Saturday, September 19, 2015

Day 262 - Spelt Risotto with Vegetables and Chickpeas

It looks good enough in the bag, eh?
We served this with left-over pre-roasted Brussels sprouts (reviewed 2 days ago here and zucchini cooked with TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute (a product we discovered this year and really like, reviewed on day 184 ).

Strangely, this dish has both the SCENT and the TASTE of BACON, yet bacon is not listed on the ingredients.  It is a bacon-less, bacon-tasting product.  I guess that that flavor comes from the smoked cheese.

Doesn't it look sorta gross cooking?  The cheese looks like individually wrapped slices of Kraft American!
(It was NOT American cheese, I am just sayin' it looooks like it when you take it out of the bag.)
I like chickpeas, but I admit that they do have a BLAND TASTE.  Let me say this – the CHICKPEAS ARE THE TASTIEST THING IN THIS SPELT.  And that’s not sayin’ much.  Again, this is from someone who likes chickpeas.

The COLORS are pretty – a bit of pumpkin and some greenery.  It is easy to make.  I ate it with a big spoon (David forked it). 

Here it is on our plates.  It looks better than it tastes.
David said, “If you like brown rice – this is your guy.  The flavors are quite nice.  The consistency is great.  Even the al dente-ness of the spelt is quite good.  It is just that it is SO FIRM and so, soooo – healthy…   It’s just not my cup of tea.  I cooked it longer than it says to cook it to make sure that the spelt would be soft but it’s still…  It’s not RICE – let’s not kid ourselves…”

We both agree that we will be fine if we do not eat this one again.

If you still want it after reading this review you can find it in the freezer section.
On a happier note – after visiting 18 Trader Joe’s stores in 10 states (plus one more in a District) so far this year (in only 9 months folks!) we have FOUND THE BEST EMPLOYEE WORKING AT A TJ’S FOOD SAMPLING STATION!  Yes siree, I can safely say that CECILIA, who works at the Trader Joe’s store at Bailey’s Crossroads in Falls Church, VA is the friendliest, most knowledgeable, and honest TJ’s employee we have met.  She steered us away from one product (not to worry, manager, she just replaced it with a BETTER one in our cart!), gave us tips on other products, served us something we had never had (Kefir, to be reviewed soon!), and we ended up with at least 3 products in our cart that we would NOT have purchased had it not been for Cecilia!!!   And get this – when I told her I was doing a blog, she KNEW ABOUT IT!  Yup, she made me feel like a rock star for a second.  (But that is NOT why I am calling her out as the best tasting sample employee ever.  Nope.  She totally deserves that title on her own merit.)  Management of the Bailey’s Crossroads Store – please take time to pat Cecilia on the back, tell her she is appreciated, and give her a raise.  Heck, give the lady a PROMOTION.  She is a great ambassador for your store.  I wanted to include her photo here but she wasn’t keen on that idea.

Back to the spelt.  Sadly, it was not nearly as amazing as Cecilia was. 

Price – $2.99

Rating – 2.75

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