Last Thursday Finn and I made a trip to Trader Joe’s for a huge restock. For whatever reason, Finn likes Trader Joe’s noticeably more than other grocery stores…although he does love to say “AL-DI” when we are in Aldi. On Thursday he was smiling, waving and talking to most anyone who came within a five foot radius of us. He was like the little ambassador of Trader Joe’s, haha.
My favorite moment came when one gentleman stopped to talk to Finn and asked, “how are you doing today?” Finn took his paci out of his mouth and answered “good” as clear as day. My jaw dropped open and I told the man that it was the first time I’d ever heard Finn participate in a social exchange like that!
We actually ended up having several fun and engaging mini conversations with people, including one sweet older lady who reminded me of my grandmother. One thing I have noticed since having Finn is how drawn older people are to babies and small children. I love stopping to chat with when Finn waves and they say hi. It makes my heart happy.
So…I don’t do my weekly shopping at Trader Joe’s but I like to go every 6-8 weeks to stock up on certain things. I need to write posts with both my Trader Joe’s and Aldi staples. I’ll add that to the list!
Trader Joe’s is my favorite store for frozen items. I think they have the best and most interesting selection by a landslide. I love their frozen gorgonzola gnocchi and added a bag to our cart on Thursday. As I continued to shop, dinner inspiration came to me and I couldn’t wait to get home and bring it to life!
May I present to you….
CHICKEN SAUSAGE, MUSHROOM, SPINACH + ARTICHOKE GNOCCHI SKILLET
I shared how I put this together on Instagram stories and received so much feedback on how good it looked and so many requests to share the details that I decided to write it out on my blog. It’s so easy and ready in about 15 minutes.
The most important thing to note is that all of the ingredients are from Trader Joe’s so if you don’t have one nearby, I can’t provide you a recipe that is an exact copycat to this one. I’m sorry! Maybe one day I will tackle recreating the gorgonzola gnocchi…because it is good!
Here’s what you need. All products from Trader Joe’s.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 sun-dried tomato or sweet Italian sausage chicken sausages (the kind in casing, not the pre-cooked kind in the vacuum-pack container), about 1/2 pound
- 1/2 package of frozen mushroom medley
- About 8-10 frozen artichoke hearts
- 1 package frozen gorgonzola gnocchi
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the kind in the bag, not in the jar)
- 2 cups baby spinach
And here are the cooking instructions:
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat (be sure to use the biggest pan you have!). Add olive oil and heat.
- Remove chicken sausage from casing and add to pan. Cook 5 minutes to brown, breaking apart with your spatula.
- Add mushrooms and artichoke hearts and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add gnocchi and continue to cook until all of the frozen items are heated through and cheese sauce is melted, about 6-7 minutes.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes and spinach and stir until spinach is wilted.
- Season to taste with pepper. You probably won’t need salt.
Here’s the finished skillet. It makes 2-3 servings. I served this to Finn for dinner (I separated the parts out a bit) and he asked for thirds on the gnocchi!
I served mine with a side salad of arugula tossed in balsamic, honey, olive oil and sea salt and topped with pistachios, goat cheese and dried cranberries.
I hate to share a “recipe” (this is totally a non-recipe but you know what I mean) that isn’t accessible to everyone but I do know that a lot of you shop at Trader Joe’s and appreciate these easy throw together skillets as much as I do.
This actually ended up being a good day to share this recipe because I just read this morning that the Trader Joe’s founder passed away yesterday at the age of 89. His story is interesting and definitely worth a read. I think many of us are grateful for the vision he had all those years ago to create a different kind of market experience.
What are your favorite frozen items at Trader Joe’s?
What’s your favorite grocery store to shop at for overall vibe?
Do you like these “non-recipe” recipes?