Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Strips

Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips
A few months ago, my wife and I made the decision to go more or less vegetarian. Or, perhaps we should say, pescetarians who aren’t too fond of other meats. We’re not perfect. As we saw the other night, we were so eager to go to PNC Park to see the MLB debut of AKA, the next great Pittsburgh Pirates hero. Gerrit ColeWe kinda forgot the whole “we need to eat dinner” thing and were distracted by ridiculous concession lines, outrageous prices ($9 per person)   We were then left with Wendy’s late-night drive-thru after dinner. We’re still working hard and the results are showing. Our new diet has helped me lose 30 pounds and 20 points of systolic pressure. It’s fantastic.

It’s funny to say that since we started this project a few months ago, we have eaten more fake meat options then we ever ate real meat. Perhaps it’s how we try and please our inner carnivore. TJ’s has many great options, including old favorites and new favorites. We also bought some Trader Joe’s Chicken Strips while on a recent trip.

We hate to admit it, but these chicken fake-outs from TJ’s are the worst. Although they aren’t horrible, it’s a big disappointment. Sandy and I decided to try them in more or less their purest of forms, which meant sauteed then served in a mixed greens/strawberry/almond salad. While every other part of the dinner was delicious, any bite with chicken ugh. Although they did taste like chicken, it was not the flavor. They were mildly seasoned and had a light, pleasant aroma. It could have been the texture. They lacked the fleshy goodness and taste of real chicken. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t good. Our salad would have been incredible if it had contained real chicken strips. Our dinner was much less impressive with these fake chicken strips instead. Sandy even left a small stack on her plate and said “No Mas”, but instead of eating them all, I decided to throw them away.

However, we will be grateful. We could have a different opinion. We have decided to make fajitas and fried rice, or any other dish that would hide the flavor or texture issues a bit better. There is potential, and Sandy and I aren’t totally sold on the idea of repeat purchases. This alone makes a score of “meh” or “not so good” seem fair.

Bottom line: Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Strips are 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons