Ode to Trader Joe’s

I heard before moving to DC that Trader Joe’s is awesome, and every time I shop there my agreement with that reputation is reinforced! They have so many delicious ingredients that would normally be the splurge items on my grocery list, and at prices equivalent to shopping at HEB back in Austin! I miss HEB… I feel inspired to try new dishes as I walk the aisles of Trader Joe’s, and I often end up making up recipes centered around one or two ingredients that I’d like an excuse to try. This trip, I wanted to try polenta and some more flavors of their chicken sausage.

Pesto and Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta

Ingredients: Trader Joe’s spicy italian chicken sausage, 1/2 bag Trader Joe’s frozen sliced bell peppers, pasta, small jar of pesto
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. Slice the sausage into thin slices and saute the slices in olive oil until lightly browned.
  3. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside, then saute bell peppers in the same pan with a little olive oil and spices as desired.
  4. Mix the pasta, pesto, sausage, and bell peppers.

Smoked Andouille Sausage Sauce over Polenta Cakes

Ingredients: Trader Joe’s smoked andouille chicken sausage, tube of premade polenta, 1/2 bag Trader Joe’s frozen sliced bell peppers, jar of spaghetti sauce (I used the Italian Peppers and Sausage sauce sold at Aldi)
  1. Slice the polenta into thin slices and saute the slices in olive oil, pepper, salt, paprika, and basil until lightly browned.
  2. Remove the polenta cakes from the pan and set aside, then slice the sausage into thin slices and saute the slices in olive oil until lightly browned.
  3. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside, then saute bell peppers in the same pan with a little olive oil and spices as desired.
  4. Mix the sausage, bell peppers, and pasta sauce in the pan, warm the mixture over heat, then serve over polenta cakes.
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