Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

Easy Vegan Apple Crisp / loveandlemons.com

Happy Saturday, friends! Fall is in the air, and although it’s not exactly crisp outside here, I’ve made crisp inside to make up for it.

Apple crisp is hands down my favorite fall dessert. I love apple pie too, but I love it more when other people make it for me. This crisp recipe is simple and straightforward – you can mix everything together and get these little guys into the oven in no time. (You can even mix the crumble part ahead of time).

Easy Vegan Apple Crisp / loveandlemons.com

To make these vegan, I used coconut oil instead of butter and scooped vegan ice cream on top. These can also be made gluten free if you use oat flour (see notes below). And if you don’t have mini copper cocottes (p.s. how cute are those?!) – no worries, you can bake them in small ramekins or an 8×8 baking dish.

Easy Vegan Apple Crisp / loveandlemons.com

The Mini Copper Cocottes were kindly provided by Williams Sonoma as part of their founder Chuck Williams’s 100th birthday celebration. Happy Birthday Chuck!

Chipotle Apple Sweet Potato Salad

Roasted Chipotle Apple Sweet Potato Salad / loveandlemons.com

This is my new favorite salad… and I don’t throw words like “favorite” or “best ever” around lightly. You may have noticed that I love roasted sweet potatoes in just about any salad (as evident herehere, and here) but this combination – with roasted tomatoes, roasted apples, corn, and a tangy/smoky chipotle dressing – was so good that I made it for dinner two nights in a row.

Roasted Chipotle Apple Sweet Potato Salad / loveandlemons.com

The first night, I made this as a lazy-girl dinner. Jack was out of town so for an easy “by myself” dinner I decided to roast the things (pictured above) that had just arrived in my Farmhouse Delivery box. I made a quick (yet super delicious!) dressing and tossed it all together with toasted pepitas for crunch.

The second night, I was so excited to recreate it for Jack because I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. Am I the only person who goes to bed dreaming of things like sweet potatoes and apples?

Roasted Chipotle Apple Sweet Potato Salad / loveandlemons.com Roasted Chipotle Apple Sweet Potato Salad / loveandlemons.com

In my humble opinion, this is late-summer-early-fall produce perfection. Be sure to make this while you can still find a few cherry tomatoes in season!

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.

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

Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Farro Salad / loveandlemons.com

I keep a food journal when we travel. It’s nothing fancy, just a little book that isn’t my iphone. There are no pictures or charming doodles… there aren’t really even sentences, just scribbles of ingredients and descriptions of what we ate and where. Some dishes, I’ll try to recreate at home, but not all of them. The chosen few that make it off the list and into my kitchen come down to a few components: how badly I crave something, the ability to decipher my chicken-scratch handwriting, and the availability of similar ingredients without having to visit specialty stores.

This one (a take-away lunch I ate one day at Roscioli) easily fit into all three categories especially since it’s eggplant season! I loved how simple and perfect these ingredients worked together: hearty farro, eggplant, and roasted tomatoes with lots of basil & olive oil. It had my name written all over it and I thought you all would like it too…

Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Farro Salad / loveandlemons.com

This came together even easier than I expected – no fancy dressing, no cheese, just a good splash of olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. The bright tangy flavor comes from roasting the tomatoes until they’re shriveled up and lightly dry and brown around the outside. Their concentrated sweet flavor is what makes this, although you could also chop up sun dried tomatoes in a pinch.

Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Farro Salad / loveandlemons.com

I cooked my eggplant simply in a pan with garlic and chickpeas (the chickpeas were my addition if you couldn’t tell)… and tossed it all with farro, arugula, basil and pine nuts. The best part about this salad is that it keeps well. Make it ahead, serve it at room temp or store it in the fridge and have it for lunch the next day. I served my leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg on top – which is not the Italian way but it was so delicious that I recommend you do that anyway.

Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Farro Salad / loveandlemons.com