Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal – Food Review

05/23/2018

Trader Joe, cereal, Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal, calories, price, nutrition, reviewMay 23, 2018

Need a chocolate fix in the morning?  This will get it done.  This is an adult cereal.  By that I mean it’s not sweet, even though the second ingredient on the label is milled cane sugar. The almond slivers and the few chocolate chunks in the cereal are inconsequential.  Both are overwhelmed by the cocoa flavor.  Cocoa powder is the 4th from last ingredient on the label.  But it punches well above its weight in dominating the flavor.  For this household that’s a good thing.

Nutritionally, like most breakfast cereals, there’s not much here.  Even though not sweet to the taste, total carbohydrates are 38g per serving size. That’s equivalent to around 3+ slices of sandwich bread.  Since rolled oats are the primary ingredient, there are 4g of fiber per serving.

The calorie count per listed serving size is 250.  However if you visually fill the bowl your serving size is likely to be bigger.  That’s because the “clusters” (if they can even be called clusters) here are very small.  So if you want to keep your calorie count down to the number on the box, weigh this one or underfill your bowl compared to other cereals.  Part of the small cluster size may be from the granola breaking apart during shipping.  Regardless, be aware.

Trader Joe, cereal, Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal, calories, price, nutrition, reviewThis was eaten dry, as a snack, and with almond milk.  Both testers liked the cereal.

Price $2.99 -16 ounce box

Calories 250 per serving (55g)

(about 8 servings per box)

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ALDI – Bremer Shepherd’s Pie – Food Review

05/14/2018

ALDI, bremer, shepherds pie, price, review, calories, nutritionMay 14, 2018

This was surprisingly good.  The mashed potatoes topping the beef were okay. But the beef mixture underneath the potatoes was very tasty.  Tasty is one thing that’s missing from many frozen packaged items targeted to the customers’ lowest common denominator taste buds.  This is an exception.  The beef mixture was very beefy.  It also had that comfort food quality to it.  It’s something I’ll probably pick up again.

This was prepared in the microwave.  The 22 minute microwave time on the box proved more than adequate in my mid-sized microwave to reach well past the required 165 degree finished temperature.  Some of the mashed potatoes on the edges actually started to brown.  There are directions for oven cooking also which will set you back around 55 minutes.

ALDI, bremer, shepherds pie, price, review, calories, nutritionIt was difficult to remove a portion from the cooking container to the plate in the nicely layered way it appears in the box.  The beef mixture on the bottom was a little soupy and didn’t hold together well.  Oven cooking may firm up everything better, but no promises made.  Regardless, the flavor was nice.

The box suggests 4 servings per package.  However, if this is the only thing you’ll be having, that’s not going to be much of a meal.  More realistically this is enough for two people.  For 2 people, at $3 per serving, this is not a bad deal for a comforting filling dinner.  Heck, there’s even some corn, peas and carrots floating around with the beef.

Price $5.99 – 30 oz (851g) package

Calories  270 per serving (4 servings per package)

click on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

ALDI – Moser Roth Dark Sea Salt Chocolate – Food Review

05/10/2018

ALDI, moser roth, dark sea salt chocolate, price, review, calories, nutritionMay 10, 2018

Moser Roth is generally a step up from the Choceur chocolates at ALDI.  Like the other Moser Roth chocolates reviewed here, this chocolate is a fine European-style chocolate – meaning there’s a higher concentration of cocoa in the product than most chocolates made in the US.  Although not specified on the label, my guess is this would be around a 60% cocoa chocolate.  The label does tell us there’s sea salt added to the chocolate.  I’m not sure what the sea salt adds to the product, but more importantly it doesn’t take anything away.  Sea salt or not, this is a very nice chocolate.

In the package are 5 small bars.  Each bar is 120 calories and is enough chocolate to satisfy my chocolate urges.  That’s a nice thing, as it provides a chocolate break without having to eat a whole bar of another brand which are generally much larger.  Of course, if one isn’t enough, you can always have another, and another, and another … well you get the picture.

Price $1.99 – 4.4 oz (125g) package (5 small bars in package)

Calories  140 per bar (280g per 2 piece labeled serving size)

ALDI, moser roth, dark sea salt chocolate, price, review, calories, nutritionclick on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Dark Chocolate Crisps – Food Review

04/22/2018

Trader Joe's, dark chocolate crisps, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joe's, dark chocolate crisps, review, price, calories, nutritionApril 22, 2018

Need a chocolate fix but don’t want to spend 30 minutes on the tread mill working off the calories that come with most chocolate bars, then try these.

Instead of being molded into a bar, this chocolate has been molded into “chips.”  For comparison, think of chocolate Pringles – but without the potatoes.  Twelve chips make up about 1.5 ounces (42g), or 220 calories.  But, it only takes 1 or 2 chips to get a nice chocolate fix.  Now, the calories in 1 or 2 chips are so few, it may be possible to work them off with a nap.  Hmm, this is sounding better all the time.

This is a fine Belgian chocolate. The label lists 57% cocoa solids minimum.  For me, that’s about the perfect chocolate. It’s definitely far from a milk chocolate.  It’s not sweet, but it’s also not so bitter that it’s difficult to enjoy.  Mixed in with the chocolate are very small pieces of the “crisp” (puffed rice).  For my tastes they could’ve left this out.  However the crisp doesn’t detract very much from the chocolate fix.

At $2.49 for 4.4 ounces (125g) of quality chocolate, this is a bargain.  That bargain is further extended by the very little bit needed to satisfy that chocolate craving.

Price $2.49 (4.4 ounce package)

Calories 220 per printed serving size, 42g (about 1.5 ounces)

Trader Joe’s – Indonesian Flores Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

04/22/2018

Trader Joe's, indonesian flores coffee, review, price, whole bean, light-medium roastApril 22, 2018

The coffee beans have a medium brown color and are surprisingly oily for the claimed light-medium roast.  Along with the oil, the coffee also has a surprisingly deep flavor and body for a lighter roast.  This drinks more like a medium+ roast than the labeled light-medium roast.  However it doesn’t have the heaviness of a darker roast, nor the bitterness which too often accompanies the dark roasts.

As seems to be true of most of these TJ small lot coffees, by the time you read this it may be gone from the TJ shelves.  If and when it ever returns, it’s a nice coffee for people looking for a medium roast.

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

ALDI – Earth Grown Chickenless Patties – Vegan – Food Review

04/20/2018

ALDI, Chickless Patties, review, vegan, price, calories, nutritionApril 20, 2018
Using oil to pan-fry, the patty stays together nicely.  Scrapping away some of the breading the underlying patty sort of looks like chicken.  Cooked; the breading is crisp, the mouth-feel is nice, the patty doesn’t fall apart.  The patty almost has the firmness of a thin real chicken patty.  Not surprisingly, the patty does not taste like chicken.  In fact there’s an interesting hint of fried okra.  Even with the slight taste of fried okra, the patty is perfectly edible as is without condiments.  With some lettuce, tomato, and mayo (not vegan), the taste is even better, but that fried vegetable taste still comes through some.  Substituting some aggressive guacamole for the mayo also worked well.

The product is labeled vegan.  For non-vegetarians, this soy protein based patty is an acceptable substitute for the real thing.  Unfortunately this seems to be one of those ALDI special items which are only around for a week or two.  But like most ALDI special items this one will probably make its way back to the freezer cases sometime in the future.

ALDI, Chickless Patties, review, vegan, price, calories, nutritionPrice $2.99 – package of 4 patties

Calories  150 per patty

click on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola- Food Review

04/13/2018

Trader Joe's, gnocchi al gorgonzola, review, price, calories, nutritionApril 13, 2018

This takes mac and cheese to a whole new level. Awesome sauce, that’s the only way to describe the gorgonzola based white sauce. It’s a beautifully flavored cheese sauce, rich in cheese flavor.

Like the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina reviewed earlier, in the bag are the frozen gnocchi and thin rectangular frozen pieces of sauce. A two-step cooking process in the microwave fist thaws and partially heats the two separate components. A quick stir blends both components together. Then another turn in the microwave completes the heating process.

The gnocchi varied from perfectly chewy to some that were a bit rubbery. The few that were rubbery may have been caused by a little over cooking in the microwave as a microwave tends to cook things on the edges of the container more than those in the center. Or there may have been some freezer burn from being in my freezer a bit long.

Trader Joe's, gnocchi al gorgonzola, review, price, calories, nutritionRegardless of chewiness, all the gnocchi did their job which was to provide a place for the sauce to adhere and keep the sauce in the mouth for as long as possible where the tongue’s tiny taste buds were temptingly tantalized to tear the tasty tidbits of sauce from the twirling gnocchi. This is a sauce that deserves to be savored as long as possible.

Price $2.99 per 16 ounce bag

Calories 250 per serving (about 3 servings per bag)

Barissimo Organic Peru Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – ALDI

03/27/2018

aldi, whole bean coffee, medium roast, organic, fair trade, review, price3/27/2018
The beans are medium brown in color with the oil just starting to sweat from the beans.  There’s a nice aroma coming from the ground beans. This is a solid medium roast coffee.

There were plenty of CO2 bubbles when brewed, indicating a recent roast.  The aroma in the cup is mild.  As a medium roast, there’s a milder coffee flavor to go along with the mild aroma.  For the first few days I noticed a slight secondary flavor in the coffee beyond a coffee flavor.  After a few days, either I became accustomed to the secondary flavor or it dissipated from the beans.  In either case, it didn’t break the coffee.  In fact after a few weeks drinking this, I sort of missed it when I switched back to my everyday coffee.  The milder medium roast coffee flavor was a good break from my normal darker roast.

The coffee is labeled Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic.  At a savings of a couple of dollars, or more, over similar quality coffee, this is a bargain for a good cup of coffee.  Price $4.79

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Roth Organics – Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review

03/27/2018

trader joe, tj, review, calories, price, nutrition, organic sharp cheddar cheeseMarch 27, 2018
This is a “vegetarian friendly”, certified organic, aged, sharp cheddar cheese.  The texture of the cheese is firm, not hard, and not crumbly.  There’s a touch of a non-cheddar flavor in the cheese.  Regardless, this is a nice cheddar cheese, especially for someone looking for an organic cheese.  Calories 110 per ounce, price $5.99 per pound

Roth cheeses can be found at other supermarkets also, click here to search near you.

One of my pet peeves about cheese labeling is the ambiguous references to “enzymes” in the labeling.  Some enzymes (a minority now) come from animals – making them non-vegetarian.  Animal enzymes are sometimes labeled as rennet (although even the word rennet can be used ambiguously).  Other enzymes (many cheeses use these) are produced by bacterial cultures or are plant-based, and are vegetarian friendly.  By not clearly labeling the type of enzymes used in making the cheese, the cheese makers make it more difficult for vegetarians to find cheeses which suit their dietary preferences.  Even this one which is labeled “vegetarian friendly” – and I assume that means non-animal enzymes  – doesn’t mention the source of the enzymes in the ingredient label.  Here’s some additional reading.

Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review

02/02/2018

Peets, whole bean coffee, major dickasons, review, priceFebruary 2, 2018

Why can’t we just say West Coast Roast?  Starbucks and Peet’s get the credit, or blame, for this dark roast thing.  I’m going to coin the term now.  This is a West Coast Roast.  It sort of rhymes too!

A nice mild coffee aroma escapes the bag.  The beans are dark brown and oily, both characteristics of a dark roast. The coffee is bitter in the cup once brewed, but still drinkable black.  This is one of the less bitter, bitter coffees I’ve had.  Aside from the bitterness, this is a milder dark roast with a nice flavor, especially after it has cooled some. So if you’re in a Target, or other large box shop, desperate for coffee, like a bitter coffee that can still be drank black, find this on sale, go for it.

Now for the name, I’m disappointed. The name is what attracted me to the bag.  Because of the name, Major Dickason’s, I was expecting a backstory straight out of a Rudyard Kipling work. But alas, Major seems to have been only a frequent flyer at the first Peet’s store who apparently liked a bitter cup of coffee?

Price $7.99 on sale,  $9.49 regular price – 12 ounce bag


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