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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Trader Joe's Tahini, Pepita & Apricot Slaw Kit

This probably doesn't come as any sort of huge surprise or shocker, but...salad, in general, doesn't really excite me.

Most veggies are perfectly fine. I can eat broccoli, Brussel sprouts, squash, etc all day long. At the continued shock of my coworkers, I'll happily eat plain raw spinach at my desk. Aside from beets, off the top of my head, there's not a single vegetable I can think of that I don't like...still, salad leaves me ambivalent at best.

Maybe it's mixing up veggies. Maybe it's my usual distaste for many salad dressings. Or maybe it's just kinda the boring hum-drum that I find most salads to be, especially of the pre-packaged variety.

All that to say, I was kinda excited to try out Trader Joe's Tahini, Pepita & Apricot Slaw Kit. Don't let the name fool you - slaw? Psshhh. It's salad all chopped up in shreds.

I wish I didn't get my hopes up so high.

There's nothing inherently wrong with the slaw kit. But there's nothing overly right, either. It's the same usual base blend of carrots, broccoli stalks, cabbage and kale in roughly equal proportion to one another. That part is good, but formulaic enough now for TJ's kits that it's not exactly meant as a heap of praise either. It's just kinda a given at this point. Fresh, crisp, crunchy, all that excellent stuff...

...but moving on to what should be the exciting stuff, right? The extras and mix-ins! This is where salads make or break it. First up: dried apricot tidbits! Always a fun add...if there were enough to go around. Not this time. We got only a small spoonful which is hard to split up in multiple meaningful portions. A small nice touch, as were the pepitas, for a little crunch and all, but again nothing too remarkable.

And the dressing? Ugh. "Tahini orange" it says. So sesame, with a citrus flair, so it could work, but there's also this vinegar-y presence that kinda muffs it all up. Much like my three year old when choosing between dinosaurs or trucks for her night-night pull-up, it's just so indecisive and kinda frustrating. Like, it should be good, but instead just gets in its own way. Sandy said it kinda tastes like nothing. I disagree - it tastes like something, just I have no idea what it should be. And instead of tying up the whole salad as a nice cohesive dish, it kinda makes the salad a turnoff.

Oh well. It's not a terrible price at $3, and I appreciate the ampersand in the title for what it's worth. They seem to be disappearing from TJ product names, as are the different Joes from around the world. Times are a-changin' I guess. But my general ambivalence towards salads is not. Both Sandy and I give it a pretty middlin' score.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Tahini, Pepita & Apricot Slaw Kit: 5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. My major gripe with pretty much all packaged salads (from TJ's and elsewhere) is that they are so darned stingy with the mix-ins. Usually you get a teeny package that's really only enough for one person, despite the fact that the package is supposed to have 3+ servings. C'mon, salad mix makers! Give us more of the good stuff!

  2. I passed this by because i’m not a fan of sweet stuff in my savory foods (dried apricots and orange in the dressing) and I actually make a great salad myself! I understand the appeal though, and salad kits are certainly very popular.
    I looooovvve salad and have at least one a day. After careful consideration i came up with my salad “formula” : greens + crunchy raw veggies + softer and or juicy ingredient + salty or brined garnish + fat = amazing. For example my favorite combo is: shredded romaine with baby arugala + sliced radish, chopped cucumber, sliced red bell pepper- + leftover roasted veggies + chopped salted cashews + diced avocado.

    Anyways, my point is that the salad kits are semi-useless and rarely have the right combo to actually make a great salad which is actually not that difficult, just a matter of selection and some chopping.

  3. I’ve always considered slaws to be a type of salad; it turns out the word “slaw” comes from the Dutch “sla” which means... salad.

  4. Wow I disagree and buy this salad kit just for the dressing, which is delicious. I use this as a starting point and add the following (per serving): 1/4 cup TJs sweet/spicy pecans roughly chopped, 2 dates (diced), 1/4-1/3 cup TJ pickled beets, 1/3-1/2c quinoa, 2 tbs hummus, 2 tbs TJ eggplant and maybe some pickled red onions or spring onions depending on what you have on hand, you can add lentils or chopped chicken if you are in the mood/want more protein. I save the pepitas and throw them into my granola mix. For $3 its an awesome ready to go base.

  5. Disagree. I love this salad. I sometimes add more kale. My store is out. Hoping the mango salad comes back.


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