Posts Tagged ‘food’

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 – Black Angus Bacon Cheddar Beef Patties – Food Review

05/23/2018

aldi, review, price, calories, nutrition, black angus, bacon cheddar beef pattiesMay 23, 2018

This isn’t a bar burger.  Whatever your opinion about bars, when they have burgers, those burgers are often some of the best at any restaurant.  These, on the other hand, are a reasonably priced source of nutrients that taste okay.

There are a couple of odd things about this burger.  First, the cooking instructions are for a frozen patty, whether skillet, grill or broiler.  No microwave instructions are given.  When cooked in a skillet, the frozen patty tended to raise in the center resulting in a nice ring of cooked patty around the edges and the center needing longer to cook through.  I suppose putting a weight on the patty would be the way to correct this?  Some of the cheese in the burger tended to melt and ooze out while cooking.  I did not try the broiler or grill.  Second, there was noticeable fibrous material in the patty.  This affected the texture somewhat.  While there is bacon added to the patty, it didn’t seem to add much to the flavor or texture.

There are more calories and fat in each patty compared to an equal portion of 80/20 ground beef.  Both of those numbers may be due to the added cheese and bacon in the patty.  Or there could be a higher percentage of fat in the beef.

aldi, review, price, calories, nutrition, black angus, bacon cheddar beef pattiesWhile convenient and reasonably priced at $3.45 per pound (compared to ground beef alone), you’ll probably be able to build a better burger by starting with straight ground beef, adding a slice of cheese near the end of cooking and then adding a couple of slices of cooked bacon on top of that.

Calories  460 per patty (151g)

Price  $6.89 per box of 6 patties (2 lbs. total – 908g)

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 – Earth Grown Asian Veggie Burger – Vegan – Food Review

05/19/2018

ALDI, earth grown, asian veggie burger, price, review, calories, nutrition, veganMay 19, 2018

I’m not sure what makes these Asian, as opposed to just a nicely flavored veggie burger.  I guess they had to pick a name because the box is too small to write “Just a nicely flavored veggie vegan burger.”  Maybe I should follow that kind of thinking and change the name of this blog to “Asian.”

The flavor is a little sweet and a very little bit spicy. The burger firms up nicely in the microwave, not falling apart like others.  A pet peeve I have with most veggie burgers is they’re generally on the thin side and are overwhelmed somewhat by a bun.  Putting two burgers on a bun produces a better ratio.  But I wish they’d make a single burger a little thicker/heavier so we don’t have to double up.

ALDI, earth grown, asian veggie burger, price, review, calories, nutrition, veganThis seems to be another special item that’s only around a week.  I don’t know when it will grace the freezer cases again.  The product is labeled vegan and the ingredient label (not shown here) tends to agree with that designation.  At $3.69 per box, this is priced higher than the regular vegan veggie burger at $2.49.

Calories  130 per burger

Price  $3.69 per box of 4 veggie burgers (10 oz. total – 284g)

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 – 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 – Cotswold Double Gloucester Cheese – Food Review

05/07/2018

Trader Joe's, double gloucester cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionMay 7, 2018

A little bit of mold later and I’m still alive.  Some scrapping with a knife took care of the mold before the actual tasting.  That’s one of the problems with storing cut cheese.  Even in a cold refrigerator, it can get a little moldy on the outside.  Of course I was 3 weeks past the “sell by date” on the cheese before I got around to digging this out of the depths of my refrigerator for review.  In the future I’m just going to have to eat faster.

Semi-hard or semi-soft, you decide that.  The consistency is close to an American cheese.  There’s a nice flavor to the cheese, produced by the cheese and the caramelized  onions and chives added to the cheese.  Overall, this is a mild cheese with a good flavor.  The cheese is not quite spreadable, but soft enough to stay on a cracker.  The cheese nicely paired with some wine for part of the review.

The cheese melted easily in the microwave.  The warming also enhanced the flavor.  In fact, the best use may be as a topping to vegetables or a burger.  Just add the cheese near the end of cooking.  The cheese also did nicely in a grilled cheese sandwich, producing a mildly stepped-up experience from the traditional American cheese.

If you’d like to find out how the cheese gets its name, click here.

Price  $9.99 per pound      Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

For a similar and more flavorful cheese, you may also want to try Trader’s caramelized onion cheddar.

Meat Lovers Vegetarian Chorizo Queso Dip – recipe

05/04/2018

recipe, queso, cheese, dip, vegetarian, chorizo

Here’s a vegetarian version of my original queso dip recipe with a vegetarian soy chorizo product substituted for the original Italian sausage.  In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t actually measure the spices.  So vary the guidelines below to your taste.  As is, this is a fairly spicy hot recipe.  However it was always well received at work with repeat requests.

1 pound Clancy’s CheeseMelt (ALDI) or similar vegetarian cheese

1 package (12 oz) Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo or similar vegetarian product

1 – 10 or 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons crushed red peppers

4-8 tablespoons olive oil, or oil of your choice

1 medium diced onion

Add 4 tablespoons oil, oregano, crushed red peppers, basil, black pepper, parsley, onions to a skillet.  Heat and stir for about 2 minutes over medium heat to flavor the oil with the spices.  Remove the soy chorizo from the plastic casing.  Add soy chorizo to the skillet and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until done (see package directions.)  While cooking, add additional oil as needed to keep the soy chorizo from drying out.

Cut the cheese into 1 inch cubes while the soy chorizo is cooking.  Add the cubes to a large microwave safe bowl.  Melt the cheese in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Remove and stir.  Return to the microwave, reheat and stir as needed until the cheese is soft and fluid.

Add the cumin and diced tomatoes with chilies to the melted cheese.  Add the cooked soy chorizo and spices.  Deglaze the skillet with wine or water and add to the cheese mixture.  Stir together.  Heat the final mixture in the microwave as needed.

That’s it.  The final product tends to be a little too thick for easy dipping.  Spoon over tortilla chips and go at it slowly at first.  Your mouth will be hit with a progression of different flavors ending with the heat.

Target – Sweet Earth – Basil Pesto Lasagna – Food Review

04/28/2018

Target, Sweet Earth, Basil Pesto Lasagana, review, price, nutrition, caloriesApril 28, 2018
There’s gusto in the pesto!  The aroma of garlic permeates the room as the microwave does its thing.  St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t get any greener than this.

There’s only a sprinkle of cheese on the top.  If you’re expecting a restaurant lasagna  where the mozzarella is overflowing the plate, you’ll be disappointed.  The lasagna noodles are a little soft.  To make up for these problems there’s a nice thick layer of pesto on and between the layers.  Mixed between layers are a few identifiable pieces of mushrooms.  One final problem with the product, the plastic film sealing the container is hard to remove.

A strange thing about the packaging is the absence of the word “vegetarian.”  Sweet Earth specializes in plant-based products.  There’s nothing listed in the ingredients that would make one think this is not vegetarian.  All the cheeses used in the product list “vegetarian enzymes” as part of the cheese.  The cheeses are made from milk.  So take a look for yourself, but for now I’m listing this as vegetarian.

Target, Sweet Earth, Basil Pesto Lasagana, review, price, nutrition, caloriesAside from the above issues, overall this is a tasty take on a traditional lasagna.  It may not be traditional, but the generous amount of basil and just enough garlic make this product worth a try. Even a non-vegetarian could like this. The cat cleaned up the bowl.

Calories  450 per container (1 serving, 255g)  –  Price around $4.19,  $3.50 on sale

Target – Sweet Earth – Chana Masala – Food Review

04/28/2018

sweet earth, chana masala, review, price, calories, nutrition, targetApril 28, 2018

Ever since discovering the Curry Tiger Burrito I’ve had Sweet Earth on my mind.  However, unlike the Tiger, this Chana Masala lacks some teeth.  This is a tamed Indian-styled entrée.

For my tastes. this is the result of not enough and the wrong combination of spices.  The tomato sauce surrounding the chana (chickpeas) tastes like, tomato sauce.  For a good Indian dish, the sauce should be a fireworks display for the mouth – hot rockets exploding into bursts of different flavors with an almost overwhelming feel.  This turned out to be a few sparklers at best.

This is a single compartment container so there’s really no way to keep the rice separate from the rest.  I mention that because I like to eat the normally companioned basmati rice separately from the sauce.  But I needn’t have worried about that because the rice here appears to be just unflavored long grain white rice with a funny yellow color.

sweet earth, chana masala, review, price, calories, nutrition, targetWhile disappointing as an Indian entrée, this is a fairly nice chickpea stew in tomato sauce.  Unlike the recently reviewed Sweet Earth Basil Pesto Lasagna, this one is clearly labeled vegetarian.

Calories  320 per container (1 serving, 256g)

Price around $4.19,  $3.50 on sale

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)


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