A friend in Minnesota suggested that I try this stuff. I had single servings of it with lunch a couple of times before finally including it in a dinner with Nina. I was ambivalent about the product from my first bite, and remain so still. Here's why.
The good: It's super easy to prepare--just dump some in a bowl and zap it, without even needing to add water. It's extremely zesty, and thus makes a nice offset to a main dish that is on the bland side. In the instant case, it was scrambled eggs and a very mild fake sausage, which needed to be paired with something eye-opening.
The bad: I think they went too far in spiciness. They not only did an end run around the Trader Joe's Blandification Committee, but then spiked the ball and victory-danced in the end zone. It is presumably the cilantro and panca pepper paste that is responsible here.
The ugly: It has "shallots," which is clearly a Communist plot to sneak onions into things without calling them "onions."
I guess the bottom line is that I think it's interesting and pretty good without being "must-have" exceptional. I still have reservations about it.
I think I might like this better if I diluted it about 1:1 with some plain white rice. Maybe I'll try that with the next bag. My Minnesota friend said that one of his family's favorite easy recipes is this to dump this rice into some TJ's tomato-red pepper soup. That might be interesting to try, too, as that soup is very mild for balance.
Here's a random review I found, from someone who is obviously a big fan of the stuff, just to give you another opinion.
Will I buy it again?
Probably. Nina seemed to like it a lot, and I like making her happy.
The chimichurri rice, it is verri [sic] yummy. I like the idea of putting it in the tomato/red-pepper soup, especially now that cold weather is upon is. I think it would also make a nice addition to a bean salad in the summertime.