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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower Stuffing

As any TJ's fan worth their Hawaiian shirt knows by now, cauliflower can do a lot of stuff. The real question is, can cauliflower do stuffing?

Well, guess we're gonna find out with Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower Stuffing.

There's a lot to like about the concept here. Gluten free, vegan, no carbs for all you cave people out there. That's not an insult, I dabble with the Paleo diet here and there. But, when November rolls around, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, there's something to be said for good ol' traditional stuffing, whatever that means to you and your memories.

And there's something just a little amiss here with the TJ's cauli-stuffin'. It's hard to pin down completely what it is, but both Sandy and I noticed it.

Our best guess is, the stuff doesn't taste or feel like stuffing. It's...almost more like a pilaf. The cauliflower rice never loses its inherent ricey-ness and feels grainy, not soft and warm and inviting like stuffing. That being said, there's a lot to like. The product really tries hard to replicate traditional stuffing tastewise, and it almost pulls it off. The carrots, celery, and onion are on point, and there's copious handfuls of tart dried cranberries that make an excellent little touch - better than raisins or apples.

Still, it's off...and again I point to the cauliflower. Perhaps cauliflower has a "cleaner" taste than most bread, so all the flavors that are normally somewhat tempered poke through just a wee bit more. That seemed most noticeable with the onions. Also, look at the ingredient list and some unusual suspects. Tomato paste? Maple syrup? Never seen those in a stuffing recipe before. And they're not particularly noticeable, per se, but maybe they knock the flavor just off kilter enough.

This stuffing's decent enough, though. If you want an alternative to the usual salty carb bomb that is traditional stuffing, by all means, go for it. No denying it's healthier and more nutritious and all that - I mean, it's all veggies - and it's almost as good as the "real deal." But there's too much comfort vibe missing here. I think that's what it comes down to. It's only a few bucks in the freezer section, if you're lucky enough to find it - been a hot seller from what I hear - so I'd love to hear some more takes if you've tried it. But for me and Sandy, we just can't muster much enthusiasm.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower Stuffing: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

7 comments:

  1. I don't understand why the vitamin content is so low with all those veggies in there. Example is that carrots are so high in vitamin A but there is no apparent content. Sounds more like a lackluster veggie mix with some cranberries thrown in for holiday good measure. I guess to be a real stuffing you would need to add some form of bread. And hey some chorizo wouldn't hurt either LOL.

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  2. Hmm. I like the idea behind this but calling it stuffing is really taking some liberties with language. It's more of a thanksgiving spiced vegetable pilaf.
    I'll pick it up if i see it and add some cubed bread with a splash of stock and handful of chopped pecans, would certainly still be a lot lower calories and carbs than "real" stuffing- aka i could eat a much bigger portion :))
    But on the real holiday this woukd never fly for me. (Especially since i'm vegetarian and stuffing is the highlight of the entire meal for me!)
    Ttrockwood

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  3. Well, I look forward to trying it. I won't substitute it on Thanksgiving because my motto for that day is "Carb counting be damned!" But, it might be a nice, low-carb dinner on a regular weeknight. I love the riced cauliflower stir fry so I'm hopeful about this.

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  4. Sampled it today while shopping. I was pleasantly surprised. As someone who has been grain, flour and dairy free for the past year I had to try it so I bought 2 bags. I cooked some up for dinner tonight with chicken and it was great. It is not your traditional stuffing but it had all the flavors of stuffing. I would buy it again.

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  5. My husband and I had this last night and we found it quite good! Obviously it's not actually stuffing, but considering what's in it (compared to the horribleness of what's in stuffing for you) we thought it was awesome!

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  6. I mixed this with a rice and quinoa blend and bound it all together with the TJ harvest salsa and stuffed it into pre-steamed acorn squash. It was very good the first night, but the leftovers were even better. I plan to reboot that for Thanksgiving and make them several days ahead of time and reheat on the day itself.

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  7. Just had this yesterday. Eating low carb and this was great. It will be on our table Thanksgiving day for sure!

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