Remember when I was lucky enough to have Ann-Marie from Chaos is Bliss visit our family farm... well we were lucky enough to meet up again recently thanks to Indiana's Family of Farmers. A few weeks ago, Ann-Marie and I visited 3 grocery stores with the help of a wonderful dietitian, Kim.
Our mission was to buy the ingredients for one recipe at 3 different stores to compare the selection, prices, and such.
It was so much fun and tiring.
We visited Kroger, Trader Joe's, and Meijer.
The selection and prices at Kroger and Meijer were very similar. In fact if I wanted, I was able to purchase the same brands of all of the ingredients at Kroger and Meijer,. Trader Joe's was a little different, but I was able to find all of the necessary ingredients with a little bit of improvisation. (They didn't have any bulk Italian sausage, but they had Italian sausage links.)
Now different sales were taking place at all 3 locations, but on the day that I purchased my groceries I spent $13.52 at Meijer, $15.82 at Kroger (my receipt shows $18.82 as I bought an extra package of pepperoni), and $18.83 at Trader Joe's.
I must admit I had never been to a Trader Joe's prior to this visit. The closest Trader Joe's is over a half hour away and a full-time off-farm working mom of 3 busy kids, I tend to shop at the local Walmart where I can get almost everything we need from deodorant to milk without breaking the bank. It was interesting to visit Trader Joe's and I could see if you were looking for something specific, it might just be the place to go.
Now the best part of all of this was getting to visit the stores with Ann-Marie and Kim. I think I can speak for Ann-Marie when I say we learned so much from Kim.
One of the things we discussed were quick and easy way to increase the nutritional value of a recipe. Specifically in regards to this super easy pizza casserole we talked about adding diced tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and many other veggies much like you would a pizza. Based on this conversation, I did decide to add diced tomatoes to my recipe.
We also talked a lot about how confusing all the labels are at the grocery store since some of them are marketing labels and some are nutritional. It can be so confusing so it was nice to have Kim with us.
It truly was a great day and then it was time to head home to use all those ingredients we bought.
So let's talk about the super easy pizza casserole that is The Farmer's favorite. This truly is such an easy recipe that won't disappoint.
Super Easy Pizza Casserole
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 12 oz. wide lasagna noodles (prepared per directions)
- 2 14oz. jars pizza sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 oz. sliced pepperoni
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- Brown Italian sausage; drain.
- Drain tomatoes and combine with pizza sauce in a batter bowl.
- In lightly greased 9x13 pan, layer one half noodles, one half sausage, one half pepperoni, one half sauce mixture, and one half cheese.
- Repeat with second layer of noodles, sausage, and remaining ingredients, reserving several pepperoni slices to garnish top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
This post was sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers, but all words and opinions are 100% my own.