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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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Trader Joe's Riced Broccoli

I don't really have a whole lot to say about this product, since it's nothing but broccoli—and my feelings about it are very similar to my feelings about traditional broccoli. I don't hate broccoli. Never did. But I've never loved it either. It needs a little "help," if you know what I'm saying. 

A little butter, salt, and pepper really add a lot to the flavor of this product. Or, if you're trying to avoid sodium, a few shakes of the 21 Seasoning Salute can also be a big help. On the other hand, if you're not really watching what you eat, but you still want some "greens" in your diet, this product is delectable when served with melted cheese, much like traditional broccoli.

You may remember the previously-reviewed Organic Riced Cauliflower. We tried it around the same time the Shelly family reviewed it, and it's become a repeat-purchase in our household ever since—whenever it's not sold out at the local Trader Joe's, that is. Cauliflower works shockingly well as a rice substitute. And it seems to work without adding much to it. We usually cook it up in a little olive oil, and that's really all that's needed to make it a very palatable side dish. For Sonia and I, this broccoli didn't work quite as well just by itself. Plus, it might just be some silly subliminal, psychological thing, but it's a lot easier to pass a vegetable off as "rice" when it's white, rather than green.

While chatting with Marvo from The Impulsive Buy one evening, he asked us, "What do you think Trader Joe's will 'rice' next? Beets?" He noted that TJ's likes to do interesting stuff with beets. (See: chips and juice). Sonia suggested something at the time, but she can't remember what she said. Jicama, maybe? Personally, my money is on parsnips or turnips. I'd like to see them rice up one of those. How about you guys? Let us know in the comments below.

Sonia gives this riced broccoli three stars. I give it three and a half. It could be a really slick way to sneak some extra veggies into that Thanksgiving meal you're about to have.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

11 comments:

  1. While I love their cauliflower rice and I love broccoli, I couldn't even force myself to eat this one. They've clearly used the stems to make this product and while broccoli stems taste great, you have to peel them first or you might mistake them for wood shavings. Maybe I got a bag that was particularly woody, but it was an inedible waste of time and money.

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    1. Yeah a few bites of ours seemed "woody," but for the most part is wasn't too bad, texture-wise.

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  2. I think it might be great in nacho cheese sauce. Or stir fries to hide the broccoli

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  3. With regards to ricing other products, you could have a Trader Giotto's riced eggplant that you use in Italian dishes like lasagne. Or how about ricing sweet potato? I've seen a lot of mashed sweet potato so why not rice it and eat it with cinnamon and butter on top. The look reminds me of dippin dots....instead of little ice cream balls, you have little vegetable balls

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    1. Dippin Brocs — The Veggies of the Future!

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  4. I didn't like this at first but have changed my mind with second try. It needs to be cooked longer than cauliflower rice. I steamed it until soft, sautéed onion, added broccoli rice, salt pepper, grated cheddar and added cooked chicken. It's actually just a broccoli rice casserole but we enjoyed it. I think the cauliflower rice is more versatile. I'm going to keep working with this though.

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    1. Your broccoli rice casserole sounds yummy.

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  5. I was really cranky about this the way i am about the broccoli slaw- it's a ton of the outer woody stem shards!! Ick! I sautéed it forever and the woody bits never got soft enough that it was edible.
    I love broccoli but TJs needs to catch a clue and ditch the outer layer first. (Don't get me started on that bag of chopped kale with all the woody stems....)

    I would buy riced carrots, especially since the shredded carrots TJs are too thick. Seriously! They're fine cooked or in soup but too thick for salads as is.
    Actually they should sell a riced veggies mix of cauli/carrots/broccoli....!!
    Ttrockwood

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    1. Amen! Without the tough outer peel it would be delicious. Perhaps I got a bad bag, but it was entirely comprised of the woody outside.

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  6. Your idea of riced parsnips or turnips would be wonderful. I love both but hate peeling anything. Something I could just shake out of a bag and heat would be very a-peeling.

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