gluten free pumpkin pancakes

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

To say that these are the best gluten free pancakes I’ve ever had would be selling this stack short. I hesitate to ever make claims that something is “the best,” because taste is so subjective after all. But these (in my opinion) have to be right up there with the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten, gluten free or not.

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

I made these the other day for Jack and my mom (who is in town visiting right now). After we tasted, my mom said “what’s that special flour you used? I’ll have to get some of that.”

“That flour” I used is Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix. I originally started using their flours because all of my gluten free friends had recommended it to me. This baking mix worked perfectly in these muffins, but I have to say – pancakes with it really take the cake.

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

The way I feel about gluten free baking is that it’s easier to buy one great mix than to try to combine 4 (or more!) types of flour. The folks at Pamela’s have worked out all of the ratios for you, which I promise will save you failures, frustration, and the overall unpleasant-ness of eating gritty-falling-apart baked goods.

These pancakes are not only cohesive but are light, fluffy, moist and delightfully pumpkin-ey. But wait, there’s more…

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

A Giveaway! To celebrate our partnership with Pamela’s, we’re giving away a set of all the gluten free flours I’ve used in my recipes:

- Artisan Flour Blend: I used it for these skillet cookies.

Pizza Crust Mix: I made this awesome fig flatbread with it.

Pancake & Baking Mix: In this recipe and also my banana blueberry muffins.

Five lucky readers will each win a set. Just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite gluten free baked good (or if you don’t have one, what recipe are you excited to try out?). Giveaway closes Tuesday October 28th and is open to US shipping addresses only.

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons

I make a lot of impromptu tacos. We not only have taco Tuesdays around here, but sometimes taco Wednesdays and/or taco Thursdays. When I’m looking for something quick I usually reach for tortillas, no matter what day of the week it might be. I keep them in the freezer so they’re always ready.

Except this particular night – no tortillas, but I had some sprouted pitas. This wasn’t originally going to be a post, but these turned out so pretty and delicious. And who doesn’t need a quick dinner idea?

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons

I roasted chopped sweet potatoes and zucchini and tossed them with dried harissa spice. If you can’t find dried harissa (I have a jar of it from Whole Foods) you can use it in paste form. If that’s not convenient for you, see the notes at the bottom of the recipe for some other alternatives.

I mixed in diced avocado because I just love avocado… and a sprinkle of hemp seeds for protein. I also made a quick spiced yogurt sauce to bring it all together.

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons

many-veggie vegetable soup

many-veggie vegetable soup / @loveandlemons

A few weeks ago, I was pretty sick. It’s not usual for me, but I didn’t leave the sofa for three or four days in a row. Jack would bring me soup and crackers and somehow we started watching Friends – in marathon form – from the very beginning. He doesn’t want his friends and coworkers to know this, but we’re now 3 seasons in and he couldn’t BE anymore into it.

many-veggie vegetable soup / @loveandlemons

Once I was back on my feet, I was still craving soup and I had a ton of random veggies to use up. This is pretty straight forward – the flavors aren’t big, bold, or spicy because I just wasn’t in the mood for that at the moment. But taste and spice this up however you like. (For some additional ideas, see the spice chart at the bottom of this post).

Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and/or skip the ones you don’t have. Make a big pot, eat it the next day, and the day after that. (It also freezes well). It’s a great bowl to cozy up with - especially when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

many-veggie vegetable soup / @loveandlemons

butternut squash walnut & sage pasta

Butternut Squash, Walnut and Sage Pasta / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

Happy Saturday! Jack and I are in Nashville this weekend for the wedding of one of my best college friends. It’s been fun getting out of town for a few days to spend time catching up with old friends. But the thing Jack and I really love about weddings is attending them when they’re not our own. Last month, we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and although we had an amazing wedding day – the stress of planning it all is still part of the memory as well. (Note to self, next time: elope in Italy).

Butternut Squash, Walnut and Sage Pasta / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

But what’s not stressful is this pasta. (I know, dumb segue – but hey, it’s early and we were up late last night electric sliding). This is a pretty easy throw-together pasta made from a classic fall flavor combo: butternut squash, sage and walnuts.

Butternut Squash, Walnut and Sage Pasta / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

I threw some chickpeas in here because I had some that I needed to use up. This can be customized a few other ways: omit the pecorino if you’re vegan, if you’re not vegan some creamy feta or goat cheese might be a nice addition, and if you’re not vegetarian, some crispy pancetta would add a nice salty bite.

Either way, this a great dish to stay in and cozy up with someone you love.

Butternut Squash, Walnut and Sage Pasta / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

produce tips: cleaning, storing & using

Fresh Produce Tips: cleaning, storing and using / @loveandlemons

Once or twice a week, I get a huge bounty of fresh produce. My Farmhouse box arrives every other Wednesday, and I shop my local farmers market on Saturdays. Over the years I’ve learned a few strategies for cleaning, storing and using fruits and vegetables to make sure everything lasts throughout the week. I absolutely hate throwing food away. I know you do too, so I’m hoping you find this little guide helpful to avoid food-waste for yourself.

We’ve partnered with McCormick to share these tips as well as a few easy ideas to whip up farm-fresh dishes using their Gourmet dried herbs & spices.

Fresh Produce Cleaning Tips / @loveandlemons

CLEANING TIPS:

1. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables (except mushrooms) in cold running water. Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth to gently remove the dirt.

2. I like to wash leafy greens in a large bowl so any dirt can fall to the bottom.

3. Dry salad leaves in a spinner or just lay them on a towel for 20 or so minutes.

4. Scrub root veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.) with a brush to remove dirt. Or just rinse & peel, but I like to preserve the nutrients by leaving skins on.

5. Except for leafy salad greens, fruits and vegetables should be washed just before you’re ready to use it, (i.e. not days in advance).

Storing Fresh Produce / @loveandlemons

STORAGE TIPS:

1. Certain vegetables (and fruits) contain a gas called ethylene. Ethylene triggers the ripening process and will deteriorate some veggies faster. My #1 storage tip is to make sure you store ethylene-producing vegetables separate from ethylene-sensitive vegetables.

ethylene-producing produce: apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, melons, mango, peaches, pears, tomatoes.

ethylene-sensitive produce: apples, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, leafy greens, potatoes, summer squash.

2. Store veggies un-cut to last the longest. Cut produce should be tightly covered and used within 1-2 days.

3. Below are a few storage suggestions. This is just a rule of thumb – your vegetables may last longer or shorter depending on when (and where) they were picked and when you took them home.

Storing Fresh Produce / @loveandlemons Storing Fresh Produce / @loveandlemons spicing up fresh produce / @loveandlemons

USING FRESH PRODUCE:

At the start of the week (with the freshest fruits & veggies):

I always use up my most fragile produce first. Early in the week I make salads from crisp lettuces, cucumbers, peppers, and lightly roasted summer or winter squash. I start the week off with lightly cooked meals while produce is at peak freshness. For example:

Salads with chili-lime dressing: whisk olive oil, lime, honey, and chili powder.

Sliced veggie plates with hummus: blend chickpeas with olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin & coriander.

Simple pasta: lightly sauté summer squash with basil, oregano & parmesan.

using up leftover veggies / @loveandlemons

Toward the end of the week (with any veggies that are left):

I usually end up with a random assortment of (lightly wilted) veggies to use up. I often make frittatas or stir fries but, especially now that it’s fall, my favorite go-to meal is soup. Chop everything up and toss it in a big soup pot with olive oil, salt & pepper. Cook veggies until lightly browned, add a splash of white wine (or white wine vinegar) and let it cook out (2-3 minutes). Add vegetable broth and simmer until all veggies are cooked through. Create different flavor profiles by changing just a few spices and pantry items:

Mediterranean: add crushed red pepper, bay leaves, oregano & a can of tomatoes. (Click for the full recipe).

Mexican/southwestern: add coriander, chili powder, cumin & black beans for a soup that’s similar to this vegetarian chili.

Indian: add madras curry, turmeric, cayenne & a can of coconut milk for a creamy curried soup similar to this one.

spicing up fresh produce / @loveandlemons

This post is sponsored by McCormick. All thoughts, words and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Love and Lemons.