Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza / loveandlemons.com

Our vacation is coming to a close and while we’ve eaten well in Italy, we’ve eaten just a little too well. I’m feeling pretty ready to go home and get back to my many-vegetable way of eating. But before we go to salad town, I thought I’d share this pile-of-vegetable pizza recipe that I made before we left. Usually my opinion about pizza is “less is more,” but I had a fridge to clean out.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza / loveandlemons.com Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza / loveandlemons.com

The crust here is made with spelt flour but you can use whole wheat if you want to. Or skip the dough-making step and get it from the store. I usually get the raw dough that they sell behind the pizza counter at Whole Foods.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza / loveandlemons.com

I used a regular vegetable peeler to peel my zucchini and summer squash into thin ribbons. They cooked a little faster this way, plus, I mean, they’re so pretty right? I piled them on top of sliced tomatoes (that are a little hard to see), and then tossed red onions and corn on top. I’m not gonna lie – this one is a juicy mess to eat but we loved it anyway.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza / loveandlemons.com

Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho

Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho / loveandlemons.com

Soup is my favorite thing to make regardless of the season – it’s comfy and cozy in the fall and winter, but just because it’s 100 degrees outside now doesn’t mean I don’t crave soup in the summer. Enter: gazpacho.

Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho / loveandlemons.com

This one is extra healthy (and bikini-season-friendly) because it’s made with green juice as the base. Since working on these recipes, with Evolution Fresh, I’ve been inspired to incorporate more green juices into my cooking. I got this idea by reading the ingredient list for their Sweet Greens and Ginger cold-pressed juice. It’s full of cucumber, apple, and ginger (among other greens), and sounded like the start of a really refreshing gazpacho. To that, I added yellow tomatoes, a drizzle of good olive oil and sherry vinegar. Sometimes gazpacho recipes call for stale bread to create a creamier soup, but I like to blend in blanched almonds or raw cashews instead.

Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho / loveandlemons.com

This soup comes together in about 5 minutes. Blend it, taste it, chill it. Like all soups, it tastes great the next day. I love to eat this one for lunch with avocado toast or a big salad.

Erin’s Adobo Eggplant Quesadillas

Erin's Adobo Grilled Eggplant Quesadillas / loveandlemons.com

Ciao from Italia! At the moment, our life is all about pizza, pasta and tomatoes. It’s amazing but every time I travel, the things I miss most are tacos and mexican-ish food. We made these quesadillas a few weeks ago but I could totally go for one right now!

Erin's Adobo Grilled Eggplant Quesadillas / loveandlemons.com

I often get questions about how to cook eggplant. My favorite and most foolproof method for non-spongy eggplant is to grill it. (If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can use a grill pan on your stove). I grill mine simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon or drizzle of balsamic; I then serve it with some arugula or sliced tomatoes.

But I’m in love with this recipe for grilled eggplant quesadillas that comes from my friend Erin (of Naturally Ella)’s new book The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen. The spices are so flavorful and the eggplant bulks up the quesadillas in a meaty-but-not-meaty sort of way.

Erin's Adobo Grilled Eggplant Quesadillas / loveandlemons.com

I know that so many of you are fans of Erin’s as well, so I’m sure lots of you already have her book, but if you don’t, put it on your list. It’s a super handy vegetarian guide to cooking with what you might have available seasonally or on hand. There are 50 base recipes and 3 unique versions of each. So pretty much any vegetarian meal you might want to make, she has a recipe for. Everything is made with whole grains and with fresh seasonal produce in mind.

I modified her quesadilla recipe just a tad. I mixed her spice rub with olive oil and used it as more of a chile sauce to brush onto the eggplant after I grilled it. (This kept my grill pan a little cleaner). I served the remaining sauce on the side of the finished quesadillas…  Jack gave this meal two speechless thumbs up. Because that’s how he says “this one is really good” as he stuffs the next quesadilla wedge in his mouth.

The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson

almond milk cold brew coffee latte

Almond Milk Cold Brew Iced Lattes / loveandlemons.com

To say that we’re obsessed with cold brew coffee is an understatement. It’s the only coffee we drink at home now – the only reason we still own a coffee maker (which is now stored up on the highest shelf) is for when parents come to visit. I didn’t know it was possible to make cold brew yourself, but it’s more than possible, it’s easy.

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cubes / loveandlemons.com

I’ve been buying my cold brew by the bottle, but when I started seeing homemade versions all over the internet (here, here, here, here), I was intrigued. But let’s back up – what is cold brew coffee you ask? (if you’re not asking you can scroll down and skip this paragraph). It’s regular coffee beans (get a good quality kind) that you soak overnight and then strain instead of brewing it in a coffee maker. The benefits are that it’s less acidic than regular coffee, so it’s a little healthier and easier on the tummy. Plus, you can store it in the fridge and it’ll last almost a week.

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cubes / loveandlemons.com

I usually drink mine Americano style, and Jack drinks his with chocolate almond milk. Today we’re meeting in the (lightly sweet) middle with iced almond milk lattes made with homemade cold brew iced cubes… because no one wants a watery coffee drink once the ice melts.

Almond Milk Cold Brew Iced Lattes / loveandlemons.com

Store these ice cubes all summer long – pop a few out as you like and just add Almond Breeze! Adjust the strength of your coffee drink by the number of ice cubes you use. Your iced latte will be ready quicker than your local barista can spell your name wrong on a paper cup.

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Peach & Plum Caprese Salad

Peach & Plum Caprese Salad / loveandlemons.com

First, thank you all SO much for your Italy foodie suggestions, the other day! They are all so so helpful. I’m writing this from the terrace of our small, yet very awesome, airbnb apartment in Rome. It’s picturesque, I’m not going to lie. What’s less idyllic is this jet lag. I always expect it to get easier, but every trip it seems to hurt a little more… of course, nothing I’m sure a little gelato won’t fix.

Before we head out for the day, I wanted to share this simple peach salad I made a few weeks ago with the sweetest Texas peaches & plums that I hauled home from the farmers market.

Peach & Plum Caprese Salad / loveandlemons.com

This is exactly the not-recipe recipe that I like to make with perfect peaches. While I absolutely love recipes like this grilled peach salad (it’s one of our most popular ones too), there’s something about those first summer peaches that are so special to me and I just want to savor them for the sweet little gems that they are.

This is the perfect salad for the start of a summery Sunday meal. Although – oops – I’ve lost all sense of day & time, so I guess this is a Monday salad.

Peach & Plum Caprese Salad / loveandlemons.com

There are no measurements here – just use up the peaches you’ve got and eyeball the rest. Ciao!