Trader Joe’s PEANUT & CRISPY NOODLE SALAD KIT


“CRISPY NOODLE SALAD KIT: The crispy part of the kit includes a package of tiny fried rice “CRISPY NOODLES”. The problem? After you put on dressing? These become “Not Crispy” Noodle bits.

Pros: The Asian style Peanut Dressing they give you is tasty. It’s a bit similar to TJ’s Organic Sesame Dressing (so you could make something like this yourself using that dressing)

Cons: Cabbage as the first ingredient in the salad. I thought it was cut way too big so the salad is a bit tough and too chewy. The softer Romaine lettuce, not cabbage, should have been the first ingredient IMO, plus this cabbage should be sliced thinner. However the main problem with this whole idea for a “Crispy Noodle salad kit” is obvious. The moment you mix in those “crispy noodles” (which are tiny, see pic) with the dressing and mix it all in, the “crispy noodles” become not crispy, of course. Maybe if they used some larger kind of crispy noodles, maybe like the kind you get in a Chinese restaurant? For me, these little fried rice noodles are a Fail. We both though this salad just wasn’t good. I won’t buy it again. Its goes for $3.99. You want crispy? What might work is add some lightly crushed PLANTAIN CHIPS to this. Or croutons.

TJ Fresh Mozzarella Log (w/ CAPRESE SALAD recipe)


 

RAVE

I think I can get this review in just in time for End of Summer when one can still find excellent tomatoes. The perfect thing to pair with juicy farm fresh tomatoes is this Trader Joe’s Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Log. Unlike the firmer low moisture “pizza” mozzarella, fresh mozzarella is a softer milky fresh cheese. Fresh mozzarella is perfect for pairing with tomatoes, basil and good virgin olive oil for a super easy and delicious classic: a “Caprese Salad” (Insalata Caprese) Caprese Salad is the simplest of Italian salads, with sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, dressed with olive oil. Like a Pizza Margherita, it features the colors of the Italian flag: green, white, red.

This mozzarella is shaped as a log and is pre-sliced into rounds which makes this super convenient and easy. Open it, and put the rounds of cheese on a plate with sliced tomatoes. You can arrange them artistically, alternating tomato and round of cheese if you want to impress but even just cutting the slices into quarters and tossing with cubed tomatoes is fine! Douse with some good extra virgin olive oil of course! Sometimes I add a few capers and a little of the caper liquid.

With some good bread you have a super easy dinner or lunch and a small slice of heaven ready in minutes especially if you can find great tomatoes. Serve this salad to guests and they will love it. And the fresh mozz is good of course just eaten as is, put on a cheese plate, or used to make a terrific sandwich.


A 1 lb package is $4.99 ($5.99) which for fresh mozzarella is as usual, a pretty good deal chez Trader Joes.

RECIPE CAPRESE SALAD (INSALATE CAPRESE): Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella on a plate or platter. Tear up a good number of fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them all over everything. Drizzle with some good extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. (OPTIONAL: some jarred capers with some of their juice, or a very small amount of a vinegar especially Balsamico) Serve with a nice crusty bread.

(Post Summer) If you can’t get great tasting beefsteak tomatoes get the small cherry egg shaped Italian tomatoes Trader Joe’s carries. They are a little expensive but are really tasty, cut in half, and mix up with cut up mozzarella. Can you make pizza with this mozzarella ? Yes, it will give up some more liquid so a super hot oven is important.