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Jan 2, 2013 12:18 PM

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - January 2013 [OLD]

New year, new thread.

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  1. i'll go first.

    Nay- Thai green curry simmer sauce. Upon opening the texture though liquid, reminded me of the green slime stuff that came in a little garbage can when i was in grade school. there's something really off about this sauce. there's too much acid in it or something.

    Yay- homemade tamales. tried the chicken and the veggie. both are pretty small yet caloric but tasty.

    7 Replies
    1. re: trolley

      One of our favorite vegetarian dishes, an invention of mine, uses equal parts of that sauce and the light coconut milk added to sautéed onion, de-pulped Roma tomatoes and whatever other vegetables strike my fancy all cooked together, and marinated cubes of firm tofu, all served over rice. I can see how the sauce's flavor might not be agreeable to some, especially cilantro haters, but those to whom I've served this have at least claimed to like it.

      1. re: Will Owen

        will owen, i think you've touched upon something here. maybe it needs to be cut with something like coconut milk. i found the acid in it too intense and not balanced enough. i do like cilantro but the other thing is my sense of smell. as discussed in my other thread it's still only at about 50%. that could very well be a factor. perhaps i'll give it a go once i'm smelling at 100% if that day will ever come :(

        1. re: trolley

          trolley, it is a sauce, not a soup or beverage. Although I don't mind it if I sip some to get some idea where to go, I sure wouldn't want to sit down to a bowl of it. And I think for our taste it needs the coconut to be what we want.

          FYI, the tofu takes a strong position in my dish, although it's the last component to go in before the curry/coconut sauce. I toss cubes of that with Vietnamese fish sauce and Sriracha at the beginning and let that sit while everything else gets done. The vegetables, cooked after the onions are sautéed, were this time the cleared-out tomatoes, halved and cut into about five pieces per half, two zucchini cut into dice, and baby carrots. These were cooked over low heat for about half an hour until just tender, then the (drained) tofu and curry/coconut sauce were added, and everything simmered for another 15 minutes or so.

          I use only half a jar of the curry and half a can of the coconut for each 4-quart pan of this, which means I can make Mrs. O happy by making some more in a couple of weeks.

      2. re: trolley

        Add another Yay on the Veggie Tamales (frozen). Steamed as per the instructions and they were damn good for a frozen entree. Topped it with:

        Yay - Fire Roasted No Salt Added Salsa - Very flavorful considering. Could use a dash more salt, but I rather like being able to add that myself in moderation when so many salsas are scary high in that dept.

        Yay - Dark Chocolate Almonds - Just what you'd expect

        Nay - Dark Chocolate Raisins - Shockingly not the same as the above almonds. Had an almost boozy/tart/alcohol note that I didn't care for. The ingredients list does vary slightly from the Almonds so it seems they're using a different chocolate on these that I didn't care for. Not inedible, but not something I'll buy again.

        1. re: NuMystic

          Second theYay for the Fire roasted salsa. my husband has to watch his sodium intake so i end up buying a lot of low sodium foods which are often disappointing. This salsa has great flavors and a dash of salt makes it perfect.

        2. re: trolley

          I will have to add my Nay for the Yellow Curry Sauce. Dommy and I had it for Dinner and the flavor was overwhelmingly Cumin. We had to cut it with a couple of things to make it taste OK.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

            Is this the "Thai Yellow Curry Sauce" in the shelf stable glass bottle? I used to love that stuff. (Yay!) I would have it on tofu for a quick lunch-component, cold or warm. Actually, I put it on most everything. Anyhow, I don't remember it being Cumin-y.

        3. Nay - Winter cookieland sugar cookies. I just should have known better.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DGinDC

            at first glance the box looked like something at a dollar store

          2. Yay: Turkey Meatballs (frozen) - these were very good, everyone in our family thought that they were flavorful, by themselves and with sauce. This will be a repeat buy.

            Yay/Meh: Chicken Noodle Soup with Veggies (small box on aisle with canned soups) - the broth tasted close to homemade with just a little salt and pepper added to it and the corkscrew shaped pasta (think it's rotini) were both yays. The veggies were the usual carrots, onions, celery and were a okay for me if a bit soft so just a slight meh for that as well as for the inclusion of some dark meat chicken pieces. Overall not bad considering I tried it with fairly low expectations.

            11 Replies
            1. re: littleflower

              going to have to check out the turkey meatballs.

              1. re: jujuthomas

                Yeah I tried one without any sauce on it and actually said "yum", was surprised at how good they were considering they're made from turkey...since then we tried them both as crockpot meatballs with the TJ's Kansas City Style BBQ sauce mixed with TJ's Grape Jelly and with TJ's Organic Tomato and Basil Marinara sauce and both ways prepared were quite tasty!

                1. re: jujuthomas

                  They were definitely a staple for my parents when I was growing-up (although I don't buy them)--my dad only likes steaks and 'real-meat'... but actually thinks they taste "rather meaty" despite that they are turkey.

                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    I would not buy them again. They are rubbery and the package I bought tasted like the fatty portion of the meat that went into them had been a bit old, if not outright rancid. But I DO like both the flavor and texture of the frozen meatless meatballs a lot. They taste meatier to me than the turkey ones do, and I am a regular meat eater.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      I agree, their texture was a bit too 'bouncy' for me to consider them 'great'. but for lunches at work, they worked really well. I made a workaholic's gruel, TJ's Turkey Meatball/TJ's Frozen Brown Rice/TJ's Low Sodium Red Pepper Soup (In the box). Nuke it all together, cut up the meat ball and spoon it all in... and it was a substantial, easy, cheap and quite tasty lunch....


                      1. re: greygarious

                        Thanks for the suggestion, grey - I'm always looking for decent substitutions to beef so I will have to take a look at the frozen meatless meatballs as well. Although definitely not the same as homemade or beef meatballs, we thought that the batch of TJ's turkey meatballs that we tried comparatively were better than some of the other turkey meatball brands out there.

                        1. re: greygarious


                          I will second the yay on the Meatless Meatballs. I have served them to a friend and didn't tell her they were meatless until after dinner. She said they were good too.


                      2. re: littleflower

                        The turkey meatballs for me too, because TJ's has really got the seasoning right. Not the texture, which is a bit odd, but not much of a problem for me.

                        1. re: John Francis

                          I had tried these once before on the stovetop and wasn't impressed, but I had another bag and decided to give them a try in the crockpot. What a difference! I cooked them all day on low in tomato sauce, and made meatball sandwiches out of them. They tasted just as good as "real" meatball sandwiches, without the stomach-bomb feeling afterward. Tasty, simple weeknight supper.

                        2. re: littleflower

                          We've bought the Turkey Meatballs many times. I think they're surprisingly good.

                          1. Yay - Dukkah - this is brand new. I think you're supposed to use it to dip bread in but I added it to roasting broccoli and it added a nice crunch and flavor.

                            Meh - Regular chicken broth. They were out of the organic free range at my store (hopefully temporarily) and I missed its intense chickeny ness. The non organic was a pale imitation.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Savour

                              +Yay on the Dukkah - sprinkled on some cream cheese stuffed celery, made for a tasty snack.

                              1. re: Savour

                                added some panko , red chile flakes and chopped hazelnuts to the dukkah, and used that to crust a rack of lamb. (used hot and sweet mustard as the "glue".) delish!

                              2. S/he who takes over the shepherding of renewing threads such as this also needs to report the old thread to ask the mods to add "[old]" to the title of the previous thread so it phases out. You also need to post on that thread a link to the one replacing it.