Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo / loveandlemons.com

I love pico and I love mango salsa, so I’m not sure why it took so long to come up with the delicious idea to combine the two. This is probably the prettiest salsa I’ve ever made, but I also love the flavor and texture variety that each tomato brings to the table bowl. Cherry tomatoes are sweet, green tomatoes are more tart and firm. I always find myself adding a pinch of sugar to my tomato salsa for balance, but that’s not necessary this time because of the sweet juicy mango.

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo / loveandlemons.com

Make a big batch, it’ll keep in your fridge for 3-4 days if you don’t stand there dipping chip after chip into it like we do. Scoop it on all kinds of tacos, into burrito bowls, or serve it over corn fritters, zucchini cakes, or these black bean patties:

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo / loveandlemons.com

Almond Breeze Brunch Workshop

almond breeze brunch workshop / loveandlemons.com

Happy Friday! I hope you have brunch plans this weekend, because today I have a little brunch recipe inspiration to get you started…

Last weekend, we flew to California to host this super fun brunch cooking class with Almond Breeze. It was a blast getting to meet & cook with a few fans of the blog (of all ages!). First we made my favorite frittata recipe with summer squash, cherry tomatoes and basil. This is a great easy recipe, especially with the abundance of late summer produce that’s in season right now.

Brunch Workshop / Summer Tomato Basil Frittata @loveandlemons almond breeze brunch workshop / loveandlemons.com

Of course we couldn’t have an almond milk party without smoothies. At the class, we made super fruity Emoji smoothies. What is an emoji smoothie, you ask? It’s an instagram-able smoothie where the combinations are based on your favorite little phone icons!

Brunch Workshop / Emoji Smoothies @loveandlemons Better with Breeze Brunch Workshop w/ Love & Lemons Brunch Workshop / Whole Grain Vegan Waffles @loveandlemons

And for a sweet treat – waffles! We made these vegan waffles which are made with whole grain spelt flour. The recipe uses flaxseed meal instead of egg, coconut oil instead of butter, and they’re sweetened with maple syrup. Everyone mixed their batter and took turns at the waffle irons before moving on to the topping bar – a.k.a. the “take the picture of your waffle” area.

Steal this waffle bar idea for your next brunch party: set up a bunch of toppings (yogurt, assorted fruits, maple syrup, etc)… have your guests mix their own waffle batter and then and top them however they like!

Brunch Workshop / Whole Grain Vegan Waffles @loveandlemons almond breeze brunch workshop / loveandlemons.com Brunch Workshop / Whole Grain Vegan Waffles @loveandlemons

If you make these recipes, tag your photo with #betterwithbreeze on Instagram!

Portobello Tacos w/ Vegan Jalapeño Sauce

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

Today we’re celebrating Taco Wednesday, because oops, I missed Taco Tuesday. I know this because Jack has this new favorite t-shirt that says “Taco Tuesday,” and he gets a kick out of wearing it weekly when the event comes around.

But, really, we’re up for tacos any day of the week so here we go…

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

If mushrooms aren’t your thing, don’t stop reading because this recipe is ALL about this sauce. I was going for a vegan cool ranch sort of thing with cashews, onion, garlic, roasted jalapeños, and cucumber (the cool part)… and while it’s not exactly a replica of everyone’s favorite midwestern condiment – it’s darn tasty.

It was delicious on these grilled portobello tacos. It was equally good on the fish tacos I ate the next day… and it was also good as a dressing on the kale & avocado salad I ate the day after. I always love a “blend once” eat 3 times kind of sauce.

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

What I like about this creamy sauce is that you can make it as spicy as you like. Use 1/2 of a jalapeño for a mildly spicy sauce, 1 for medium, 2 for extra spicy. Start with less and taste, you can always add more. Pictured is a mild version (which is why it’s pretty white) because Mr. Taco Tuesday is a little sensitive about spice.

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies / loveandlemons.com

These are my perfect cookies. If you’re not vegan, don’t let the “vegan” part of this title distract you – there’s nothing vegan tasting about them. These are cookies that happen to be vegan because I like to save my eggs for breakfast and, well, I like to eat more raw cookie dough than the average person.

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies / loveandlemons.com

These are rich, chewy, sweet, but not too sweet, and have the most delicious pop of flavor from the dried tart cherries, which are the star here. They’re soft, plump and chewy and I’m so in love with these cookies.

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies / loveandlemons.com

I used coconut oil instead of butter (as I so often do). I experimented with sugars until I ended with a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup that I think is perfection. The brown sugar helps create the chewy texture, and the maple syrup adds a rich sweet flavor.

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies / loveandlemons.com

Tart cherries have some unique superfood benefits. They’re a natural anti-inflammatory as well as a source of melatonin. I put them in everything from salads to grilled cheese to granola. They’re easy to find – I get mine in the bulk bins at my Whole Foods (and I’ve seen them in most grocery stores).

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies / loveandlemons.com

What are you waiting for? Go bake cookies!

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies / loveandlemons.com

Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas

Jalapeño Margaritas / @loveandlemons

Happy Friday!

We’re getting the weekend started a little early today with my favorite late summer drink. It’s been nearly 100 degrees around here lately – and to that I say, let’s make it hotter! Bring on the jalapeños…

Jalapeño Margaritas / @loveandlemons

My #1 rule of margaritas is to never use margarita mix. Fresh limes are a must. My #2 rule: mess with this recipe and make it your own. Adjust the ratios to make your margaritas as sweet, sour and/or spicy as you like. (I always like mine on the tart & spicy side). Double the recipe if you’re having friends over.

These are best served with salsa and tortilla chips… which are best served in this gorgeous platter from Crate & Barrel, who so kindly provided us with the serving pieces & glassware for this post. Check out the full story we created for the Crate & Barrel blog along with some healthy tailgating recipes!