Two of my most-popular posts OF ALL TIME are TJ’s for dinner meals! ‘TJ’s for dinner’ are my easy meals that are thrown together in a few minutes, with a few ingredients from Trader Joe’s. Clearly we like and need these types of meal ideas so I decided to dedicate a whole series of posts to them. They aren’t really recipes in the classic sense – no ingredient lists or step-by-step instructions – just dinner inspiration.
In the previous posts, I’ve created a few ‘rules’ for TJ’s for dinner meals. The important rules are: 5-ingredients or less and they must contain a vegetable. Most of the time, I’ll follow these rules, but because I don’t really ever adhere to food rules, I may stray from time-to-time.
Enough of the details, let’s get to the meal: pollo asado tacos, my favorite black beans, and red pepper strips. I tried a new-to-me product for this meal – pre-marinated meat. I’ve always been leery of the pre-marinated meats. I’m not really sure why, because it turns out there is nothing to fear. It’s a great shortcut for flavorful meat without any prep or ingredients. And the pepper strips? My standard desperate vegetable – they don’t really require any prep and they don’t need any dressing, dip, etc.
There are a few different components going on for this dinner, but they all come together quickly.
Ingredient List: can of black beans, pollo asado, corn tortillas, red pepper, onion, avocado
Chicken: grill or cook chicken, according to package directions.
Toppings/Other: slice avocado, dice 1/2 of the onion (reserve other half for another use), slice red peppers.
Black Beans: heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 (so 1/4 of the onion) of the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black beans and liquid (DO NOT DRAIN BEANS!) and some chopped cilantro if you’ve got it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Tortillas: heat as desired. I love to heat them over my gas burner, but you could also heat over the grill, hot pan or microwave.
Then simply assemble the tacos. Layer meat, avocado and diced onion into the warm tortillas and serve with beans and peppers on the side.
Extras if you have them: salsa, hot sauce, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato. These aren’t necessary but are good additions.
If you have any requests for this series, please let me know. Are you interested in vegetarian options? Chicken as a main? Low-carb? Slow cooker? I’ll do my best to come up with what you need. (And I love a good challenge!)
More TJ’s for dinner meals: