Dining

60-second grocery shopper

Indian Fare Take-Out Thali ($3.99 at Trader Joe’s)

When you work late or have a million things to do before you finally go home, it’s tempting to do the fast-food thing or resume your friendship with the local pizza-delivery guy. An alternative is to cruise your local Trader Joe’s for interesting items to keep on hand that don’t need refrigeration and are microwavable/easy to prepare. The tasty (and slightly spicy) meal-in-a-box Indian Fare Take-out Thali is snap to cook, even if the aloo matar (peas and potatoes in spicy sauce) is a bit short on identifiable pieces of potato, and the yellow dal is a bit runny. The box says the meal serves two, but we need to add stuff like prepared grilled chicken strips, which I toss into a pot with the peas and potatoes while the rest is in the microwave. (Hey, admit it, most vegetarian recipes taste tons better if you add meat.)

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