Since I only shop at Trader Joe’s occasionally, I was delighted to see some new (at least new to me) vegan food. While they’ve always had vegan items, there’s many more options now. So what’s the best of the various vegan offerings? Time for a little Trader Joe’s vegan food smackdown!
First up is the cookie round, Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles ($2.99) vs Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies ($3.99). The snickerdoodles just edges out the chocolate chip cookie, so soft and chewy with a bit of a cinnamon taste. The chocolate chip cookies were good too with plenty of chocolate chips and bits of walnut, but not quite as soft and chewy.
Next, is the Asian frozen food entree round, Vegetable Panang Curry with Jasmine Rice ($2.99) vs True Thai Vegetable Pad Thai ($1.99). The curry had a nice spicy flavor, plenty of sauce and veggies ranging from zucchini to kale to baby corn, all for 590 calories.
The pad thai had a tad less calories, weighing in at 520. It also had a spicy flavor. The veggies, mostly bean sprouts and chives, were on the bottom with the noodles on top, which seems to help prevent overcooking of the veggies. It was also very light on the tofu, only a few small pieces were included.
It wasn’t too bad but the vegetable curry was definitely the better of the two. Both entrees also were fairly high in fat and sodium – probably something to get only once in awhile.
Continuing on with Asian food, up next is the frozen dumpling round, Thai Vegetable Gyoza ($3.79) vs Cucumber Wonton Rolls ($2.69). I didn’t care for the cucumber wontons and so, there’s no photo (I couldn’t bring myself to buy another bag of it). I guess I’m just not used to having a cucumber filling in wontons. The gyoza on the other hand are quite tasty.
The filling is nicely seasoned with a gingery and chive taste. The wrapper is the chewier, thicker potsticker variety. It comes already lightly browned on the bottom, just steam or pan-fry to heat up.
Onto the savory snack round, Crunchy Curls ($2.69) vs Baked Onion Rings ($1.99). I struggled with this round as I liked them both, so I’m going to have to call it a draw. You really can’t go wrong with either one.
Made out of lentils and potatoes, the curls are nice and crunchy. It doesn’t really taste like lentils at all, it’s kinda like Pringles but in a thicker, curly form. 130 calories in a serving of 31 curls with 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Fun to dip in hummus too.
The Baked Onion Rings are basically the vegan equivalent of Funyuns but with fewer ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors or preservatives. They’re crisp with just a bit of sweetness. Nutritionally, they don’t stack up as well as the lentil curls, 150 calories in a serving of 14 pieces with less than 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein.
Lest you think I only stock up on sweet treats, snacks and frozen dinners, I do like Trader Joe’s tofu, tempeh, fresh bread, olive oil, tortillas, soy yogurt, nuts…