Tart Cherry Tartelettes

There seems to be a national holiday for every type of food imaginable… I’m usually the last to know until my Instagram feed is chock full of deliciousness for National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27th), National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (May 15th), and the one I’m most ashamed to have missed, National Taco Day (October 4th).

But this month, I’m covering all my bases because February is not only National Chocolate Lovers’ Month, it’s also National Cherry Month. To celebrate, we’ve partnered with the Cherry Marketing Institute to bring you these decadent (no-bake) chocolate tart cherry tartelettes.

These start with a cocoa walnut crust and are filled with coconut lemon cream… the cherry on top is a scoop of sweet-but-not-too-sweet Montmorency tart cherries (also sometimes called sour cherries). So that everyone can participate in the holiday, this dessert also just happens to be vegan and gluten-free.

Lets talk about tart cherries: were obsessed. Especially with the ones that come frozen. I put them in my morning smoothie, my mom tops them onto her yogurt, and Jack eats them plain like candy. Tart cherries have some major superfood qualities – they reduce inflammation and are a natural source of melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.

The cherry love doesn’t stop here – four other bloggers are participating in a virtual tart cherry-infused progressive dinner. Jelly Toast is making the cocktail, A Couple Cooks is making the appetizer, Cookin’ Canuck, the vegetable, and Love & Zest is making the entrée.

Head over to Choosecherries.com to see the Perfectly Tart Dinner Menu and all of the other recipes!

Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos

Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos

It sounds silly to say, but the first vegan “dish” I really fell hard for was nachos. It was years ago at Native Foods where the Native Nachos were a revelation to us. They weren’t a snack, they were our dinner late one night. They were piled high with taco “meat,” black beans, cashew cheese (a crazy concept at the time), salsa, and guacamole… we scarfed them down saying (with our mouths full) “how are these vegan?!”

I came home with their cookbook and every night later that week, I made nachos.

My version here is quite a bit different, but the concept is the same – pile on loads of fresh ingredients and nachos can be healthy. Or at least healthy-ish. (If you baked your own tortilla chips these would be a tad healthier).

Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos

Instead of using fake-meat products, I make a version of ground taco “meat” with walnuts, shiitake mushrooms, spices, and black beans. As for the cashew cream, it’s made with pumpkin puree which gives it the classic nacho cheese-like color. From start to finish, this recipe is a bit long, but you should definitely use a few of these components for other recipes. For example, the cashew cream here was left over from the night we ate these tacos. If you have leftover taco meat, save it for, well, tacos later in the week.

Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos

But lets get back to the healthy part – there’s kale in here! It’s thinly sliced and conveniently hidden in the middle layer so no one will notice. I also added a layer of crispy radishes because their crunch factor helps you get away with a few less tortilla chips. Top it all with diced avocado and a few generous squeezes of lime. Game on.

Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos

Mini Potato Pizzas

Mini Potato Pizzas

If there’s any vegetable that’s under-represented on this blog, it has to be the potato. If you take a glance at our recipe index, you’ll notice that I while I have a mild obsession with sweet potatoes, I often skip over other potato varieties. But I have to tell you, I’m in love with all potato varieties (russets, red, whites, blues, the list goes on…), which are especially great for entertaining. These little pizzas are SO delicious and so so easy. A perfect appetizer to serve this Sunday for the big game.

Mini Potato Pizzas

To make these, first seek out some colorful pretty petite potatoes. Ok, just kidding, if you can’t find this exact assortment (I found these at Whole Foods, btw) just choose the smallest new potatoes or fingerling potatoes you can find. It’s best to slice these on a mandoline so that the potatoes cook quickly and become lightly crisp around the edges.

Assemble the pizzas with garlic oil, cheese, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. If you’re entertaining, you can assemble these an hour (or so) ahead of time and pop them into the oven just before you’re ready to serve.

Mini Potato Pizzas

Ok, I’m drooling now because I just loved these way too much and can’t wait to make them again!

For the ultimate list of potato recipes, go check out potatogoodness.com.

Mini Potato Pizzas

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

So… it’s almost Valentines Day and (big news!), we finally took our Christmas tree down. Yes, that’s right, we are “those people.” Christmas in July would have totally been our reality if my mom hadn’t come to visit this past weekend, because when mom’s here, things around the house get done.

But back to the Valentines’ Day thing – it’s my favorite holiday. It doesn’t involve putting up (or taking down) decorations, which works well for us. We don’t do anything over the top, but we enjoy spending time making dinner together.

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

I love this recipe as a vegetarian main course option. It’s not a side salad trying to be a meal, there’s no fake meat and who knew a slab of cauliflower can be so filling?

Underneath the cauliflower is a tangy romesco-like sauce. I changed around my go-to romesco recipe to be just a tad healthier – it uses a little less oil and I uses chickpeas to thicken the sauce instead of bread. If you don’t have a lot of time to put this together, the sauce can be made at least a day in advance.

Greek Salad Flatbread

Greek Salad Flatbread

If you love Greek salad but you also love pizza – this recipe is for you. This one combines those two yummy things into a fresh & healthy flatbread. This mashup is a genius idea that I wish I could take credit for but today the recipe (and all of the ingredients to make it), came from Hello Fresh, the healthy meal kit delivery service. We tried out their veggie box last week and are here to report back with our stamp of approval!

Hello Fresh Meals

We got the veggie box option which came with everything to make 3 dinners. They were all delicious and foolproof… and what I really mean by foolproof is that even Jack was able to easily prepare these all by himself (the ultimate test!). After I made this one, he made the other two recipes later in the week. The ingredients came pre-measured and the instructions were really easy to follow. Plus, it’s a lot healthier than take out.

Greek Salad Flatbread Greek Salad Flatbread

But most importantly – yum! We freshly baked whole wheat dough with cheeses, red onion, artichokes, and tomatoes and topped it all with crisp romaine lettuce dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So simple, so delicious.

Greek Salad Flatbread

Hello Fresh is giving Love & Lemons readers $35 off your first box! Just go to hellofresh.com and use the code LOVELEMONS at checkout.