tomato & zucchini frittata

tomato and zucchini frittata / @loveandlemons

The frittata is one of my favorite things to throw together because, really, anything you need to use up can go into a frittata. This one is made of every vegetable I had on hand last week – a variety of tomatoes, zucchini and some really lovely sweet potato greens. (Although feel free to use spinach or another leafy green – whatever you have).

tomato & zucchini fritatta / @loveandlemons

Awhile back, I used to shy away from frittatas because I thought they required lots of butter and cream. (I used to be entirely non-dairy). While I do eat small amounts of high quality cheese pretty often these days, I don’t do milk. Since almond milk is what I keep on hand, almond milk is what goes into my frittata. It works perfectly to make the eggs nice and fluffy.

tomato & zucchini fritatta / @loveandlemons

You might not be able to find sweet potato greens, but if you see them at your local farmers market - grab them. They’re so soft and delicious – like spinach but with a more mild flavor.

tomato & zucchini fritatta / @loveandlemons

Pile in the veggies and serve this for brunch, or better yet – breakfast for dinner!

tomato & zucchini fritatta / @loveandlemons

sweet pepper panzanella

sweet pepper panzanella / @loveandlemons

Panzanella: it’s your excuse to eat bread and call it salad!

I’ve veggie’d up the classic tomato-basil panzanella with blistered sweet peppers, tangy pickled onions, and just few torn kale leaves.

sweet pepper panzanella /

It all starts with that stale bread that’s sitting on your kitchen counter. In our household of just 2 (people, that is – the dogs are paleo), we have stale bread around pretty often. These were the last bits of a rustic miche round from my favorite bread source, Easy Tiger. I just realized I labeled them as “day old,” but these scraps were actually many days old. Perfect panzanella bread.

sweet pepper panzanella /

This would be a great recipe to make on the grill… you could cook the peppers and the bread (you could even grill the kale), all at the same time. For the ease of picture taking, and because it’s insanely hot outside, I cooked mine in a pan. To bring out extra flavor, I finished them with a bit of sherry vinegar and a few pinches of smoked paprika.

Toss it all together and let the salad sit and get nice and juicy. Serve with whatever else you’re grillin!

sweet pepper panzanella /

mango habanero black bean tacos

mango habanero black bean tacos / @loveandlemons

I love a good mango salsa. (I mean, who doesn’t?) It’s so fun and versatile - some of my favorite additions have been roasted jalapeños, smoked paprika, diced avocado, and even sesame & ginger.

mango habanero black bean tacos / @loveandlemons

Today’s special ingredient: Mango Habanero Jam. I know, I know, it’s not in your pantry already, but I just loved this salsa so much I had to share it anyway. It’s sweet, juicy and spicy with a little nice kick from the jam. (A little bit goes long way).

mango habanero black bean tacos / @loveandlemons

I didn’t realize mango habanero jam was missing from my life until it showed up recently in my Hatchery Box. I’ve been loving my Hatchery subscription – it’s like mini-christmas once a month to get a box full of sample-sized artisan ingredients to try. I find that it often takes just one unique ingredient to elevate simple meals into something special.

mango habanero black bean tacos / @loveandlemons

These really couldn’t be easier - just chop and mix your ingredients – salsa, avocado, black beans, etc, and stuff them into a tortilla. (Add cheese if you want, but these are plenty flavorful without). Next time I might switch things up by adding a grilled piece of halibut or salmon.

If you don’t have mango habanero jam: try jazzing up your mango salsa with chipotle spices (either from a can of chipotles in adobo or ground chipotle powder)… or if you’re really brave try adding roasted habanero peppers (just don’t touch your eyes after you handle them!). You can also make this salsa with diced ripe peaches or pineapple instead of mango.

For now, I’m off to eat these leftovers for lunch…

mango habanero black bean tacos / @loveandlemons

roasted cherry tomato bowls

roasted cherry tomato bowls (vegan) / @loveandlemons

I don’t know if it’s possible to have too many cherry tomatoes. But if you do, roasting them is the perfect way to eat a whole bunch at a time. They shrivel up into the sweetest, tangiest little bites – which are perfect to toss into simple bowls full of greens and grains.

slow roasted tomatoes / @loveandlemons

Around this time last year I posted this slow roasted tomato pasta. This year, I’m cheating the slow roast. Here’s how:

1. Use little tomatoes and it’ll go tons faster.
2. Start roasting them in low heat (like you’re supposed to). Once they begin to dry (and your impatience rises), raise the temp.

wheat berries / @loveandlemons

At the beginning of the week I like make a big batch of some kind of grain – this time it was chewy wheat berries. Store them in the fridge and they’ll be ready to use for meals like this.

roasted cherry tomato bowls (vegan) / @loveandlemons

I added spoonfuls of creamy sun cheese (a creamy sauce made out of sunflower seeds – also another a make-ahead item). Some burrata or fresh ricotta would go nicely in here as well.

stuffed peppers w/ green tomato salsa

stuffed peppers w/ green tomato salsa / @loveandlemons

Back before there were a (seemingly) endless number of food blogs on the internet, there were a few I followed pretty religiously. 101 CookbooksSprouted KitchenSeven Spoons, and one of my all time favorites: Kimberly Hasselbrink’s The Year in Food.

I was new to the idea of blogs, but suddenly I spent all my time at the office procrastinating instead of working. What I was going to make that night for dinner became far more important to me that any client project I had on my plate.

stuffed peppers w/ green tomato salsa / @loveandlemons

I was drawn to these blogs not because I needed to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes –  I was enamored with their images and how they made me want to try new foods. Instead of going to the store with a recipe (which never really worked for me anyway), I began going to the market to see what looked good that day. I learned to pick up a new vegetable because it was pretty and figure out what to make with it later. By experimenting this way, my cooking not only became more beautiful, it also became more delicious. (More vibrant, if you will).

green tomato & avocado salsa / @loveandlemons green tomato & avocado salsa / @loveandlemons

So naturally, I was through the moon to meet Kimberley a couple of months ago at the Saveur Awards. “When am I getting your book!” was I think the first question statement I blurted out. Later, when I got home, there it was – Vibrant Food – on my doorstep.

It’s (of course) beautiful and full of so many creative, inspiring, seasonal ideas. Things I would have never thought of: squash blossom tacos, edamame & radish risotto, grilled hallumi with strawberries and mint.

She writes “My hope is that [the book] is equal parts inspiration and accessibility. Even if you can’t find nettles, fresh chickpeas, kumquats, quince or some of the other less common ingredients I’ve grown so fond of, I hope that curiosity will get the better of you. Perhaps you’ll bring a striking vegetable home and mull over it, and then build a colorful dish around that vegetable. That is how I cook.”

Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink

I made these little stuffed peppers because they were too cute not to. She topped her peppers with a tomatillo salsa, but I had just come home with these gorgeous green tomatoes so I made a green tomato salsa instead.

Get the book!