Johnsonville Turkey Sausage with Cheddar Cheese

I like to jazz up my breakfast with some sort of protein – and I admit the usual turkey sausage or bacon can get redundant after a while. So while shopping, I decided to pick up a package of Johnsonville Turkey Sausage with Cheddar Cheese to try out … and I am glad I did!
The sausages are fully cooked and only require being heated through before eating. Taste wise they truly remind me of turkey kielbasa that has cheddar cheese infused in it.  I enjoy them most with some scrambled eggbeaters and toast. The sausage brings fourth enough flavoring that it really revamps my breakfast plate — slightly smoky, cheesy and just delicious.   These would be great on the grill … so I’m looking forward to the spring/summer months when I can take out the grill and put one of these on a bun and call it a day. One great thing about Johnsonville products is they are typically easily accessible. My local Wal-Mart and Target both carry the line.
A serving, 1 link, is 120 calories or 3 points plus values.
Have you tried any of Johnsonville’s products?

Reser’s Main St. Bistro – Zesty Au Gratin Potatoes

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I had gone to the market to pick a few things up that we needed at home. While passing the section where the prepared potato dishes are, I spotted this Reser’s Main St. Bistro – Zesty Au Gratin Potatoes and it immediately caught my eye. I haven’t had au gratin potatoes in FOREVER and these were just what the doctor ordered. So I picked up the container.
Since we were having mini meatloaves for dinner, I opted to heat this up for myself (my boyfriend doesn’t like cheese) and it was heavenly! Granted, I could have made a boxed au gratin potatoes for less calories and points plus values, but these were worth it. Since they’re prepared all that was left for me to do was heat them up – either in the microwave or in the oven. I opted for the microwave since it was the fastest method and dinner was going to be served shortly.  Even after being microwaved, they came out perfectly. The sides of the au gratin were nice and crispy as they had just come out of the oven. They were creamy, potatoey and they had great flavor from the bacon and a nice mild zest from the jalapenos. All around perfect and delicious!
A 2/3 cup serving is 180 calories or 5 points plus values.
Have you tried any of the au gratin potatoes from Reser’s Main St. Bistro?

Mama Mancini’s Turkey Meatballs

While at the grocery store I was hungry and considering I didn’t really want to end up in a drive thru before heading home I decided to just pick something up I could heat up quickly. I ended up grabbing a pack of Mama Mancini’s Turkey Meatballs to heat up and have with some spaghetti squash.
I have never had this brand of heat and eat turkey meatballs before, but considering the nutrition facts weren’t terrible I opted to give them a try. Heating them in the microwave, I topped my spaghetti squash with some sauce and 2 meatballs and I have to say… they’re not bad! They’re not the greatest meatball I have ever had, but they’re decent for a quick on-the-go type of meal. The outside of the meatballs are softer and they are mildly flavored. The sauce is good but it’s very thin and a bit watery.
2 meatballs are 110 calories or 3 points plus values.
Have you tried any of the Mama Mancini’s products?

Trader Joe’s Roasted Rosemary Boneless Chicken Breast with Wild Rice Pilaf

I spotted this Trader Joe’s Roasted Rosemary Boneless Chicken Breast with Wild Rice Pilaf in the prepared foods section of my local Trader Joe’s and was intrigued. It looked good, it sounded good, so I decided to give it a shot.  I had it in the fridge for a few days, and then decided on having it for lunch with a small side salad.
I pierced the film and put it into the microwave, took it out when it was done and measured out my serving.  I initially raised an eyebrow at the chicken and realized the skin was still on it. Now, I don’t eat skin on any meat so it grossed me out just a bit –but I ended up pulling the skin off and chucking it in the garbage. Granted the removal of the skin would lower the points and calories, but since I wasn’t able to recalculate I left it as is.  The meal was quite filling with a small side salad.  The chicken was moist and the pilaf was delicious and packed with flavor and vegetables. It was one of the better heat and eat rice pilafs I have had.
Price wise these come in at right below $6, which truly isn’t bad for a convenience meal for two people.  A serving is half the container (255 grams), which is 310 calories or 8 points plus values.
What is one of your favorite prepared meal at a grocery chain?

Trader Joe’s Stuffed Peppers with Seasoned Turkey & Rice

This is an oldie but a goodie – and it’s only an oldie because my local Trader Joe’s have not carried this before even though from what I understand these are sold at other Trader Joe’s.  So when I spotted the Trader Joe’s Stuffed Peppers with Seasoned Turkey & Rice I made sure to pick up a pack.
I’m a big stuffed pepper fan, so much that I make them at home from time to time. My personal stuffed peppers are quite simple, with simple ingredients and these stuffed peppers are flavorful, bold and simply delicious.  They’re made up of a large red pepper, split in half and stuffed with a mixture of turkey, rice, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, onions, sauce and spices. I will note, there is fennel seed in it, which gives the turkey meat a sausage quality which really makes it unique.  The vegetables for the most part are cut up pretty small so it’s not like chunks of mushrooms, but more like slivers throughout the mixture.  It was a little reminiscent of the stuffed peppers I make, just a lot bolder with new and unique flavors.  They’re filling and simply delicious.  I enjoyed them and will repurchase these again.
A serving is 1 pepper (1/2 the container), which is 190 calories or 5 points plus values. You could eat the entire container for 10 points plus values.  Definitely worth it!
What is your favorite prepared meal from Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe’s – Trader Giotto’s Gorgonzola Chicken

I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s products and have since been dabbling in the prepared foods at Trader Joe’s. As with any sort of prepared dish, it’s hit or miss, you can only judge by the look on the box, the description and your personal food tastes.
I saw this Trader Giotto’s Gorgonzola Chicken pasta dish in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s. It intrigued me simply by the picture on the box. I checked out the nutrition facts, calculated the points plus values and decided it was point friendly enough to give it a go.  I admit, I haven’t had any dish in a gorgonzola cheese sauce, but since I like bleu cheese (which gorgonzola is similar to) I decided to give it a shot.  I heated the dish up in the microwave per the box directions and split it into two servings.
After pulling the plastic covering off the dish once heated, I noticed mushrooms. Huh? I looked back at the box and read the description “white chicken meat, bowtie pasta, asparagus and peas in a Gorgonzola cheese sauce.”  Yeah, as I suspected, no mention of mushrooms. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms – I enjoy mushrooms in certain dishes, but in others I just do not, this is one that I did not enjoy it in. Plus, I’ve got an odd nose (along with my food texture issues) but I can smell a mushroom in a dish and the mushroom scent was overwhelming. Swallowing my moderate dislike in mushrooms, I took a bite – WHOA bold. The gorgonzola cheese sauce is definitely pungent … a pack a punch and knock you down pungent.
The cheese naturally is salty, but this was very salty and very strong in flavor. Not for the faint of heart. I couldn’t handle it. Three bites in I threw in the towel and tossed the dish.
Points plus wise, a serving (half a container) is 7 points plus values.
What is one of your favorite OR unfavorite Trader Joe’s products?

Trader Joe’s Lemon Bars

I had purchased these Lemon Bars from Trader Joe’s about a month or so back and they’ve been sitting in the freezer waiting to be eaten.  Last week my boyfriend and I wanted something sweet, but since we didn’t have anything in the house that we both wanted, we took the box of these out of the freezer and set them on the counter to defrost for 45 minutes.
One thing I should say is that my boyfriend and I are lovers of lemon desserts.  Lemon donuts, lemon tarts, lemon cake, lemon anything in a dessert is a-okay with us!  So I imagined these would be phenomenal.  Trader Joe’s makes some of the best hidden jewels so I already knew these would be a homerun.  And I was right.
They are VERY lemony, but the powdered sugar on top of the dessert really brings it down a notch. The consistency of the lemon portion is more of along the lines of a soft cheesecake, if you will.  The bottom portion is a delicious graham like cracker crust.  They are small – two normal size bites and it will be gone, but the perfect thing is it’s JUST enough to satisfy that sweet tooth.  I had 1 and was satisfied. My boyfriend happily munched away on them and finished the remainder that night. I’ve got to add them to my Trader Joe’s shopping list to pick up on the next trip through Trader Joe’s!
Points plus wise 1 bar (a serving) is 2 points plus. You can have 2 for 4 points plus.
What is your favorite lemon dessert?

Trader Joe’s Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken

I picked up this package of Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken from the refrigerator section at Trader Joe’s figuring it would be a quick and easy addition to any lunch.  I love grilled chicken, but considering I live in New England and even though the weather is continuously fluctuating it is definitely not grill worthy weather.  I also tend to enjoy a quick and easy lunch especially on days where there 1) aren’t any leftovers and 2) when I just want a simple salad and need something to throw on top of it.
Originally I was looking for the teriyaki flavor I had heard Trader Joe’s sold, but after not finding it, I settled on the lemon pepper.  The chicken itself is already cooked before being placed into the container and the chicken pieces are topped with a few slices of fresh lemon.  The packages houses four, 3 ounce servings of chicken and heating it up is quite an easy task.  The plastic has to be vented and the whole container is microwaved for a few minutes to heat through.
The only downside is, the chicken after re-heating it (if you are not going to eat it all in that one serving) can get a little dry after reheating in the microwave the second day.  Granted, I’m sure the first heat through in the packaging could be skipped which would eliminate the dryness.  I split the chicken into 2 meals – each for two separate lunches.  Straight out of the package the chicken is nice and moist with a charcoal flavoring on it (from grilling), but after the 2ndreheat it starts to lose that moistness – which is expected when heating foods in the microwave.
A 3 ounce serving is 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus, whereas a 6 ounce serving would be 5 points plus.  Definitely a great buy for anyone looking for a “on the fly” lunch.
Have you tried any of the prepackaged, prepared meats at Trader Joe’s?

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