Tag Archives: appetizers

Chicken Poppers: The Mexican Falafal

9 Dec

I’m not a falafel fan. But when I approached the Redondo Beach Trader Joe’s today, I was hungry.

What I saw was a paper cup with a falafel-looking bite accompanied by guacamole. I was hungry, and I love guacamole.

Tasty taste of Chicken Popper and guac

As I said, I WAS hungry, so that factor could have clouded my falafel-averse tastebuds, but the Chicken Popper bite I had was good enough to tempt me to buy a whole box. Plus the Avocado’s Number Guacamole, which was mighty tasty, too.

Trader Joe's has guacamole's number

I hesitated, though, because the calorie count and fat content were on the high side. The tasting bar-ista suggested they were meant as appetizers, which made me think of the uber delectable Kale and Spinach bites. You can bet that once inside your house, the balls of delight will mysteriously disappear between the time you take them out of the oven to when the plate arrives in front of your guests.


Instead of saying, “180 calories per 3-piece serving. Box contains 4 servings,” the box should read, “720 calories per serving. Box contains 1 serving.” Psychologically, if you can restrain yourself, you’ll feel like, “I have many fewer calories than I could have!”

The falafel issue
Both the taste and texture of the Chicken Popper were reminiscent of its Middle Eastern cousin. But the crunch in the CP comes from crushed tortilla chips, and the protein element traded chicken for chick peas.

If you don’t like falafel, you may really like Chicken Poppers. If you love falafel, you’ll probably love them.

Suggestion: Perhaps the next time you have falafel, whip up some guacamole to go with it – or just buy a batch from Trader Joe’s.


Inspired combo: Cheddar and horseradish in a chip

5 Jun

I’m pushing outside my safe zone today. Chips and me, we’re joined at the hip. In my case, both hips. If I’m choosing between a plate of dessert and a bowl of salted, crunchy tortillas, the salt always wins.

That places the favored evil in the danger zone. Lately, I’ve only indulged in healthier options. So, to pick up a bag of flavor-coated, not-baked, not-popped chips sends the red lights flashing. “Warning, Will Robinson” blasts from my internal speakers.

But the will of this bag of taste-filled wrong was too strong:

not on the list of things that are healthy

Beware: Bewitching

I’m a spice wimp, too. But I like a little zing, so I often brave the heat to sample something with a little bite.

Loved these. At the check out, checker Matt said the reviews he’d heard included adoration as well as people saying they couldn’t taste the horseradish.

My take: The horseradish blazes on the tastebuds. Oh, yes. It’s definitely there! The life of the party in your mouth. The cheddar is its subdued chaperone; the straight man to horseradish’s zingers.

So, the bag was finished in three restrained sittings. I don’t know when I can buy them again because I won’t be able to stop eating them. If only I didn’t like them so much, I could have them around all the time!

*Sigh* The price of love.

Recipes and reviews: Trader Joe’s in the blogosphere

17 Dec
At the table with Trader Joe's

At the table with Trader Joe’s. Serving up reviews, rants, raves and recipes.

Did you see all the great Trader Joe’s posts last week?! (Besides the ones on Things I Love at Trader Joe’s, of course : )

There were some doozies! Here are three swoon-inducing examples:

What are your favorite holiday foods and beverages from Trader Joe’s? Please join the conversation and share your faves and your reviews!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s, for giving us more to savor, discuss and blog about!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s


Danger: Delicious appetizers ahead

12 Dec

So, I’m at the Trader Joe’s tasting bar and the barista is offering samples of Spinach and Kale Bites.

Beware: Seductive flavor lures you to do things you didn't want to do.

Beware: Seductive flavor lures you to do things you didn’t want to do.

I  try one.

I say: This is SO good!

She says: I know!

Despite the whole kale craze, this might be my first taste. I’m a veggie lover and spinach is a fave, so it’s no surprise that these green balls with cheesy garlic goodness make my eyes pop out.

I look at the box. Well, the points it scores on flavor it loses in the calorie and fat content. Not the most I’ve seen in a snack, but enough to give pause.

I say: I’m nervous about the calories and fat content.

She says: Well, they’re appetizers, so you’re not going to have very many.

I look at her. She looks at me.

I say: Right….

We smile, sadly, knowing that what’s meant as dainty food for company is too often what’s for dinner.


Related Links:

Kale nutrition information

Kate and cocktails

 A word from Trader Joe’s

Appetizing appetizer: Olive Tapenade Spread

3 Dec

Game night each month is a great way to get affirmation that one of my TJ faves is a party pleaser. Last week was a perfect example.

The main course was taken care of. So were dessert and drinks. So, I took the opportunity to offer a jar of Trader Joe’s Olive Tapenade Spread.

Party time tapenade

Trader Joe’s Olive Tapenade Spread: Chunky olive goodness

Accompanied with some Pita Bite Crackers

Trader Joe's Pita Bite Crackers

Addictive appetizer companions, that’s what these crunchy little rounds are.

And my friends went crazy. So did I. This is no dainty dish – there are meaty chunks of olive in this spread for the serious before-meal eater.

It's party time with tapenade, full of chunky, meaty olives.

It’s party time with tapenade, full of chunky, meaty olives.

Another hors d’oeuvres triumph!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried the tapenade? What did you think?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Nutrition info

Living Trader Joe’s: Things to do with olive tapenade

Bonus note: We played a game called Telestrations. It’s a bit like “telephone.” Instead of whispering to the next person, the play alternates between writing a word, drawing a representation of the word, then the next person guesses what the word was from the drawing. Here’s an example of an effective drawing:


Telestrations: Last week’s game-night game. “Fisheye”

Festive, bubbly Trader Joe’s: Spanish sparkling wine

3 Sep

A holiday weekend. A beautiful evening with a few friends gathered at your house. Interesting conversation. Lots of laughter. It’s obviously time to break out the bubbly and make it a party.

Labor Day 2012 presents …

Now it’s a party: Albero Spanish sparkling wine

Fruity, refreshing and bubbleful.Relax. Enjoy. And cheers to my mom. It’s her birthday today.

“Cheers!” A fun night with friends and family

Thank you, Trader Joe’s, and happy Labor Day!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Albero company site

A toast to chick lit

RECIPE: White raspberry sangria

Trader Joe’s pita chips: The satisfaction of reduced guilt

20 Jul

The cracker aisle is one of my favorite Trader Joe’s sections. I have my never-fail faves (Pita Bites and Savory Crackers, for two), but also love discovering other yummy items.

The other day, these “reduced guilt” pita chips with sea salt caught my curiosity.

Trader Joe’s Pita Chips with sea salt

At first bite, the chips aren’t the salty snackers my faves are, but I had a few as an appetizer before dinner and enjoyed. Plus, I really like that the 6-oz. bag is not a one-serving size – like most potato chip bags and other chips loaded with come-hither ingredients.

Also, I dipped a chip into the rice side-dish I had during dinner and am thrilled (and a little nervous) to report that these chips make excellent dipping media. And even if your dipping sauce offers a year’s worth of calories, the “reduced-guilt” factor of the pita chips kicks in to make you feel better.

From the bag:

  • Serving size – about 8 chips
  • Calories per serving – 100
  • Calories from fat per serving – 20

Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

SuzySaid, Guilt-free pleasures at Trader Joe’s

Snacks besides fruit and veggies

Pinterest board: Dips for crowd pleasers

%d bloggers like this: