Friday Five

Friday!! We made it! I don’t know about you, but I had one of those weeks where I just couldn’t keep my days straight. Tuesday felt like Wednesday, Wednesday felt like Thursday. That’s okay though – everything is all better now that it’s actually Friday. 

It’s been a little while since I shared some of my favorite things with you, so let’s get to it. Here’s what I’m excited about this week:

Friday Five A Toda Madre

A Toda Madre restaurant

If there’s one thing I’ll never turn down, it’s a taco. And the tacos at A Toda Madre are nothing short of amazing. I’m so excited to have this restaurant a town away. They specialize in Mexican style tapas (small dishes) and everything I’ve had there is phenomenal. If you go, make sure to try the guacamole del día. 

Eric Church Concert

We’re going to see Eric Church tonight!! I’ve been trying to make it to one of his shows for a few years now and couldn’t be happier that it’s finally happening!


I had a little bit of a #treatyoself moment last week and ordered Birchbox. It’s shipping today and I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of goodies are delivered to my mailbox. Does anyone else use Birchbox? How do you like it?

March Madness

Cheer for Wisconsin — that’s all you need to know. Go Badgers!!

Pamplemousse La Croix 

I tried this flavor of La Croix with my Whole Foods hot bar lunch the other day and boy is it yummy! Tastes like sparkling grapefruit juice, which is awesome in my opinion. Extremely refreshing too — I could see myself enjoying these on the patio in the summer. 

Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers

If you ask me, veggie burgers are highly underrated. Sure I understand they might not fill the void when it comes to carnivorious burgers, but they can be oh. so. good. In fact, I just tried a crispy breaded portabello burger this weekend and it rocked my socks off. I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to try it. I didn’t miss the ground beef at all. In fact, I found the veggie version much more satisfying. 

While I definitely have the portabello burger on my list of things to recreate at home, this week I was all about perfecting my vegetarian black bean burger recipe. I love these little guys because I can make them ahead of time on the weekend and they taste amazing on anything from a bun to a bed full of greens (my favorite way to enjoy!). 

vegetarian black bean burger

They are smoky, a bit spicy and best of all — there is no food processor required to make them! All you need is a spoon you can smash the beans up with. Black beans and egg provide a punch of protein while the greens and onion add to your veggie intake for the day. I certainly love anything that can add greens to the day without me hardly noticing, don’t you?

I know I’ll be enjoying these beauties for lunch over the next few days. They pair well with other veggies as a side dish and of course, bonus points if you top them with avocado. I mean, is there anything an avocado can’t do?

vegetarian black bean burger

Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers
Serves 6
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  1. 1 can black beans
  2. 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  3. 1/4 large onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 cups greens, finely chopped
  5. 1 egg
for flavor & spice
  1. 1 Tbsp oregano
  2. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  3. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  4. 1 Tbsp water
  5. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Add black beans to a large mixing bowl. Mash well with the back of a spoon.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and spices to the bowl.
  3. Mix well. Add more water (slowly) if mixture is too dry and won't stick together.
  4. Shape into 6 veggie patties.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large pan.
  6. Cook patties until browned on each side, about 4 minutes each.
Fresh Simple Five

What I Ate Wednesday

We made it! Another week, another What I Ate Wednesday!

 What I Ate Wednesday Button

I don’t know about you, but I’m loving this whole daylight savings thing. Sure I’ve consumed a few extra cups of coffee the past few days, but the ever-increasing sunlight makes it all okay. Don’t you think?! We’ve also been enjoying spring-like temperatures and it has me so excited for the farmers market in our town to open back up. Side note: I’m extremely jealous of everyone who lives near a year-round market. Send me produce!!!

I’m still living the vegetarian life over here, so it’s a meatless kind of WIAW. I’m loving all these eats lately and don’t really miss meat that much. It doesn’t really surprise me though. I’ve never been a big meat eater. The hardest part is going out to eat. Next time you go to a restaurant, take a look at how much meat is on the menu — it’s even sprinkled into veggie dishes, soups and salads. 


Smoothie time (of course!). Made with Greek yogurt which creates a creamy texture and adds protein to keep me full all morning. 


Almonds and a granola bar. I’ve been making these in batches for the last couple weekends and I’ve yet to get sick of them. 


Big salad packed with all the veggies and some amazing Parmesan cheese I was talked into buying at Whole Foods this weekend. Not that there was much convincing needed… Apple on the side. 


Check out that fancy paper plate! I forgot to snap a picture at dinner, so this is the leftover lunch edition. You get the idea. Homemade black bean veggie burgers, roasted sweet potatoes and some spinach. 

Speak up: What have you been eating this week?

Meal Planning & Prep

It’s not always easy to anticipate what sort of twists and turns your week is going to throw at you. Just in the past couple of days my blowdryer stopped working (mid-blowdry), our cable box fried out and it snowed… again… following a beautiful, sunny 40-something degree day. Such is life.

Luckily for me, there is something I can do to gain some sort of control over the week. Meal planning and food prep help me make sure I have healthy foods on hand no matter what else is going on. Most Sundays I spend a few hours planning out what I’ll eat during the week as well as playing around in the kitchen getting everything ready. 


Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Typically I prep batch breakfasts/lunches for the work week, easy grab-and-go snacks plus any grains or produce I might need for dinners. Making larger quantities of what I’ll need at the beginning of the week is just so simple. 

Here’s a little peek at what I was up to this week. I’d love to hear about what you meal prep, so make sure to leave a comment with your favorite meal planning/prep tips.


No-bake peanut butter granola bars


This Week’s Meals:

Breakfast: Fruit/veggie smoothie

Lunch: Big veggie-packed salads, black bean burgers

Dinners: Black bean burgers, roasted sweet potatoes, fried-rice with tofu, Greek orzo pasta with olives and artichokes


Black bean burgers


What I Prepped:

– Brown rice

– Black bean burgers

– Roasted sweet potatoes

– Baked tofu

– Roasted chickpeas

– No-bake peanut butter granola bars

Speak up: What did you plan and prep this week?