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Friday, January 27, 2023

Trader Joe's Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit

If you want to pique my interest in any food product, slap the word "Mediterranean" on it. The promise of garbanzo beans, feta cheese, and any kind of pita or flatbread will reel me in every time, guaranteed.

Throw in other ingredients like romaine lettuce, radicchio, and red wine vinaigrette, and there's a good chance we'll have a winner on our hands. Speaking of red wine vinaigrette, does Subway still have that stuff? I don't go to Subway anymore because the last half dozen times or so I've gone, the prices have gone up, and there's no red wine vinaigrette. I digress.

So the ingredients in Trader Joe's Mediterranean Style Salad are good, but these kits rarely, if ever, have enough of the dressings, toppings, and fixins. 


I mean the vinaigrette, cheese, and flatbread strips were all lacking in our package. I'm not paying four bucks for a bag of lettuce here, Trader Joe's. I want a complete salad kit. 

The photo we took might lead one to conclude there were plenty of toppings, but this was our first little bowl of salad. Subsequent helpings were not as abundant in terms of flatbread strips, cheese, and dressing. We always have some vinaigrette on hand, so that wasn't really an issue. 

The bites that had each and every ingredient were delicious, but there were plenty of bites that were mostly just lettuce. I wasn't a fan of the little sun-dried tomatoes, either. I'm weird about tomato, though. I gave mine to Sonia. She was fine to finish them all but thought they were overly dried and too hard somehow. I just thought they were overly tomatoey somehow.

$3.99 for three and a half servings. A few tweaks here and there would put this in repeat-buy territory. As of right now, three stars from me on Trader Joe's Mediterranean Style Salad Kit. Sonia gives it three and a half.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning with Grinder

Maybe I'm still shell-shocked by the unreasonable amount of peppercorn in the recently-reviewed Trader Joe's Peppercorn Snack Bites with Peppercorn & More Peppercorn or I feel like I've had enough peppercorn flavor to last a lifetime, but even the relatively well-balanced peppercorn taste here in Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning is a little much for me.

Again, I like the taste of peppercorn, black pepper, and pretty much any pepper derivative, as far as condiments and seasonings are concerned. I just don't like an overabundance of it. And I honestly think Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning might have been a contender for my Pantheon of great TJ's foods if there were just two minor alterations to this seasoning blend:

1. Tone down the peppercorn in relation to the mustard seed, garlic, onion, and chili pepper flavors.

2. Lose the salt altogether.

Why get rid of the salt, you ask? Well, for one thing: who doesn't have salt in their home? You can always add it separately if you wish.

I'm often using these Trader Joe's seasonings to flavor foods that already have salt in them. You can make a cheap microwave meal a gourmet dining experience simply by adding Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute. Those TV dinner type things are already loaded with sodium and there's no need to add more.


At least some of TJ's other seasoning blends like the Ajika Seasoning and the Za'atar Seasoning that contain some salt have it much lower on their ingredients list. In this case, salt is number one. I guess sea salt is preferable to regular salt, but still, there's roughly the same amount of sodium in both.

$1.99 for the shaker. I must admit the built-in grinder is fun and convenient. Sonia likes this blend for cooking purposes and will score it a little higher than I do for that reason. Four stars from her. I give Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning three stars.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Trader Joe's Organic Crumbled Feta Cheese


When I was a kid, I had allergies to a few very common foods including cow's milk and dairy-based cheeses. My mother had the same allergies, so our family did a rotation diet where we'd eat soy milk one day, rice milk the next day, then nut milks like almond milk, and then finally there was goat milk day. On goat milk day, we could have feta cheese with our meats and salads. I wasn't thrilled with it at first, but it really grew on me over the years. By age ten or eleven, while other kids were turning their noses up at unusual fare like feta cheese, I was seeking it out and educating my Velveeta-loving friends about the tangy, flavorful goat milk cheese.

And while Trader Joe's Organic Crumbled Feta Cheese is still tangy and flavorful, it's actually made with cow's milk, which mellows it out just a little bit. It's still undeniably feta-esque in taste and texture, though. Thankfully, I grew out of my food allergies and can eat pretty much whatever I want these days, so the cow's milk isn't an issue.


Trader Joe's Organic Crumbled Feta is a fairly salty cheese, which might turn off some folks, but the briny edge worked well in this instance if you ask Sonia or me. We added it to salads, sandwiches, pasta, and omelettes, among other things. The little tub disappeared fast. I want to say this was our second or third time purchasing this product, and I'm sure we'll get it again.

$3.49 for the tub. Organic. NOT non-dairy. I neglected to snap a pic of the ingredients and nutrition information, so just click here for all of that stuff. Four stars a piece from Sonia and me for Trader Joe's Organic Crumbled Feta Cheese.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.