chocolate pb&j cups { vegan, gf }

Chocolate PB and J Cups (vegan and gluten free) / @loveandlemons

Ever think “I’d like to combine my favorite school lunch with my favorite halloween candy?” Well neither had I – until Jeanine (this is Jack, by the way) came up with this crazy and amazing snack idea. And she even put some salt on top, just to cement it as the best peanut-butter cup idea ever.

I’m sorry that this post is a bit light on the photos – I kind of… ate… the subjects before we could take more follow up shots. Sorry about that. Just make your own – you won’t regret it.

These are also vegan and gluten free, so here’s a bonus healthy Halloween tip from Jack: Make these little guys, eat them, then buy some apples to hand out to children.

Chocolate PB and J Cups (vegan and gluten free) / @loveandlemons

fig & arugula salad w/ pistachio pesto

Fig and Arugula Salad w/ Pistachio Pesto / @loveandlemons

A few weeks ago, I made this in pizza form… since then, I haven’t been able to get the ingredient combination out of my mind. I knew it was destined to become a really great salad, so here we have it - a late summer/early fall salad with figs, arugula, balsamic, pistachios and a few dollops of pistachio pesto.

Fig and Arugula Salad w/ Pistachio Pesto / @loveandlemons

Instead of ricotta, I tore creamy pieces of burrata and added some diced avocado. (Just skip the cheese if you’re vegan – this is indulgent enough without it). For me, this salad hits every note a good well-rounded salad should – sweet, salty, creamy & crunchy, with a nice peppery bite from the arugula.

Fig and Arugula Salad w/ Pistachio Pesto / @loveandlemons

Today, I’ll keep this post short and sweet – but check out this fun interview I did last week on Get the Gloss.

roasted chickpea ratatouille

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

Everyone loves a one-pot meal. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the one-pan meal. Arrange everything onto a baking sheet, have a glass of wine, and let the oven do the work.

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons

Start with a good assortment of late summer veggies. (p.s. how cute are those little round squashes?). Chop your eggplant, squash and tomatoes so they’re roughly the same size (about 1-inch pieces).

Pile everything onto a baking sheet – this time, it’s ok if things are little crowded. Normally, you’d want more space between your vegetables but you want your ratatouille to be a little juicy, so this works.

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons

Add a dash of oregano or herbs de provence. Roast until golden, then add a splash of white or red wine vinegar (this gives a nice zing)… toss, and roast just a little longer.

Serve with crusty bread, (or in this case I heated up some leftover millet).

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons

gluten free blueberry banana muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons

Bananas are one of the few foods I really don’t like. Bananas and cantaloupe, in case you were curious. Banana bread, however, is one of my favorite things ever. And because I’m impatient, I often make it in muffin form. Eighteen minutes is long enough to wait, don’t you think?

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons

These are gluten free but you wouldn’t know it. In fact, I didn’t even tell Jack until after he had already inhaled three. I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix and the texture came out just perfect. The flavor – sweet and banana-ey…everything you’d want in a muffin, gluten free or not. I added blueberries, but you could try chopped walnuts or even chocolate chips.

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemonsGluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons

butternut squash & tart cherry quinoa

Butternut Squash and Tart Cherry Quinoa Salad / @loveandlemons

My mom loves to clip articles. Newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, stories, recipes – sometimes they come in the mail, sometimes she saves them up for a visit. A couple of years ago she brought me a recipe for a couscous salad clipped from Edible Michiana that was similar to this one. We made it, loved it… then later I lost it. But I could never get this sweet & savory flavor combo out of my mind so I’ve been making versions of it ever since.

Butternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa Salad / @loveandlemons

The original recipe used couscous but I used quinoa here because it’s the grain I usually have on hand. I tossed it with roasted butternut squash, feta cheese and dried tart cherries for a sweet & tangy pop of flavor. They perfectly balance the warm, savory flavors that are going on here.

Butternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa Salad / @loveandlemonsButternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa Salad / @loveandlemons

While the butternut squash is roasting in the oven, make your dressing. I slightly warm some olive oil and mix in apple cider vinegar, sage, honey and cinnamon. I promise – once you toss the sage in, your kitchen will instantly smell like fall… it’s just so warm and cozy.

Butternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa Salad / @loveandlemons