I used to really love grocery shopping, but it’s become more and more of a chore. I think meal planning, compounded with cooking, compounded with cleaning, compounded with shopping, compounded with blogging, has just pushed me over the edge. Luckily, Harris Teeter offers an “Express Lane” service. You go online, select the products you want (including fresh sliced deli meats, produce, seafood and fresh meats), put in the time you want to pick it up and BOOM — grocery shopping is done. At the appointed time, drive to the grocery store, press the call button and a staff member brings your (very neatly packed) groceries to the car AND loads them up. I just about fell over. It was AWESOME. The cost for this service? A whole $5 — the cost of a cup of coffee at the ‘Buck. But, for new customers, the first time is free which is why I decided to try it. Clearly it is a marketing ploy to sucker me in. It worked. I was super concerned that the produce would be dinged or not so fresh, but it was all in perfect condition. One item was substituted — regular cucumbers for organic (they charge you for the item you receive, not the item you order so if something they substitute is less, you pay less). Two items were out of stock (avocados and sage) but they were listed out for me on my checkout receipt. Plus, my groceries wound up costing less because I wasn’t in the aisle randomly adding things to the cart. Making my meal plan and setting up my shopping list took me my usual hour, but my grocery shopping took a whole 30 minutes — including driving and putting the groceries away. Teeter offers a month package for $16.95 or a year for $99.95. This would be a fantastic idea for a busy mom who you know shops at Harris Teeter. I’m seriously considering doing it until we leave. (By the way, Harris Teeter has no idea who the heck I am and did not sponsor this post. I just really, really love it.)
On to the food. It’s another week where I’m keeping things pretty simple and trying to get back on our routine. And, even though I just did a pantry challenge, I feel like my pantry is still stuffed to the brim and I just don’t want to move a bunch of food. I planned my meals around the items I had in the pantry, trying to use one or two items in each dish. This dish used almost a full box of rigatoni and a can of Rotel with chiles. Sounds odd, I know, but it was really, really good. We liked it as much as this sausage and tomato orechiette. It does not include cherry tomatoes, so if you have a dislike of them, this dish is for you (DAD). The meat, vegetables and pasta cook together in the same style as the one pot wonder pot pasta, allowing the noodles to soak up the delicious spices and broth. It’s one pot, and on the table in under 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. Give it a try and come back to share your results with the dish!
Heat a large oven proof pot over medium high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in 16 oz. mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed and broken into 1″ pieces. Saute until it begins to brown, then add in one diced onion and two minced garlic cloves. Stir to combine and saute for 3 minutes.
To the sausage mixture, add 1/2 cup of milk, 2 cups of chicken broth and one can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles. Season with pepper.
After 1-2 minutes, add in 1/2 pound of rigatoni, ziti, or other large pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes stirring a few times.
When the pasta is cooked through, add 1 cup of cheddar cheese blend and stir to combine.
Top with 1/2 cup cheese and green onions and place in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
Serve with a green salad.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz. package mild Italian turkey sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
- 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
- 1/2 pound rigatoni
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese blend
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Heat a large oven proof pot over medium high heat. Add in olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in sausage, casings removed and broken into 1" pieces. Saute until it begins to brown, then add in onion and garlic. Stir to combine and saute for 3 minutes.
- To the sausage mixture, add milk, chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Season with pepper.
- After 1-2 minutes, add in pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes stirring a few times.
- When the pasta is cooked through, add 1 cup of cheddar cheese blend and stir to combine.
- Top with 1/2 cup cheese and green onions and place in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve with a green salad.