On the left side of the ring you have my boyfriend, studly as usual. On the right side…my mochi. He’s vegan, new and hails from Trader Joe’s. And I love him! Fists fly and pieces of mochi splatter across the floor. A close fight, no doubt!
Dairy Free Mochi “Filled with creamy coconut milk in a trio of flavors: mango, coconut, chocolate”
Six-piece pack $3.49
I am in <3… I used to yearn for mochi – but no longer, no longer! One piece (and it’s big): 130 calories, 4g fat, 10mg sodium, <1g fiber, 15g sugars, 0g protein. These are freakin’ delicious – go get them now!
The ingredients list is rather decent in that most of the items are pronounceable and recognizable. The only exceptions include: maltodextrin (a food additive usually used to sweeten, so it’s often in candy bars), dextrose (aka glucose), carrageenan (a food additive, vegan, that works like gelatin and comes from seaweed). I will keep a box of these in stock for an occasional indulgence.
While the mochi, above, is the best Trader Joe’s new item, there are some other vegan finds worth mentioning:
Fully Cooked Falafel
For three falafel balls: 320 calories, 19g fat, 490mg sodium, 6g fiber, 5g sugars, 8g protein. The ingredients list is pretty legit, except that it does have enriched unbleached flour and a couple safe, though unnecessary, additives that made me not buy ‘em. So, I have no idea how they taste. If I may offer an alternative, I’d go for Falafel Republic’s falafel instead (sold at Costco) because they have less ingredients and way less calories and fat per serving (compare, for three: 210 calories, 7.5g fat, 630mg sodium, 6g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 10.5g protein).
Organic Oats and Flax (Individual Packets Oatmeal) $3.29 (8-pack)
These individual portions are cool enough — they’re vegan and have minimal ingredients. However, the second ingredient is “organic dehydrated can juice solids.” I’d skip these and opt instead for the “Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal” in TJ’s freezer section, or for Country Choice’s Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal (also sold at TJ’s) since you can choose to sweeten these or not.
Rice & Vegetable Bento Box
For 1 serving (5 oz; about two in the box): 190 calories, 4g fat, 280mg sodium, 7g fiber, 3g sugars, 5g protein.
There are nine flavors in this box! 1. pumpkin (kabocha!) with shiso seasoning, 2. spicy long beans, 3. eggplant with miso paste, 4. soba salad with oyster mushroom, 5. shiitake mushroom with edamame and carrot, 6. baked tofu with teriyaki sauce, 7. brown rice with seaweed and sesame seed, 8. curry flavored brown rice, and 9. teriyaki flavored brown rice with vegetable.
I am impressed with how few funky ingredients there are given the amount of different flavors in this box! Some of the funkiness present includes: maltose (a refined sugar), coagulant (magnesium chloride – a chemical compound used in tofu products made from soymilk; it is considered safe), gellan gum (an emulsifier/thickener/and stabilizer). The silly thing is that all of these more questionable, though safe, ingredients appear in the tofu dish, so if you just didn’t eat #6, you’d be golden!).
I also wish the tofu used was organic…
Roasted Seaweed Snack
Per serving (1/2 package): 30 calories, 2g fat, 50mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 1g protein. Ingredients: seaweed, expeller pressed canola oil, sesame oil, sea salt.
Seems so weird to snack on seaweed, but ever since my band-mate’s wife got us the stuff for our road trip, I’ve loved it! Mmm tastes like the sea! Take that, Ursula!
Vegetable and Grain Salad (pre-made, in the refrigerator section with the pre-made sandwiches) $4.99
This is basically a bed of cabbage topped with marinated bulgur (in the style of vegetarian kibbeh). I love that the ingredients list is totally legit — nothing weird! Ingredients are: cabbage, cooked bulgur (marinated with olive oil), garbanzo beans, tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh dill, cumin, salt & pepper. 190 calories, 9g fat & 6g fiber per serving (two total). Too bad this little package is so expensive
Other new products, vegetarian not vegan, that you might want to know about:
Sprouted Multi-grain Bread
This is Trader Joe’s version of sprouted Ezekiel bread. It would be worth to try if you’re interested in trying sprouted grain bread (which I love and have written about here), but only if you’re on such a severe budget that it’s worth the $0.50 cent difference you could use to get Ezekiel bread. The reasons Ezekiel bread is better include: organic, no additives, vegan and 100% whole grain. The Trader Joe’s version has honey, cornmeal and soy lecithin. TJ’s version is $2.99; Eziekel is $3.49
Whole Grain Tortillas $2.49/6-pack
These are new whole grain tortillas that have added flax and rolled oats. They actually seem rather decent except that they are not vegan (they have honey) and they have a few added ingredients that you won’t find in my favorite tortilla brand (you guessed it…), Ezekiel, such as guar gum, baking powder, & cultured wheat flour — none of these are harmful or from animal sources, they’re just simply not present in Ezekiel’s. These are also not organic. Per tortilla: 120 calories, 2.5g fat, 180mg sodium, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 3g protein. Compare to Ezekiel: 150 calories, 3.5g fat, 140mg sodium, 5g fiber, 0g sugars, 6g protein. (Ezekiel $2.29/pack)
Found any new yummy foods or rediscovered an old favorite?
The Cranky One