Recent Trader Joe’s Shop + Whole Wheat Pizza Bagel

I put together a quick post detailing what I bought at Trader Joe’s this week!

Trader Joe's cart

It wasn’t much of a food shop but it’s the basics for right now. Before I went to Trader Joe’s, I noticed that I still had whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce in the pantry along with chicken nuggets, french fries, and ground beef (to make meatballs) in the freezer plus I had also gone to Whole Foods for turkey, rolls, and a few other things for my son so hey, I guess I’m in an okay place food wise in the house < – totally mocking myself, I really need to get back to cooking or something more structured.

  • Organic Strawberries
  • Organice Romaine Lettuce
  • Mini Pearl Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Green Goddess Salad Dressing
  • Organic Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars
  • Peanut Date Bars
  • Organic Popcorn
  • Organic Chick Peas
  • Organic Steel Cut Oats < – I actually needed the old-fashioned oatmeal instead but didn’t realize
  • Chocolate Chips < – my life
  • Frozen Grilled Cauliflower
  • Frozen Blueberries

Also! I bought a bunch of fresh whole wheat bagels from Stew Leonard’s and used one to make a delicious pizza bagel for dinner last night. After buying the bagels, I couldn’t stop thinking about making a pizza bagel for dinner so I was really happy last night once dinner rolled around. It was so good! Definitely need to bring back pizza bagel night once school starts in two weeks.

whole wheat pizza bagel

I wish the lighting had been better for my pizza bagel. ūüôā

whole wheat pizza bagel

Recent Trader Joe’s Posts:

Current Trader Joe’s Favorites

Trader Joe’s¬† Shop + My Appetite From Running Less

Trader Joe’s Colorful Carrot Coins

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What did you have for dinner last night?

Where do you do most of your food shopping?

Have you bought anything new and exciting recently at Trader Joe’s?


Current Trader Joe’s Favorites


I was in Trader Joe’s the other day (surprise, surprise) and took note of a few of the random items in my cart that I grab all the time so that I could share them with you today.

In no particular order or food group structure, here we go!

Organic Air Popped Popcorn

Have you seen or tried this Trader Joe’s popcorn yet? I can’t always find it but it’s a good one to have on hand when you need a snack. Not overly flavored or salty yet with another taste to hit the spot, I really like it!

organic air popped popcorn

Champagne Style Vinaigrette

I mentioned this dressing last week as my go-to salad dressing of the moment. I use it for all of the basic salads I’ve been making at home! Just a little bit goes a long way!

champagne style vinaigrette


Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers

A forever favorite, I usually grab a box every week at Trader Joe’s. While they sell Dr. Praeger’s at the other grocery stores, Trader Joe’s usually has the best price. I love these veggie burgers chopped up into a salad.

dr. prayer's veggie burgers

Oatmeal (steel-cut and old-fashioned)

I may not share photos of my breakfast anymore but I’m still eating the exact same oatmeal combination every morning! I cook the organic steel-cut oatmeal in the same pot as the old-fashioned (two servings of each) and then store it in the fridge so that I always have oatmeal on hand and ready to eat!

Frozen Blueberries

For my oatmeal. ūüôā

Long time readers may recall that I gave up fresh blueberries after a stomach virus a few years ago and never looked back. I really like frozen blueberries, especially in my oatmeal, and especially because I can buy a few bags and not worry about them going bad.

frozen blueberries

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Best chocolate chips on the planet.

Trader Joe's semi sweet chocolate chips

Organic Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)

I may turn into a chick pea pretty soon if I continue to make them my bean of choice! I’ve been super lazy lately about cooking lentils and quinoa so opening cans of chick peas to add to my salads (or mashed with avocado) has been my plant-based protein source on the regular.

organic chick peas

Fair Trade Organic Colombian Coffee K Cups

I honestly can’t even decide if I totally love this coffee but I like it enough to drink it every morning. I used to keep a variety of coffee in the house but again, lazy.

Trader Joe's coffee

Organic Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter

I feel like I never talk about peanut butter anymore which is the complete opposite of how things used to be back when I started my blog over 5 years ago. I’m still eating some peanut butter every day, but not like I used to!

One jar now lasts me a few weeks (!?!) and this is my peanut butter of choice for a while now.

trader Joe's peanut butter

Other Trader Joe’s Posts Of Interest:

5 Current Trader Joe’s Favorites

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi

TJ Shop & Ways To Use Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning

Trader Joe’s Favorites For Runners

Trader Joe’s Pantry Favorites

Trader Joe’s Frozen Food Favorites 

[bctt tweet=”My current Trader Joe’s staples on the blog today! #traderjoes #foodshop #groceries #traderjoesfinds #peanutbutter #chocolate #ontheblog” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

What’s in your Trader Joe’s cart lately?



Trader Joe’s Shop + More About My Appetite From Running Less

I did my food shopping Friday afternoon to get it out-of-the-way for the weekend! A few things before looking at my Trader Joe’s shopping cart:

I made a stop at Whole Foods first. I didn’t get any pictures but¬†I needed turkey, roast beef, rolls, a stack of bagels, and Bell & Evans products for my son. With school finished after today and his teen tour not leaving for another week, I figured we needed some lunch options in the house as well as the Bell & Evan’s chicken burgers and nuggets for easy,¬†healthier meals.

I also grabbed the organic strawberries. Heather always tells me that the organic strawberries from Whole Foods last longer than other stores but I didn’t get to test out this theory because my son finished the container by Saturday afternoon. I’m not going to complain because at least he ate fruit! I will also say that the berries I did manage to have before he finished the container were terrific.

Here’s the deal with my food shopping lately. I’m still in a no patience mood when it comes to the grocery store. I want to be in and out as fast as possible and I still don’t care very much for getting creative or unique with my meals. I’m not even that hungry most of the time and I crave NOTHING. It’s sort of weird but I’ve been going with it ever since I started running less.

I cannot stress enough how tame my appetite has become with the drop in mileage. And honestly, I forget that I am usually guzzling watermelon chunks this time of year too! I think I only bought one or two watermelons so far this year and it barely did anything for me when eating it to the point where I don’t care to buy it again, at least at the moment.

Sometimes I stop to think about how I don’t think about what I want to eat or how NOT hungry I actually am. Like even last night for dinner with my parents for Father’s Day, I probably ate half of the amount of salad that I used to eat and now have a full leftover lunch salad for today!

This must be what normal¬†non-running people feel like most of the time, where you aren’t driven by a runner’s appetite. It’s pretty nice. I don’t miss needing to eat instantly and I don’t even miss that enhanced taste bud feeling that happens in the hours after running. This feels so much more balanced and natural for me. I just go about life and eat when it’s time to eat. As basic as that sounds, any runner knows that a runner’s appetite does not often allow that statement to work so easily but it works for me now and it’s wonderful.

So anyway, below is a detailed list of what I bought at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t need to restock my Ezekiel bread, chick peas, mozzarella cheese, organic apples, quinoa, or oatmeal so it’s a lighter shop than average.

Trader Joe's shopping

  • Organic Romaine Hearts
  • Green Goddess Salad Dressing < – my favorite right now
  • Skim Milk
  • Avocado
  • Bananas

Trader Joe's shopping cart

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips < – the best chocolate chips ever!
  • Organic Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars < – my son does not love these bars but will eat them if really hungry which is how I like it. If he totally loves a granola bar, they disappear too fast!¬†
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Feta Cheese
  • Bread & Butter Pickles
  • Frozen Broccoli (for roasting!)
  • Frozen Grilled Cauliflower
  • Spiralized Carrots
  • Frozen Blueberries (for my oatmeal!)
  • Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coffee K Cups

And you may spot the random Gap bag in there because the Gap is next to Trader Joe’s and I stopped in there first to grab a few things for my son. ūüôā

So with this very basic Trader Joe’s shop, I can easily throw together salads and power bowls when I’m home this week in between dining out.

Posts of Interest:

When You Stop Caring About What You Eat

I Haven’t Gained Weight From Running Less

5 Current Trader Joe’s Favorites

Trader Joe’s Favorites For Runners

[bctt tweet=”A peak inside my Trader Joe’s cart along with discussion about my appetite lately on the blog today! #traderjoes #wholefoods #foodshopping #runner #appetite #food #health ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Where do you do most of your food shopping lately? 

If you buy organic strawberries, where do you get them and do they last a few days or go bad quick?

How is your appetite lately in relation to your workouts?

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi & Recent TJ Shop


Before getting to the new Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, I figured I would share my most recent TJ shop!

Food shopping is a TOTAL chore and bore for me. I think I’ve told you this, right? There were some phases in my life when I enjoyed the grocery store but that’s not the case anymore. I want to get my food shopping done as quickly and as infrequently as I can!

Lately however, I’m at Trader Joe’s more often than I actually want to be due to my scatter-brained approach to food shopping. I’m not making a list or paying attention to the food we have at home in comparison to the ingredients we need. I’m also not focused while in the store which means I forget random things EVERY SINGLE TIME.

This weekend I tried going to Trader Joe’s on the mission to not be back for seven days. I took a look at my pantry before I left the house to figure out what was missing and what we may want to eat. While I fill in my shopping with food from Stew Leonard’s too (like skirt steak, chicken, more fresh produce), I’m hoping this Trader Joe’s shop can last me long enough to not need a random stop this week!

Trader Joe's cart


  • Organic Apples
  • Organic Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Cruciferous Crunch


  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Chunky Guacamole


  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Frozen Grilled Cauliflower
  • Blueberry Waffles
  • French Onion Soup
  • Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • Organic Pizza Crust


  • Granola Bars
  • Pickles
  • Coffee
  • Rigatoni
  • Chocolate Chips

Trader Joe's food shop

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi:

You may have seen the hype over Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi on social media over the last few weeks. While I am certainly not the type to eliminate carbs, the social media reviews convinced me to try the cauliflower gnocchi at least once!

The ingredients list for the cauliflower gnocchi is pretty minimal. Isn’t cassava flour what the Paleo people eat?

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi

I followed the recommendations from social media reviewers that said to cook the cauliflower gnocchi in a pan for best results. It seems if you try to boil the gnocchi, they get mushy and lose their shape.

Just a few minutes in a pan and the cauliflower gnocchi were ready!

Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi

As for taste, I was rather impressed because the cauliflower gnocchi tasted like NOTHING. They had great texture and no flavor. I had read mixed reviews where some people said the gnocchi had a weird taste – definitely not the case with my experience. And if you didn’t tell me what I was eating, I would NEVER guess that the gnocchi were made from cauliflower at all. ¬†I would definitely recommend this cauliflower gnocchi if you are a pasta/gnocchi lover and are looking to try a substitute.


Local Readers! Don’t forget to join me on May 19 at Bloomingdales for a Dior Skincare & Beauty 101 event! Leave a comment to RSVP or contact me directly for more info! ūüôā

dior skincare beauty event

[bctt tweet=”I tried Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi plus recent TJ shop on the blog today! #traderjoes #cauliflower #cauliflowergnocchi #groceries #food #tjshop” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

How often are in you in the grocery store?

Have you tried the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi? What did you think?

Trader Joe’s Shopping + Lunch At The Little Beet


I’m making it a point to take pictures of my Trader Joe’s shopping cart every few weeks so that I can share what I’ve been buying (and eating) lately.

Here’s a look at my Trader Joe’s shopping cart from a couple of days ago. It’s really just a bunch of my weekly staples plus some odds and ends that I noticed were running starting to run low (like oatmeal and ketchup!).

trader joe's

Fresh Produce:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Baby Carrots
  • Grape Tomatoes

Forgot to buy apples. Ugh!

Frozen Fruit & Vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • String Beans
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Peppers & Onions
  • Blueberries < – I love frozen blueberries in¬†my oatmeal. I stopped eating fresh blueberries so long ago after a stomach virus!


  • Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Organic Ketchup
  • Organic Fair Trade Columbian Coffee K Cups
  • Organic Chick Peas
  • Organic Tomato Paste
  • Organic Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Oregano
  • Balsamic Dressing

I’m scared because I didn’t see the everything but the bagel sesame seasoning on the shelf with the other spices and seasonings. I actually read on Instagram that other people haven’t seen it either. Have you seen it recently?!


  • Ground Turkey < – For my son. I will probably make this into taco meat or chili.¬†
  • Skim Milk
  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

My grocery shopping would probably have better structure to it if I were a more meal planner. But I’m not. A friend of mine is looking to get into some meal planning though and asked me for a few plant-based recipes, among other meal planning ideas. I know how to meal plan so I can advise on it, I just don’t do it myself. ūüôā

I thought maybe you would be interested in the recipes I shared with her from here on the blog!

Black Bean & Quinoa Chili < РLove this recipe. Will probably make it this week! Also, for my son, I would make his turkey chili basically like this recipe, only with the addition of ground turkey. He likes quinoa now so this meal comes out terrific.

Eggplant Cacciatore < РThis was always so easy and good! Definitely considering an eggplant as part of my grocery shopping list for later this week.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers< – I loved making these burgers and keeping a bunch in the freezer.

Oh! And I had lunch from The Little Beet yesterday. I hadn’t had The Little Beet in a really long time!

I created my own bowl which contained a brussels sprouts salad, a cucumber and greens mix, roasted green beans, and a delicious avocado white bean dip. I really liked this lunch!

the little beet

Have a great week!

[bctt tweet=”Trader Joe’s Shopping Cart Plus Lunch At The Little Beet #traderjoes @traderjoeslist #thelittlebeet #food #weekend #lunch @thelittlebeet” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Best thing you ate over the weekend?

What are your Trader Joe’s staples lately?

Are you good about meal planning?


Yesterday’s Trader Joe’s Shop + Loving The Colorful Carrot Coins!


It snowed a few inches yesterday morning but the roads were totally clear by the time I went to Trader Joe’s. I’m not really sure where this sudden burst of snow came from but thank goodness it wasn’t worse because I really needed to go food shopping! It had easily been a week, if not more, since I last went to Trader Joe’s.

Here’s what I bought!

Trader Joe's

Top of the cart:

  • Skim Milk
  • Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Organic Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars
  • Potato Latkes
  • Unsweetened Applesauce

And under all of that, there were a few potatoes. ūüôā

trader joe's

Main Cart:

  • Organic Chick Peas
  • Organic Tomato Paste
  • Organic Peanut Butter (crunchy & salted)
  • Organic Reduced Sugar Strawberry Preserves
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Organic Bread Crumbs
  • Organic Eggs
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Organic Chicken Cutlets
  • Green Beans


  • Broccoli
  • Fire Roasted Peppers & Onions
  • Blueberries
  • Colorful Carrot Coins

Remember I mentioned the new colorful carrot coins last week? Well, I am so glad that I bought them! They are so delicious and easy to heat up. I definitely need to buy a few bags when I return to Trader Joe’s next week.

colorful carrot coins

I’m trying really hard to make sure we eat at home during the week even though my son always has a reason, excuse, explanation as to why we need to go out for dinner. I’ve hit the point where I tell him that dinner will be at home unless he wants to pay for his own meal somewhere else.

There’s this one vegetarian dish I’ve been making myself over and over to the point where I should just document it, regardless of how basic it is, and share it as a recipe.

I added the colorful carrot coins to the pan last night, along with my other latest vegetable obsession come dinner time – fresh green beans. Hopefully in the next week or so I can put this together as a recipe.

easy vegetarian dinner

So it’s frigid here this morning and supposed to snow again later today. Thankfully not a huge storm or anything, but this weather is winter enough to place me inside on the treadmill today AND tomorrow. I think I will be checking out my Don’t Hate The Treadmill Workout Round Up ¬†for some inspiration. Have a great weekend!

[bctt tweet=”My latest Trader Joe’s shop and what I bought! #traderjoes @traderjoeslist #food #foodshopping ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

How is the weather where you live? Are you supposed to get any snow today or over the weekend? Will you be running on the treadmill?

Where have you been doing most of your grocery shopping lately?

Have you tried the new colorful carrot coins?

recent yummy eats, Japanese sweet potatoes & recipes links


Lots of good food going on lately!

I made a version of my three ingredient pancake a few times this week, adding blueberries as it cooked along with cherries and Skoop B-Strong for added protein.

I am very into cherries right now! I do have a slight allergy to raw cherries but so long as I heat them up/mix them with other ingredients, I don’t feel a reaction.

three ingredient pancake

I had this veggie burger platter over the weekend which sparked my craving for Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers all week!

I am pretty sure that this veggie burger, which I had at my friend’s pool club, was a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger and the same¬†type that¬†I have in my freezer.

I ordered the veggie burger over a salad and then topped it with guacamole. It was perfect to eat by the pool. Not too heavy in the stomach yet satisfying.

veggie burger

Although Panera still refuses to make me the former secret menu power hummus bowl, I am surviving with their barbecue chicken salad (no chicken, adding tomatoes and avocado).

salad from panera

Yesterday though, while working from Panera, I was so super starving that I had to leave to satisfy my appetite at the Whole Foods food bar. When I am that hungry, a Panera salad isn’t going to cut it.

They had plantains yesterday which made my day! I am pretty sure I took a little bit of everything vegetarian available at the food bar.

whole foods food bar

Let’s talk Japanese sweet potatoes. There are so many varieties of sweet potatoes filed under the name Japanese sweet potato depending upon where you are and what store you find them. Purple, white and red sweet potatoes are considered varieties of Japanese sweet potatoes.

ShopRite just lists my favorite sweet potato variety as a red sweet potato. There is no mention of it being a Japanese sweet potato.

I have learned that the reddish/slightly purple-skinned sweet potato with the starchy yellow flesh is my absolutely favorite sweet potato. It has a starchy texture to it and roasts really well without getting mushy at all.

ShopRite sells the red sweet potatoes at a price of two for three dollars. I typically select the most giant sweet potatoes to get the best value for the price even if it means one potato is the size of three typical potatoes! It never goes to waste.

red sweet potatoes

Red sweet potatoes are starchier than a traditional orange sweet potato, still slightly sweet but not as sweet. I had these roasted sweet potato wedges for dinner the other night with mashed chick peas and avocado over a simple salad.

I  think I could easily eat this meal every night this summer.

roasted japanese sweet potatoes with chickpea avocado mash

I am definitely on a Ralph’s Ices kick which hasn’t been a trend for me in years. I am loving the chocolate graham marshmallow and always get a scoop of candy bar fudge too because that was my original favorite flavor back in the day. When I say back in the day, I am going back to 1999 when I first started eating Ralph’s ices.

ralphs ices

Back to Meal Planning?

My son has two more weeks of baseball camp before leaving for sleepaway camp for the second summer session! I am trying my best to make more dinners at home lately rather than let him talk me into going out for dinner as much as he has been.

I am keeping things simple and basic though, as usual really, because I don’t really enjoy getting too creative or involving too many ingredients when it comes to cooking dinner.

Aside from making steak and chicken for my son next week, I want to make my Copycat Cheesecake Factory Salad bowls again too. They are really easy to throw together at home!

Laura and I have also decided to do a little recipe challenge which we will talk more about next week! We are both on a major veggie burger kick and are determined to make our own. I am excited about this because it will help me to get more involved in the kitchen, actually making some of the recipes I have been pinning.

I came across a few good-looking (easy) recipes this week that may interest you:

Southwestern Chopped Salad

Mega Crunchy Romaine Salad with Quinoa

17 Meatless Ways To Use Zucchini

Peanut Butter Swirl Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Have a great weekend!
[bctt tweet=”recent eats, Japanese sweet potatoes and recipes of interest #food #sweetpotatoes #veggieburgers #drpraegers #mealprep #ralphsices” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

3 things you are doing this weekend?

Which type of potato is your favorite?

What do you eat for lunch when you are absolutely starving?

Lunch With Lisa!


You guys left the sweetest most thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post! I am still¬†working on responding but wanted to thank you for sharing how you started your blog as well as for¬†the nice things you had to say about mine. ūüôā

I am also still waiting for my plug-in’s to be reactivated over here. If you don’t have a blog, plug-in’s are all the little features that help me run this site, things I don’t even think about anymore but really miss at the moment – spell check, social media sharing buttons, SEO stuff, spam filtering (OMG the amount of spam in my inbox!), and I can’t view my site statistics. Or respond to comments in my typical way.

But I am here! And it’s Friday! And I saw Lisa yesterday!

Lisa and me

Lisa drove up to New York yesterday from Maryland for a wedding today so finally, we were able to meet! Our timing worked out perfectly because she was literally going in to be in my area at the exact time that I was free with enough time to meet her for a nice lunch at Bagel Basket. I was so happy to see her!

Chopped salads for lunch eaten while chatting about everything from growing up in New York to running and blogging and life and where I thought she should get her nails done real quick before heading to her hotel.

lunch at bagel basket

While I had never actually met Lisa in real life, of course it felt like I already knew her which is the one of the best things about having blog friends! In fact, before Lisa arrived at the bagel store, I ran into another friend of mine and told her I was meeting one of my friends for lunch, not realizing I should probably explain that it’s my blog friend who I don’t actually know yet but I already know so it’s not weird. But that wouldn’t have made much sense probably to anyone other than us blog reading and writing people.


I went food shopping last night with my son at Trader Joe’s which wasn’t exactly a good time¬†since he makes fun of every product in the store yet loaded my cart with extras like Move Theater Popcorn, boxes of granola bars and tortillas for a recipe he claims he will make for himself.

I went there for Apple Cider Vinegar, I know I put the bottle in the cart, spent over seventy dollars and there’s no Apple Cider Vinegar in my pantry which means somehow, it never made it home. I don’t get it.

Did you see these new Shooting Star Cookies at Trader Joe’s? Sounds like a chocolate cookie covered in Pop Rocks candy?

Trader Joe's Shooting Stars Cookies

Recipes of Interest:

We really need to get back to planning our dinners over here. It’s been a lot of random what do you want¬†for dinner, we can’t keep eating out but okay just for tonight which is getting out of hand. The next two weeks are a little hectic so I am not sure which nights we will be home for dinner but for the nights we are, I am¬†aiming to try some new and easy recipes.

Here’s what I have been pinning lately:

30 Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes РSo many good options.

Italian Style Chickpea Burgers РA quick recipe that sounds delicious.

Zucchini Parmesan Sandwiches РI keep thinking about this recipe to serve on my Ezekiel rolls!

Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwich РMust try.

One Skillet Mexican Quinoa РReally sounds easy, different and something my son may even eat!

Summer Pesto Grilled Vegetables with PenneI just bought the black bean pasta for the first time, maybe I will use it in this recipe.

One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan/Gluten Free) РYum.

Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie РI love a giant cookie cake.

Have a great weekend!

3 things you are doing this weekend?

Have you tried black bean pasta yet? Is it good?

Did you like Pop Rocks as a kid? What was your favorite candy when you were younger?

Trader Joe’s Groceries, Chicken Parm & Recipes


Who else is super ready for a holiday weekend? I know I am! It’s been so warm and beautiful here these last few days that it has made the wait for Friday rather difficult but here we are!

I did the bulk of my food shopping already in order to free up my weekend time. I am still on track with my only go to Trader Joe’s once a week thing although more recently¬†I¬†find myself popping into the other grocery stores during the week for random items (like more watermelon) and I need to try to break that habit! The¬†only problem is, if Trader Joe’s is out of something/doesn’t carry an item, I still have to go to the other grocery stores.

It’s a never-ending cyclical process.

Here’s what I bought at Trader Joe’s this week, we didn’t really need that much actually:

Trader Joe's Groceries


  • Organic Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Organic Baby Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onion
  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Frozen Blueberries


  • Organic Eggs
  • Chicken Cutlets


  • Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Coffee K Cups
  • 100 Calorie Mini Dark Chocolate Bars
  • Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
  • Island Soyaki
  • Pickles

A few things to note:

Trader Joe’s was out of frozen broccoli which¬†is really annoying since frozen broccoli is a staple in my freezer. I roast frozen broccoli just about every night if I am making dinner at home so I need to either go to another Trader Joe’s location or just go to ShopRite.

While I did buy a few sweet potatoes this trip, I prefer Japanese sweet potatoes which I need to get from Whole Foods or ShopRite. Trader Joe’s only sells the Japanese sweet potatoes it seems for a short period of time¬†in the Fall.

The baby carrots are for my son to take in his lunch. He does not trust me enough when I say peeling and cutting regular carrots can and will taste just as good as the precut baby carrots.

Do I really like Trader Joe’s organic crunchy peanut butter? It’s okay. Nothing to write home about.

I only bought it because¬†I was down to barely half¬†a jar of peanut butter in my pantry, which if you are a long time reader, is absolutely unheard of for my house. I used to keep a stock of 16 jars of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Crunch Time at all times but not anymore. I did¬†just order another case, but still, I am not who I used to be when it comes to peanut butter.

I am still on frozen blueberries instead of fresh blueberries ever since my stomach virus in February.

My plan for the Pumpkin Flax Granola is to make my own Red Mango parfaits at home. This is the granola Red Mango has in their toppings bar so I may grab a container of the frozen yogurt from Red Mango and load it up at home with the berries, granola and chocolate chips to save some money.

I already used the package of chicken cutlets to make an award-winning chicken parmesan for the carnivores in my life.

This is what the chicken looked like before it was topped with Vincent’s sauce and mozzarella cheese.

breaded chicken cutlets

I may not eat chicken but I still know how to cook it.

To quote my son, “Holy Sh!t, This is actually good!”

I swear that everything cooks better in a cast iron pan. Do you see how crispy the breading is and how it so nicely stayed in tact?!

How I Make The Chicken:

Mix up the breading on a plate (Whole Foods 365 Whole Wheat bread crumbs plus panko crumbs)

Add spices to the breading (oregano and garlic powder)

Dip chicken cutlets in egg and then coat the chicken in the breading

Heat cast iron skillet on stovetop with a drizzle of olive oil while preheating oven to 400 degrees

Add chicken, letting it cook in the pan on the stovetop for a few minutes on each side till slightly crisp

Place cast iron skillet in the oven for like 20 minutes (maybe? I don’t know) until crispy and center of chicken no longer pink

*If making chicken parmesan, top each chicken cutlet with sauce and cheese, turn the oven on to broil, and broil until cheese is bubbling.

I tasted the crumbs at the bottom of the pan which told me that for sure this was going to be a winner for dinner.

Recipes of Interest:

Grilled Corn & Avocado Pasta Salad < Рlove corn with avocado

Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwich <- Must make ASAP!

Loaded Chicken Enchilada Nachos < – For my son for dinner next week

Crack Broccoli < РMaybe without the almonds but still, looks addicting

General Tso’s Cauliflower¬†< – Always wanted to make this

Unbaked Cookie Dough Bars < РYou can never tell when you are baking with beans! This recipe uses white beans

Single Layer Strawberry Shortcake < РJust looks so summer fresh and delicious

S’mores Seven Layer Bars¬†< – Um, yum

[bctt tweet=”Trader Joe’s groceries, chicken parm and recipe links #traderjoes #recipes #mealprep #chickenparm” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Do you cook with cast iron pans?

What are you up to this holiday weekend?!




what I didn’t cook & links I am loving


You know you had yourself quite the busy week when¬†you haven’t taken one food picture since Monday.¬†Gosh I wish I could get the s’mores cupcake back that I had the other night so I could share it with you < – blogger brain thinking out loud.

Aside from that s’mores cupcake (and the top of an m&m’s cupcake¬†because I can’t resist tops of cupcakes¬†) I can’t even recall what else I ate this week.

Oh right! I made a few servings of quinoa early in the week which acted as my complete source of protein for just about every lunch and dinner until the pyrex container of the quinoa was empty. I completely forgot that my purpose for making the quinoa to begin with was to attempt these Lentil Quinoa Meatloaf Burgers but um, they never happened.

Neither did the mustard crusted potatoes¬†that looked so good and perfect to serve with the steak I never cooked for my son’s dinner¬†and instead allowed him to have boxed macaroni and cheese. And if¬†I am being completely honest, he had more bagels with cream cheese for lunch than I care to admit to¬†preparing (where’s the protein?!)¬†but I packed sliced strawberries for him along with baby carrots each day which in my mind, makes¬†it all okay.

I am going to try to remember to make those lentil quinoa meatloaf burgers and the mustard crusted potatoes early next week along with maybe trying one of the other yummy-sounding recipes listed below.

I threw in some fitness and health-related¬†links this week too because I really liked what I read and thought you would enjoy them as well. ūüôā



Links I am Loving!


Fitness & Health

Binge Eating vs. Overeating¬†<- There’s a difference AND yes, we all overeat sometimes.

How To Be Okay Gaining Weight < РIf you love my posts, you will love this one too.

6 Common Deficiencies in Runners  < РI keep hearing about Vitamin D deficiencies this week.

How To Balance Running With Yoga and Cross Training Without Losing Endurance & Speed¬†<- You know¬†Jen’s blog was the first blog I ever read and still at the top of my favorite blogs list! This post is awesome and informative if you are trying to find the right balance between your workouts.


Spicy Sesame Zoodles with Crispy Tofu < РAlready bought the zucchini.

Eggplant Cacciatore < РChicken Cacciatore was always my favorite, I need to now make it with eggplant!

Light Coconut Shrimp & Pineapple Quinoa Skillet < РI can use the quinoa I make both for this dish and the lentil quinoa meatlof burgers that I never made last week.

Mexican Falafel < РFun flavor twist for falafel!

17 Recipes That Swap Mushrooms for Meat < РMushrooms really do give meatless meals a meaty texture.

Banana Ice Cream Breakfast Parfait < РMy idea of a perfect meal.

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole  < РSuch a great idea and so easy!

Cookie Dough Stuffed Chocolate Cupcake¬†<- Yes, I would pick around for the cookie dough ūüėČ

Cinnamon Baked Apples < РLove baked apples!

[bctt tweet=”What I didn’t cook and links I am loving this week #recipes #mealprep #cupcakes #linklove” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

If you have kids, what do they normally bring to school for lunch?

3 things you are doing this weekend?

Do you eat the tops of cupcakes and leave the cake part like I usually do?

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