I live in the forest food desert where food delivery would be nice by drone. (No, really. Seven feet of snow. SEND. FOOD. SEND. RATIONS. SEND TOILET PAPER. Don't think I am not serious.)
Someone should create a quasi-healthy-food-drop service to my area and I would even accept Trader Joe's because I am between two of their locations and not within driving distance (I don't drive, still, brain still not participating in life skills training here) and haven't stepped foot inside one but once this past year or even two. I am so out of touch with what is On Store Shelves, guys. If you have something to tell me about, tell me, I mean that - I see nothing.
And that was last week. I cleared out a shelf of $100 worth frozen vegetarian products.
Because that is the way I eat now (yeah, we haven't spoken much on the blog have we? Because... I don't know...) so when I find something I like and likes me back in the bowel I BUY THEM ALL AT ONCE. I took a risk on this product "Trader Joe's Greens Beans And Grains" and assumed it would like me back 'cause WHY NOT?! I have been forcing myself to eat The Greens! The Beans and The Grains! in any form I find for a while now because I spent years being afraid to do so -- and I think my gut became afraid to digest! (Short story, it took a while to acclimate to real foods, but it works. Most of the time.)
This product. I didn't read the label closely. I just saw GREENS and grabbed it because I thought "Yummy, I love greens and it's prolly vegetarian and it's gotta be good," and the calorie count was low.
But, it's not what I thought it was. I was thinking a smoky-greeny concoction - it isn't at all - and I think they probably should have named it WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS!
Peanut (...inspired, like?) Stew! Maybe they didn't because people might not have bought it? I honestly probably would not have bought it if I saw peanuts AT ALL. Good move, TJ's.
"If you're familiar with West African cuisine, you might find our Greens, Beans and Grains similar to a traditional peanut soup or stew; albeit with a Trader Joe's influenced interpretation. In place of the collard greens typical in an African version, we've chosen kale as the Green to accompany our beans and grains. Kale is the primary reason this entrée delivers so generously on vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, and dietary fiber.
But just because kale/greens are named first, don't assume that's the only standout here. On the contrary, garbanzo beans play a pivotal role, filling in where West African cooks may utilize peanuts. They add fiber, protein, and iron, as well as super taste and texture. (We haven't left the peanuts out entirely, though, so peanut lovers rejoice!) As for the Grain portion of the show, we went with whole wheat couscous, a traditional ingredient in West African & North African cooking. All together, Greens, Beans and Grains is simmered in a vegetable stock with tomatoes, seasoned with garlic, onion, cilantro, cumin, coriander, caraway, cayenne, lemon juice, and salt - it's the spices that really play up the African connection and give the dish its memorable flavors.
We developed Greens, Beans and Grains with our supplier, and it's only available at your neighborhood Trader Joe's. We're selling each nine ounce package - an excellent single meal size - for $2.99, every day. You'll find it in our freezers."
I have eaten it twice now.
It is not an attractive meal. It's what my youngest calls bum-bums, and this? Is bums in sauce.
The first time, I microwaved it for the allotted time and ate the two sides separately and it was just too spicy. I actually walked away from it. I was dipping the couscous into the chickpeas and left some of the sauce behind.
This morning, I cooked it a little less, and plated the entire concoction together. I liked it much more this way. I added a spoonful of Greek Yogurt on the side to kill the heat because I am a wuss, and I really enjoyed it. I found that the couscous mixed with the peanut sauce was super moist and totally filling.
That said, I am still a gastric bypass post op, although at my stage (nearly 11 years) I can eat the entire portion, I would NOT eat this product as an early-stage post op, make sure you are cleared for legumes, nuts, greens and pasta. It's full of ALL OF THEM. And damn it, I AM EATING THEM. :P
But, I liked it enough. BECAUSE VEGETABLES.
- Via - Trader Joes
- Price - $2.99
- Pros - Greens! Beans! Grains! Vegetarian, Under 300 calories.
- Cons - Ugly as sin.
- Rating - Pouchworthy when you can digest it.