Now, granted, this totally makes me a Johnny-come-lately, but I have just now discovered and fallen in love with a little good-and-natural foods market called Trader Joe's.
Y'all will recall that the past several months have seen me eating pretty much nothing but faux orange processed cheese-like product and "cherry" (wink-nudge) Jello®, so now that my taste buds seem to be loosening up their connoisseur-like preference for all things artificially-everything'd, I felt this might be a good time to introduce the little person growing inside me to, you know, actual, like, food. And several people have plugged Trader Joe's to me over the past year or so, recommending it as one place to get good, whole, natural, fresh foods at fairly non-throat-closing prices, So Bean and I took a stroll into our local store back in mid-February to have ourselves a little ol' look-see.
Upon our entry, we both found separate but adjacent items to squeal in delight about. Bean found little ittybitty shopping carts, just exactly like the real ones, only shrunk to fit her diminutive size. I, on the other hand, after whole-heartedly agreeing that the ittybitty shopping carts were, indeed, the cutest fings I have ever seed in my whole LIFE, found myself reveling in the vast and plentiful array of beautiful fresh cut, or better still, potted seasonal spring flowers, most notably beautiful pots and bouquets of the fresh, honey-fragrant, cheery tea-cup blossoms of my beloved daffodils.
We stopped a moment to mop away our respective tears of joy.
And then we moved on, Bean pushing her wee little buggy, and me with my full-scale model. I will not bore you with our entire tour through the market and the list of what we ended up loading into our carts, but I will say that the prices didn't make me wince, and we were able to find some very fresh and very healthy (even organic) baked goods, fruits, veggies, meats, soups, snacks, frozen foods and even some fish. The best thing I found was a bag of frozen meatballs. Which I could have bought anywhere, probably. But these meatballs were MINI meatballs, and they are, as Bean says, "'alicious!"
Now before you get skeered I'm gonna go all health-food nutty on you, what with the shopping at Trader Joe's and all, allow me to reassure you that I am an everything-in-moderation kinda gal (okay, ALMOST everything) and also my genetic make-up guarantees that I WILL cook at LEAST one dish weekly that finds its flavoure foundacione in a can of Campbell's® Cream of Sump'm Soup.
And that's the beauty of the recipe I'm about to lay before you here, people. It's the perfect marriage of my new found lurv for Trader Joe's mini-meatballs AND my DNA-dictated dependence on can-shaped globs of Campbell's® vast line of versatile soup-like substances.
And you can eat it, too!
FriedOkra's Pot-Roasted Meatball Stew
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 2 lb. bag Trader Joe's frozen Mini-Meatballs, thawed
1 can Campbell's® Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can water
1 envelop Lipton® Onion Soup Mix
1 packet Trader Joe's Reduced Sodium (yeah, I know) Savory Beef Broth concentrate
1 medium onion, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
2-3 potatoes, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
1 cup raw "baby" carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
Course ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven (or any larger stove-top safe pot with a lid). Brown meatballs on all sides over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir together to combine and cover meatballs and veggies with sauce. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, 30-45 minutes or until veggies are tender. Serve in bowls over cooked rice.
What's that, Mari?
Yes, yes I DO think this recipe would translate well to a slow-cooker recipe, too! I'd probably do it the same as above, except I'd brown the meatballs on the stove-top and then combine all of the ingredients in my slow-cooker and cook it on low all day.
The husband has requested that I make this stuff at LEAST once a week. And Bean was very complimentary of them as well, declaring them de bess meatballs I ever had in my whole life. She even ate the CARROTS, people. Nuff said.