Quinoa prepared with seasonings and veggies can make a good healthy lunch or a side dish as part of a larger dinner. I’ve tried some quinoa bowls from Aldi, and I also enjoy trying some of the quinoa offerings at Aldi’s cousin, Trader Joe’s. In the freezer aisle at TJ’s, I found some bagged white and red quinoa with mixed vegetables and seasonings, and I picked some up to try at home.
Trader Joe’s Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange cost $3.99 at the time of publication. This is a product of France and is sold frozen. Melange means mixed, or a medley, so this is just a fancy way of saying quinoa with mixed veggies.
Ingredients include: white quinoa, zucchini, sweet potato, red quinoa, extra virgin olive oil, tomato sauce, onions, galangal, spices, soy sauce, garlic puree, salt, cayenne pepper, red chili, sunflower oil, roasted cumin, herbs, water, lemon juice, modified rice or corn starch, sugar, and a vegetable concentrate that includes carrots, onions, and leeks. I do wish they would specify what “spices” and “herbs” are used.
The package states: “Our vendors follow good manufacturing practices to segregate ingredients to avoid cross contact with allergens. Made on equipment shared with milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.”
There are about three servings per package, and a 1-cup serving has 200 calories, 5 grams of total fat (6% DV), 1 gram of saturated fat (5% DV), less than 5 mg of cholesterol (1% DV), 280 mg of sodium (12% DV), 34 grams of total carbohydrates (12% DV), 4 grams of dietary fiber (14% DV), 4 grams of total sugars, no added sugars (at least not enough to register in the nutrition facts), and 5 grams of protein.
This can be microwaved or heated in a saucepan on the stove top.
To microwave, pour the contents of the bag into a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with a paper towel or plastic film. Heat on high for 3 minutes and stir. Cook for 3-4 additional minutes. Stir and let stand 1 minute before serving. Do not heat this in the bag.
To heat on the stove top, warm a saucepan on high heat. Pour the contents of the bag and a couple of tablespoons of water into the pan. Stir, cover, and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly.
I prepared this on my stove top for a simple lunch. It smelled delicious as soon as I opened the bag and poured it into the saucepan, with faint spicy notes. I wasn’t sure if this would be too spicy because it includes cayenne pepper and red chili, but the spices simply add flavor and not really any bite. There’s a lot going on flavor-wise, in a very good way, with hints of garlic and salt, along with sweet potato and a bit of buttery onion flavor. This was so good I got seconds. It’s a good option if you’re looking to get more grains and veggies in your meals.
Trader Joe’s Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange is a medley of red and white quinoa, sweet potato, zucchini, onions, and various seasonings. It’s surprisingly flavorful and makes a great simple meal on its own, or serve it as a side dish as part of a larger meal. Recommended.