That's why I picked up Trader Joe's Southwest Salad. Out of all the salads I haven't tried yet from TJ's, it seemed to potentially straddle the line between healthy and flavorful the best. Even with all the dressing, 200 calories and a couple grams of fat didn't seem to be too bad, and beans and corn with a little "southwestiness" tossed in are usually a winning combo.
Well, I said usually. Let's see, where to begin....When I opened the package, it immediately was apparent that this wasn't the freshest of salads I had selected. That's not necessarily a huge deal - it was about on par with other prepackaged salads I've had - but usually Trader Joe's has that ball knocked out of the park. Not this time around. It just all seemed kinda limp. The romaine, an okay mix of slightly-almost-wilty green leaves and white watery ribs, was okay but not great. Those little chunks of red and green pepper lacked any real flavor and were kinda unnoticeable. Never heard of Cotija cheese before, and after having some, not sure if I ever tasted it either - it's just kinda there taking up space. The corn and beans are pretty close to the canned variety, without any spices or anything to make them stand out. The onions lacked any semblance of commitment.
Did I just describe the salad or my teenaged years?
Anyways, lack of flavor on a sald is what the dressing is there for, right? Right. So....where's the dressing???
Oh, that's right, it's packed in there...underneath all the salad! That's right, you have to unearth it and hope to not knock any of your meal on the floor. The packaging genius who came up with that idea probably bags his milk on top of his bread.
I realize I'm going close to full Goldilocks here saying last week's salad had too much in it and this week I'm going to be saying this has too little. Here's some recommendations for addition: A little actual southwest-y kinda spice. Some lime. Some avocado or guacamole (packaged in a little cup on the side, of course). A little salsa. Maybe some chicken, but not a deal breaker. Something, just anything, that would give it a chance of a date on Friday night instead of being holed up in a dim room playing video games while listening to Creed.
Okay, definitely talking about the teenaged years.
I don't hate the southwest salad, but I'm not impressed either (obviously). It just lacks in too many departments, and for the $4 I spent on it, it seemed a little overpriced for what it was. I guess it'd be okay for small side salad, but at least with my appetite, counting on it for a full meal was a bad decision. Maybe that's why I sound so grumpy. No salad for the wifey, so it's just me, and I'm going double 2's.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Southwest Salad: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons