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!

roasted veggie salad

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In my ever-lasting quest for lunches that are: easy, tasty, satisfying and totally healthy last week I decided on a Roasted Vegetable Salad with hummus. I just feel like I haven’t gotten the “packing lunch” thing down. I always spend way too much time and effort and then if something is just so-so I’m dissapointed in the whole thing. I can’t bring myself to make a sandwich…although I might try next week. Oh and someone ;) always eats the leftovers so we rarely have those.  Having access to only a microwave doesn’t make it any easier either. So help. Please :)  Do you pack your lunch? What do you pack?

This lunch was actually very good, it might even qualify to repeat (despite the fact that the veggies were WAY over done and close to mush-status). It included Herb Salad mix, cucumber, peppers, hummus and the roasted veggies: brussels, asparagus, squash, red onion and zucchini.

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sweet potato, spinach & chorizo soup

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I came across this recipe from Bon Appetit (October 2007) on Smitten Kitchen. It of course looked amazing and with the frigid temps that have recently blessed Minnesota (Hello 30 degrees and snow!) I knew a soup was in my near future.

I decided to make mine in the crock-pot, because I can think of nothing better than preparing dinner at noon, attempting to make foccacia (again and again to no avail) and enjoying wine all afternoon a glass of wine all to sit down to a hot, fragrant dinner.

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Like SK, I opted for chorizo because I looooove the spicy and it was the most “natural” kind of sausage I could find in a conventional grocery store. It was awful and I will never attempt to find decent meat there again.

Slice and brown 4 links of chorizo and set aside in crock-pot. Saute 2 small onions and 3 cloves of garlic, all minced and add to the crock. Add 3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch pieces) and 6 cups broth (I used Organic Chicken). Throw in some random spices and set crock-pot to low for 4 hours. Sit back, relax, slightly mash some of the sweet potatoes and stir in some spinach when you are ready to eat.

Note: I did not use white potatoes because I’m not a huge fan of them , but they are in the original recipe.

Need to find some more good crock-pot recipes. Anyone have some good ones?

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