"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Last Minute, Three Ingredient Alterno-Chili from Trader Joe’s

by Julie on August 30, 2011

in Adventures in Parenting, Stuff the Kids Won't Eat, Dinner

Frozen Tundra is OK some nights...

You’d think in these last few days of summer before school starts again I would be able to plan a little better and not come to 5:30 and wonder, what’s for dinner.

Alas, a prepared mom is a mom who’s not me.

So everyone is getting hungry and I go through my folder of recipes. Pasta? no, we’ve had that twice already. I made the stuffed peppers and the shepherd’s pie. burrito night? Naw. We did that too. Crap. Breakfast cereal?

Then I spy it: a slip of paper with one hole punch hiding between two other recipes. Here’s what it says:

White chili:
One package TJ’s frozen chicken chili Verde
One can TJ white kidney beans
Diced frozen tri-color pepper strips (to taste)

Drain beans, add everything to a pot, heat it up until beans are ready to go. Voila! Low-cal, high fiber tasty chili alternative. GREAT FOR THE SUPER BOWL.

My daughter had drawn a stick figure with the balloon “Yum!!!!” on the side.

No idea where I got this or from whom, or when I put it in my folder. But the universe has presented it to me and I already know at least one kid will eat it.

Three ingredients. Three ingredients I don’t have but three ingredients I can go get. So I grab my keys.

Yes, it was rush hour and yes, TJ’s is crushed with people at this hour. But hey. Three ingredients. I could do this thing. Maybe.

The universe helped me along.

I drove down. I made all the lights.

The parking lot was full, but just as I was about to give up and park on the street a car backed out of the front aisle. Praise the Parking Gods!

I got the last package of frozen chicken chile verde from the freezer section

I got the last package of chopped peppers.

Just as I walked up and stared balefully at the long lines somebody rang a bell and another checker ran up to open a til. And because I’m well-known and practically an honorary employee at this point, I was ushered in first and boom boom boom  — I was in and out in ten minutes!

I microwaved the chicken chili verde first for a few minutes, then added it to the pot along with the beans and peppers. I seasoned it expertly.

And indeed, VOILA! Dinner in ten minutes. The kids fell on it. Both of them.

I don’t normally go in for the all frozen dinner, given my upbringing on TV dinners and all. But this one worked out. Try it yourselves and lemme know how it goes.

Also, send along your tips on how to NOT be a last-minute mom. I could probably get an article out of it.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Elizabeth Jaeger August 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I am SO passing this on to my friend!!


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