TJ’s meal + a weekend trip

Well. I inadvertently made a meal from all Trader Joe’s ingredients:

That’s a Harvest Grain mix (israeli couscous, some orzo, baby garbanzo beans, quinoa), mahi mahi marinated in garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, and a bag of baby spinach.

Doesn’t that look promising? Just wait, in the finished photo it looks even better. Sadly, this product was a total bust–the couscous and orzo, as you’d imagine, cooked just fine in the 10 minutes instructed by the bag. Any longer and they’d have been mush. The dried baby garbanzo beans? Not so much. As a result the texture was upsetting.

The fish Ben grilled according to the package instructions–7 minutes/side–and it was perfect. Juicy and very flavorful, though the marinade was too salty. Still, Ben liked it, so that adds another fish to our list! And I love mahi mahi, so I was happy despite the high sodium content. As for the spinach, I just sautéed it quickly with garlic and olive oil. Yum.

That extremely healthy dinner (if only the pilaf-ish thing had been better!) came together in about 15 minutes. Long Live Trader Joe’s!

Over the weekend we were down in Rockland County for a family event, so we decided to make a weekend of it and visit my cousin at Bard College, see a concert, and spend the night. I was stunned by how cool the Bard Campus is–it’s got about 90 buildings, many of them darling quirky houses scattered around as dorms or faculty housing. I took tons of photos of the Blithewood Mansion and its gardens. We went to a good concert at the Gehry-designed performing arts center, then had dinner at the bistro at Terrapin, in Rhinecliff. Fun place in an old church.

We stayed up in Hudson, in a really cool house/B&B run by a very fun couple, The Inn at Hudson. (Read all about the house and the owners in this New York Times story; the guest room they show is the one we stayed in.) On Sunday morning one of the owners, Dini, showed us his video (as his Drag alter-ego, Musty Chiffon), “(I wanna be) Jackie Onassis.” It was a cover of the song, which his New Wave band first recorded in the early 80s. The whole thing was amazing and I still have the song stuck in my head. You can watch the video, too, if you want…

Photos from the weekend…

6 thoughts on “TJ’s meal + a weekend trip”

  1. Hi Kate! Just got back from NYC– so much wonderful food!! I LOVE that you made a meal completely from TJs! I am trying to wean myself from some of their frozen meals lately, and I am sure that the CSA will help with that!

  2. Hi Juree! How’d the trip go? What did you eat?

    I have managed to avoid most of the frozen food at TJ’s–I have trouble getting over the high sodium; it skeeves me out for some reason. I am a sucker for the chicken gyoza though. Mmm, I need a new bag of those. I am encouraged by how easy the fish was to cook–next time I’ll buy plain fillets and marinate them myself, though the fish at Whole Foods is so much more expensive…

  3. I hated the Harvest Grains blend too, and I was so intrigued by the idea of baby garbanzo beans. When I saw that picture I thought “Egad, I wonder if she managed to make something decent out of that?” Sorry to see that your bag didn’t work out either. But as my dad always says about bad restaurants – “Well, now we don’t ever have to go THERE again!”

  4. Rach, that makes me feel better. I was so sad! I did like the quinoa mixed in with the couscous, so maybe I’ll make my own mix, without dried beans. Maybe lentils, little ones, would cook fast enough?

  5. now i’m all sad.

    i bought the harvest grains blend and had so been looking forward to using it. it’d be madness to try and pick out the garbanzo beans, right?

  6. Aileen: Aw! You know, you could probably do it it you spread it on a cookie sheet. But I’d return it, instead–TJ’s will take anything back, without a receipt.

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