Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods
Trader Joe's is everyone's favorite out here in Los Angeles. I like it too but sometimes I'm like, why can't I just find some fucking normal-ass soda here? Why is everything like creamsicle root berry nectar or whatever.
But really, there is not much to gripe about at Trader Joe's. It's super cheap and they have a cool rotating array of frozen ethnic foods. I like their frozen pastas, like their raviolis stuffed with any number of cool things from lobster to pumpkins. (One caveat though is that I heard that many of the frozen ethnic Trader Joe's meals have been yanked because of Listeria bacteria found in them which can totally fuck you up (I'm fine, by the way. Don't worry. God I love you guys so much.))
What I DO like picking up from Trader Joe's is the incomparable Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods Tex-Mex veggie burger.
Who is Dr. Praeger? This weird dude:
I guess he looks like a doctor. A doctor of the evil-prison-doctor variety. Not sure why he chose not to smile in his press photo. But whatever.
Dr. Praeger's burgers are fantastic because they're not mainly soy. They're these compact little rich-tasting flavor burgers. The success lies in the fact that they aren't trying to taste like a real ground beef burger, the way Boca burgers try to. They're just their own awesome little thing. The ingredients are: Carrots, Black Beans, Onions, String Beans, Corn, Zucchini, Soybeans, Oat Bran, Peas, Red Pepper, Spinach, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Broccoli, Textured Soy Flour, Oat Fiber, Arrowroot, Jalepeno Peppers, Chili Powder, Garlic, Corn Meal, Corn Starch, Cilantro, Salt, Parsley, Black Pepper, All Natural Vegetable Gum.
Besides weirdo "vegetable gum", I'd totally vouch for all the rest of those ingredients. Also, they're kosher.
I don't even use a bun. But you CAN be totally decadent and melt gruyere cheese on them and some of those sliced jalapenos in water, eat them with a lot of ketchup. They taste good microwaved, but exceptionally good if you spray Pam or olive oil on a pan and get them really crispy on the outside.
At 110 calories each, you can eat two, a diet coke and a little salad and be totally full.
Good for: Anyone who likes savory warm things that take a minute to prepare. Also, if you are guy with not a lot of money, but want to make a yummy meal for a girl on like, your 3rd date, and you absolutely have no idea how to make stir-fry or broil salmon or whatever, this is a good meal for a guy to cook for a girl. It's not fancy, but if you make it look all nice she'll think you're completely cute for doing this. Especially if you remember to get like, two cupcakes for dessert. This also makes a girl have to come to your apartment, which is helpful for make-out reasons.
Price: $3.99 a box! (which has 4 in them!)
Get Dr. Praegers at any Trader Joes.