A Few Staples I’ve Been Eating The Past Few Days

Woah. It’s been a crazy couple of days! I’ve been editing a few blogs that’ll be going live next week, and a new YouTube video from my Colorado trip! I thought I’d have time to blog while I was on my trip, but my brother and I spent so much time out exploring Denver and had the time of our lives! I think of it like this, blogging is always going to be there, but I won’t be able to get these moments with my brother back. He’s in the Air Force, and I get to see him maybe two or three times a year, so sitting on the computer blogging wasn’t on my top priorities for the weekend. Now that I’m home, I’ll be back in full force blogging mode! Thank you guys for understanding! But, I did manage to get some awesome Colorado content that’ll be up soon! We used a lot of your suggestions, and they did not disappoint!

Now that I’m done working on a few blogs that needed to be submitted, I am going to share some meal staples that I ate this past week. I know it doesn’t look like a lot, but that’s because I was gone four of the days, but you’ll see what I ate in the travel blog!
You can go ahead and say it! “That looks gross.” You’re right, it does look gross, but it’s so delicious! I’ve been eating these protein oats almost every day this month. It takes me about three minutes to make, and it’s filling! I microwave 1/4 cup of oats with 1 cup of water. It’s going to look liquidy when you’re done, but the protein powder thickens it up instantly. I add two tablespoons of Chocolate Hemp Manitoba Harvest protein and 1/2 scoop of vanilla Garden of Life Protein. I’ll usually top it with granola, or coconut shreds and some kind of nut butter! This is a great plant-based budget-friendly breakfast that you can prepare for trips because you don’t need anything refrigerated. You can make them cold or microwave them! 
Almost all week long, I had the most delicious black bean and sweet potato chili! I made my go-to chili recipe without the ground turkey and used black beans. It was so delicious. Each night, I added Chive Kite-Hill and diced avocado. Chili is one of those dishes that I can eat every night and never get sick of it. This recipe makes plant-based January so easy.
On most days for lunch, I always make a quick protein shake for lunch. I’ll usually take a break from work around 1 pm, walk the dogs, and then get back to work with my shake. My shake has a heaping scoop of protein powder, almond milk, ice, frozen banana, and nut butter.
I’ve been trying to eat more vegetables at night because they keep me full, and they’re good for you! 😊 I do love the Daiya burritos and Gardein black bean burgers, but making vegetables and more whole foods will be better for me in the long run.

I roasted carrots with avocado oil at 400-degrees for 25 minutes and the Brussels for only 16 minutes. The tin foil makes it easier for me to pull it out faster. Once they were done, I sprinkled garlic powder, black pepper, and sea salt on top. 
My side salad had mixed greens with peppered almonds, avocado, and balsamic dressing.  
Another one of my favorite go-to plant-based dishes are these zucchini pizzas! I feel like I can’t get enough of these tasty things. I cut the zucchini thin, add my favorite pizza sauce, add peppers, and Daiya mozzarella style cheese shreds. I bake them at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes.
I woke up at 3 am for my flight on Tuesday! I was sooooooooooooo tired when I landed in Charlotte but needed to stop off at the store before heading home. I hadn’t been to Trader Joe’s in over a year, so I decided to stop by there to pick up all the groceries for the house. I found way too many good things, and I am going to start making regular trips there! You guys will have to let me know what to look out for.
For dinner, I sauteed the Trader Joe’s rainbow carrots, high protein super firm organic tofu, and cauliflower gnocchi together with the vegan kale, cashew, & basil pesto. This meal took less than twenty minutes to whip together, and it tasted like something you’d get at a restaurant! Thank goodness I bought like four bags of the cauliflower gnocchi and rainbow carrots! I can’t believe it’s been so long since going into Trader Joes! I am going to add this to my meal-prep list. 
I ate the carrot, gnocchi and tofu dish on top of a salad for lunch the next day and it was surprisingly delicious. I dressed it with the Green Goddess Trader Joe’s dressing.
I started my day with my protein oats and then had a bowl of strawberries with peanut butter protein granola to go with my afternoon cappuccino.
After the gym tonight, I had the best dinner ever! I was craving stir-fry, so I sauteed up bell peppers, onions, sweet potatoes and tofu with a little avocado oil and gluten-free General TSO sauce! I bet this dish would be so good with some homemade fried rice 😃

I’m SO looking forward to spending the weekend with my pups, lounging around the house with some good movies, and grabbing coffee with my best friend 😊 Tomorrow, I’m making cauliflower wings (trying to replicate the ones I had in Colorado!)

Have a great night, everyone!

Questions for you!

  1. What is one dish you’ve been eating on repeat this week?
  2. Do you have a favorite Trader Joes product?


  • Alyssa

    I made your sweet potato black bean enchiladas and they were to die for! New favorite dinner! So good.

    Reply to Alyssa
  • Alyssa Connolly

    I love the cauliflower gnocchi! I don’t follow the instructions, I just spray a little oil and saute it and then add pesto, so good! Their brussel sprout kit near the salads is also really good, you can just copy what’s in it for cheaper I’m sure!

    Reply to Alyssa Connolly
  • Danielle

    Love reading about your meals!!!! I meal prepped some ground turkey meatballs with a sriacha garlic honey sesame glaze! SOO GOOD. I paired it with cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s!! My must buy at Trader Joe’s are their acai frozen packets! They are unsweetened and I throw one in my protein smoothies!

    Reply to Danielle
  • Leah Emmett

    What crackers did you use? Trying to find some healthy ones

    Reply to Leah Emmett
  • Lindsay

    I’m pretty much obsessed with TJ’s! They make eating healthier so much easier. I go every Sunday and stock up on stuff for salads- tricolor bell pepper, snap peas, arugula, spinach, kale, green goddess dressing… For quick and healthy dinners- chicken fajitas, chili lime chicken burgers, garlic herb chicken sausage, frozen organic brown rice and quinoa, sweet potato fries, and any of the frozen veggie blends. The cauliflower rice stir-fry- add in some extra broccoli and eggs with the frozen cilantro chicken pot stickers! For snacks- the inner peas, three layer hummus (the jalapeno is so yum!), reduced guilt chunky guac, dark chocolate PB cups, dried mango, hard-boiled eggs, RX bars, frozen chocolate covered strawberries and bananas. And their frozen fruit is great and so reasonably priced, frozen steel cut oats are quick and easy, and cold pressed green juice is super yum. Oh and coconut cold brew!!! I could go on, and on, and on… but those are all pretty much staples for me!

    Reply to Lindsay
  • Lauren

    I love their cauliflower gnocchi and their cauliflower pizza crust! I cooked some chicken in the crockpot with their pepita salsa and it is my new favorite salsa! I love putting their carrot ginger miso dressing on roasted veggies! I love Trader Joe’s <3

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s so good!! I wasn’t a huge fan of the cauliflower crust, but maybe I didn’t cook it right! I would give it another shot.

      That carrot miso dressing sounds so good!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenna

    Nothing on repeat, I’ve avtually been trying new recipes each night and using my instant pot. && I’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s. We just got a Earth Fare and I’m super excited about that, what should I look for there?!

    Reply to Jenna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I still need to get on the instant pot game!!

      I would definitely look out for their seafood section! It’s ALWAYS so fresh!! & their sushi is to die for.

      We always get their store-brand salsa and the plant snacks vegan cheddar crackers! sooooo good.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara

    I love getting glimpse into your diet like this. Can you do more?

    Reply to Sara
  • Lila

    On repeat these past few days…Half an avocado “stuffed” with roasted red pepper hummus, topped with shredded cheese and microwaved.

    Reply to Lila
  • Ellen

    Do a YouTube video how you cook your tofu!

    Reply to Ellen
  • Dana

    The cauli gnocchi are definitely a staple for me (got some more today). I also love the French pizza tarts, the crust is like a cross between puff pastry and pizza dough, they do have real cheese on them though. The Thai chili garden burgers are great. I love the Mediterranean 4 pack in the fresh case, it has hummus, grape leaves, a tomato cous cous, and lentil salad. They have great prices on organic veggies as well. I could go on for hours about this😂

    Reply to Dana
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    I always hear so many great things about Trader Joe’s! I wish Canada had them, as they have so many delicious and healthy products.
    I love tofu but have never made it before. I just bought some extra firm tofu and I can’t wait to cook it up!


    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Casey

    Chili! Yes i agree, never get tired of it. I would try the cauliflower gnocchi! I’m in Canada and we had Target for a very short time…It was literally my fav store! They closed all stores in Canada. I really like all their seasonal items and great prices.

    Reply to Casey
  • Emily H.

    Fav trader joe essentials = enchilada sauce. You have to get it because it is so dang good! Their salsa is also very very good!

    Reply to Emily H.
  • Jenn

    Favorite Trader Joe’s product used to be Dark chocolate peanut butter cups… until I realized peanut butter was causing intense migraines. Boo! So now it’s the multiseed with soy sauce crackers or their frozen tarts. The mushroom one is so good!

    Reply to Jenn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Those sound amazing! I bought their sunflower cups and they were delicious, so you should try those!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jenn

        Love their salsa verde too! It’s great on tacos, just to dip with chips or to cook with. I throw it in the crock pot with chicken and let it cook for a few hours and then it’s nice and easy to shred for so many things.

        Reply to Jenn
  • Susan

    Trader Joe’s orange chicken is a yummy guilty pleasure! Served with broccoli and rice.

    Just wondering which recipes you especially liked from those vegan cookbooks you mentioned in vlogmas? Would love to try some.

    Also, what do you have against broccoli? It seems like I’ve seen you cook with it before, but not lately.

    Reply to Susan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That sounds amazing!!!!!!!

      I honestly didn’ make any. I expected to do more but was all over the place this month. I did make lemon muffins but they were so dry and crumble from the Vegan 8 so I didn’t share that one lol

      I have nothing against broccoli lol I just featured it in my vegan mac & broccoli 😂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda

    I have been eating homemade Egg Roll Soup on repeat this week! It’s cold and rainy and I haven’t seen the sun in weeks so it’s some good, cozy comfort food.

    I’m up in Canada so no Trader Joe’s for me (however I am planning a 6 hour roadtrip to Washington this summer just for Target and Trader Joe’s hehehe) but I have tried their olive tapenade on a vacation to Arizona and it was AMAZING. It will be coming back up north with me! lol

    Reply to Amanda
  • Olivia

    I make cauliflower “wings” all the time! They are so good and so easy. I either bake them or put them in my AirFryer to make them extra crispy 🙂

    1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup flour (any kind, I use all purpose GF)
    garlic powder
    1/2 cup buffalo sauce (or preferred sauce)

    Mix together flour, water, and garlic powder and coat cauliflower florets. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Take them out and coat with sauce. Bake again for 8-10 more minutes. Times can be adjusted for crispier or softer “wings”.

    I’d found a lot of other complicated recipes and modified the above to be simple and delicious. Good luck!

    Reply to Olivia
  • Tessa Mae

    I love blogs like this! I know you’re busy so thank you for sharing!

    Reply to Tessa Mae
  • Kristen

    Love your blog! Lately I have been eating special K protein crunch cereal with almond milk and strawberries! Such a good quick breakfast!

    I LOVE Trader Joe’s!!!!!! My FAV is sweet potato gnocchi & orange chicken 🤤 I have a bag of cauliflower gnocchi in my freezer I have been waiting to try!


    Reply to Kristen
  • Melissa A DeMarco

    Hey, I just wanted to say do not boil or defrost the cauliflower gnocchi! It makes them super gummy. Don’t even add the water like the back of the package says! Add about a tbsp (I use 1 tbsp for half the bag) of avocado oil (or any kind!) to a nonstick pan and add the completely frozen gnocchi to it. Let it sit for a few minutes and try to resist the urge to touch them or flip them LOL. They will get cooked and nice and crispy, then flip them off so the other side gets crispy. They will be completely cooked through and crispy on the edges and soft inside and not gummy at all. I think I went through about 5 bags before I mastered how to cook them perfect bahah!

    Reply to Melissa A DeMarco
  • Katie Meshko

    Oh my gosh it all looks SO GOOD!! Esp that chilli! Mmmm. This week I made a chicken, sweet potatoe, and broccoli bake and we had it a few times.. it was delicious!! I don’t have a Trader Joes where I live and it’s the saddest thing ever. We do visit one when we can if we are near one and buy products that won’t go bad on our drive.. I love their everything but the bagel seasoning!! <3 Happy Weekend
    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie Meshko
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Katie!!

      Sounds so good! Sweet potatoes make everything taste good 😃

      We got their gluten-free everything bagels and can’t believe they are GF!! so good.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ann

    Favorite Trader Joe’s product: Butternut squash ravioli! In refrigerated section with all the other raviolis. I toss it with olive oil/ butter, sage, spinach, green onions, peas and carrots! So yummy!

    Reply to Ann
  • Katie

    Love simple posts like these! You have such great and simple meal ideas that I love to copy! 🙂 Kind of random question for you – you used to use the Orgain protein powder a lot, and I noticed you switched to the Garden of Life kind. Was there a reason for the switch? Or did you just try Garden of Life and like the taste better?

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Katie!

      I started doing the Garden of Life when I was doing the raw vegan challenge and I felt really good with it! I liked the lower carb count since I usually add it to oatmeal! Orgain actually tastes way better and is like half the price, so I still use it for baking! 😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I love how healthy your meals are. And hey, who cares if the meals look gross? They’re delicious and that’s all that matters! 🙂 Better than making things LOOK nice just for the Gram! I always have the same things on repeat – steamed okra, oven-baked fish and some bok choy! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I agree, Charmaine!! As long as they taste good 😉

      I don’t know how people do so many gram pics lol I’m lucky to get one or two a week! MAYBE! Every time I come across Okra, I think of you because you love it so much!! lol, Maybe I’ll come up with a good okra recipe because it’s a popular vegetable here!

      Have a great weekend and thank you for always putting a smile on my face!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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