A couple of days ago I was in the rare mood to not cook–not sure if it was issues of worry about my mother, the fact that it was the third Thursday of the month, or because Mercury was in retrograde. Point was, I had to come up with a meal that was quick.

So off to Trader Joe’s, that bastion of prepared foods in boxes, all designed for folks in a rush and having less time on their hands. TJ’s food when in its most basic form isn’t bad–frozen vegetables, packaged meats and fish, or pre-cooked rice ready for nuking in handy single-serving packets, and I will admit that their prepared heat and serve meals in bags are ‘ok’…but that was it.

Coconut shrimp in a box, French fries in a bag; remove and bake at 385 for 10-12 minutes. I opted to make my own dipping sauce for the shrimp, which was a combo of brown mustard and pear preserves which was altogether too sweet despite last minute doctoring. For greens I took a bag of their broccoli slaw to which I added walnuts, cranberries, and half an apple. The dressing wasn’t inspired, alas, so overall the meal only served to assuage hunger.

Oh, and a bottle of their 2.5 buck chuck Pinot Grigio.