In case I haven’t told you yet, I’m in love…with a grocery store.
His name is Trader Joe’s.
I recently discovered that I have a Trader Joe’s only about 30 minutes from me. (That’s uber close, considering that I live out in the country.) I really can’t believe that I lived here for nearly a year and a half without discovering this important fact.
Trader Joe’s, where have you been all my life?
After moving from Louisville, I feel like the grocery stores here are seriously lacking. At our local (chain) grocery store, they don’t carry anything slightly out of the ordinary and they also don’t seem to carry anything that doesn’t have a lot of additives in it or that is whole-wheat.
I think they must look at food on their ordering system and say “oops, that says whole wheat, we don’t want any of that. Get the bleached white stuff.” And “No artificial flavoring? What about red 40? No? Well don’t order that for heaven’s sake then.”
Maybe it’s in my head.
But seriously, Trader Joe’s is awesome. I don’t get much produce there but I get lots of other foods. (I shop at the farmer’s markets when I can and still get the rest from Aldi foods.) Trader Joe’s is a small store and they only have one brand/kind of each product (most of the time it’s Trader Joe’s brand), so you won’t find a lot of variety in each item. However, their prices are super low, which is why they don’t have the selection. They carry mostly organic and natural foods. I love that I can buy ketchup (or anything!) there and not have to worry about what ingredients it has in it (although, I do check, fyi).
My favorite things to get there are their soft whole wheat bread, whole wheat pitas (they don’t even have any preservatives in them), white whole wheat flour, and cheeses, of course. They always have samples out which I normally politely decline (Yeah right, let’s be honest, that’s half of the reason I go to the store) make a beeline for.
Recently, I found a recipe that called for farro. So, I headed over to my local Trader Joe’s to pick up some. (In case you don’t know what farro is – I had no clue either – you can read more about it here)
They had a tasty looking recipe on the side of the package and, because it had apples in it, I knew I had to try it. I love finding savory dishes made with apples since I am attempting to cut back my sugar intake (or at least dessert intake). There are so many apple desserts out there and it seems like there are very few savory dishes with apples.
This one-dish dinner was a hit with both the hubby and me. I am always a little nervous when cooking with new ingredients, that maybe the hubby won’t like it. However, we both loved this dish, a little to my surprise. The Italian sausage added some delicious flavor and I loved the contrast with the sweetness of the apples.
Check out my Apple pinboard on Pinterest for more sweet and savory apple recipes. (Or just follow me on Pinterest for all my pins.)
Ps. This was not a sponsored post. I just love Trader Joe’s and want to tell everyone about them. I think I am also secretly hoping that they will see this and offer me a year – lifetime, what the heck! – worth of groceries. Don’t look at me like that….a girl can dream, can’t she?
- 6 ounces farro (I used the 10 minute kind)
- chicken broth & water, according to package directions
- 3 sweet Italian-style chicken sausages
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 small/medium apples, sliced thinly
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare farro according to package directions, substituting half of the water for chicken broth. Set aside a bit of the cooking liquid before draining.
- While farro is cooking, heat skillet to medium high and cut or crumble sausage into skillet. (For some reason, I had trouble getting the casing off my chicken sausages, so I just ended up cutting them into little pieces with my spatula.) Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is browned and cooked through. Remove sausage from skillet. (Leave drippings if there are any – there weren’t with mine though)
- Add butter to skillet and melt over medium. Once butter is melted, add onion, garlic, and apple slices. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and apple is tender. Add the farro and sausage to the skillet and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If farro is a little dry, add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid. Serve immediately.