Snacking on life, living off snacks.

Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Review: Oatmeal Complete, original flavor

In Uncategorized on 04/14/2010 at 1:32 am

Were you one of those children who liked to eat paste? If you would like to relive those fond elementary school memories, then boy, does Trader Joe’s have the product for you.

From a health standpoint, Trader Joe’s Complete Oatmeal sounds like the perfect meal. The nutritional merits are manifold: 35% of daily value of calcium, B6 and B12 vitamins, folic acid and flax, and 2 grams of soy protein. Never mind that I don’t know what good the B vitamins do, this thing sounds like a super food! Of course, there is a catch…

Normally, I eat a cup of oatmeal at my desk in the mornings. I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal, but it’s fast and filling and efficient for breakfast fuel. For awhile, I bought Trader Joe’s instant oatmeal in apple and maple/brown sugar flavors. I wondered if I could cut back on my breakfast sugar intake (if anything, to make room for more desserts at night) and boost my nutritional and vitamin intake. Enter Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Complete in original flavor, with a sparse 2g of sugar. Hearty sustenance, without the sugar guilt.

But alas, even my well-trained palate could not take it. I can delude myself into eating soy nuggets. I eat bagels, bread, sandwiches, potatoes, etc. unadorned and unslathered (if I eat them at all). I can eat steamed broccoli for dinner and soy ice cream for dessert without envy. But getting through a cup of Oatmeal Complete was a task. It was grueling.

Edible glue. Elmer’s should slap a label on this thing. Even diluted with more water than called for, even when I added slivers of almond and raw brown sugar, it still tasted like glue.  I felt like maybe instead I should have just mixed in some glitter, slapped it on construction paper and called it a day.

To give it credit, it is quite filling. Also, it is a product of Canada. Oh, Canada, it’s okay. Low crime, bad oatmeal. Can’t have it all.

Oatmeal complete, original flavor: 1/5 pelts

Reviews: Pumpkin pancake mix, soy nuggets, black bean enchiladas

In Uncategorized on 10/05/2009 at 4:55 am

Pumpkin Pancake/Waffle Mix:

I split the mix in half; pancakes were made twice. Thus, this eliminated some of the arbitrariness that might have been assigned to uneven portions of ingredients (here at TJJunkie, it is important to apply scientific rigor).

The first time I overdid it with the milk, leading to slightly limp pancakes that nonetheless “tastes just like pancakes that are supposed to taste like pumpkin pie!”” (said A.W.) About 5 people sampled them and concurred that the pumpkin flavor stood out but the texture was not ideal. The second time I made these, they turned out far fluffier because I stuck to the exact measurements. For me, the pumpkin flavor was pronounced but not overpowering, leading to a yummy carby treat that screams “Autumn!”

Pumpkin pancake/waffle mix: 4/5 pelts. (only accounting for pancakes)

Soy Nuggets

Before you judge me as some PETA- supporting, granola-chugging, hemp-sporting soy freak, I defend myself by saying 1) I was really hungry and wanted non-meat, non-tofu, non-peanut butter protein and 2) someone asked me to review them!

First, a thought on soy protein:

As an Asian person, I like soy milk and I adore tofu. Therefore, there was a natural skepticism that came when the Western world decided to co-opt soy and turn it into all things protein.  Tofu chili, soy crumbles, tofu hot dogs, soy burgers, etc. Over time, however, I admit that I’ve largely bought into the soy movement; mostly because there are days when I just don’t feel like meat and I need something filling. After sucking it up for so long, soy protein doesn’t taste weird to me anymore.

These frozen soy nuggets were crusted with whole wheat crumbs and fried in expeller-pressed oil (whatever that means); they are also low fat. I heated them in the oven and had them nice and toasty. I shared with a friend and we both agreed that it tasted way better than we expected, largely because of the crumbly, crunchy texture on the outside. The soy protein felt like the spongy insides of any nugget (let’s be honest: even chicken doesn’t feel like chicken in nuggets.) I also had them when they were cold and they didn’t taste bad either.

But dip them hot in ketchup and they are actually delicious! Soy nuggets: 4/5 pelts

Black bean enchilada

I’m not a huge fan of cheese and  wanted a Mexican frozen entree without it. Since every Mexican dish is smothered in cheese, I did not expect to find one. Lo and behold I stumble upon the frozen black bean enchilada, filled with zucchini, peppers, corn, and… small cubes of tofu.

My last experience with tofu as a meat in Western food was unpleasant: it was a chili consisting of cut-up cubes of soft tofu and tons of salsa and canned tomatoes. It made me realize that watery salsa and watery tofu, while holding similar liquid properties, are absolutely and completely not meant for each other.

Anyway. So I worried about this enchilada as I felt the tofu on my tongue (there is no indication on the packaging save for the ingredient list that tofu is in there; they probably understood that it would scare people off.). However… it was quite delicious! The smoky enchilada sauce somehow manages to complement the veggies and the tiny cubes of tofu. Maybe it’s because the whole melange of ingredients in between corn tortillas tastes heartily Southwestern.

Either way, I like it enough to have bought it now….10 times? for lunch. Maybe more. I’m only recently getting tired of it.

Frozen Black Bean Enchiladas: 4/5 pelts.

Keep the suggestions coming!

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