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How to Menu Plan and Still Shop at the Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets pose a bit of a dilemma in the menu planning/meal prepping world. We all know fresh, regionally-sourced ingredients are the way to go. The produce is healthier, the meat is cleaner, the honey is local-er.

But when you create your menu ahead of time, it can be frustrating to plan around the changing offerings of a farmer’s market or CSA basket. You planned a beautiful main course salad around the perfect eggplants they had last week. You get there and – nada. Not an eggplant in sight.

It’s enough to make some preppers give up on the whole institution. But I’ve got a couple tips to make farmer’s marketing a pleasure again:

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Dinner/ Lunch

Shakshuka – Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo-Compliant

I live in Tennessee, so I get that it’s flaming hot outside. But I can’t be the only one that still wants a warm dinner sometimes in the summer, can I? There’s something to be said for curling up in the air conditioning with a bowl of steaming homemade goodness, binging Outlander reruns, and wishing it was Fall.

This recipe takes advantage of summer’s fresh tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Plus it’s a great way to use all those pretty farmer’s market eggs you get this time of year!

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Dinner/ Lunch/ Travel

Meal-Prep Chana Saag

Saag was the first Indian dish I fell in love with. Rich, velvety and subtly spiced – there’s nothing not to love. Oh, and my first saag had tons of chewy paneer cheese in it, of course. This meal-prep chana saag keeps all the feel-goods of the original but lightens it up with healthy fats, less salt, and chickpeas instead of dairy. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free!

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Dinner/ Lunch/ Travel

Modern Three Bean Salad – Vegan, Gluten-Free

This Three Bean Salad is the perfect Make Ahead Modern side dish. Make it on your Cooking Day, then just scoop it on a plate and serve throughout the week. It’s vibrant, healthy and flavorful. And so freakin’ pretty. I made goo-goo eyes at it all week long.

I served it as a side for my husband’s work sandwiches. But it would be equally good as a bed for roasted salmon or chicken.

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