Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing

This Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing is light and flavorful and an easy way to add some healthy fats to your salad.

Hi Friends!

I know it’s Bean Bytes day but I just had to pop in again and share a quick recipe with you guys in honor of a very special lady! Thanks to some wonderful blogger organizers, we’re having a little virtual baby shower for Liz at The Lemon Bowl. If you haven’t checked out her blog, go do so immediately. She posts some amazing recipes!

Today we’re celebrating Liz by putting together a little recipe roundup… and LEMON is the star ingredient!

I opted to make a salad dressing. You guys know I LOVE avocado on my salad. Usually I just chop it up and put it on top, but sometimes it’s nice to spread the wealth a little bit and give every piece of lettuce a little avocado flavor! Since lemon and avocado naturally go together, it didn’t take long to come up with this recipe.


Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing

Print Recipe

4.8 from 4 reviews

A easy to make, light dressing that’s full of flavor!

  • Author: Author: Lindsay L



  • 1/3 c mashed avocado (1 medium)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 23 Tbsp water (to reach desired consistency)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir vigorously until well-combined.
  2. Makes about 1/2 a cup of dressing.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theleangreenbean on Instagram

I enjoyed mine on a salad topped with a salmon cake!

Want more lemon? Check out what the other fabulous bloggers made for the shower:


  • Whipped Feta Spread with Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary by Miss in the Kitchen
  • Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” in a Lemon Cup with Smoked Paprika by Climbing Grier Mountain
  • Lemon Basil Bruschetta by Dine & Dish
  • Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries w/ Lemon Basil Aioli by What’s Gaby Cooking
  • Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Olives by Sarah’s Cucina Bella
  • Kalamata Olive and Feta Dip with Baked Lemon Pepper Pita Chips by In Aggie’s Kitchen
  • Creamy Asparagus Guacamole by The Healthy Apple


  • Sparkling Honey Rosemary Lemonade by Nutmeg Nanny
  • Basil Hibiscus Lemonade by Fabtastic Eats
  • Jam Mocktails: Lemon & Pineapple by Cooking with Books
  • Lemon Jalapeno Spritzers by Bev Cooks
  • Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade by Crumbs and Chaos
  • Limonana (Middle Eastern Frozen Mint Lemonade) by An Edible Mosaic
  • Tipsy Lemonade Iced Tea by Family Fresh Cooking


  • Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing by Thrifty Veggie Mama
  • Lemon Quinoa Salad with Pistachios & Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Cookin’ Canuck
  • Greek Salad with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette by Gimme Some Oven
  • Pear Quinoa Salad by Reluctant Entertainer
  • Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing by The Lean Green Bean
  • Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad by MomAdvice
  • Herbed Calamari Salad with Preserved Lemons by Everyday Maven

Main Dish

  • Italian Lemon Roast Chicken Pot by Eat2Gather
  • Roasted Lemon Garlic Cocktail Shrimp by Simply Scratch
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp Tostada by A Zesty Bite
  • Lemon Pepper Shrimp Linguine by Taste and Tell
  • Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter by Handle the Heat
  • Lemon Chicken Stew by FoodieCrush
  • Chicken Saltimbocca with Lemon Cream Sauce and Olive Orzo by Baker by Nature


  • Honey Lemon Shortbread Cookies by Rachel Cooks
  • Lemon Glazed Cookies by A Cedar Spoon
  • Healthier Lemon Bars by Texanerin Baking
  • Lemon Sugar Cookies by What Megan’s Making
  • Light Lemon Mousse by Country Cleaver
  • Lemon Sugar Cookie Sandwiches by i am baker
  • Mini Lemon Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust by The Law Student’s Wife
  • Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Chips by Seeded at the Table

[Tweet “This Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing from @leangrnbeanblog is the perfect way to step up any salad!”]

Salad dressings can easily be made ahead of time during a food prep session to have on hand to make salads more exciting during the week. If you liked this post, you’ll love my ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep. It dives into even more detail about how to food prep, troubleshoots common problems and provides tons of tips to make it easier! Click the image below for more details!



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How to Cook and Freeze Beans

Did you know you can cook and freeze dried beans? Make a whole bag and stock your freezer so you have them on hand to add to meals!

Hi Friends!

It’s no secret around here that I love beans. Especially green beans 🙂 But today we’re going to focus on dried beans. More specifically, how to cook dried beans – and then how to freeze them.

Let me start by saying that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating canned beans occasionally. Canned beans are better than no beans! However, canned beans are often loaded with sodium. If you buy them, look for no-salt-added or low-sodium varieties, and be sure to rinse them well before using.

Dried beans are the best option, in my opinion, though. A lot of people tell me that they’re unsure how to cook dried beans, so they avoid them. Well friends, I’m here to show you how easy it is! And as an added bonus, I’ll show you how to freeze them. That way, you will always have them on hand when you need them. It’s a great way to save time and money!

So, let’s start with cooking methods. Here are three to choose from:

  • Stovetop
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Crockpot

The pressure cooker is my personal favorite way to cook beans because you can go from dried (unsoaked) beans to completely cooked beans in about 25 minutes. However, I realize that not everyone has a pressure cooker, so I’ll explain the other methods as well.


Black beans are the most commonly cooked beans in my house. I also cook great northern white beans and pinto beans on occasion. They all have slightly different cooking times, but if you’re cooking them on the stove top, you need to soak them first! The very first step is to look through the beans and remove any small stones or other debris that may have made it into the bag. Then, move on to soaking.

Soaking methods: 
Long Soak: Put the beans in a bowl, cover with three times the amount of water, and let soak 6-8 hours or overnight.
Quick Soak: Put the beans in a pot, cover with three times the amount of water (so for a bag of beans you need 6-8 cups), bring the water to a boil, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for one hour.

Rinse #1:
After whichever soaking method you choose is complete, you need to rinse the beans. The beans will swell while soaking so make sure you use a large pot and enough water. The water will also turn black if you’re using black beans! Totally normal. Set up a colander in the sink, dump the beans and water into the colander and run some water over the beans until the water runs clear into the sink.

Return the beans to the pot after rinsing and cover with 3x the amount of water again. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 45 min – 1 hour. I would start checking them around 40 minutes because every stove is different and cooking times can vary widely. Plus, some people like their beans extremely soft and others like them a little firmer. Depending on your “simmer” temperature, your beans could take anywhere from 40 minutes to 90 minutes. Every so often, just remove the lid, scoop out a bean and taste test. When they reach your desired doneness, remove the beans from heat.

Rinse #2:
Set the colander in the sink again and carefully drain the beans into the colander. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Pressure Cooker

This is by far the fastest way to cook dried beans. No soaking required! Just dump a bag of beans into the pressure cooker, cover with 3x the amount of water and cook on high for 15-20 minutes (will vary by cooker so you’ll have to test it out with yours). Use the natural release method and transfer the beans to a strainer to rinse them.


If you’re using a crockpot to cook your beans, you can fix it and forget it. I haven’t actually tried this myself, but I’ve read several recipes from people who have. The consensus is that cooking times vary widely based on how fresh your beans are. They could be done after as little as 3 hours on high, but it looks like most take about 5-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. It might be a good idea to make some while you’re home to check on them until you get a feel for how long they’ll take in your crockpot. You do not need to presoak them if you’re using this method.


  • A lot of people like to season their beans, especially if they’re cooking them in the crockpot. You can add chopped onion, garlic and other spices for flavor and you could also use broth to replace half the liquid for some added flavor.
  • If you add salt to your beans (which is unnecessary in my opinion) don’t add it until the very end. Salt can cause it to take much longer for the beans to cook.
  • Red kidney beans specifically contain a toxin that might not be destroyed by crockpot cooking alone. To be safe, they should be soaked overnight, rinsed and cooked in boiling water for 10 minutes before being cooked in a crockpot. Read more here.

Storing Methods:

  • Refrigerator: Transfer to a tupperware container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Let the beans cool completely. Portion into ziploc bags. Lay bags flat on side and stack to store in the freezer. When you need to use them, just remove a bag, smack it against the counter to loosen up the beans and either pour directly into the pan of whatever you’re cooking to let them thaw, or pour into a bowl and defrost in the microwave.
  • Edited to add: You can freeze lentils as well! They cook much faster on the stove top, but I freeze them in bags the same way!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Ditch the can! Use these tips from @leangrnbeanblog to cook & freeze dried beans instead!” quote=”Ditch the can! Use these tips from @leangrnbeanblog to cook & freeze dried beans instead!”]

So there ya go! Easy peasy and a great way to make sure you always have cooked beans on hand in the freezer!



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How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Oven

Did you know you can make perfect hard-boiled eggs without boiling water? Let me show you how to hard boil eggs in the oven! 

Hi Friends!

Things are super busy around here so I’m just popping in with a quick tip. I’m certainly not the first one to use this trick, but I shared it on Instagram last week and got a huge response from people who didn’t know about it, so I thought I’d share it here to spread the knowledge!

I want to show you how to hard boil eggs in the oven. Yes, you can get perfectly cooked “hard boiled” eggs without even boiling water! It couldn’t be easier!

Here’s what you do:

1. Put your eggs in a muffin tin. You don’t need to put any water in the tins or anything. Just set them in there. If you want to, you can also stand them upright using mini muffin tins.
2. Put the pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
3. Remove and put the eggs in a bucket of ice water for at least 10 minutes.

The only tricky part about this method is that the cooking time will vary from oven to oven. So, if your oven runs hot, you may need to cook them at 325. However, for my oven, if I cook them at 325 for 30 minutes, they don’t cook all the way. So I cook mine for 30-32 minutes at 350 degrees. So, it may take a couple test batches, but let me tell you, once you a little trial and error, this method is AMAZING. So easy and they’ll cook perfectly every time!

Just a word of advice. Do a SMALL test batch until you figure out your oven temp. Don’t, say, test 18 eggs all at once if you’re not sure what temperature to use…not that I did that or anything. Luckily eggs are cheap!

The eggs might get some brown spots as they bake:

Don’t worry, they rinse off when you put them in the ice bath!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Let @leangrnbeanblog show you how to make perfect hard boiled eggs in the oven! ” quote=”Let @leangrnbeanblog show you how to make perfect hard boiled eggs in the oven! “]

Happy baking.



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Weekend Prep For Easy Weekday Meals

Hi Friends!

Yesterday I taught you how to prep food on the weekend. Today I’m going to show you how exactly it makes life easier during the week. So, here’s what I prepped two weekends ago:

My weekend prep included:

  • Baked fish
  • Greek Black Bean Burgers
  • Hard boiled Eggs
  • Quinoa Breakfast Bars
  • Curried Sweet Potato Soup
  • Trailmix
  • Black Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Guacamole
  • Carrots

And here’s what we ate last week:

I eat cereal every morning for breakfast during the week. 2 bowls of Kashi Heart 2 Heart cinnamon with skim milk. I also have a mug of green tea. Hubby grabs a quinoa breakfast bar from the fridge to take to work, as well as a piece of fruit sometimes, and his mug of coffeee.


Lunch: I packed one of the Greek black bean burgers, some of the sliced carrots with hummus and a pear. Hubby came home for lunch and made a fish taco with the cooked fish, black beans and guac and also had a couple hard boiled eggs and some blackberries.
Dinner: I made fish nachos with blue corn tortilla chips. I used the cooked fish and black beans, so I just had to chop up some red peppers and onions, then load up the nachos and top with cheese. While they were in the oven,  I cooked some green beans in the microwave and pulled out the carrots and hummus.


Lunch: I packed some of the curried sweet potato soup with some quinoa and black beans added in, a pear, some leftover green beans and chips with guac. Hubby ate a one of the black bean burgers and made a big salad with some of the fish and veggies on top.
Dinner:  I made sweet potato and black bean quesadillas using the black beans and a sweet potato that I diced up and microwaved for 2 minutes. Just spread the beans and potatoes in a whole wheat tortilla, add some chopped peppers and onions (leftover from the nacho prep) and cheese and pop it on the George Foreman grill. I also ate some leftover stirfry veggies and lentils with a little piece of leftover salmon and hubby had a bowl of soup with his dilla.


Lunch: I packed some of the fish with quinoa, black beans and salsa, plus a pear, a handful of the carrots with some hummus and one of the hb eggs. Hubby ate a Chobani, two hb eggs, and a peanut butter sandwich with a couple of clementines.
Dinner: On Tuesday night, I pulled out the crockpot and made a lentil veggie soup. I threw in some roughly chopped carrots, green beans, onion, sweet potato and  red pepper with a bag of dried lentils, a container of vegetable broth, lots of curry powder, paprika and cayenne pepper and some extra water. I cooked it on low for 8 hours overnight, added a bit more water in the morning and then put it in the fridge all day to let the flavors meld. For dinner on Wednesday, all I had to do was reheat and serve with a pear and some chips.


Lunch: My preceptor took me out to lunch to celebrate the end of my rotation. She choose a Mexican restaurant. I ordered the veggie quesadilla and added black beans, plus I asked for 1/2 the amount of cheese. Instead of the rice and beans for the side, I ordered grilled veggies. I ate half the dilla and packed up the rest. Hubby made himself a rollup with the rest of the fish, some hummus, some guacamole, cheese and quinoa and a chobani and an egg.
Dinner: We made egg sandwiches. Instead of using regular bread, we used some frozen naan from Trader Joe’s. The sandwiches had an egg, some Muenster cheese, avocado and tomato and were grilled to perfection on the panini. SO GOOD. We also had some leftover lentil veggie soup and some carrots and hummus.


Lunch: On Thursday night I wasn’t really in the mood to pack lunch so I threw a pear, some carrots and hummus and a pb&j in my lunchbox and called it a day. Then, I ended up having a snow day…so I ate my pb&j for a snack and made myself from eggs for lunch. I also ate my pear, carrots and hummus and a little bit of the sweet potato soup.
Dinner: We made some salmon that we had in the freezer. I served it over a bed of farro (which cooks in 15 min) with some sauteed black beans, peppers and onions and added a little balsamic vinegar for flavor.


Lunch: We went to crossfit at 11 so we had a to refuel when we got home! We had eggs, leftover farro/black bean mixture with avocado and some greek yogurt bites from the freezer.
Dinner: We actually thought about going out to dinner for the first time in a month. In the end, we settled for picking up a veggie pizza on our way home from a baby shower and eating it at home with some carrots and hummus and hb eggs.


We had the trailmix pre-made so we could just grab a serving each day for a snack and we also had the hard boiled eggs that we could easily grab out of the fridge for snacks and meals. Other snacks we ate during the week included lots of veggies with hummus, chips and salsa, cereal, greek yogurt etc.

So there you go. At the end of the week, everything was gone except some trailmix and a little guac!

Hopefully this post shows you that prepping food on the weekend makes healthy meals much easier during the week.


If you liked this post, you’ll love my ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep. It dives into even more detail about how to food prep, troubleshoots common problems and provides tons of tips to make it easier! Click the image below for more details!


Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!

How to Prep Food on the Weekend

Make the best of your Sunday by prepping healthy food for the week ahead. It makes it easier to eat healthy during the week!

Hi Friends!

Many of you have seen my Sunday meal prep pics on Instagram & Facebook and have been asking questions about them. Hopefully today’s post will be helpful for you.

When people ask me for advice about healthy eating, my number one suggestion is to be prepared. In an effort to make it easy for us to eat healthy meals at home, I’ve found that spending an hour or two on the weekend preparing food makes it much easier to throw together quick, healthy meals during the week.  I made it a goal to get back into a food prep routine for 2013 and it’s made my life so much easier! So let’s take a look at what I do on a typical weekend!

First Step: What do I make?

There are some staples that I prep every single weekend and some that vary week to week. Here’s a list of things I typically prepare:

  • Quinoa {or a whole grain}: I usually cook 1.5 c dry quinoa with 3 cups of water for about 12 minutes. Quinoa is my most common choice, but I also like to mix it up and cook wheatberries, farro, or brown rice from time to time.
  • Beans: I cook at least one bag of dried beans every weekend. Since I got my pressure cooker, it’s gotten SO much easier. You can put a dry (non-soaked) bag of beans in the pressure cooker and have a fully cooked pot of beans in 20 minutes. Can’t beat it. Even before I got my pressure cooker I made beans every week. I used the quick soak method on the back of the bag and it could be done in under 2 hours with very little work. I cook black beans most often because we like them best, but I also occasionally cook white or pinto beans.
  • Lentils: The great thing about lentils is they don’t need to be soaked and they cook in about 15 minutes. So, most weekends I cook one bag of dried beans and one bag of dried lentils.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: Another thing that’s gotten way easier since I got my pressure cooker! However, these can also easily be done on the stove. I usually cook about 18 eggs per weekend so we can snack on them during the week. Hubby also usually has a couple with lunch and/or dinner for extra protein.
  • Breakfast for Hubby: Like I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m on a mission to get hubby to eat breakfast. These Quinoa Breakfast Bars are his absolute fave. I double the recipe and make a 9 x 13 pan each weekend. Then, I cut them into bars, put them in ziploc bags and store them in the fridge so he can grab one in the morning. He also likes these Cranberry Sweet Potato Cottage Cheese Muffins.
  • Soup: I love making a batch of soup on Sundays because it requires very little effort. It’s basically just a matter of throwing ingredients in a pot and letting it simmer. I make a big pot and we eat it with our dinners and lunches throughout the week. Hubby’s favorite soup is this Curried Sweet Potato Soup. Other times, I just throw whatever vegetables I have (or a bag of frozen veggies) in a pot with some veggie broth and then add some of the cooked beans and quinoa and some spices.
  • Trail Mix: Hubby and I love trail mix for a snack. I either pre-portion it in baggies so we can grab and go, or I make a big batch in a container and we scoop out some each day to take with us. I usually include almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit (raisins or craisins), cereal and a few chocolate chips. For the nuts and seeds, I get the plain, unsalted kind and for the craisins, I buy the 50% less added sugar.
  • Chopped Veggies: Lately it’s just been carrots, but in the past I’ve done this with bell peppers, cucumbers, etc. I spend time peeling and chopping them and then store them in tupperware containers so they’re easy to grab for packed lunches, dinners, or snacks. Usually for the carrots I add some water to the bottom of the tupperware to keep them from drying out over the course of the week.
  • Black Bean Burgers: Lately, I’ve been getting into a routine where I make a batch of black bean burgers every Sunday. We either eat them that night for dinner or on Monday night. Some of my favorites include Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Burgers, Asian Black Bean Burgers, and Greek Black Bean Burgers. If you’re a meat eater, whip up a batch of hamburgers or turkey burgers.

Other things you could consider making:

  • Meat:  Throw some chicken or pork in the crockpot and shred to use in meals throughout the week. Or bake some chicken breasts in the oven. Prefer ground meat? Cook a package of ground turkey and throw it into casseroles, tacos, and sauces during the week.
  • Hummus: Make your own from canned (no-salt-added) or dried chickpeas. Here’s a little how to make hummus video for you.
  • Frozen yogurt bites: These are another one of my favorites to make on the weekend for an easy snack during the week. I love these frozen yogurt bites!
  • Roasted Chickpeas: They’re perfect for snacking and are also a great addition to trail mix. Here’s how I roast mine.
  • Casseroles: Make a big casserole on Sunday night. Eat some that night and have leftovers to eat throughout the week. Casseroles are similar to soups in that they require very little effort, but make a big batch of food.
  • Marinades: Whip up a marinade and add some tofu, tempeh, or meat to a bag. Let it sit overnight and pull them out to make an easy dinner on Monday night.
  • Burritos: Check out this post on how to eat healthy during the week to see how I make freezer burritos.
  • Salad: Chop up a bunch of veggies and make a big salad. Having it ready to go makes it more likely you’ll eat it during the week.

Next step: Storage

If you have a freezer, use it! It makes life easier. Some of my favorite things to freeze:

  • Beans and lentils: Simply cook them, let them cool completely, and then put in freezer-safe containers or ziploc bags. I usually use bags. Then, when I’m ready to use them I just smack the bag on the counter to loosen them up and dump them into whatever I’m cooking. If you use containers, just stick them in the microwave to defrost and then add to your desired dish!
  • Soups and casseroles: Did you make a double batch of soup or a giant casserole? Put half in a freezer-safe container and stick it in the freezer. Then, in a couple weeks when you have a crazy weekend and don’t have time to prep food, you can pull the container out to thaw and have dinner ready to go for at least one night that week!
  • Burgers: I’m finally getting into the habit of making more veggie burgers than we need. That way, I can leave 4 or 5 in the fridge for us to eat during the week and still have 4 or so to put in the freezer. You can freeze them cooked or uncooked. If you’re freezing them before cooking, freeze on a pan, then transfer to a container. If I freeze them after cooking, I let them cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and put them in containers or ziploc bags. When you’re ready to eat them, just cook from frozen if necessary (in the oven or on the stove), or defrost in the microwave and eat!

So… how exactly does this make things easier?

Check out this post to see what we ate for all our meals last week. It shows you how we used the food I prepped to make weekday meals quick and easy!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Want to eat healthy all week? Try food prep with these ideas from @leangrnbeanblog!” quote=”Want to eat healthy all week? Try food prep with these ideas from @leangrnbeanblog!”]


If you liked this post, you’ll love my ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep. It dives into even more detail about how to food prep, troubleshoots common problems and provides tons of tips to make it easier! Click the link below for more details!


Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!

How To Eat Healthy During The Week

Hi Friends!

I’ve you follow me on instagram (The Lean Green Bean), you may have seen me go on a little bit of a kitchen rampage for an hour or so on Saturday afternoon.

People always ask me how I have time to eat healthy during the week. My answer is simple: Preparation is key! An hour on the weekend can save you oodles of time during the week and it makes it MUCH easier to throw together healthy meals when you’re busy or tired after a long day of work or school.

I thought I’d take a minute to recap some of the stuff I prepped this weekend to show you guys what I’m talking about!

Like I said, I spent a little over an hour in the kitchen, and here’s what I got accomplished:

First off, I put my pressure cooker to work to prep some eggs and beans. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this can all be done on the stovetop, it will just take a little longer. The good news is, pretty much all you have to do is set the timer and walk away. These activities don’t require much supervision. So you can get a lot done in the meantime.

I started with eggs. I put some eggs in the pressure cooker and hard boiled them. When they were done, I cooled them in cold water, placed them in a tupperware and stuck them in the fridge.

These are great to eat as a quick snack after a workout or when you’re running out the door. You can also slice them up an add them to salads for some extra protein or turn them into egg salad for a sandwich or wrap. Try some of the avocado egg salad sliders I posted about here.

When the eggs were done I moved onto beans. One of the #1 reasons to get a pressure cooker? You can throw a bag of dried beans in, cover with water and in 20 minutes have perfectly cooked beans! No soaking required. Beans are a STAPLE in my freezer. I realized this weekend that a lot of people didn’t know you could cook them before freezing!

Here’s what I do: If you have a pressure cooker, consult a time chart to see how long to cook the kind you’re making. Before I got mine, I used the quick-soak method on the back of the bag and then cooked them on the stove. They can still be done in about an hour and a half that way, making it an easy weekend project while you’re doing laundry or other things around the house.

This weekend I cooked three different kinds of beans to replenish my freezer supply: black beans, great northern white beans and pinto beans. So, cook them and then let them cool completely. I usually undercook mine by just a few minutes.

Once they’re cool, scoop them into ziploc bags and flatten to remove an excess air. Store in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, pull out a bag, whack it against the counter a few times, and then dump directly into whatever you’re making. That’s why I under-cook them slightly. Then if I’m making a stir-fry or fritatta I can just dump them into the pan frozen and they will thaw out and cook just a little bit more, but won’t end up overly mushy. If you’re using them for something like a taco bar or on a salad and don’t want to heat them in a pan, dump some in a bowl and just defrost them in the microwave! Voila! A super easy source of protein to add to anything you’re making. And with less sodium than the canned versions. You can also pre-cook and freeze lentils and chickpeas the same way!!

Don’t be fooled though, I definitely always have a can or two of beans in the pantry for backup. Sometimes I run out of frozen and need some before I get around to prepping more. I just look for the no-salt-added kind and give them a good rinse before using them!

While the beans were cooking, I got to work on my next project: burritos for the freezer. Even with the amount of prep work I do, there are still nights when I get home and just don’t feel like cooking. There are also still afternoons when the hubby comes home for lunch and we have no leftovers, or we haven’t been to the grocery store in two weeks. On those days, he usually turns to burritos. We recently found some frozen vegetarian burritos at Costco and have been buying those. They’ve got fairly good nutrition stats and I felt ok about him eating them a few times a week. But I knew I could make better ones myself. So this past weekend I quit thinking about it and just did it!

I made two versions- breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs and black beans and regular rice and bean burritos.

Here’s what you need:

-scrambled eggs (I used one per burrito)
-beans of your choice (about 1/4 c per burrito)
-sauteed peppers and onions
-cooked brown rice (perfect way to use up leftover rice)
-shredded mexican cheese
-jalapenos or green chilis (if desired)
-whole wheat tortillas

Here’s what you do:

-Cook the eggs and set aside to let cool.
-Saute the veggies and set aside to let cool.
-Cook the rice, if necessary, and set aside to let cool

Once everything has cooled, begin assembling!

Lay out several tortillas and add the rice (or eggs) and beans.

Add the sauteed veggies.

Top with a little salsa, some jalapenos or chilis and cheese.

Tear off a piece of saran wrap and lay in on the counter.
Place the loaded tortilla on top.
To roll: fold the top over, then fold the sides in, then roll closed.
Pull the saran wrap over top to help hold it closed.
Wrap completely in saran wrap.
Place the burritos in a ziploc bag and freeze.
When you’re ready to eat, unwrap, wrap in a damp paper towel.
Microwave for 2-3 minutes until warm.

I made 4 egg and bean and 6 rice and bean burritos. After they’re warmed you can top with tomatos, avocado and hot sauce! Another tip- microwave them half way and then cut them in half before heating the rest of the way. This will help them warm more evenly.

While I was prepping the burritos, I had a batch of pearl couscous cooking away on the stove as well. I used that to make a big batch of Mexican couscous.

Come back tomorrow to see how I used this base to make three different meals during the week!

Finally I did some other basic prep work like peeling and chopping veggies to snack on during the week. If they’re pre-cut and ready to go, you’re more likely to eat them.

Other suggestions:

-Pre-cut some fruit to use as a topping on your cereal, oatmeal and yogurt.
-Roast a batch of chickpeas to snack on during the day.
-Put together a batch of your own trailmix with some nuts, seeds and dried fruit to throw in your bag and eat before you workout.
-Make a batch of no-bake granola bars and take one to work each day.
-Make a batch of hummus to eat with your veggies. I posted a video on how to make my favorite kind here.
-Make a batch of tuna salad to eat throughout the week for lunch.
-Similar to the burritos, make some homemade lean pockets like I posted about here.
-Make a giant salad and then you can just scoop out a portion for your meals during the week.
-If you eat meat, cook several chicken breasts in the crockpot. Cut or shred & freeze for easy use later.
-Roast a tray of veggies to eat alongside your dinners throughout the week. Add balsamic vinegar for extra flavor!

-Click here for another post I did over the summer about prepping food for the week.

–> EDITED TO ADD: Some other make-ahead tips from the comments of this post:

-Freeze cooked rice. Pack it in your lunch so it can thaw throughout the morning, then nuke for 30 secs and eat at lunch
-Make a big batch of soup packed with veggies and protein to eat throughout the week
-Make a few frozen casseroles like veggie lasagna or cook an extra meatloaf or meatballs. Freeze with instructions so your family can eat them when you’re not around.
-Make a batch of egg muffins or mini fritattas to eat for breakfast
-Pre-chop veggies to make a quick stir-fry.

So there you go, friends! Trust me when I say that an hour or two on the weekend makes life SO much easier during the week. Set yourself up for success by taking a little time to prep some healthy meals, sides and snacks for you and your family to enjoy!

So tell me, do you prep food on the weekend?


If you liked this post, you’ll love my ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep. It dives into even more detail about how to food prep, troubleshoots common problems and provides tons of tips to make it easier! Click the image below for more details.


Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!

How To Eat Healthy In College

Wondering how to eat healthy in college? Here are some tips, tricks and recipes for eating healthy in a college dorm.

*Note- This post was edited and updated 1/2015. Added information is in red.

Last week I had the opportunity to give a little presentation for the ladies of CHAARG, a group of amazing women at Ohio State. CHAARG stands for Changing Healthy, Attitudes & Actions to Recreate Girls that was founded at Ohio State by Elizabeth Tavierne and Emily Richard.

(CHAARG is now a nationwide movement with chapters on tons of college campuses across the US. Check out their website to learn more!) 

 I was so honored when they asked me to come speak to their group! They pretty much gave me free reign, so I spent some time really thinking about what I wanted to talk to them about. I settled on discussing how to eat healthy in college.

I decided to give a talk that I wish someone would have given me when I was in college. I wanted to cover the basics of healthy eating, give them lots of ideas and inspiration, and show them what a wide variety of food you can prepare, even if you’re living in a dorm room. I figured this would appeal to the masses because if these things can be made in a dorm room, with minimal equipment and a mini-fridge, then they can definitely be made in homes and apartments with even more space and equipment.

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So, the evening went really well. The girls were so much fun! We rented a room in the union on campus and spent about an hour and a half chatting and whipping up some tasty snacks!

I thought it’d be fun to share my presentation with you guys!


I told them about myself and about how when I went to college the first time, we had to live on campus all 4 years. We only had apartments for our senior year. That means I spent 3 years living in the dorms. I just WISH I had thought about making some of these snacks when I lived on campus, instead of living on cereal and easy mac for 3 years, or that I had thought to stock my mini-fridge with something besides party supplies.


Microwave – most dorms have one
Mini food processor – $20-30
Toaster – $20
Mini Blender – $30
Can opener
Mason jars/Tupperware
Knife & cutting board
Measuring cups

Shape Your Plate


  • Hot oats – Microwave ½ c. oats, 2/3 c. water for 2 minutes. Top with 6 oz. plain greek yogurt, ¼ c. granola, 1 Tbsp chia seeds and 1 medium apple diced and you have a breakfast packed with 20 g. fiber, 26 g. protein.
  • Overnight oats – Mix oats, milk, fruit, chia seeds and nut butter. Let sit overnight. Grab & go in the morning.
  • No-bake granola bars – Combine oats, brown rice syrup or honey, cereal and your favorite mix-ins for a healthy snack.
  • Oats in a smoothie – Add cooked oatmeal or uncooked oats to your smoothies for some extra bulk and fiber.
  • Bread – Make sandwiches (like sliced turkey or tuna salad) or toast (try topped with peanut butter & banana).
  • Wraps/pitas – Use these to make hummus & veggie wraps, falafel, or burritos.
  • Cereal – Enjoy with milk for breakfast and snacks.


  • Hummus – Endless flavor combinations at your fingertips! Enjoy with veggies, crackers, or on sandwiches.
  • Dips – Try curried sweet potato & red pepper dip with crackers for an afternoon snack.
  • Nut butter – Can be made in a blender or food processor in minutes with minimal ingredients and you can customize it to your taste preferences with different nuts and mix-ins.
  • Tuna/chicken salad – Use low-sodium canned tuna or chicken packed in water. Mix in a small bowl with mashed avocado, hummus, or Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Add your favorite spices (try curry powder or cayenne pepper) and some chopped veggies, like onions and peppers, to bulk it up!
  • Deli meat/rotisserie chicken/pre-baked tofu – These are easy to add to wraps and sandwiches.
  • Hard boiled eggs – In the microwave, bring water to boil. Then, add eggs and cook on low power or ½ power for 8 minutes. Let stand a few minutes more.
  • Scrambled eggs – In the microwave, cook for 2 minutes, stir, and cook another 2 minutes.


  • Salad in a jar – Portion out enough lettuce/spinach/mixed greens, complete with chopped veggies and a protein source, for the week and store them in mason jars or tupperware. Add the dressing to the bottom first to keep everything else from getting soggy. When you’re ready to eat, just shake it up and dig in!
  • Microwave sweet potato – Poke a sweet potato with a fork or knife all over, microwave for 5-6 minutes, top with nut butter, or beans and veggies and enjoy for lunch.
  • Raw veggies – Try dipping in hummus or guacamole!


  • Bananas – Buy in a variety of stages of ripeness to enjoy throughout the week.
  • Apples & oranges – These make easy grab & go snacks.
  • Berries – Top your oatmeal bowls with them or mix them into Greek yogurt for some natural sweetness.


  • Milk – Choose dairy or non-dairy.
  • Greek yogurt – Enjoy with fruit & granola. Mix a spoonful or two of the flavored kinds into plain for just a touch of sweetness.
  • Cheese – Put on top of salads and sandwiches or eat plain with crackers or veggies.


  • Salad Dressing – Make your own dressings with oil, vinegar, and spices to add flavor and healthy fats.
  • Nuts – These are full of protein and healthy fats! Enjoy a handful each day at snack time.
  • Avocado – This makes a great topping for salads and sandwiches. Also, mix it into smoothies for added creaminess.


  • Embrace the bulk bins! You can buy the quantities you need, often more cheaply than if you buy the pre-packaged versions of nuts, seeds, and grains on the shelf.
  • Nuts & seeds – Use these for added flavor, nutrition, and texture in granola bars and trail mix.
  • Flax seeds and chia seeds – Sprinkle these on oatmeal or yogurt for added omega 3’s and protein.
  • Chia jam – Mix 2 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 c. berries, a dash of vanilla extract, and a pinch of sugar. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, and let cool. Try spreading it on your toast!
  • Store bought bars – KIND bars, Luna bars, Larabars are some good options.
  • Homemade fruit & nut bars – Make your favorite Larabar flavors at home!

Protein powder

  • Add to your oats for an extra boost of protein
  • Mix into your smoothies post-workout
  • Mix with milk to make protein frosting 

After I finished talking, we moved on to the fun part: making food. Earlier in the week, I sent over a list of some ingredients I would need them to pick up, and on the day of the presentation, I packed up a few of the ingredients I already had on hand (like tahini and brown rice syrup) and showed the girls how to make 4 easy snacks.


No-Bake Granola Bars
These are totally customizable! Choose your favorite mix-ins, slice into bars or squares, and store in an airtight container or individually wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge!

1  ½ c. brown rice cereal
2 c. oats
2 Tbsp flax seed
2/3 c. peanut butter
½ c. brown rice syrup
¼ c. chia seeds
¼ c. pumpkin seeds
¼ c. sunflower seeds
1 tsp vanilla
½ c. chopped almonds
¾ c. raisins and/or craisins
1/3 c. chocolate chips

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, microwave the brown rice syrup and peanut butter until melted.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well. Use your hands if you need to!
Press into a 9×13 pan and refrigerate until set.


Peanut Butter
Use your favorite nut and experiment with mix-ins like honey, cinnamon, raisins, cocoa powder, etc.

2 c. nuts
2 tsp honey, or to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
1-2 tsp oil, if desired for smoothness

Place the nuts in a food processor. Add the oil if you’re using it
Process for about 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
Add the honey and cinnamon and pulse a few times to combine.


Sweet Potato Hummus
Start with a basic recipe and make it your own with mix-ins like roasted red peppers, cooked sweet potato, garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.

2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed with 1/4 c. liquid reserved
1 lemon
3 Tbsp tahini
1-2 cloves garlic
paprika, to taste
1 medium sweet potato

Poke the sweet potato and microwave for 5 minutes to cook if using.
Add the chickpeas, reserved liquid, juice from the lemon, garlic and tahini to a food processor and process until smooth.
Add the sweet potato (skin removed) and pulse to combine.
Season as desired (try paprika or cayenne pepper for an kick!


PB & J Larabars
Make your favorite flavor of store-bought bars at home with just a few ingredients.

2/3 c. chopped dates
½ c. raisins
½ c. dry roasted peanuts

Place the dates and raisins in the food processor and process until they are well-combined and resemble a paste.
Remove and place in a small bowl.
Place the peanuts in the processor and pulse until chopped.
Add the peanuts to the date mixture and use your hands to combine.
Divide mixture into thirds, place one third on a piece of plastic wrap.
Use your hands to shape into desired bar shape. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Store in the fridge.


Here’s a grocery list to get you started!

There you go! It IS possible to eat healthy in college, even when you’re living in a dorm and have limited kitchen access/equipment. It may take a little extra effort/planning/mini-fridge organization skills… but MAN I wish I would have done it 🙂

Edited to add- Here are some other recipes to try that I’ve created since this post was originally published:

Peach Cobbler Smoothie
Microwave Sweet Potato Muffin
5 Quick, Healthy Breakfast Ideas
10 More Healthy Breakfast Ideas 
90 Second Microwave Egg Sandwich

Curried Tuna Salad with Apples
Salmon Chop Salad
Tuna Salad with Avocado
50 Packable Lunch Ideas
Salad In A Jar – 3 Ways
Salad Topping Ideas
Mexican Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Pumpkin Energy Balls
Frozen Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Bites
Sweet Potato Energy Bites
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip
No Bake Granola Bars
Gingerbread Protein Balls
Black Bean Guacamole
No Bake Protein Bars
Freezer Chocolate PB Cups
Smart Snack Ideas
Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches
Healthy Microwave Popcorn
Frozen Yogurt Trailmix Bars
Chunky Greek Hummus Plate

So let’s hear it. How was your diet in college?

[Tweet “It IS possible to eat healthy in college – and @leangrnbeanblog will show you how!”]


If you liked this post, you’ll love my ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep. It dives into detail about how to food prep (yes you can do it in college), troubleshoots common problems and provides tons of tips to make it easier! Click the image below for more details!


Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!

Let’s Go Grocery Shopping!

Hi Friends!

Over the weekend, the hubby and I did some pretty serious food shopping. It’d been a while since we’d been to the grocery store…plus we went to Costco…so I thought it’d be fun to show you guys what we bought!

Let’s start with Costco:

{A pineapple- it was the best price we’d seen in a while}
{Blueberries & Blackberries}
{12 red peppers- they have these 6/$6 – best price around by far!}

{Farro-$7 for a huge bag here, or $5 for a tiny bag at the grocery store}
{Plain, unsalted almonds- for granola, trail mix & snacking by the handful}
{Fingerling potatoes- the best for roasted potatoes}
{Garlic- I don’t always buy it in bulk but I’ve been using a lot lately}
{Cholula- hubby uses it on pretty much everything}

{All new to us- Popchips, Vegetarian burritos & Sweet Potato Fries}
{I’ve heard good things about all of them- can’t wait to try}
{Cat not included}

{Peanut butter- for the dogs}
{Plain Greek yogurt- for the Bean (Lindsay)}
{The yogurt is $5 per container- best price ever!}


Then we headed to the regular grocery store:

{Skim milk}
{Almond milk- recently started doing 1/2 almond-1/2 skim in my cereal}
{OJ- for the hubby & for my smoothies}

{Veggies: Peppers, sweet potatoes, baby bok choy, green beans}

{Fruit- pears, kiwis, oranges & avocados}

{Jazz apples- one of my fav, broccoli & carrots}
{Usually I buy baby carrots but this 3 lb bag was on sale for $1}

{Whole wheat bread, dried chickpeas & barley}
{Some LGF granola for my giveaway winner!}

{Frozen shrimp}
{Cheese- pepperjack for me, havarti for the hubby}
{wonton wrappers for potstickers- recipe soon!}
{Morningstar black bean burgers- a staple in our freezer}

{Curry paste- our fav kind}
{Soba noodles}
{90 sec brown rice}
{diced jalapenos for an upcoming recipe!}


{Chobani- I mix 2 scoops of flavored into my bowl of plain}

{Plantains for our buffalo plantains experiment}
{Discount bananas that I freeze & use for “fro yo”}

{Human snacks}
{Dog snacks}
{Cat snacks}

{Best part of the day- hubby snuck these into the cart 🙂 Love him}

So there ya have it! And yes, I’m fairly certain most people think we’re shopping for a family of 6, when in fact it’s just the two of us 🙂

Now, who’s coming over for dinner?!



Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!