mill city farmers market

Of the many reasons I love Minneapolis, the Mill City Farmers Market is definitely on the top of the list.  I’m sure part of it is because I can walk there and part because I can get a coffee, fresh lemonade OR cucumber mint water; curry, crepes OR Chef Shack snacks; local pork, vegetables OR fresh flowers and see tons of cute babies, little red-heads AND adorable kids selling organic vegetables all in a half-hour time span.

I’ve mentioned (and complained I’m sure) before that the summers are so busy I don’t get there nearly as much as I would like to but when I do? I’m sure to soak everything in.

summer couscous salad

I’m not quite sure why I don’t cook with couscous more often. I love the shape and nutty flavor, but even more so, I love how quickly it cooks. Can you seriously beat 5 minutes?

This salad was just what I was after – bright, flavorful, packed with veggies and a filling make-ahead lunch. I’m trying to pack in as many summer flavors as I can because I’m already anxiously awaiting fall.  :)

Summer Couscous Salad - 2 large servings

  • 2 servings couscous
  • 1-2 peppers (I used 1 green, 1/2 red)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Dressing: 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper

Prepare couscous as directed. Let cool.

Chop all veggies to desired size. I did small pieces – easier to eat!

Toss all ingredients together and eat out of Tupperware! :)

bean & veggie rice bowl

I am always on the lookout for new lunch ideas that are:

  • able to be made ahead
  • satisfying and well-rounded
  • packed with veggies

So when a friend (Thanks Molly!) told me about this lunch she had been making I knew I had to try it out. And true to my  have-no-patience self, I made some lunch bowls that same day. Some may call it impulsive but I’ll stick with passionate.

I often times struggle to find balance between a protein-filled meal and a desire to eat less meat. Sometimes vegetarian sources of protein just don’t keep me as satisfied as I would like them to. That was, admittedly, the only fear with this recipe. But it proved me wrong. So very wrong. I think between the beans, rice and healthy fat from the avocado it was the perfect combination of proteins, grains and fats to keep my belly full and myself happy. :)

I’ll be on the lookout for more lunches like this one. It’s filling and I can feel good about eating it and that makes for a perfect lunch.


Bean & Veggie Rice Bowl – 2 large lunch serving

  • 1/2 cup dried brown rice
  • 2/3 cup black beans
  • 2 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then in half-moons
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise and then in half-moons
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • optional toppings: lime juice, salsa, hot sauce, etc.

Prepare rice as directed.

Heat large pan over medium heat. Add peppers and zucchini to pan and  cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add spinach to pan, tossing to wilt the spinach.

Toss beans and rice together with vegetables or layer in bowls/Tupperware containers. Top with chopped tomato and avocado.

lentil & garbanzo stew

In need of a quick, easy (not to mention inexpensive) crock-pot meal? Enter in a vegetarian meal that will leave your home smelling wonderful and is so simple to throw together. Now I made this on a Sunday so sauteing onions, garlic and jalapeno at 9AM was not too bad, but could easily be done the night before for weeknight meals.

The recipe can be found here on the Whole Foods website. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly but think next time I would add 2 containers of  Greek yogurt which was still more than what was called for. You know I like my dairy :)

It is best served over steamed veggies and or rice and topped with cilantro!