Since this blog is all about expanding my food horizons in hopes that I expand my diet, I thought I’d share with you some new (to me) packaged foods that I have tried recently that I am loving! I have a few that I’ve found so far, but over time, hopefully there will be many that I will share with you. Full Disclosure: I paid for this all on my own, and am not getting compensated in any way for my opinions.
Confession: I am not a Trader Joe’s fanatic. I know many people are in love with the place, but I am not one of them. I just never have found very much there that I loved. When they opened a TJ’s in Madison a few years ago I went to check it out…..just like pretty much everyone else in the vicinity of Madison. I walked around, found a few things to try, bought them and ended up not really liking them. (It was so long ago that I can’t honestly remember what those first things were) I was impressed by the inexpensive prices, but it just wasn’t worth it for food that I didn’t like. (Not to mention the parking situation at our particular TJ’s is not ideal.) A few years went by, I made some foodie friends, and pretty much all of them had a list of their favorite things that came from TJ’s. I knew people that drove to another town just so that they could go to TJ’s. I never understood it….until recently.
While Julie was in town, she made a stop at Trader Joe’s, and I joined her. I hadn’t been there in possibly years. I went in without a basket, or shopping cart or anything. I planned on maybe trying one or two things, but not more than I could just hold in my hands. A few minutes into the trip, I realized that I could no longer hold everything that I was planning on buying in my hands and started to put some of my things in the shopping cart that Julie had gotten. Needles to say, I walked out of there with a large bag full of new items to try.
One of those items was frozen steel cut oatmeal. I’ve never been an oatmeal lover – but mostly because it takes a bit of time to make. I’ve tried the microwave packets, and I always got sick of them pretty quickly. I think it was something with the texture, and the taste was slightly off. I did like that microwave oatmeal for work lunches though, a warm hearty lunch is something that definitely helps me get through long winter work days.
So, I decided to try this frozen oatmeal. It only comes two to a package, and it was really inexpensive (I think around $2) so I wasn’t loosing much if I didn’t like it. Good news: I did like it! Although the flavor was a bit bland, I preferred that to something that was overly flavorful – I could always add to it, but you can’t take away the flavor once its there. It only takes 3-4 minutes in the microwave, the texture is great, it is a perfect warm lunch.
I make this quite often at work now. I generally add about one tablespoon of brown sugar and about one teaspoon of ground flax to the mix, and it makes it slightly sweet, and even more delicious.
Now I just wish that they came in packages larger than two at a time!