Recent Meals (What I Miss Most From Trader Joe’s + Mexican Quinoa + Black and White Cookies)

black and white cookies

Are you still shopping at your usual grocery stores or are you going with what works right now? I haven’t been to Trader Joe’s now in over a month. Haven’t been to Whole Foods, either. In fact, I haven’t been to an actual store in almost three weeks. Life is quite weird at the moment, isn’t it?

What do I miss from Trader Joe’s you wonder? Aside from the ease of walking in to shop on a whim a few times a week whenever I feel like it, I truly only miss one item.

My Trader Joe’s chocolate chips. While I’m stocked up on all other varieties of chocolate chips in the meantime, the one real Trader Joe’s item that I miss and can’t find an adequate replacement for is Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips.

I miss these chocolate chips.

Trader Joe's semi sweet chocolate chips

Everything else that I normally buy from Trader Joe’s I can either do without OR get somewhere else. It’s not like I can’t get organic fruits and vegetables in other places. I shop at Trader Joe’s because I like the store. It’s small, has everything that I like to buy, and the price is right. Hopefully soon, I will go back. And really, hopefully soon, our lives can all go back to normal. Although they tell me it will be a new normal. And I say to that, new normal is fine so long as I can food shop when I went without lines, fear, and shortages AND that the nail and hair salons are open. Just throwing that in here. 

Anyway, what I’ve been eating lately…

This was a quick, light lunch of lettuce and tomato with hummus in place of salad dressing along with a slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast with mashed avocado. When I made this lunch, I was working with limited ingredients but really enjoyed this basic and simple meal. Between the avocado and hummus, I was really full. Oh, I also added guacamole on top of the already mashed avocado, just because I still had some to use.

avocado toast salad

It was time to restock not just groceries, but pizza for the freezer. We picked up dinner from La Piazza which also included an extra pie to freeze AND an extra chopped salad. The chopped salads from La Piazza are really big (they pack the container so well!) so I get a few meals out of the salads.

la piazza pizza and salad

My plate X two. You know how much I love pizza as discussed in yesterday’s pizza-themed post. 

pizza and salad

I roasted cauliflower for the first time in a while.

roasted cauliflower

And I cooked this edamame and mung bean fettuccine for the first time — I definitely recommend it! It was very good with a great texture.

mung bean noodles

Here’s a salad that I had for lunch with spring mix, tomatoes, roasted cauliflower, quinoa and lentils, and avocado. I also added honey mustard dressing.


With fresh salsa and guacamole in the house, I decided to roasted potato wedges to dip into both. Plus some roasted cauliflower because I had just made it.

roasted potatoes

I also decided my son would likely eat a plant-based meal if I added salsa and guacamole to this mix of black beans, corn, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and lentils. I added taco seasoning to this combination before topping with salsa and guacamole. He loved it. It’s now called the Mexican Quinoa in our house and will hopefully be part of the dinner rotation going forward. I liked it too but made mine without the taco seasoning as I don’t feel it needed it on my end – the salsa has enough kick.

Mexican quinoa

Speaking of my son, he made his own smoothie. He froze fresh fruit (mango, blueberries, strawberries, and banana) and then blended that with protein powder, peanut butter, and some milk. I tasted it – it came out really delicious!


I think his smoothie happened the same day he decided we needed bakery cookies in the house. We go driving every afternoon (lucky me, I’m now the Drivers Ed teacher) and on this particular day, he drove us to a bakery. Black and white cookies are never a bad idea. They unite the world, as Seinfeld once said in what was likely my most favorite episode. Does anyone else remember the episode with the black and white cookies and the babka with the hair?

black and white cookies

One last note: Today is Wednesday, in case you needed a reminder.

Author: The Cookie ChRUNicles

Hi! I'm Meredith. Join me while I run and cook my way through single motherhood. It is always an adventure trying to teach my 12 year old son the benefits of an active lifestyle combined with healthy eating while of course, still leaving room for dessert.

2 thoughts on “Recent Meals (What I Miss Most From Trader Joe’s + Mexican Quinoa + Black and White Cookies)”

  1. My husband is an avid Seinfeld fan and has been watching it on Hulu every night while I read on the couch. Too funny because the first episode I actually paid attention to (in my life!) occurred Sunday night and it was the one you are referencing! I screenshot and sent that to him. We both had a good laugh and now he thinks I’m going to turn into a wife that can quote Seinfeld (probably not). Thanks for your blog, been reading for several years and have really appreciated all your body positive thoughts and musings on life.

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