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Monday, January 4, 2016

Trader Joe's Jicama Sticks

Sonia had purchased this product on one of her solo TJ's runs, so it was a surprise when I found it on the kitchen counter. "What are these Ticama Sticks?" I asked. Just then, I noticed it said "Jicama Sticks," with a "J." I had been thrown off by the peculiar font TJ's chose. 

So I re-phrased my question to: "What are these Jai-camma Sticks?" butchering the product name like a true 'Murican. Sonia's reply came back with the correct pronunciation. "Oh, the Hee-comma Sticks? They're really good! I used to eat these growing up. My mom would give them to me when I was sick."

They're basically just run-of-the-mill root vegetables, similar to radishes or turnips, but sliced into long, narrow sticks. When you Google the phrase "jicama tastes like," the top two auto-fill choices that pop up are "like apple" and "like dirt," a not so subtle clue that there may be two distinct camps when it comes to jicama appreciation. I'll agree the texture is very similar to a fresh, crisp apple, but I must admit, when it comes to taste, I fall squarely in the "tastes like dirt" category.

I can appreciate fresh root vegetables: potatoes and carrots are great, radishes are nice in salads, and even beets have their place, but jicama? Meh. Not for me. Sonia loves it, though—at least most of the time. Must be a Latin/Hispanic thing.

I'm a fan of almost anything with a few drops of lemon juice and a dusting of chili powder, but even that combo couldn't redeem these things in my humble opinion. Sonia describes jicama sticks as "nutty and lightly sweet." She's got a great imagination when it comes to jicama apparently—although she did dock some points in this case because Trader Joe's selection was "not as sweet as the jicama (she) grew up on."

Sonia's going to go with a 3.5. Even though they're not the greatest representation of jicama, she's quite impressed that TJ's carries them at all. I'm tempted to go with one star, but I'll go with a 2 since they're healthy and nutritious, cheap and convenient.

Bottom line: 5.5 out of 10.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Trader Joe's A Complete Salad: Kale & Hemp Seeds

Happy New Year!!!!!!

Two lucrative industries come January 1: Gyms and salads. Not a bad idea after all that holiday splurge anyways. For the latter, Trader Joe's has been making it easier with their A Complete Salad line to have a healthy, tasty, delicious salad ready to grab, rip, and gobble down, and the newest entry, Kale & Hemp Seeds, is not an exception.

Abundant kale with a little red cabbage. Almonds. Dried minced dates. A couple big shards of parmesan cheese. All topped with a light lemon vinaigrette that nicely ties everything together. To be honest, I didn't notice the hemp seeds much if at all - they don't taste like much, and any crunch could have easily been an almond instead. But they're in there, and probably good for you, so there you go.

Our only real knock was the lack of mix-ins. So much kale, and plenty enough dressing, but a lot of bites were just those two ingredients. Really, doubling the nuts et al would have been welcome. Still, for $4.49, it made one heckuva good dinner salad that if inspired differently would have great with some grilled chicken or shrimp tossed in. Sandy also would have preferred a couple varieties of greens instead of straight-up kale as well. No matter, pretty darn good as is.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's A Complete Salad: Kale & Hemp Seeds: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Podcast Episode 15: Best of 2015

In this episode, we talk about our favorite (and least favorite) Trader Joe's items from 2015.

Here's a link to the MP3 file!

Here's a link to the show notes!

Here's a link to us on Stitcher!

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