Two Trader Joe’s Meals

I was out running a couple of errands the other day, and just *happened* to drive past a Trader Joe’s so of course I had to stop.

“I’ll just grab a couple things.  Not a lot.”  That works about as well at TJ’s as it does at Target.

What made holding back more difficult than usual was it was 2:00 p.m. and I still hadn’t had lunch yet.  Do Not Go To Trader Joe’s Hungry.  I repeat, Do Not Do It!

So I ended up spending a hundred bucks, but I did get some really good stuff.  To start, I picked up this greek yogurt Spinach and Kale dip and some pita chips.  That stuff is so freaking good, I ended up having it for lunch all weekend.  And, it’s low in fat so it doesn’t upset my stomach.

Warning:  Highly Addictive!

I also grabbed ingredients to make one of my favorite rice dishes, Chicken and Collards Pilau.  I originally came across the recipe in Southern Living and have made it a couple times.  It’s a terrific one pot meal using my dutch oven.  I made a couple minor changes to it this time around.  First, I skipped the sausage, since it’s not really in my husband’s diet and finding sausage that he can actually eat takes a bit of effort.  Second, I swapped kale for the collards, and I have to say I think I liked it better this way.  I used regular rice, and next time I will definitely use the basmati, as it cooks up fluffier in the oven versus regular rice which can be a bit sticky.   My version of the recipe is below, but click the links above to access the original version.

Knowing my husband was going to be out of town of the weekend, I decided to fix myself some dishes that he doesn’t eat, like pizza and pasta.  I saw the pre-made pizza dough in the cooler and decided to give it a whirl.  I picked up a jar of pizza sauce, some fresh tomatoes and basil, and some mozzarella.  The pizza turned out pretty good, but I did not follow the baking instructions on the dough package.  It says to bake the pizza at 350 which I think is crazy low for a pizza.  I baked mine at 425 in my convection oven and the edges of the crust got nice and crisp.  I’m thinking I had it in there for around 15 minutes.  The crust in the center of the pizza wasn’t as crisp as I wanted it to be, so next time I will definitely bake it on my pizza stone instead of a cookie sheet (I was being lazy and didn’t feel like finding it) and I think pre-baking the crust some before adding the toppings would have been a better move.  But, it still turned out pretty good.

Chicken and Kale Rice Pilau

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules or 1 clove chopped fresh garlic
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups firmly packed chopped fresh kale
  • 2 cups uncooked rice (basmati works best, but regular will do)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to theDutch oven, and cook chicken over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, then the kale, followed by the rice.  Bring to a low boil, then cover it and remove from heat.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes (covered).  Remove from the oven and let it rest with the lid on for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff the rice.  Serve immediately.



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