chiles were grown in or around Hatch, New Mexico (according to information on the box).  For those interested here’s the Wiki link.

Price $2.99 per frozen box (two servings per box)

Calories, 260 per serving (170g)

Trader Joe’s – Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah – Food Review


trader joes, toscano cheese, syrah, review, price, calories, nutrtionFebruary 9, 2018

This is a nice cheese, a blend of parmesan and cheddar implied by the label.  This cheese is mild with a gentle nutty sweet flavor. The texture is medium firm, and definitely not hard. The Syrah wine soak doesn’t add much to the flavor, but puts a pretty purple coating on the outside.  The cheese slices nicely and is not crumbly.  This is suitable for a cheese tray if you don’t mind some odd-shaped pieces as the cheese is sold as a wedge.

trader joes, toscano cheese, syrah, review, price, calories, nutrtionNow the interesting thing about using this on a cheese tray could be watching people try to decide if that purple coating on the outside is edible, or not.  I’m not saying.

price $9.99 per pound   calories, 120 per ounce (28g)

ALDI – Specially Selected Torino Mint Chocolate Cookies – Food Review


aldi, specially selected, mint chocolate cookies, review, price, calories, nutritionaldi, specially selected, mint chocolate cookies, review, price, calories, nutritionFebruary 2, 2018

These are pretty good cookies. There’s a nice mint chocolate center sandwiched between two cookies. I suppose the nearest comparison would be to a Pepperidge Farms Milano. This cookie is firmer than the Milano. It’s not as dainty.  While this may not be 100% as good as a Milano, it’s still good enough to eat the whole bag.  And it will save a little money over a Milano.

Calories  170 per 2 cookies

Price – $1.99 per bag (12 cookies)

Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review


Peets, whole bean coffee, major dickasons, review, priceFebruary 2, 2018

Why can’t we just say West Coast Roast?  Starbucks and Peet’s get the credit, or blame, for this dark roast thing.  I’m going to coin the term now.  This is a West Coast Roast.  It sort of rhymes too!

A nice mild coffee aroma escapes the bag.  The beans are dark brown and oily, both characteristics of a dark roast. The coffee is bitter in the cup once brewed, but still drinkable black.  This is one of the less bitter, bitter coffees I’ve had.  Aside from the bitterness, this is a milder dark roast with a nice flavor, especially after it has cooled some. So if you’re in a Target, or other large box shop, desperate for coffee, like a bitter coffee that can still be drank black, find this on sale, go for it.

Now for the name, I’m disappointed. The name is what attracted me to the bag.  Because of the name, Major Dickason’s, I was expecting a backstory straight out of a Rudyard Kipling work. But alas, Major seems to have been only a frequent flyer at the first Peet’s store who apparently liked a bitter cup of coffee?

Price $7.99 on sale,  $9.49 regular price – 12 ounce bag

Trader Joe’s – Truffle Mac & Cheese – Food Review


Trader Joe's, truffle mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 26, 2018

Have a handkerchief ready to catch the drool starting to form at the edge of the mouth about halfway through the cooking time as the earthy aromas start to waff out of the microwave. This is one grown-up Mac & Cheese.

Five different cheeses and truffle extract give this a very deep earthy wonderful flavor.  All the preceding adhere to short spiral shaped macaroni. This is decidedly different from the kid’s $1 a box glow-in-the-dark stuff that cooks up on the stove.

Trader Joe's, truffle mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionAt $3.49 a frozen box, this might seem a little pricey.  And it is.  But consider what it would cost to make this yourself.  Just the Gouda, white Cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan and Romano alone would probably use up all that $3.49. One 290 calorie serving of this is also pretty filling and satisfying.  A little goes a long way as a side to some lighter fare.

Price $3.49 per 12 ounce box

Calories 290 per serving (2 servings per box)

Trader Joe’s – Zimbabwe Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


Trader Joe's, Zimbabwe, review, price, whole bean coffeeJanuary 26, 2018

The package lists this as a medium dark roast.  However the coffee looks and drinks more like a medium roast.  This is one of Trader Joe’s better African coffees.  There’s just a touch of bitterness in the coffee.  The bitterness, as well as the body, can be easily adjusted by varying the size of the grind and/or brew time.  For comparison, this is the opposite end of the coffee spectrum from a Starbucks-like coffee. But the problem may be the farm the coffee came from, the New Year’s Gift Estate.  Will it only be available every New Year’s?

Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Meat Lovers Vegetarian Chili – Recipe


recipe, food, vegetarian, soy chorizo, beans, chiliYes, this is a vegetarian recipe.  And yes, there should be no reason for your meat lover to turn up their nose at this.  If they do, it’s only because this is more than they can handle.  So maybe you need to trade in for a new one?


Chili at it’s best is a dump, heat and eat food.  And basically, so is this recipe.

What’s missing for a meat eater from a typical vegetarian chili is the meat texture and grease.  The Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo (or similar product) adds the texture.  Browning the Soy Chorizo in enough vegetable oil adds the “grease.”  The textured soy protein used as a base for the Soy Chorizo is an oil sponge.  The trick is to saturate the “sponge” with so much oil that it can’t absorb any more.  So start to “brown” the soy chorizo in about a tablespoon of oil, and as the oil is absorbed keep adding oil until the soy chorizo can’t absorb any more.  This will leave enough oil left over to help disperse the spices throughout the chili, leave a nice sheen over everything, and even create those small pools of oil that float to the top.

Between the spices in the soy chorizo and the chili beans, this recipe produces a pretty spicy chili even without adding additional spices.  In fact, it may be too spicy for some.  So be sure to taste before adding additional spices.

Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base contains salt.  For me that was enough salt without adding additional salt.

The easiest way to remove the plastic casing from the soy chorizo is, to cut the tube into about 3  pieces, then cut the plastic casing the long way to get to the soy chorizo.  The plastic casing is not edible.


1 – 15 ounce can chili beans with liquid

1 – 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained but reserve liquid

1 – 12 ounce package Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo, plastic casing removed

1/2 –  medium onion, roughly diced

3-4 cloves garlic, roughly diced

1 – generous tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base in one cup of hot water

4+ – tablespoons vegetable oil, see notes above

additional seasonings and spices to taste, e.g., cumin, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, red pepper, thyme, salt, etc.


Brown onions, garlic, and soy chorizo in oil, adding additional oil as needed to keep a “moist” consistency (see note above.)

Add chili beans, vegetable base in water, drained red kidney beans.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir in reserved liquid from red kidney beans to adjust thickness as needed.  Simmer with an occasional stir for about 10 minutes to distribute spices.  Taste and add additional spices as desired.


Trader Joe’s – Black Diamond Mature Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review


TJ, trader joe's, black diamond mature reserve, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 12, 2018
For a 4-year-old cheese, this cheese is surprisingly soft, but still firm. There is little crumbling when cut. There are no obvious crystals visible in the cheese. However once in the mouth some very fine crystals can be detected crunching between the teeth.  Crystals form as the cheese ages.

This is a very tasty cheddar with a nice and noticeable amount of natural sharpness. The sharpness lingers on the back of the tongue long after the cheese has left the mouth.  A little cheese goes a long way.  Unlike some other cheddars, the word sharp on the label has real meaning.  Some people may find this too sharp.  Without doing a side by side comparison, this is the best cheddar at TJ I’ve reviewed so far.

Calories 120 per ounce, price $8.99 per pound

Trader Joe’s – Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks – Food Review


Trader Joe's, apple cinnamon snack stick, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 12, 2018

So light you’ll eat the whole bag and never notice it. That is until you step on the scale.

These are mildly sweet, gently flavored cinnamon and apple, multi-grain snacks. Like all snacks they’re easy to like and even easier to eat. The grains used are;  corn flour, rice flour, and potato fiber (I know, not a grain).  They’re labelled gluten-free.

The really interesting thing about these is the shape. They are small hollow tubes. How do they do it?


Trader Joe's, apple cinnamon snack stick, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joe's, apple cinnamon snack stick, review, price, calories, nutrition

Price  $2.49 per 6 oz. bag

Calories  140  per ounce (28g)

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