Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trader Joe's Meal #1: Pasta and Salad

No fancy recipe here... This is just a great, easy meal to put together.  It's one of our favorites, and most of the ingredients are from Trader Joe's!  I've always loved Trader Joe's, but haven't been going there much lately.  This week, I decided to do all my grocery shopping and TJ's and so this is Trader Joe's week.

The first meal W made for me when we first started dating was a version of this; pasta from Trader Joe's.  We had gone to the store together and picked out all the items.  He then prepared it all for me at his home.  However, at that time it was not vegan.  Now, I've replaced those non-vegan items and used artichokes instead!  It is just as tasty and good for you too!

This is what you need:  some Brown Rice pasta, the Traditional Marinara Sauce, frozen artichokes, and one garlic clove (not pictured here).   

First, I start making the sauce by sauteeing the crushed garlic in about 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  If you want, you can add some chopped onions.  This time I used red onions.  Very tasty.  Only sautee for about a minute, making sure not to burn the garlic.  Next, pour the jar of sauce into the same pot as the garlic and onions.  Stir in 3/4 cup of the frozen artichokes.  Let it simmer over low heat until the rest of the meal is ready!

Once the sauce is simmering, I start the pasta and salad, and side dish of sauteed chard.  Pretty straight forward there.  However, the exciting news in this case is that half of the salad and all of the Swiss chard came right out of our little patio garden!

I just went outside and snip-snipped my dinner!  Well, part of it at least.  The rest of the salad was composed of veggies from Trader Joes, including beets, which I know might sound odd, but it is really good!  Look at all this veggie-goodness:  romaine lettuce, garden lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, baby spinach, artichoke hearts and beets!

Finally, I sauteed the Swiss chard until it was dark green and slightly soft in 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 tablespoons of water, garlic, and red onions.  Mmmm, it was so yummy...

At last it is time to eat this delicious feast:  Rice pasta! Artichoke marinara sauce! Fresh salad from the garden!  Swiss chard from the garden!  Everything just went together so well, and it was so healthy and refreshing.  It's finally warm enough in the evenings to eat on our patio, so to make the dinner even better that's what we did!  We enjoyed it all outside, with a nice view of the San Elijo Hills, and of course our garden.

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