One Meal With THREE New Things!

I made this dinner recently, and every component features a new-to-me item.

Let me walk you through it! The protein is Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe’s. I’ve had sausage before, plenty of times, but I’ve never tried this particular variety, and it was pretty good. It came from the meat section, and requires cooking, as opposed to the sausages that are in the hot dog and cold cut section that are fully cooked and just need to be heated or grilled.

The meal also had two side dishes. One was Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, which came fully prepared from Trader Joe’s and only required nuking in the microwave. It’s sweetened with a little maple syrup, and it’s delicious. It’s definitely not low calorie, but sweet potatoes are much more nutritious than regular potatoes, so it’s a smart choice for a carb, and I limited myself to one serving. It actually may have been a little less than a serving.

The other side dish was broccoli. I already had the broccoli, but I cooked it in a new-to-me product: Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch Sauce.

Before I go on, it’s pretty clear that this is a Trader Joe’s-heavy post. They haven’t given me anything to write this post – they famously don’t advertise and barely do any marketing beyond their own flyers – and, actually, I don’t really go to Trader Joe’s all that often. But, when I do go, I regularly find intriguing items that I don’t see other places, and today, I tried all three intriguing items that I purchased during the same meal.

Back to the Chili Onion Crunch. This is an olive-oil based sauce loaded with chili and onions. It has a lot of heat – very spicy! I think it’s meant as a finishing sauce for pasta or meat, but I used a couple tablespoons to saute the broccoli in. It added some nice flavor, and spruced up some boring ol’ broccoli. If you use it sparingly, like you would hot sauce, I think it could benefit a lot of dishes!

I also sprinkled some fried onions on top of the broccoli – the same kind that you sprinkle on the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.

Moving on, I wanted to share that I’ve been hurting this week. I pulled a muscle, in my thigh, at the gym last week, and the recovery process has been longer than I thought. I’ve been going easy on it for a week now, with one notable exception: a 10K race (my 37th race of the year!) that I ran over the weekend. That race was tough, and I’ll write more about it in a future post, but right now I’m feeling like somebody beat the crap out of me: sore, achy, tired, grumpy.

The truth is that with all these races, I’ve been beating the crap of myself. I’ve done more races this year than the past two years combined, and I’ve done more running races this year than in all previous years combined. I feel ready to fall down. I can’t wait for this challenge to be over. Only three more races, all of them in stairwells, and I will complete them. I don’t care if I have to go slow, or pause on landings, or do whatever it takes. I will finish this challenge.

Speaking of my final three races, a big thank you to the very generous donors that helped me reach my Chicago and Canada goals nearly immediately. I’m still raising money for the Southfield, Michigan stair race I’m doing towards the end of November. It’s important to support the local races, so they can grow and thrive and stick around for years to come. And it benefits the Gift of Adoption Fund, a non-profit that helps families cover adoption-related costs. Please contribute if you can! CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Keep it up, David!

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