Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers / loveandlemons.com

Stuffed peppers are one of my go-to summer vegetarian dinners. They’re so easy that when I posted this pic on instagram last week, I got tons of emails asking for the fully measured recipe. Ask and you shall receive, so here it is. But don’t let the measurements fool you – feel free to eyeball your ingredients if you don’t feel like breaking out the measuring cups. This recipe is simple, forgiving and very customizable.

Don’t have orzo? Use couscous. Gluten free? use millet or quinoa. Don’t have mint? Try basil, oregano, or other herbs and spices you like. I put some chopped up kale in mine, but you can try roasted broccoli or zucchini instead. Don’t have red peppers? Well then go find another recipe! (kidding: you can use Anaheims, poblanos, or any mild stuff-able pepper).

You have two options for baking these. The first is to fill your peppers, smother them with cheese and bake until the cheese bubbles on top. The second is a lighter version (pictured); I skip the melty cheese but roast the peppers fully before filling them so that the orzo filling doesn’t dry out in the oven.

Picnic Wraps with Feta & Quinoa Salad

Picnic Wraps with Feta & Quinoa Salad / loveandlemons.com

In my opinion, the world cannot have too many quinoa salads. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other grains too… farro, millet, and wheatberries are all lovely, but my real go-to grain is quinoa. I love to make a big batch and keep it on hand – it’s the perfect catch-all for vegetables, nuts and cheeses that I usually have around. Of course, since this salad was destined for a picnic without any silverware, I decided to have my cake (salad?) and eat it too by putting it in a wrap.

Picnic Wraps with Feta & Quinoa Salad / loveandlemons.com

This quinoa salad filling includes so many of my favorite things – crunchy cucumbers, sweet cherry tomatoes, herbs, bits of kale, and a good sprinkling of crumbled ATHENOS Feta Cheese. I have to admit that I have a mild obsession with feta cheese – I love that salty tangy bite and I can’t help but to toss those little crumbles into so many things. 

Picnic Wraps with Feta & Quinoa Salad / loveandlemons.com

I wrapped everything in large sprouted tortillas with a good slather of kale pesto and a few pickled onions that I happened to have in the fridge. I realize that the ingredient list for this recipe looks a little long but I have a secret to these quick meals, which is to keep a few interesting components on-hand. In this case, I used a combination of feta cheese and some extra pesto I had in the fridge. You may have hummus, nuts, herbs, whatever. Keep these sorts of things around and you’ll always be ready for a delicious go-to meal.

Picnic Wraps with Feta & Quinoa Salad / loveandlemons.com

Happy wrapping!

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico

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

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.comPortobello 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