Fork U | The Triangle

Fork U

As I walk down the aisles of the grocery store, the variety of sauces, spices and produce inspires me. I sometimes walk in with a specific meal in mind, but I usually end up with completely different ingredients in my cart. Emily Krantz The Triangle

On this particular trip to the store, I originally intended to make Gorgonzola gnocchi with mushrooms (no worries, it will be in a future article!). I had the mushrooms in my cart, but once my eye caught sight of the tomato basil chicken, the game had changed. I knew I could enhance the tomato basil sauce with mushrooms, spinach and extra spices. Adding cumin to the sauce changed the chicken by giving it a smoky flavor.

When having chicken, I like to also serve a starch and a vegetable. Roasted potatoes and sauteed and roasted asparagus pair very well with tomato basil chicken.


Tomato Basil Chicken with Mushrooms and Spinach, Lemon Garlic Asparagus, and Roasted Garlic Pepper Potatoes

Servings: 2



For the chicken:

4 pieces of Trader Joe’s Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Chicken

½ cup tomato basil pasta sauce

¼ cup cooked spinach

½ cup mushrooms

½ teaspoon Trader Joe’s 21 Seasonings Salute

¾ teaspoon cumin

Olive oil

Heat up a bit of olive oil in a pan on a medium-high setting. Add half the tomato basil sauce. Once the sauce is bubbling, turn the stove down to a medium heat and put the chicken in the pan. Add the cumin to the chicken. Be cautious while evenly spreading the cumin on both sides of the chicken; cumin is a very strong and flavorful spice. Add the spinach to the sauce. Add more tomato basil sauce to the recipe if desired. Cook chicken until completely white on the inside, approximately eight minutes on each side.

Heat oil in a separate pan on a moderately high setting. Add the mushrooms and 21 seasonings. Cook mushrooms thoroughly until texture is soft throughout. Add the cooked mushrooms to the chicken sauce.


For the asparagus:

12 spears asparagus

½ lemon

½ tablespoon minced garlic


Olive oil

Heat olive oil and minced garlic in a pan. Add the asparagus to the pan. Squeeze fresh lemons a couple times while the spears are cooking. Cook on stovetop until almost done. To give a part-sauteed and part-roasted taste, I like to cook asparagus on the stovetop for about three-quarters of the process and in the oven for the last half of the process.


For the potatoes:

2 cut-up Russet potatoes

2 teaspoons Greek seasoning

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all the ingredients in a large zip-close bag. Shake until completely mixed. Spray a pan. Spread out the potatoes on the pan. Cook each side at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, 40 minutes altogether.

And a little health tip for you:

Use small plates! The larger your plate, the more food you need to add to it to make it look and seem full. Grab a small plate for better portion control to improve your eating habits.