Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad / @loveandlemons

I’m calling this my “Merry Christmas Millet Salad”… because why wait until January to eat a little lighter and brighter? This salad is full of everything I love – pretty pomegranates, pistachios, fennel, & mint… and it’s tossed in a light but tangy tahini dressing that’s sweetened with big squeezes of orange.

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad / @loveandlemons

If you don’t have millet, you could just as easily sub quinoa. I use the two pretty interchangeably (especially when I forget to label my bulk bin bags). What I love about millet is that it almost tastes like semolina couscous, but it’s entirely gluten free and a healthy whole grain. It works really well here with the sweet nutty flavors of the pistachio & tahini.

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad / @loveandlemons

I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy holiday!

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

I had this buttercup squash (perhaps the funkiest looking squash of them all), sitting on my countertop for the longest time. It likely would have become soup had it not been for the name itself -  “buttercup” which spoke to me and said: let’s make a crumbly & buttery dessert! I won’t go as far to say this is healthy, but hey, it’s the holidays and we’re making dessert so let’s live a little. These bars are made with good quality organic ingredients (and remember: squash).

This recipe is loosely based on my recipe for raspberry crumble bars. I switched out the jam filling for a wintery buttery squash puree using Organic Valley Butter, plus a good amount of chocolate chips and snowy shredded coconut.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

If you can’t get your hands on a buttercup squash – not to worry – this recipe works just the same with butternut squash, pumpkin and even mashed sweet potato. (I’ve made this one a lot lately if you couldn’t tell).

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

These bars are made with a walnut crust. The squash is smoothly mashed with butter, maple syrup and pumpkin pie-like spices… They’re sweet but not too sweet and I find them to be quite filling – although after we snapped the photo I turned around and Jack had inhaled 5.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

And wait, there’s more! Check out this awesome video of the recipe in motion:

video by: dschwen

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes / @loveandlemons

Minty Pomegranate Spritzers Butternut Squash & Sage Crostini Avocado Pomegranate Crostini Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Is it just me or has every day this week felt like Friday? Since holiday party season is in full swing I thought I’d round up a few fun & festive recipes that are healthy-ish, and (mostly), finger food friendly.

Click on the images to go to each recipe (or see links below)…

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes / @loveandlemons

Parmesan & Fig Grilled Cheese Homemade Soft Pretzels Butternut Squash Croquettes Vegan Stuffed Shells Cookies! Almond Butter Cups  

Minty Pomegranate Spritzers / Butternut Squash & Sage Crostini / Avocado Pomegranate Crostini / Quinoa Stuffed Peppers / Parmesan & Fig Grilled Cheese / Vegan Soft Pretzels / Butternut Squash Croquettes  /  Vegan Stuffed ShellsCookies!  /  White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

White Chocolate (& Matcha) Almond Butter Cups / @loveandlemons

We have a new favorite food and it’s not what you think. Well, ok, it is what you think, given that the title and photo in this post have given it away. Lately, I haven’t been able to make it through the Whole Foods checkout line without sneaking a package of those Justin’s white chocolate almond butter cups – have you had them? (This is not a sponsored post, btw). 

So I thought – how hard would it be to make them at home? First we tried to make a vegan version w/ cacao butter – total fail. (points for trying though?). We ended up going the (much easier) route using organic white chocolate.

I got the idea to stir matcha – my green foodie food coloring of choice – into half of the melted white chocolate. I can’t put into words how amazing the combo of matcha + almond butter is. Just know that these had to be taken away from me.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip / @loveandlemons

Hey all, Jack here – now that it’s the end of the year, it’s holiday party time! And what does it normally mean to eat at a party in the winter? To a lot of Americans, that means spinach artichoke dip. I mean, what makes you feel like partying more than eating an entire loaf of bread dipped in cream cheese and mayonnaise?

Well, Jeanine and I don’t really think that’s much of a party any more. Our idea of a party is one where the next day you (or your guests) don’t feel awful. So we took a bit of inspiration from the classic party dip and made a spread that is still irresistible but infinitely more healthy. It uses two of our favorites for creamy vegan indulgence – sunflower seed puree and chickpeas. And the spinach is subbed out for kale, because why not?

I won’t lie though – I still ate way too much of this.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip / @loveandlemons