Friday, June 10, 2016

A to Z Food Challenge: G

Full Disclosure: I actually made and ate this dish yesterday, because today I had a wisdom tooth pulled. Seeing as how I'm not able to actually eat solids, it wouldn't of been an accurate review/recipe, if I had just done it today. The good thing is that due to me cooking this meal yesterday, my uncle also tried the dish which gives me another review! 

So for this week's dish, I made "Gnocchi alla Sorrentina" from Trader Joe's, with a side of Dorito Chicken (See recipe HERE), complimented with a side of avocados. Now, this review is mostly pertaining to the "Gnocchi alla Sorrentina" ($2.99), but I wanted to make the Doritos Chicken for my uncle, hence why it's included. I also decided to tell you guys about 3 of my other absolutely favorite "G" food's as they should NEVER be passed up! 

As for the Gnocchi, I will say that I've noticed Trader Joe's to have very mild (as in flavor not spice) tasting frozen pasta dishes. I find this to be beneficial in the sense that you can easily pair it nicely with many other sides and "doctor" it to your specific liking. It's not always a good thing though, as sometimes we want a simple-ish dish that can be eaten as is, without constant sampling to see what seasonings it may need. This particular dish has tomatoes, which I love, so the flavor was - while still a bit mild - an excellent side dish. It wasn't actually my intention to use the Gnocchi as a side dish, but rather the main course. After tasting it and seeing the quantity would not suffice 2 adults and a child as the main item, it quickly turned as an "add-on". 

The "Gnocchi alla Sorrentina" is in a tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese, but even as a side dish it NEEDS more cheese. Also I garnished it with some finely chopped spinach (I was already making smoothies with spinach), which gave it a little bit more flavoring without being over-bearing. Plus I'm trying to add spinach in my son and I's diet, any way I can. The quantity would be a good small meal for 2 people or 1 very hungry person. If you choose to use it as a side dish like I did, it would be good for 4 people. I feel it would go perfect with a nice steak, chicken (I paired it with Doritos for goodness sake), garlic bread, meatballs, and/or salad. The cheese is pretty much non-existent which is why I wanted more cheese. Monterey Jack cheese is awesome to add into the Gnocchi. The pasta itself is a very soft, yet thick pasta. Personally I've never had Gnocchi, but I do like it. I prefer spaghetti to this, as it's a bit thicker than I'd prefer (I felt as if I was eating an empty tortellini), but with the right sauce and shredded cheese, it was delicious. Concerning the actual sauce it came with, it was very toned down. I love a thick, juicy, flavorful sauce. I ended up adding some Trader Joe's Marinara sauce towards the end (didn't know I still had a little left from Monday's spaghetti) and it was perfect. 

My son ate his entire portion and loved it. He isn't a huge tomato fan, so the subtle sauce ended up being exactly how he liked it. Leading me to believe that this may actually be an amazing meal for kids who desire the same "subtle tomato" flavor. My uncle agreed with me on the fact that it's not a dish I'd re-purpose to have as-is, but it isn't bad. Especially for the price!

My other absolutely favorite "G" foods are "Scandinavian Swimmers - Gummies" from Trader Joe's ($2.99 for 14 ounces). These are soft, chewy, and absolutely delicious gummy candies that are in the shape of sea creatures - a seahorse, a lobster, a dolphin, and a rock fish. The flavors are unlike any I've had before and I truly hope Trader Joe's never stops selling them. The flavors are created with extracts from pumpkin, carrot, black carrot, black currant, and apple. The actual taste of each sea creature is as follows:

Red Lobster - Berry Flavored
Blue Dolphin - Huckleberry Flavored (this one is my favorite)
Yellow Seahorse - Mango Peach Flavored 
Orange Rock Fish - Orange Flavored

I choose they beauties over traditional gummy bears without question! My son also favors these along with my uncle, over any other gummies we've tried before. Granted I also do like the Trader Joe's "TJ's Sour Candy Gummies", but these are by far my favorite! 

The last 2 of this week's "G" food is a huge hit all around for breakfast, snacks, and dessert, Granola Bars! 

Now, I know you're probably thinking "seriously, a granola bar for dessert?" Hear me out. 

I purchase the "Vanilla Almond Cereal Granola bars" mostly for breakfast and snacks. The bottom has a very rich and creamy vanilla frosting-like coating on it. The taste is sweet, almond-y, and vanilla-y. I absolutely love having these with my coffee in the morning and if my son had it his way, he'd have these for every breakfast. The granola bars aren't hard and crumby like some, but rather soft and chewy. A tad bit harder than a Rice-Krispies treat. They make great snacks as well and only cost $2.49 for 6!!! 

I purchase the "Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola bars" as a special treat or dessert. I find this to be an amazing alternative to traditional desserts and my son is thoroughly pleased to receive one of these. Not only are they healthier, but they have a freaking chocolate coating on the bottom and chocolate chips! I have to admit, I eat these whenever I'm craving chocolate. They are just as chewy/soft as the "Vanilla Almond Cereal Granola bars" and they are only $2.20!!!

There you have it! My 3 (technically 4) delicious "G" Foods! The pasta is a possible re-buy, but the gummies and granola bars will forever be kept in this house! I love just throwing 2 bars and a couple gummies in my purse for snacks during the day. So in case you're still wondering BUY THEM NOW!!!!!! Or don't, just means more for us!

Have a wonderful weekend guys and eats loads of deliciousness! I'm stuck to a soft diet for a couple days and I can already tell you it's killing me! I'm freaking hungry, but soon enough I'll be back to eating like my life depends on it! Don't forget to have fun, stay safe, and keep on rockin'!

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