Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

SHOT O' JOE: Trader Joe's A Complete Salad: Kale & Hemp Seeds

Happy New Year!!!!!!

Two lucrative industries come January 1: Gyms and salads. Not a bad idea after all that holiday splurge anyways. For the latter, Trader Joe's has been making it easier with their A Complete Salad line to have a healthy, tasty, delicious salad ready to grab, rip, and gobble down, and the newest entry, Kale & Hemp Seeds, is not an exception.

Abundant kale with a little red cabbage. Almonds. Dried minced dates. A couple big shards of parmesan cheese. All topped with a light lemon vinaigrette that nicely ties everything together. To be honest, I didn't notice the hemp seeds much if at all - they don't taste like much, and any crunch could have easily been an almond instead. But they're in there, and probably good for you, so there you go.

Our only real knock was the lack of mix-ins. So much kale, and plenty enough dressing, but a lot of bites were just those two ingredients. Really, doubling the nuts et al would have been welcome. Still, for $4.49, it made one heckuva good dinner salad that if inspired differently would have great with some grilled chicken or shrimp tossed in. Sandy also would have preferred a couple varieties of greens instead of straight-up kale as well. No matter, pretty darn good as is.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's A Complete Salad: Kale & Hemp Seeds: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. Not sure I want shards in my salad, but the kale sounds good! Lol

    1. Cheese shards are okay. Shard of anything else? Probably not :)

  2. I bought this then decided it was just too cold for salad! I did a quick saute of the kale and then added the toppings and dressing- since the kale wilted down a lot there was a nice balance of the add ins to greens. I also added in some garbanzo beans for more of a meal. Would definitely buy again

  3. I just purchased this from Trader Joe's and when I opened the bag, I couldn't help notice a very strong odor. Can't even describe what it was. Just wondering if this is normal??