Cowboys. Eating salad. Mmmmkay. Not exactly what comes to mind.
But I guess if cowboys can eat chunky salsa and even chunkier chocolate bars, well, there may be room for salad. After all, they may have a soft spot for veggie burgers, of all things.
On to the salad. It's a darn good one. With one major caveat: You gotta like cilantro - a lot. Because that's really what every single bite tasted like - sharp, biting cilantro, accentuated even a bit further by green onion. I happen to enjoy cilantro to a moderate degree, and I was beginning to get close to a breaking point. Really, a fleshy, sweet addition - think grape tomato or even roasted corn - would have helped keep it all in check.
If only so much of the sald weren't drowned out by those ubiquitous cilantro sprigs.
We ate our salad with some grilled chicken strips, which made a pretty fulfilling meal. Some beef or grilled steak strips would another great addition, or even some tofu or black beans for a little protein. Would also recommend tomatoes and/or corn depending on your tastes. So it's not quite a "complete salad" kit in my estimation, but it'll get you most of the way there with a little room for customization to boot. Not bad for $3.99.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Southwestern Chopped Salad: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons.