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Trader Joe's Green Goddess Salad Dressing

I love watching the Olympics. But more than that, I LOVE watching Olympic figure skating, probably because it's one of those things I wish I could do but probably would never be able to do in a million years. This is the first year where I've been rather invested in all of the events, not just the ladies' competition (which is probably the least interesting competition IMO this year. Barring something catastrophic, it's going to be Russia #1 and #2 and everyone else fighting for a piece of the bronze). What I find fascinating is how these athletes deliver (or not!) given all the media hype leading up to the Games. Case in point - Nathan Chen. What a bittersweet journey of so so so much King Quad hype, two just awful performances, and a 6 quad redemption (yeah I know technically only landed five of them nicely..but you have to give him credit for going for it). Of course, you can't blame his performance ENTIRELY on media hype, but it definitely played a big part.

Which brings me to this - social media hype. What a crazy effective marketing tool, especially given the potential for highlighting only all the good things and masking or downplaying the rest. Now there are some things that are clearly more objective while others are more subjective - like Trader Joe's stuff. I confess that I've allowed social media hype of TJ's things to cloud my judgment at times. I end up wasting money on things I KNOW I won't like just because I saw it on Instagram and it looked interesting. Sometimes the risk pays off and I discover amazing things like 3 seed beet crackers, but a lot of time, that's how I find very meh earl grey tea, which probably benefits y'all but not me. :P 

Anyhoo, this green goddess dressing has been all the rage on Insta (because I really like seeing what other people buy at TJ's...don't you? :P) and it's frequently sold out at my TJ's. I finally caved and picked it up. 

I've had my eye on green goddess dressings for a while, not just this bottled TJ's one. OG green goddess is a garlicky, herby, creamy, mayo-based dressing apparently popular from the 1920s-1980s. It's made a resurgence in recent years, and plenty of people have attempted to healthify it by swapping out the mayo for avocado or greek yogurt. More classic-ish versions use anchovies (some say nay, I say yay) while others have used lime or vinegar for the acidity. I've done too much research for someone who has yet to attempt this at home, so thank you TJ's for making it easier while I procrastinate.


Note that there are two other flavors in this dressing series - carrot miso ginger and almond butter turmeric, which I didn't bother picking up just yet because I couldn't justify $10 on salad dressing when my fridge still has too many half-used bottled dressings. (A doesn't usually eat salad because "it isn't a food" and when he does have salad he takes it without dressing because "why make an attempt to make non-food taste better?" :P)


This bottle is quite small and contains less than 1.5cups of dressing. No anchovies here, which probably means relief for many people. I'm surprised that this dressing doesn't have more fat considering that it uses both avocado and olive oil. The ingredients are wonderful - no added preservatives or anything funky, which means this is perishable and meant to be consumed within a reasonable amount of time. 


Two tablespoons sounds like a lot but it's really not. I used exactly two tablespoons in this picture and ended up pouring a bit more afterward because I couldn't taste the dressing as well for the amount of salad I was eating. Nothing fancy here - just arugula and spinach with random things in my fridge - cucumbers, avocado, leftover quinoa, dried cranberries, and a soft-boiled egg. 


I subconsciously set really high expectations for this, because everything that I had been researching about green goddess dressing made it seem so delicious, bright, herby, and creamy. So I was a bit perplexed to have a mixed first impression. On one hand, it was tasty but it missed a bunch of areas that I thought would deliver. 

1) It's obviously not as creamy as a typical green goddess dressing, considering that there isn't any mayo or yogurt here to thicken it up. I wouldn't say the consistency is watery per se, but it was thinner than I expected. Not a sin though.

2) The lack of creaminess probably explains the low fat content. Yay if you're watching your diet but mehh..missing the delightful flavor that fat brings to the table.

3) I'm team anchovy. That pungent, saltiness is what makes a good Caesar dressing delicious, and I think that's exactly what is lacking here.

4) Maybe sour sits too high on my palate, but I would have liked more acidity. Or maybe lime instead of lemon.

5) It's super garlicky and onion-y, which I don't mind. The chives and basil are there but barely detectable. BUT you probably will want AT LEAST a breath mint after this baby, unless you want to breath fire on everyone after lunch.

6) I don't think it's salty enough, which may have something to do with the lack of anchovy or the low sodium here (probably good for low salt diets and those trying to stave off hypertension..heh). Granted, you could make up for this by having some salty ingredient in your salad, like olives or feta or something, which I didn't have. I ended up sprinkling Everything But the Bagel Seasoning to compensate. :P

After having had this several more times - I still like this dressing. No, it doesn't have the transcendent power or pizzazz of a Yuzuru Hanyu (THAT SHORT PROGRAM THO. HE'S BACK Y'ALL. What injury? Have you ever seen an arena rain Winnie-The-Pooh Bears?) or a Nathan Chen at max potential. It definitely has an herby aroma, a middle consistency that clings to salad greens nicely, and a pleasant taste that can offset whatever heavy food you're eating, not to mention, enough garlic to fight off every vampire within a mile radius. At $3.69 per bottle, I'm not clamoring to buy it every TJ's trip but I can't deny its potential. So if we're doing figure skating comparisons, Ima say this dressing is like Vincent Zhou (not a perfect analogy because Vincent will probably improve and this dressing...might not). Burst on the scene, made a splash by landing a big quad lutz, lots of potential, interesting personality, and lots of homework to do before the next Olympics.

Sorry. That was a bit much. :D

TL;DR: Trader Joe's Green Goddess Salad Dressing. A healthier green goddess INSPIRED dressing. 7 out of 10. 


Comments

  1. I expected to love this, but i was expecting something a bit thicker and more intense flavor. I do like the bottle of goddess dressing (shelf stable) that TJs has sold since forever but it’s certainly much higher in fat and calories too.

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same way. I'm surprised that so many people think that this dressing is really thick...it's not thin but I agree it could have been more intense in flavor and consistency.

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  2. I LOVE this dressing! So glad there's no anchovies in it personally (not a veg/vegan, just don't care for). This tastes so much fresher and more alive to me. I like the garlic and basil. Besides in salad, I use it to make my blendered greens smoothie interesting, same with grains or anything kinda boring that you eat coz it's good for you.

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  3. Having just eaten some more of it, yeah, it is a little heavy on the garlic, but I still love it.

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  4. I'm sad about your partner's aversion to salad/raw veg, since that will shorten his life/make him sicker. I imagine you've tried reason (raw veggies are actually the closest you can get to REAL FOOD).

    It seems to help convert non-salad eaters if you put lots of non-green stuff in, like grated cheese, nuts, dried fruit, crumbled tortilla chips, bacon, egg, or whatever they like …

    Since his aversion is mostly in his head (an idea), maybe you can get him to try 'just one bite' & experiment w/different ingred's/ dressings. If necessary, you could try barter - "if you will try one bite of every salad I make (when practicable), I will do … X ... for you." Best, and thanks for the blog .

    Just some thoughts. But maybe you don't feel a need to try, he is a grown-up after all. Unfortunately, like most of us, he got some unhealthy/toxic brainwashing along the way...

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