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.

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 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.


Figuring Things Out + Sweet Green + Recent Meals

So while I’m trying to figure out my next career move, I do have extra time for my blog.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to post six days a week. But blogging has changed so much over the years and even during that time, so have my original posting interests.

Like, I don’t even remember to take pictures of everything I eat nor do I want to!

But what I eat is still a top view and interest for the blog so maybe I’ll get back to talking more about it or remember to focus on what I bought at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods again.

I don’t know. These days I have enough trouble getting what I need at Trader Joe’s (and even Whole Foods) all in one shop. Every time I go to the stores, something is not in stock.

I’m really in the figure out what’s next phase of things.

I have a few ideas for my blog at the moment, including some interesting fitness-related posts with insight from experts — but please give me a minute to figure things like that out. As I keep saying, I need a minute to breathe.

Recent Meals

Let’s discuss that I found whole wheat grandma pizza at La Focaccia. And it’s delicious.

Every time I bring this pizza home, my son appears and takes a corner of my crust. I can’t stand it when he does that. If he wanted a bite, he should have said to bring him home a slice!


I tried the new Sweet Green location that opened in my area. Even though I’ve had Sweet Green in the city (and in Florida too) I figured I should try this one too even though I don’t think it’s anything special.

I had the green goddess salad (no almonds) and the buffalo cauliflower.

The Sweet Green salad was just fine, not special.

The cauliflower was mixed with crispy rice but was mostly rice. I liked it but would have liked it to involve more cauliflower. I much prefer the buffalo cauliflower that I get at Farmers Table when I’m down in Boca!


I still like Chopt. I’m sure I will go to Sweet Green randomly but I like Chopt because the salads are actually chopped up into small pieces. I’m used to that and I’m a creature of habit.


Lately though, I haven’t been able to finish my Chopt salads in one sitting. Sometimes I have half of the salad for lunch and then add something to it to finish the salad at dinner.


My bagel and vegetable cream cheese phase is still a phase. Not as strong as it was in the summer, but I do buy bagels and cream cheese each week to have in the house.

I had extra bialys in the house so I made my classic toasted bialy with tomato and mozzarella cheese one night for dinner.

So basic, not pretty, but so good.

tomato-and-mozzarella cheese

Last but not least for today, I made a simple grilled mozzeralla cheese sandwich on Ezekiel bread to dip into a bowl of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Tomato soup. I buy the low sodium variety of this tomato soup and most times I go to Trader Joe’s this time of year, it’s out stock.


My Running Foods + Cipollini + We Work Beverages

It’s already Wednesday! I hope the rest of the week flies as fast as the first half of the week has flown by! I’m going away next week so I’m antsy to get through this week and start packing for my trip.

In the meantime, let’s talk about recent meals.

I’ve been eating more sweet potatoes and bagels (well, bialy’s mostly) this summer. I’m sure that both are helping me to feel great when running and likely aid in the fact that I’m never fatigued after my runs either. I’m calling them my running foods for this summer, in addition to watermelon and the usual nutrient-dense foods that I eat on repeat.

There may not be much “nutrition” to bagels but I like them, crave them with cream cheese, and enjoy them. So to me, bagels and bialys are part of my healthy diet and lifestyle.


I eat power bowls like the bowl below on repeat lately for dinner during the week. I’ve been using either regular sweet potatoes or Japanese sweet potatoes. Also, the tri-color cauliflower from Trader Joe’s (from the frozen section) is just so good! I don’t know what it is about it, it’s just plain old cauliflower, but I love it!


You must get the citrusy garlic seasoning from Trader Joe’s if you haven’t yet. It’s so good sprinkled on sweet potatoes (and vegetables too) with a little bit of olive oil before roasting them in the oven.

This is what the jar looks like again if you missed it in Trader Joe’s or when I last discussed it.


I’m always making a lot of salads still for lunch, sometimes for dinner.

This salad involved some of my usuals like chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado but also had the addition of Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger and instead of romaine, I used two other salad blends from Trader Joe’s. Romaine is always the lettuce that is often out of stock at Trader Joe’s.


These are the salad blends I’ve been buying at Trader Joe’s when I can’t get romaine. I also go to Whole Foods if I really want romaine for my salads.


I love that this summer is normal so that I can spend Saturdays at my aunt’s beach house with my cousins. There’s always a great spread for lunch and so much to choose from to load up my plate.


I met my friend for a late afternoon of shopping around Americana with dinner at Cipollini.

We ordered the fried zucchini and I was a little nervous I would get too full/nauseous from the fried aspect but I was fine. I think because it was shoe-string style, I didn’t overeat it.


Instead of my usual margarita pizza order, we tried the veggie pizza. It was definitely good although there’s really nothing like their classic margarita.


And finally, here’s my pretty latte from the last time I worked at a We Work location in the city. I just love the We Work experience, likely for the many different beverage options. Between the coffee varieties and Kombucha on tap, it’s like a game of which we have first!


Hearts of Palm Pasta + Recent Meals + Citifield Food

I’ll start today’s post with another one of my Stoney Clover cups.

Stoney Clover cup

Chocolate-covered macaroons are the highlight of the Passover time of year for me, by the way.

chocolate covered macaroon

Let’s talk about pasta alternatives.

I’m not really a traditional pasta eater but I do find it fun to try the healthier pasta varieties available these days. It seems like companies are trying to turn just about anything into pasta!

Chickpea pasta isn’t new but is always good, in my opinion.

I buy the Whole Foods 365 Organic Chickpea Pasta or Banza pasta varieties and eat them both regularly.

This messy bowl below is the Whole Foods brand chickpea pasta shells with broccoli and asparagus cooked with tomato sauce. I sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top.

I usually make this for dinner when I need something really fast.

chickpea pasta

While in Trader Joe’s the other day, I spotted Hearts of Palm Pasta.

How can hearts of palm become pasta? While other brands may have made this already in the past, I’m pretty sure it’s new to Trader Joe’s.

hearts of palm pasta

I figured that it couldn’t hurt to try it.

To my surprise, it was actually very good. At first, I thought that maybe it would be similar to spaghetti squash but it wasn’t at all.

The Hearts of Palm pasta has a better texture than spaghetti squash, more like actual pasta.

I also appreciated that it didn’t hurt my stomach. Spaghetti squash does hurt my stomach which is why I no longer eat it.

The Hearts of Palm pasta cooked really quickly. You don’t boil it, you just cook it in a pan. I added it to a pan with vegetables in olive oil and then added sauce and cheese.

It looks like pasta, right?

hearts of palm pasta

I realized that my weekly Chopt salad order involves hearts of palm too. Hearts of palm are a good source of potassium so I would say I’m reaching my quota on that these days.

Chopt salad

I went to the Mets game on Sunday for the first time since before the pandemic.

dunkin coffee

When I went to get my usual popcorn, I asked them to give me the smallest size available.

I was hoping for something smaller than this giant box of popcorn but hey, this is how it goes when you order food at sporting events.


Of Interest: I once shared a post from when we sat in the suite seats and took major advantage of the terrific Cififield food options. That was such a good time! Read the post here.

I had a bowl from Cava fairly recently. It remains on my list of places that are “just fine” — I don’t totally love it but it’s fine.


And finally, one of my staple weeknight dinners — greek salad with roasted potatoes and hummus.

salad and sweet potato


Recent Meals + Trader Joe’s Shop + Rainbow Cookies

I’ve been working hard on putting together Friday’s post which includes my top Sephora Spring Savings picks. I can’t believe it’s just about time for the sale again!

I’m excited to share that with you and equally excited for the Stoney Clover x Target collaboration to launch this weekend too. Is it Friday yet?!

In the meantime, let’s talk about recent meals.

What I’ve Eaten Recently 

I couldn’t decide which pizza to get at Gino’s so I went classic with one regular and then added a grandma slice.

Note: Just like I mentioned last week when discussing how I no longer have a runner’s appetite, I cannot eat both of these slices in their entirety.

I had the regular slice with a salad and picked at the grandma slice — and then started to feel extremely full.

Ginos pizza

It had been a while since I last had a bowl from Cava. I still like Cava but it’s like I always say – it’s more out of convenience than an O-M-G I must have a salad from Cava.

I live nearby so it’s an easy decision when I want something fast. If I didn’t leave nearby, Cava likely wouldn’t be a destination for me.


Here’s a look inside my Trader Joe’s shopping cart…

All the necessities are here!

trader joes

I decided to have vegetable sushi one night — such a rare choice for me these days.

vegetable sushi

I wanted something basic for dinner Monday night after work so I made chickpea pasta shells and broccoli with butter and parmesan cheese.

chickpea pasta

A greek salad with roasted potato wedges is probably one of my favorite weeknight dinners. It’s easy to throw together and just so good. I just need about 35-40 minutes to roast the potatoes, sometimes a little less. It just depends upon the size of the potato and how many wedges I get when I dice it up.

salad and potatoes

My dad brought me rainbow cookies the other day. I keep them in the freezer so there’s no pressure to finish them and then I have a fun snack when I remember they are there!

rainbow cookies

What I’ve Eaten Recently!

Since I missed last Wednesday’s post, I included some extra meals and things to make up for it!

I was very happy to see that Trader Joe’s had Ginger Turmeric Tea back in stock.

I bought three boxes as well as my other necessities like chocolate chips, frozen blueberries for my daily oatmeal, and salad ingredients.

trader joes

Trader Joe’s is still out of cinnamon raison Ezekiel bread but I found it at Whole Food’s. I had to pay more for it, but at least I have some in the house again!

Ezekiel raisin bread

My friend and I were having Chopt salads together for lunch at her store. She told me in advance of me picking up our salad orders that Chopt now had pickled spicy vegetables on the menu. I quickly changed my usual salad order within my Chopt app to include the new vegetables on the menu — very good choice!

chops salad

I so rarely share photos of the salads I make at home but here’s one that looks a lot like what I make to eat every day for lunch. My salads are always thrown together while working. Like literally, while working. Depending upon who it is I am speaking to on a call, I am likely making my lunch at the same time.

This salad contained:

  • Romaine
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Person Cucumbers
  • Onion (just a little!)
  • Chickpeas
  • Feta Cheese
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Vegan Dill Dressing


I had this beautiful chopped salad from Town Bagel over the weekend but I don’t remember specifically what was in it.

chopped salad

Here’s a glimpse inside the bagel case at Town Bagel. I was lucky that my favorite maple raisin multigrain bagel was still left for me to take home with my salad.

town bagel

One night for dinner after work last week, I was very hungry and needed something quick to eat.

I made this quick “stir fry” but didn’t actually stir fry it or use a pan. To make this quick dinner, I heated up a steam fresh bag of vegetables and Trader Joe’s frozen grain blend. Once everything was combined, I added chickpeas, Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce, and avocado.

This non-recipe recipe reminds me of the quick and easy stir fry recipe I shared several years ago.

stir fry

I thought slightly ahead another night to roasting sweet potato wedges while finishing up the workday. Once I was off my last call, the potatoes were ready. I added a steam bag of broccoli, chickpeas, and guacamole to complete my dinner.

I can’t begin to tell you how BASIC yet perfect and delicious this dinner was for me. My plan is to make it more often!

plant based dinner

When I had more time, I made my vegan cacciatore with chickpea pasta shells which lasted a few nights for dinner.

vegan cacciatore

Of course, I’ve had whole wheat margarita pizza recently. I walk in and they box it up for me before I even place the order and pay.

It’s a good thing that I don’t deviate from my usual order too often. I would throw off the staff at Mario’s!


Last but not least, I had a salad from Plant Wise.

plant wise

I created my own which included a bunch of vegetables and their “veggie tuna” which is made with chickpeas.

plant wise


Blizzard Food + Recent Salad Combo + Carrots in the House

I went food shopping ahead of the blizzard last Friday. In addition to stocking up from Trader Joe’s (they are still out of frozen broccoli and Ezekiel Raisin Bread!), I went to Mario’s for pizza.

First up was my favorite whole wheat margarita pizza.

whole wheat margarita pizza

I also got a slice of vegetable pizza to have the next night. While I knew I could always freeze the pizza if I didn’t want it, of course, I wanted it.

I had this vegetable slice while finishing Paris Hilton’s series on Peacock. I loved the whole show and the whole planning of her wedding.

Obviously, I love wedding planning (I work in the wedding/events industry), but I also love Paris, loved seeing her Stoney Clover pouches throughout the episodes, and LOVED seeing her wedding planner Mindy Weiss – Mindy is on my company’s advisory board. I always feel half famous when she’s on television because I email her directly and have spoken to her plenty/hosted webinars with her throughout the years. Mindy plans all of the Kardashian weddings and parties too!

vegetable pizza

Usually, snow days mean baking and a lot of snacking.

To be honest, I was less hungry than usual which is so weird! I did have some carrots with hummus. My son has become a Costco shopper (did you know that I HATE Costco?) and he arrived home Friday night with tons of stuff including giant bags of baby carrots. I feel like I have to do my part to eat them before they go bad.



I’ve been making salads like this on repeat:

  • Lettuce
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Avocado
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Lentils
  • Vegan Dill Dressing


I bought the Trader Joe’s package of steamed lentils so I’ve been adding them to everything. It’s a nice change from constantly eating chickpeas.

Also, the Vegan Dill dressing that I mentioned last week is really so good. I bought another bottle.

While stocking up at Trader Joe’s before the snow, I also bought a package of the organic tri-color peppers plus mushrooms and an onion in order to make my easy, go-to vegan cacciatore.

I added the lentils to the combo for this week as well as Trader Joe’s vegan bolognese sauce.

peppers onions mushrooms

Instead of Italian flavors, you can totally do the pepper, onion, mushroom combo with a fajita spice packet. I’m really not a Mexican food eater — it’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t crave it or think to make fajitas and things like that on my own.

But I did suddenly think about it while cooking this over the weekend! Maybe next week I will switch it up and go with different spices. I could easily see this combo in a bowl with guacamole if seasoned correctly.

Plant Wise + A Stop At Trader Joe’s

It’s that time of the week when we chat about recent meals!

Since Plant Wise is only open on weekdays, my goal is to try to get out on Fridays for a quick lunch. It’s usually a little quieter for me workwise, at least in the sense that I should be able to run out to at least pickup lunch and bring it home.

Maybe not every Friday, but sometimes.

I went to Plant Wise last Friday to grab lunch! It was so cold outside that I immediately chose the half and half bowl – half of the avocado quinoa salad and half tomato chickpeas.

I don’t know how Plant Wise makes the “tomato chickpeas” but they are warm and delicious, with a black beanball included too.

plant wise bowl

I had this combo once before at Plant Wise and although it’s REALLY SO GOOD, it’s too filling for me for lunch. It’s nutritionally dense and filling with all of the chickpeas, quinoa, guacamole, and the black beanball!

In other news, it was another week, another Chopt salad situation.

How many posts have I said this exact same statement?

chopt salad

I made a stop at Trader Joe’s after a one-hour massage on the weekend. Even though I had already gone food shopping, I needed a few more things. My son wanted eggs and I wanted to make my vegan cacciatore for dinner.

trader joes

I used the organic package of peppers, mushrooms, and onions along with that new-to-me vegan bolognese pasta sauce to make this easy vegan cacciatore dinner.

Whole Foods also has a vegan bolognese sauce which I tried a few months ago — I like this Trader Joe’s version slightly better.

peppers onions mushrooms

The Vegan Creamy Dill Dressing that I bought from Trader Joe’s is really good too! I had never tried it before but ever since buying it on the weekend, I’ve used it every day for salads.

I make this basic greek salad quite often with either a baked potato or baked sweet potato on the side. It’s the perfect easy dinner solution for me.

salad and sweet potato

Are you having any trouble buying the usual foods at the grocery stores right now? I can’t seem to find my favorite Ezekiel Raisin Bread and Trader Joe’s is constantly out of frozen broccoli. Those are the two main items I’m missing each week right now!


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