Trader Joe’s and EasyLunchboxes – the BOOK!

by on July 8, 2012 · 24 comments                       

The book is FINISHED!!!

Ok, so who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s??  I know you can’t name a single person who doesn’t adore this natural and organic food market. Here’s an entire blog post on Why People Love Trader Joe’s. And I can humbly tell you that an awful lot of people are really loving my EasyLunchboxes.

Yummy goodness-to-go. Yep! This is the book that combines fabulous food and a lunch-packing system that makes it simple to pack meals FAST.

Cooking With Trader Joe’s Cookbook – Easy Lunch Boxes will be the 7th in a popular series of cookbooks devoted to cooking with foods from this remarkable store.

We proofread it a gazillion times, fussed over the layout with gifted designer Lilla Hangay, edited it like crazy, (kept all the good stuff), and my publishers (Brown Bag Publishers) just sent it off to the printer! Now we WAIT…

It comes out in September :)

We started only a few short months ago…. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of work, a lot of late nights, and about 30 zillion emails between everyone involved. But I hope you’ll forgive me as as I gush a little here… it’s GORGEOUS! Marla Meridith, who also contributed recipes, styled and shot each mouth-watering photo. There are color pics on every page, personal stories,  meal-packing ideas, and of course, a wide variety of delicious recipes that you’ll be able to prepare. Fast. And even if you aren’t lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, don’t worry; These meals can be easily adapted to ingredients found in your local market.

Finally, a beautiful guide to help you pack fresh, wholesome meals-to-go for kids and adults… FAST.

 PRE-ORDER your copy now 

A Cast of 32

This book mirrors what I’ve been creating online since I launched EasyLunchboxes in December, 2009: a vibrant community of devoted EasyLunchbox-packers –  folks who care greatly about what they’re eating, and who enthusiastically share from their kitchens and hearts. Busy people like me who’ve found time-saving ways to make good nutrition a top priority in their lives.

Thanks to social media, I’ve built an incredible band of supporters, fans, and now, friends, who wasted no time in submitting their best meal ideas to me for this book. When I contacted some of my favorite foodie pals to see if they would share a few recipes with me, I was stunned at the generous flood of crazy deliciousness that poured in. My recipe-wise assistant Lauri (who shares her gluten-free wisdom and recipes in the book) and I pored through hundreds of their family-tested dishes, and narrowed it down to the best of the best from the following 32 contributors. (The whole process made us HUNGRY, lol! When you look through this book, you’ll know what I mean.)

Here they are (in no particular order)

Lisa of 100 Days of Real Food, Astrid of Lunches Fit for a Kid, Lise of Veggie-BentoLeslie Durso, Aviva of The Scramble, Laura of MOMables, Kendra of Biting the Hand That Feeds you, Bobbi of Bobbi’s Bentos, Brenda of Sugar Free Mom, Marla of Family Fresh Cooking, Averie of Averie Cooks, Brianne of Red, Round, or Green, Alina Joy of The Good Old Days Farm, Christine of Wings to Weeds, Corey of Family Fresh Meals, Cristi of Bent on Better Lunches, Dan Masciullo, Jenny Lester,  Emily of Bentobloggy, JeeJee of BentoUSA, Nimali of Dr. Yum, Jenn of Bento for Kidlet, Keeley of Keeley McGuire Blog, Lauri Fitzsimmons, Kim of Out of the Box Food, Kristie of Beneficial Bento, Doug Fitzsimmons, Lori of Pink ‘n Punchy Lunches, Melanie of My Munch Bug, Nina of Mamabelly’s Lunches With Love, Rachel of Rachel’s Random Ramblings, Katie of School of Enrichment.

Cooking With Trader Joe’s Cookbook – Easy Lunch Boxes will be available in September, 2012, wherever books are sold. PRE-ORDER your copy now

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1 Averie @ Averie Cooks July 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

Kelly, congrats on all your hard work – it looks amazing! And to Marla, Lauri, and all the contributors, what a fabulous group effort. And now, you can take a big breath and a sigh of’s done!! :)

2 Kelly Lester July 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

Thanks Averie! THRILLED to have you in these pages ♥

3 Cristi July 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Kelly, you amaze me! Thank YOU so much for the opportunity to be in your fabulous book!
Cristi is the cool author of..Look! Lunch :)My Profile

4 Kelly Lester July 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

LOL Cristi. The feeling is mutual. Your lunches amaze me!!! I’m honored to show them off in the book ♥

5 Bri July 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

All I can say is…*happy dance.* And SQUEAL! Great, great job, Kelly. Amazing project, amazing contributors, amazing everything! Way to go, team!
Bri is the cool author of..It’s a Miracle! Whip, That Is…My Profile

6 Kelly Lester July 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Thank you!! And indeed Bri – we make an amazing team. So thrilled to have you as an honored member… now I’m thinking we need matching jerseys! Go team TJ-ELB! :)

7 Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP July 9, 2012 at 4:25 am

YEA! YOU DID IT!!!! Not only do all the recipes look delish, but the colors and the entire layout are fabulous! Just beautiful – BRAVO to everyone!

8 Kelly Lester July 9, 2012 at 5:40 am

Thank you Mel! So happy to have you in the book! What you do is so interesting and honestly, before I met you I didn’t know anything about feeding therapists. It’s great that you share some of that in the book, along with your delish recipes. ♥

9 Kristie July 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

Kelly, the book looks so amazing, and so fun! thanks so much for including me in your cast of lunch packing enthusiasts! I’m so proud to have my small little part here :D You’ve done such a wonderful job!

10 Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic July 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Kelly, I am so excited that your book is finally coming out and congratulations to you! And even though I know I’ll need to buy it online or in a bookstore, I think it will really just give me an excuse to drive across town to the new Trader Joe’s that opened up about a month ago. It’s within walking distance of my sister-in-law’s house and she loves to remind me of that any chance she gets. I’m also excited to see that I recognize many of your contributor’s names as well! What a perfect book to have just in time for back-to-school!
Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic is the cool author of..Easy Pad Thai Recipe-Kids In the Kitchen #SundaySupperMy Profile

11 Kelly Lester July 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Thanks so much Brenda!!! I’m so excited that Trader Joe’s seems to opening a new store everywhere you turn these days. It really is the best :) Let your sister-in-law think you just miss her a lot. I won’t tell her you’re driving across town for TJ’s, LOL!

12 Jillian Mckee July 11, 2012 at 11:55 am


I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?


13 jodie_velour July 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

just signed up for your giveaway, i really hope i win! i’ve never used your product but have heard really good things about it! it would be fun to win at the start of a new school year for us!

14 Kelly Lester July 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

Hi Jodie! Thanks for your enthusiasm for my products! I’m not hosting a giveaway right now so I hope you’ve actually entered on whatever blog you found my EasyLunchboxes through. Good luck!

15 Lizzie July 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm

This is such a great idea!! Packing lunches can get pretty tedious … and time consuming … and short on space … etc. I can’t wait to check this out! :)

16 Ludicrous Mama July 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Why is the picture of me so tiny? I thought this book was all about me… ;)

Congrats, Mama! The book looks amazing. I want to go buy a copy already!
Ludicrous Mama is the cool author of..Sweet Potato Gnocchi Vegetarian Recipe w/Beet GreensMy Profile

17 Kelly Lester July 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm

As usual Kendra, you make me LOL!!!!!!! I’m sending you a signed copy. Yours will be the one with ONLY your pics ;)

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