Well didn't I have a nifty li'l weekend? I've been wanting to swap out some of my porch decor for more seasonal things, so I made a solo trip to Hobby Lobby and it was glorious. They didn't have quite what I was going for, but a can of spray paint is my solution for nearly everything in life (and yes, the floor needs a good sweeping).
We'll see how long that fake grass lasts before the kids and/or dog get their hands and/or paws on it.
In addition to decorating, I fiiiinally made the Trader Joe's Hearts of Palm "pasta" that I bought a few weeks ago. I'll admit- the stuff kind of weirded me out so I'd been procrastinating with making it, but I needed a quick and easy lunch, so it was time.
I have a ton of garden grape tomatoes still coming in, so I halved those (about 3 cups worth) and sliced up some precooked Italian chicken sausages. I placed both on a sheet pan along with about a tablespoon of olive oil. I tossed the tomatoes with some added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and in the oven it went- 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
The "pasta" is just shredded palm hearts, so you don't need to cook it, just heat it up. When my tomatoes and sausages were ready, I simply opened up my two packages of noodles and mixed them in. Because I am who I am, I also added a few handfuls of baby spinach. I tossed that all around and put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes so that the pasta and spinach could warm up. This would be a good product for someone with diagnosed gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. I bought it simply because I was curious!
I served it with a little blob of ricotta cheese and some crushed red pepper flakes. My husband and I loved it. The kids were a little "meh" on it because they think they don't like spinach (some day I will conquer that battle...some day). I'd say this meal made four adult portions. The texture is not a total dupe for pasta, but since I had the added tomatoes, spinach, and sausage, it wasn't noticeable. There also wasn't a taste to it, or if there was, the garlic masked it. I'm not sure how well this reheats- we didn't have any leftovers.
I don't recall what I paid, but being Trader Joe's, it was pretty affordable. I won't be buying this left and right, but it is something I will buy again the next time I happen to go.
Palm Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Sausage
-About 3 cups grape tomatoes, halved
-5 precooked chicken sausage links (any kind of Italian-ish flavor will work), sliced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
-2 cups fresh baby spinach
-2 boxes Trader Joe's Hearts of Palm pasta
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed sheet pan, add tomatoes to one half, then sliced sausages to the other half. Drizzle olive oil on both the tomatoes and sausages, then toss to coat. Sprinkle seasonings on the tomatoes and toss to evenly coat as well.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove, then stir in the spinach and pasta. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Stir to evenly blend. Serve hot with a nice spoonful of creamy ricotta cheese on top, as well as crushed red pepper.
Per serving: 263 calories, 13 grams carbohydrates (including 6 grams fiber), 15 grams fat, 21 grams protein, 894 mg sodium