Posts Tagged ‘frozen entree’

Trader Joe’s – BBQ Chicken Teriyaki – Food Review

11/05/2017

trader joe, bbq chicken teriyaki, nutrition, price, calories, reviewNovember 5, 2017

There’s plenty of chicken meat.  But read carefully, this is dark leg meat.  While perfectly tender, the dark chicken meat has a stronger flavor than chicken breast.

At only 150 calories per serving, this is surprisingly filling.  At 3.5 servings per bag or 525 calories per bag, if you split the entire bag with another person that’s only 265 calories.  For those few calories there are 31 grams of protein, which is a big chunk of the daily requirement for protein.  Combine this with some steamed frozen vegetables and even a little butter or olive oil on the veggies and we’re looking at a filling meal at around 400 calories total.  That’s not bad.

trader joe, bbq chicken teriyaki, nutrition, price, calories, reviewThe teriyaki sauce is thin, sweetish, and soy sauce based. The sauce is hardly what is commonly called a BBQ sauce here. But the sauce imparts enough flavor to the chicken.  The sauce will not cover the flavor of the leg meat.  I didn’t find that to be a problem, so the preceding sentence was just a note for you.  There are two packets of frozen sauce in the bag.  I suppose you could only cook half the chicken in the bag using just one of the sauce packets, leaving the rest of the frozen chicken and the other sauce packet for another day.  Cooking is no more than heating in the microwave.  Coming out of the bag, the chicken looks like various shaped dark rocks.  Some of those rocks are so big you may wonder if they came from turkey legs instead of chicken legs.  These must be some big chickens.

Price $4.99     Calories  150 per serving (3.5 servings per bag)

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Trader Joe’s – Asparagus Risotto – Food Review

08/11/2017

trader joes, asparagus risotto, italy, frozen entree, review, price, calories, nutritionAugust 11, 2017

On first opening the package you’ll notice two strange things, broken up sheets of frozen sauce and plain white rice.  More about these later.

When prepared according to the package directions, this risotto obtains a nice light yellow/green color from the  creamy sauce. The sauce has a wonderful flavor and texture. The rice has a nice bite to it.  It’s not overcooked.  A fair amount of thin green asparagus is distributed throughout in the form of inch long pieces.  These pieces also lend a touch of green asparagus flavor to the sauce.

Obviously this was not prepared in the traditional manner. The rice is parcooked separately from the other ingredients. The sauce also appears to have been cooked separately, flash frozen in thin sheets and then broken up in pieces. The asparagus also is likely cooked or partially cooked separately. All three components, we could guess, are then combined in a frozen state in the bag and shipped off.

trader joes, asparagus risotto, italy, frozen entree, review, price, calories, nutritionThe package will make enough for two (maybe three) portions as a side dish.  In this case, I ate the whole package as a main dish, thoroughly enjoying it all.

There may not be an army of nonnas standing over stoves, constantly stirring in broth to Arborio rice until the moment of perfection, making risotto in the traditional way. However what comes out of this package is almost as good. And by definition, it can never be as good as Nonna’s. Know what I mean?

Price $2.99

Calories  160 per serving (3 servings per package)

Trader Joe’s – Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina – Food Review

08/06/2017

trader joe, review, calories, nutrition, price, gnocchi alla sorrentinaAug 6, 2017
This is pretty good stuff, but you might not think so as it cooks.

Straight from the freezer this is a mixture of the frozen gnocchi (small flour dumplings) and frozen flying-saucer-shaped chunks of sauce. Heating in the microwave is a two stage process. After heating for 4 minutes, the mixture needs a good stir.  At this point you’ll wonder, what have I done wrong, as the sauce and gnocchi appear very watery. After stirring, put it back in the microwave for another 3 minutes and the magic happens.  The second heating totally changes the appearance, by thickening up everything into a coherent whole.  Pan heating instructions are also provided.

Throughout the cooking process the gnocchi retain their consistency.  After heating they have a nice chewy texture in the mouth.  The sauce thickens nicely thanks to the cheese in the sauce (that’s the magic).  This allows the sauce to coat and cling to the gnocchi.  The combination of the complex, but not over the top, sauce and chewy gnocchi works extremely well.  A sprinkle of parmesan is always useful, but really not needed.

trader joe, review, calories, nutrition, price, gnocchi alla sorrentinaFor us, the package yielded two modest servings working out to around 300 calories each.  The package claims three servings.  Even though our portions were only 300 calories, the gnocchi were very filling – and tasty.

Price $2.99     Calories  200 per serving (3 servings per carton)

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Trader Joe’s – Chicken & Vegetable Wonton Soup – Food Review

08/06/2017

trader joe, wonton soup, price, calories, nutrition, review, chicken, vegetableAug 6, 2017

With cold, or at least cool, weather just around the corner, soup is in season.  This is a surprisingly good soup for those kinds of days, or really any kind of day.

The broth for this soup is very nice. There’s a slight sweetness to the broth, but also a bit of rebellion from green onions. As you work your way to the bottom of the bowl, where the white and black pepper settle out, the broth becomes more adventuresome. The broth has a medium consistency.

The wontons (dumplings) in the soup contain a chicken-based filling. While not as flavorful as the broth, the wonton filling is still good with noticeable vegetables interspersed throughout.  If you can manage to cut a wonton in half, letting some broth seep in, the filling is even better. The package contains a caution to, cook thoroughly. If I had to guess, the soup is not precooked. It took the full five minutes in the microwave to reach the required 165 degrees.

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Trader Joe’s – Eggplant Parmigiana w/ Grilled Eggplant – Food Review

07/04/2017

trader joes, eggplant parmiagiana, calories, price, nutrition, reviewJuly 4, 2017
This is not a great eggplant parmigiana, but a pretty good eggplant as an eggplant.

This is another one of the seemingly endless variations of Trader Joe’s “eggplant with tomato sauce and melted cheese” products.  This one features eggplant which are “grilled”.  Now I suspect the grilling was done on one of those industrial strength machines that moves a conveyor belt of eggplant slices through some kind of flame.  But the pieces had grill marks on them, so who are we to quibble about the method.

trader joes, eggplant parmiagiana, calories, price, nutrition, reviewWhile I usually have no patience for waiting on an oven to cook these kinds of entrees, this time I followed the oven directions. Instead of large slices of eggplant, these are actually smaller pieces of a slice.  That makes it somewhat easier to eat without needing a knife to cut through the usual slices.  The tomato sauce was not very flavorful.  Much of the mozzarella seemed to have melted into the sauce instead of forming a nice cover for the eggplant.  The result was a  somewhat watery tomato/cheese sauce without much flavor intermixed with a few small islands of melted cheese.  As a parmigiana, it was disappointing.

However as just eggplant, the eggplant was pretty good.  The best bits and tastiest, were those with the skin on – more flavor and more chew.  The pieces without skin we’re still tasty, but no as much.  Being grilled, there was no breading on the eggplant as is often done with fried eggplant slices.  Overall I liked this, but not because it was a good eggplant parmigiana, but because it was good eggplant.

Price ??? (lost receipt)   Calories  270 per container (1 serving)

Trader Joe’s – Southwest Chicken Quesadillas – Food Review

07/09/2016

trader joe, quesadilla, chicken, frozenJuly 9, 2016trader joe, quesadilla, chicken, frozen, nutrition

Here’s a step up from your basic under $1 frozen burrito.  This is a roughly 7 1/2 inch tortilla folded over in half on the filling.  In short, it’s a quesadilla.   The tortilla is “pre-toasted” giving it some substance even after freezing.  At 400 calories it’s big enough to feel like you’ve had more than a snack.  The filling is tasty and mildly spicy.   On the negative side, the filling is somewhat pasty – although not as much as those under $1 frozen burritos.  There are small chunks of chicken mixed in with the other ingredients giving the filling a little more texture.   The quesadilla cooks up nicely in the microwave using the printed directions (3 minutes on 50% power and then 1 minute on high).   Overall, for a relatively inexpensive frozen entrée, this is a good choice  but not reaching the level of greatness.

Price $3.69 (2 per box)      Calories 400 per quesadilla

Trader Joe’s – Arugula Pizza – Food Review

05/15/2016

trader joe, pizza, frozen, arugulatrader joe, pizza, frozen, arugula

May 15, 2016

The crust was crusty.  The cheese was cheesy.  The tomatoes were tomato(y).  The sauce was mild and slightly sweet.  The cheese could’ve been more plentiful.  The arugula was not noticeable.  The center was less done than the crust.  The crust was a nice toasty bread.  The pizza was from Italy no less.  While this is an okay frozen pizza, there’s not much to distinguish it from other quality frozen pizzas.

Price $3.99      Calories 330 per slice (1/3 of pie)

Trader Joe’s – Vegetable Panang Curry – Food Review

02/18/2016
Panang Curry, Trader Joe's

Vegetable Panang Curry
Trader Joe’s

A gob of sticky rice,  a mess, a few green things and a tasty sauce describes this microwave boxed meal.  Trader Joe needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

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