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

tart cherry frozen yogurt

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

I’m not sure where to start with this one. We’ve made a lot of ice creams before, so I don’t know why it’s taken us this long to think of making frozen yogurt with actual yogurt.

Guess what? It tastes nothing like that fake froyo you get from those places with the big machines and food-coloring-colored toppings. This is made with greek yogurt, a bit of coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla. It’s rich, creamy, and tangy (a little like cheesecake), with a bright pop of flavor from the tart cherries that are marbled throughout. We’re kind of obsessed.

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemonsTart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

Unless you live in Traverse City Michigan, you might not be familiar with Montmorency tart cherries (they’re also sometimes called sour cherries). They’re less sweet than regular cherries (hence the name), and have a bright tangy flavor. They have a short growing season and require a very specific climate which is why they’re usually sold either frozen, dried, or in juice form.

In addition to being just plain tasty, they have some major superfood qualities. They’re a natural anti-inflammatory as well as a source of melatonin. They’ve been known to reduce muscle soreness and insomnia which, ironically, are two huge issues for me so I’m excited to see if these make a difference. I love a good natural remedy. Especially if it comes by way of frozen dessert!

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

Healthy factors aside, make some yummy froyo this weekend! If you can’t find tart (or sour) cherries in your grocers’ freezer section, you can make a request for your store to start carrying them (I do this all the time). Or click here for a list of growers with online ordering options. Here in Austin, I found them at Wheatsville Coop.

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

fig & ricotta flatbread pizza

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

It’s possible that I’ve been going a little salad crazy around here lately. Jack has brought it to my attention that we may have one too many salad recipes on the site. So this week, I’m changing things up: first pasta and now pizza. Because sometimes we all need to live a little and just say yes to a few carbs.

So last Sunday night when I announced “pizza night!,” I got a thumbs up from Jack. When I said “it’s gluten free pizza night!!!!” he gave me a look.

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

I knew Pamela’s pizza crust would be good (like I mentioned before, all of my gluten friends swear by their flours), but even Jack was surprised how gluten-full it tasted. The dough is very sticky to work with (you won’t be tossing it into the air). We carefully formed it, partially baked it and then grilled it. The edge was crispy, the middle was chewy… you’d never know this crust was made with brown rice and other whole grains.

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

Figs just showed up at our farmers market so I did a flatbread-style pizza with creamy ricotta, juicy figs, pesto, arugula, pistachios and balsamic. (Basically a really good salad on a pizza!). I’m so excited about this salty-sweet ingredient combo that I figured out how to make an animated gif to demo it for you:

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

Technically, this recipe should serve 3, maybe 4. That night, it served two. We had a hard time not devouring every slice before we were done with the photos…

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

peach salad with mint & pistachios

Peach Salad with Mint, Pistachios and Coriander Yogurt / @loveandlemons

Is anyone else wondering how it’s August already? After some morning blog reading, I’ve suddenly realized that everyone else has gone (and come back from!) a summer vacation and we somehow forgot to plan one of our own. We’ve been talking about a number of trip ideas since last winter but that’s just the problem – it’s been all talk. Talk followed by excuses, followed by projects and general life busy-ness.

So… help? What would be a fun trip for late August/early September? I’m drawing a blank and would love some suggestions. It could be near or far… preferably with temps less than 100 degrees… and of course someplace with great food!

Peach Salad with Mint, Pistachios and Coriander Yogurt / @loveandlemons

Speaking of 100 degrees – this has become my favorite “it’s way too hot out” refreshing summer salad. Any stone fruit will work here, but lately I’ve been savoring the last of Texas peach season. I just love this combo of juicy peaches, peppery arugula and creamy greek yogurt dusted with ground coriander and crushed pistachios.

Make it a full meal by serving it next to some simply-grilled fish. Or try tossing in some chickpeas or other veggies you might have on hand. (I used thinly sliced zucchini here, but it’s also delicious with ribbons of peeled carrots). It’s also great for a quick throw-together lunch if you mix up the yogurt ahead of time.

Peach Salad with Mint, Pistachios and Coriander Yogurt / @loveandlemons

zucchini & grilled corn salad

zucchini and grilled corn salad / @loveandlemons

Oh zucchini, let me count the ways… julienned, coined, grilled, sauteéd, stuffed, kabob-ed, gratin-ed, muffin-ed, pancake-d… (I know I’m missing a few)…

Right now, my zucchini method of choice is the simple ribbon. Just raw. Tossed into salads. I mean, how pretty are they? (Also – how pretty are those plates!?)

zucchini and grilled corn salad / @loveandlemons

I very often make corn recipes where frozen corn will suffice – but not this time. This is the time of year where my midwestern roots shine through and I say – you need to get your hands on some fresh corn. And then don’t cook it too much.

zucchini and grilled corn salad / @loveandlemons

I grilled my corn so that some of the kernels charred while the others remained crispy and raw. It’s a delicious mix of textures especially when paired with creamy avocado, briny capers, and bright herbs. (Ok, now I’m starving and wishing I had saved some leftovers for lunch).

zucchini and grilled corn salad / @loveandlemons

You can serve this on a big platter at your next summer gathering, pack it up for lunch, or serve it like I did – small-plate-style on these Victorian Emblem Tapas Plates, from Q Squared. (Also pictured is this Peony Salad Plate)

zucchini and grilled corn salad / @loveandlemons

Check out Q Squared and the rest of their beautiful things. Love and Lemons readers will receive 20% off! (enter code: LOVEANDLEMONS)