Ah, a new freezer item. I don't know why I get more excited over these than other items. But anything to make a quick and easy lunch that I don't need to think about.
Now the regular variety has been more or less repackaged and placed into a microwavable bowl.
Now, the Mandarin Orange chicken is a consumer favorite year after year. I used to be a bigger favorite of the meatless variety until it disappeared off shelves and was reformulated.
But nonetheless, this is a bit pricey for what you get at $3.99. Yes, it is still cheaper than takeout. But with a bit of planning, I think you could make a week's worth of Mandarin Orange lunches better.
First off, don't expect the crispy texture that you would get from the orange bag. Because you are making this in the microwave the crispy exterior is long gone. However, if you make it at home and portion it out, you'll likely get the same result.
The other part of this bowl is quite a healthy portion of rice with a few scatterings of veggies.
And some of you will look at the nutritional facts and say "Holy Carbs Batman!" And this is one of those items they could have used it as an opportunity to make this just a smidge healthier.
They sell and excellent stir fry mix in the vegetable section. I just can't imagine why they would put so little veggies and so much rice. Yes, rice is a cheap filler, but a lot of consumers are more health-conscious.
Fortunately, there is a small bag of sauce on the side. You can portion that out as you like because that is where most of the hidden sugars are.
Did it make for a bad lunch? Not at all. It basically tasted like a Trader Joe's leftover mix that you can easily replicate at home.
However, because this is nearly $4, I think with a few containers and a few minutes of prep you can make something equally good, using all Trader Joe's ingredients, which is both less expensive and healthier.
Would I buy this again? While I didn't really hate anything about this other than the fact it is so rice heavy, I'd rather make my own Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl at home.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The box of Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl:
Calories and ingredients
Out of the package you get:
After being cooked you get:
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The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl
Product Name: Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl
Product Description: Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl is a new frozen quick meal option.
Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl is a new bowl but with familiar ingredients.
- A quick and easy grab and go lunch
- Microwave only directions
- Too easy to make at home
- A lot of carbs if you are watching what you eat
- Bowl is mostly rice, a smidge of veggies, and a handful of chicken pieces