Recent Lunches, Dinners, and Desserts

My hamstring feels so much better! I may try running outside today OR I may not. I don’t mind not running, but the weather is so nice for this time of year and I already did barre and pilates so far this week. I’m just so proud of myself for realizing that my hamstring hurt during Saturday’s run and that I was smart enough to back off immediately, rest it for a few days from running/walking, and feel like myself again. I just don’t understand why people push themselves into injuries.

Recent Meals

I eat oatmeal every day for breakfast but never take a picture of it. However, I had the baked oatmeal at the Premier Diner on Monday for lunch and did take a picture because it’s such a big beautiful bowl of goodness.

From what I understand, the diner makes one batch of baked oatmeal every morning. When it runs out, they don’t make more until the next day. I was lucky to get a big bowl served with a side of milk that I pour on top to mush everything up — it’s just so good.


In other lunch news, I had this big chopped salad from Town Bagel. I would be lying if I listed the ingredients – I really don’t remember well enough to do so.


I do remember what was in this salad that I made for lunch:

  • Romaine
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burger
  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Feta Cheese
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

My new routine after yoga is to come home, shower, and make mashed avocado on Ezekiel toast and/or an egg on toast. There’s mashed avocado under that egg, by the way.

egg on toaat

The staff at Mario’s gets really confused if I walk in to order something other than “my usual” which is the whole wheat margarita pizza to go, not heated up.

I decided, on a whim, to order the eggplant pizza for a change. The girl rang it up but the man who usually boxes up my pizza put the whole wheat margarita pizza in the box first. When we told him I did something crazy and got a different slice, he boxed the eggplant pizza but they gave me the margarita pizza to take home (for free) too.

My son ate my free margarita slice so fast as a snack before I could even decide if I wanted a bite or to wrap it up.


I always say how much I enjoy the lentil pasta from Trader Joe’s – I really do! It’s so great to have on hand for a quick and easy, healthy but always tasty dinner.

I cooked mushrooms in a pan with olive oil while cooking the lentil pasta separately. Then I combined everything in the pan with the Trader Joe’s plant-based bolognese sauce. Really is such a good combination!



I mentioned last week that I’ve been back to eating an apple almost every night.

This was an organic honey crisp warmed with cinnamon and a little bit of peanut butter.


And this apple was a Granny Smith not warmed, sprinkled with cinnamon, peanut butter, and a few dark chocolate chips.

A little blurry but I’m including it anyway!


And finally, a big box of Godiva.


Recent Dinners + Rainbow Cookie Cupcakes

I figured out the image loading issue with my blog that I mentioned last week. What I haven’t figured out is why my blog emails stopped sending a few weeks ago! My initial approach of pretending there wasn’t a problem and that the issue would fix itself didn’t in fact fix it. I’m hopeful that whatever I managed to tweak in the system yesterday will have the emails start sending again after today’s post.

Recent Meals

I have a few dinners and an excellent dessert to discuss for this week! I wish I had a few lunches to share but I didn’t stop to take pictures of them — I will do a better job for next week.


It had been at least a month since I last had the whole wheat grandma pizza I discovered from La Focaccia.

The crust is so airy and light that it sits so nicely in my stomach. Not to mention, it’s quite delicious.


I’m also still enjoying the whole wheat margarita pizza with a salad for dinner at least one night a week. This has been a routine dinner staple of mine now for about five years!


I’m really trying to have wild salmon for dinner one to two times a week.

I had this salmon with a baked potato and roasted cauliflower.


And another night I made the wild salmon with a baked sweet potato and rainbow cauliflower.


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’m posting more to my stories again. I shared about these rainbow cookie cupcakes last week!

When I arrived at Small Cakes, there were two rainbow cookie cupcakes left so I bought them both – one for me and one for my son.

My son did not eat his cupcake the day I bought which, to me, means that it was now anyone’s cupcake the next day. He didn’t really agree with me but hello, eat it the day I buy it or it’s up for grabs.


I’ve also been eating an apple again every night as a snack. I bought organic honey crisp but also decided to go back to granny smith apples too. If you are a longtime reader, you may recall that I lived on big granny smith apples for years! Then I got tired of them. Well, now they are back in my life so I will share some new apple snack photos next week. In the meantime, I did a quick “apple” search in the blog media library which revealed tons of results from over the years.

apple with peanut butter and m&m's

Trader Joes + Whole Foods (a few recent meals)

The lines at Trader Joe’s over the weekend were beyond what I would consider normal weekend long lines. It was as if there was a blizzard coming and I wasn’t told about it. It did lightly snow yesterday and is snowing again this morning (for the first time really all winter) but shouldn’t be more than an inch.


I went to Whole Foods after Trader Joe’s rather than before because I know that Whole Foods will have what Trader Joe’s doesn’t. To my surprise, Trader Joe’s did have romaine lettuce but is still out of:

  • Organic Chickpeas
  • Organic Apples
  • Organic Salted Crunchy Peanut Butter

I take a small basket when shopping at Whole Foods but it quickly fills up — I added a few more things after taking this picture such as the chickpeas, peanut butter, and the feta cheese that I forgot to buy at Trader Joe’s.


I bought a large pack of individually frozen wild salmon fillets. I feel like such a healthy person when I eat wild salmon for dinner. This totally sounds funny when I type it but it’s true! Wild salmon is just so healthy for us.

I made wild salmon the other night with a baked sweet potato and roasted cauliflower. This is really such a good, easy dinner! I’m still kinda new to making my own salmon regularly so I can’t share recipes — at least not yet.


I’m on a roasted cauliflower kick as of late. I roasted cauliflower another night for dinner along with chickpeas, with a side of the crinkle-cut french fries from Whole Foods. My son bought those individual organic guacamole packs from Costco so I used one to add to the mix – It was a good combination.


I’m also still on an egg with avocado on toast kick. I usually end up eating this for lunch after yoga. Sometimes I make two slices of toasted ezekial bread, sometimes just the one. Really depends on my appetite!


Oh, so I’ve been having some issues with uploading images into my blog — it’s always something! So that’s all I have for today. Hopefully I can sort out my image issue for Friday.

Highlights From My Few Days in Florida

I’m back from Florida with a recap highlighting some of the things I did and ate.

I was in Florida for basically five days, which felt like a day and a half. Wow, how time flies!

Love the baby palm trees!

I think that because I’ve been going down to South Florida so often again, it doesn’t even feel like a vacation, more like I’m just going down to see Heather and we have things to do in an area I know pretty well.

Love and Hip Hop Baby Shower Set Up

So remember that Heather and I both work in the events industry? While I’m still sorting out my next steps after leaving my company, Heather is busy with rental decor 24/7, designing the most beautiful tables all over South Florida.

I chose this past weekend to go down to Florida so that I could help her set up a baby shower for reality stars on Love and Hip Hop Miami.

set up crew

Heather has such an eye for tabletop design. The layout was beautiful. The mix of liquid velvet and sequin linens were to die for and totally what I would choose for my own event!


Once set up was done, we had some fun posing with the balloon decor. The shower will be in an episode on VH1 this summer! I can’t wait to see it.


What I Ate (Highlights)

I never capture everything I eat but here are some highlights!

Pizza and salad are always a favorite combo for me — Sicilian Oven is a really good restaurant, even if it’s not New York pizza.


We had a delicious lunch at Prime Catch in Boynton Beach. This eggplant dip and pita bread were really good for sharing.


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m trying to eat more wild salmon for the health benefits which is why I had it added to my salad for lunch. Normally I would order without the added protein but I went for the salmon and I think it was the best salmon I’ve ever had.


Crumbl is right near Prime Catch so we preplanned a stop for cookies after lunch.

I went with the classic chocolate chip cookie and it did not disappoint. I did take bites from a few of the other cookies but come on, chocolate chip is the best. We all know that.


This greek salad with a side of hummus was very satisfying after we spent hours setting up the baby shower layout.


If you saw my instagram stories earlier this week, you saw that I went to Lifetime one day. I took a heated Warrior Sculpt class and was so super excited about it! I will talk about it more in Monday’s workout recap but from the Lifetime Cafe, I had a PB&B Smoothie and a Southwest Bowl (I think that’s what it was called) which I ate a few hours later for lunch.


I loaded a box from the Whole Foods food bar one day too. Don’t ask me what was in it! I don’t really know but I chose a lot of roasted vegetables and a few different grain salads I think.


One night we had dinner at Lulu’s in Delray.

We shared a hummus appetizer and then I had some sort of bowl. I wanted the Buddha Bowl but they were out of it.


Candy! I need a candy bag after dinner.


I always pack a peanut butter sandwich for the airport and as an emergency snack!


And finally, I can’t close out a trip to Florida post without mentioning Stoney Clover. While I didn’t take pictures of all of the pouches I used, here’s a picture of the pouches in my tote on the plane. That’s one clear travel pouch and a mini pouch.


And that’s about it! See you Monday to discuss my workouts from this week.

Done With Chopt Salads + Other Recent Meals

This is likely the last Chopt salad you will see from me, at least for the time being.


Literally, a day or two after I had the above salad, Chopt changed their menu (and raised prices!) so now they don’t carry the ingredients I routinely order and if I alter the salad to include the basic ingredients that I don’t even love from the list, I can pay a few extra dollars for it too.

My go-to order is all marked up in the app like I did something wrong.


The crispy chickpeas really made the salad – how did they remove them from the menu? No roasted brussels sprouts anymore either? No cucumber mixed with tomatoes?

Chopt is down to majorly basic ingredients and charging more for it. No thank you. I will now go to Sweet Green which may be expensive but at least I like the various options they have if I’m not going to make a salad at home. At this point, I don’t even think Sweet Green is more expensive than the new Chopt prices.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s move on to a few recent meals…

I didn’t know if I wanted breakfast or lunch after yoga on the weekend so I made it a combination of both—

Toasted Ezekiel bread with vegetable cream cheese and an egg on top with a side salad.


I had salad and baked ziti for dinner one night recently when my son and I did take out from Vincents.

We ordered the family meal deal where you can choose a salad, pasta, and entree.


I’m very into roasting cauliflower again. I roasted it last night and added it to tomato sauce with lentil pasta. Such a good combination for dinner!

This is what it looked like all mixed together in the pan.


I made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s yesterday. I’m not doing a full grocery shop because I leave for Florida in a few days!


I just needed a few necessities like chocolate chips, mints, oatmeal, and the organic rainbow cauliflower from the frozen section. It’s not an easy find so when Trader Joe’s has it in stock, I always buy it.

I did take note of what Trader Joe’s was out of stock on that I would have bought if I saw it:

  • Organic Chickpeas
  • Organic Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Organic Apples
  • Organic Tomatoes (only had the grape tomatoes in stock)

The peanut butter has been out of stock for a while and the organic chickpeas have been hit or miss at Trader Joe’s over the last couple of months.

A Lot of Meals To Share + Cooking Again

Let’s start today’s post with one of my favorite combinations – pizza and salad.

We went to Iavarone for lunch last week which happened as an alternative to The Shed, which was the original plan. The wait at The Shed is insane and they don’t take reservations.


Sweet Green

I had two salads from Sweet Green since we last discussed food. Now that my gift card has run out, I won’t go as often because, as I said last week, I think it’s too pricey. I enjoy the premium toppings and they add up!

Of the two salads I had in last few days, I liked this combo below the best:

  • Romaine
  • Quinoa
  • Beets
  • Avocado
  • Pickled Carrots
  • Curry Cauliflower
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Green Goddess Ranch Dressing

Town Bagel

My son was happy to have lunch with me at Town Bagel the other day. Salads and bagels for both of us — and an iced coffee for him.


I bought a side of vegetable cream cheese and used some on the everything bialy in the above picture and brought the rest home.

The next day, I had the vegetable cream cheese on a toasted English muffin with an egg on top too — who am I to eat a few eggs a week suddenly?!

I like this as a brunch combination lately when I get home from the gym closer to lunchtime. This usually happens when I stay for yoga at Equonox — yoga is on the schedule a bit later in the morning.


Cooking Again?

I’m slowly feeling a little more interested in cooking again now that I’m not working.

Don’t get too excited. I don’t ever cook anything elaborate.

However, I do find that I’m more interested in buying different vegetables and maybe roasting them in different ways to make new meal combinations.

My son is not too thrilled about this. He came home to me roasting vegetables and caught on right away.

Is this what you are going to do now that you don’t work? Smell up the house with roasted vegetables? Actually using the oven – what is going on?

He’s lucky I only roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. I purposely left out the brussels sprouts so he didn’t yell at me….and he yelled at me anyway.


I made this salad below using the roasted vegetables and sweet potatoes plus:

  • Romaine
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Chickpeas
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Feta Cheese
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

And look, I made wild salmon again for dinner.

On the side, Whole Foods 365 Organic Shoe String Fries and broccoli. I added feta cheese with the broccoli because it sounded like a good idea.


I call cooking the Trader Joe’s lentil pasta, which literally takes like three minutes to cook, cooking.

All ingredients for the below lentil pasta quick dinner are from Trader Joe’s:

  • Frozen Cauliflower
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Based Bolognese Sauce
  • Lentil Pasta
  • Mozzarella Cheese

The other night I got more elaborate when cooking the lentil pasta for dinner.

I cooked broccoli, shaved brussels sprouts, onion, and cauliflower in a pan with olive oil, oregano, diced tomatoes, and some of Trader Joe’s low sodium roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Then added the lentil pasta once it was cooked.


And that’s it for today! I’m hoping to get a Friday Favorites up post at the end of the week.

In The City + Forty Carrots + Chinese on Christmas

I hope everyone is enjoying this time of year when no one knows exactly what day it is!

I’ve been in the city a few times over the last week. It’s always a fun time of year to be there, and, I would say it felt like pre-pandemic times. Streets and stores were packed!


While walking out of Saks and trying to avoid crowds, I found myself looking at the tree. It’s like an, “oh ha, there’s the tree” moment when this happens.


Recent Meals

I went to Bloomingdale’s in the city twice in the last week.

Last week while in Bloomingdale’s, I was in the mood for a giant yogurt from Forty Carrots.

Forty Carrots puts the toppings in the middle of the cup so you can’t see the gold-dusted chocolate chips.


My Forty Carrots frozen yogurt resembles the Stoney Clover Forty Carrots patch, just without the sprinkles.

My friend from work moved into a new apartment (near Bloomingdales) so we spent some time there with her friends before heading to dinner. This is the same friend who has the NYC Pizza Tour so it was fun to chat with them about their next pizza stops!


I had this vegetable omelet at Second Avenue Deli. They have such great latkes at Second Avenue Deli but I couldn’t eat another one right now. I’ve had so many recently!


Dinner at The Cheesecake Factory is a tradition on Christmas Eve, although the tradition was interrupted by the pandemic. I think last year we did take out.


Look what I ate yet again! My toasted whole wheat English muffin with mashed avocado and egg combination!

I actually made the side salad bigger than planned but I ate everything on the plate. I had this after yoga on Sunday. It really hit the spot.


Chinese food on Christmas: Steamed vegetable dumplings, mixed vegetables in garlic sauce, and brown rice.

There’s history behind why Jewish people eat Chinese food on Christmas – read this article to learn more.


Another fun day in the city on Monday!

I was shopping at Bloomingdales and Saks, with lunch at Bloomingdales. No frozen yogurt this time! I think this was the Forty Carrots Chopped Salad, without chicken.


And finally, I ordered this salad combo from Sweet Green and really liked it. My only complaint is the price — it’s way too expensive if you ask me!

In the salad:

  • Romaine
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Avocado
  • Quinoa
  • Warm Mushroom Medley
  • Spicy Broccoli
  • Green Goddess Ranch

Different Meals + Wild Salmon + Latkes

I have so many meals to share that I’ve enjoyed recently and some of them are even different from what I usually eat!

It’s been quite a while since I made a copycat version of the barbeque ranch salad from The Cheesecake Factory.

The other day it just dawned on me that I had all of the ingredients in the house because my son bought a can of Whole Foods 365 fried onions. While they aren’t the same as the freshly fried onion strings at The Cheesecake Factory, they worked really well.

In the salad:

  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocado
  • Romaine
  • Whole Foods 365 Organic Light Ranch Dressing
  • Onion Strings

I didn’t think I would come back to the English muffin-avocado-egg combination so quickly but I did! This time, I had it with a salad too.


My plate X 2 of salad with Sicilian pizza from La Piazza. Usually, I go the grandma pizza route but the Sicilian looked so good that I couldn’t pass it up.


I had a bowl from Cava recently — it was just fine. I say that every time about Cava.


Look who made salmon!

I decided I should eat salmon more often (let’s see if it happens – I’m really not a fish eater but wild salmon is so HEALTHY) so I bought wild-caught sockeye salmon from Whole Foods.

Wild salmon is packed with:

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Protein
  • Vitamin D
  • B Vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Astaxanthin

For this vegetarian eater who rarely eats fish, this salmon was actually pretty delicious.

With a potato latke topped with applesauce because….it’s Hanukkah time.


I can’t take credit for making the latkes this year. Why should I bother to make them myself when the latkes at Shoprite are so good? They have small and large, and both regular potato and sweet potato latkes.


I had a larger latke with applesauce on the side of roasted cauliflower mixed with quinoa for dinner — what a great combination.


And finally, tis the season for hot chocolate!

I’ve had a few cups of hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts at night recently and have enjoyed every sip.


A Stop At Whole Foods + Loaded Salads

I’m a day late this week on sharing recent meals but better late than never!

I went to Whole Foods the other afternoon for a few things.

I bought organic Honeycrisp apples, a few bottles of 365 light organic ranch dressing, a bag of shredded brussels sprouts, plus a few things from the frozen section:


Organic White Quinoa – I could make this myself on the stove with dry quinoa but I haven’t been so maybe this will motivate me to eat quinoa more often.

Organic Shoestring Cut Fries – I love these french fries with salads, with a veggie burger, or on the side of roasted veggies with hummus – the bag is cut open because I heated up some fries right away when I got home!

Riced Cauliflower Stuffing – I think I bought a version of this at Trader Joe’s last year.

I made the below salad for lunch with the following ingredients:

There was no need for dressing on this salad because the brussels sprouts combination had so much flavor. It was really good!


Talk about a loaded salad bowl. Here’s a list of everything in the below salad:

  • Romaine
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burger
  • Chickpeas
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Feta Cheese
  • Hummus

A few days ago while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I bought the Garden Vegetable Hash as something a little different to work with to make dinner.

For this particular dinner, I cooked the garden vegetable hash in a little olive oil and added chickpeas before combining it with roasted sweet potatoes, hummus, and feta cheese. I’m in a major humus and feta cheese phase right now!

  • Garden Vegetable Hash
  • Chickpeas
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Feta Cheese
  • Hummus

To finish up today’s post, here’s my mug of ginger turmeric tea with a Gingerman cookie on the side. I love how cute this is! Tastes good too.


Salad Ingredient Combinations + A Few Treats

Jumping right into some recent salads and treats!

Let’s start with salads as I have good salad ingredient combinations to share.

Even when I think about trying Sweet Green again, I still end up at Chopt. At this point, I actually have no idea what is in my Chopt salads since I hit “reorder” in the app so often.

If I had to guess, it involves crispy chickpeas, avocado, tomato, roasted Brussels sprouts, a few other ingredients, and the lemon tahini dressing.


Isn’t this salad combination colorful? Since Trader Joe’s was out of romaine lettuce (again), I bought the Organic Ready Set Salad blend and a Barbeque Ranch Salad Kit instead.

For this colorful salad, I mixed the two salad blends together and added the following:

  • Roasted Japanese Potatoes
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Onion
  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado

Let’s call the below salad a Thanksgiving leftovers salad. My aunt sent me home with leftovers from Thanksgiving so I used the following to make this salad.

  • Salad Blend (from Thanksgiving)
  • Broccoli (from Thanksgiving)
  • String Beans (from Thanksgiving)
  • Stuffing (from Thanksgiving)
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

I say this a lot lately but seriously, the red lentil pasta from Trader Joe’s really makes for the easiest dinner.

On the side for this particular pasta dinner, I made a salad using the Organic Ready To-Eat Salad Blend. I think this organic salad blend includes kale, carrots, and different types of cabbage. I also added tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette.

I really like the Organic Ready To Eat Salad blend and will continue to buy it now each week.


Nothing is better than this combination! The whole wheat margarita pizza from Mario’s with a salad is still a go-to dinner for me.



I’m not the Starbucks fancy drink type of person. In fact, I don’t even go to Starbucks for coffee more than a couple of times a year.

However, I did get a latte while shopping in the mall the other day though. Really a random treat when I get one!


Speaking of treats, this cookie cup filled with chocolate fudge frosting from Uncle Guiseppe’s is just so good.


And look what I have in the house again! I love these Gingerman cookies that hang on the side of a mug from Trader Joe’s!

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