We'd been gone for only four days but the fridge was on e-m-p-t-y so after retrieving the dog, I made a quick stop at Trader Joe's for eggs and milk. There at the tasting counter? A big slow cooker of an orange-colored spicy something. One taste later, I grabbed the four packages of "ingredients" – that would be supper, leaving lots of time and energy for pumpkin carving. The results? A spicy easy jambalaya, a hot supper.
Are these my favorite Trader Joe's products? Not by a long shot. Is it cooking? Not really. But it's a life hack, a Trader Joe's Slow Cooker Hack, and some days, that moves life's needle back to f-u-l-l.
PS Anyone interested in my favorite stuff from Trader Joe's? It'd be easy to put that together for another day. Plus, I'd really love to know your favorite Trader Joe's purchases. Let me know what you think!
RECIPE for TRADER JOE'S SLOW COOKER HACK #1 (EASY JAMBALAYA)
Time to table: 3 hours
Makes 12 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce package Fire Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions
1 12.8 ounce package Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage, cut into rounds
1 16-ounce bag Peruvian Style Chimichurri Rice with Vegetables
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 32-ounce Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup
2 cups cooked rice (or another bag of Chimichurri Rice)
Set a large slow cooker to High.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil until shimmery. Add peppers/onions, stirring to coat with fat. Let cool slightly, taking the rawness off the onions, especially. Transfer to the slow cooker. (If you like, all the remaining ingredients could be dumped, cold, into the slow cooker. The cooking time may be a little longer but the results should be the same.) Add the sausage rounds and let brown, slightly. Add rice mix, tomatoes and soup, bring to a boil. Transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in cooked rice if using.
Cover and let cook for 3 hours or until hot and bubbly.
LEFTOVERS This made so much, it would be great for a small crowd. I've tucked a bunch into the freezer for another day. I'll let you know how it goes, once thawed!
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
DUMP 'N' GO? Yeah, I think you could do that. The only thing that's kinda raw is the onions in the bag of onions/peppers.
SPICE FACTOR I knew from the sample at Trader Joe's that the jambalaya was spicy, probably too spicy for this household. That sample was based on two bags of the chimichurri rice. So I used just one bag and supplemented it with cooked rice. It was still a little spicy but we both liked it that way, toned down but still spicy.
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MORE FAVORITE RECIPES USING TRADER JOE's PRODUCTS~ Israeli Couscous Salad with Yellow Squash & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ~
~ Warm Caprese Bites ~
~ Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes ~
~ Spinach, Artichoke & Bacon Dip ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Fun Pretzel Roll Hot Dogs ~
~ Maple-Glazed Pecans ~
~ Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas ~
~ Afghan Chicken & Rice Casserole (Kabeli Palau) ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
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