avocado & quinoa stuffed acorn squash

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash / @loveandlemons

The year I first became vegetarian I truly missed the turkey part of turkey day. It seems like ages ago now, but back then I barely knew how to cook for myself, let alone embrace seasonal foods like squashes, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes (you know, the kind without marshmallows).

Fast forward to now – I eat *mostly* vegetarian every day and whenever anyone asks me how I do it, my answer is almost always: avocado.

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash / @loveandlemons

In my opinion, avocados might be the world’s most perfect food. I eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (even dessert) – and now, thanks to Avocados from Mexico, I’ll be eating them for Thanksgiving dinner too. I’ve posted a lot of veggie side dishes so far this year, but if you’re looking for a fresh twist on a vegetarian main course, give this one a try. It’s stuffed with quinoa, black beans, green chiles and pepitas and diced avocados - all of my favorite delicious (and, by the way, healthy) flavors.

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash / @loveandlemons

Depending on the size of your acorn squash, you may have some of this avo-quinoa filling leftover. My leftover suggestion: make post T-giving tacos!

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash / @loveandlemons

For more recipes and ideas, check out Avocados from Mexico on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. We’re also giving a special Avocados from Mexico price pack worth approximately $200. To enter, leave a comment below telling me about your own Thanksgiving avocado recipe idea. Giveaway ends Dec. 5th. Open to US residents only.

farmhouse farro salad

Farmhouse Farro Salad / @loveandlemons

I have a love/hate relationship with farro. It takes forever and quinoa is quicker but the chewy, nutty grains bring a real heartiness to this not-wimpy fall salad. The catch is that you have to pre-plan for farro – it’s easiest to make a big batch and keep it around all week. I’m not usually that organized but I happened to have made farro the day before my Farmhouse vegetables arrived so here we are… a grain salad with more veggies than could fit onto the subject line of this post.

Farmhouse Farro Salad / @loveandlemons

The basic components are roasted sweet potatoes, peeled carrot ribbons and diced apples with a decent amount of greens worked in too. (I mixed kale and salad greens together because that’s what I had – feel free to use one or the other if you don’t have both).

Farmhouse Farro Salad / @loveandlemons

Sweet, salty, crunchy, nutty… we ate this for dinner and then I ate it for lunch the next two days in a row. This would be a pretty addition to your Thanksgiving table and most of it can be made well in advance (see my make-ahead notes below).

Farmhouse Farro Salad / @loveandlemons

walnut pear crisp

Walnut Pear Crisp / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

It took everything in me to not title this one “pair crisp.” With quotation marks. Because this is a dessert for 2 – get it? (Jack is sitting next to me right now shaking his head).

Bad puns aside, I love desserts that are easy to make in small portions. Because if I made this large enough to serve 4, it would still serve the two of us. Just one more bite after one more bite and it would be all over. We have no control.

Walnut Pear Crisp / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

If you love apple crisp as much as I do, I’m telling you, you have to try it with pears. They’re so soft and sweet that they practically melt into the crumble topping. And because (ripe) pears are so much softer than apples, this bakes in about half the time. Which is just enough time to wash the dishes, pour two after-dinner cocktails and cuddle up on the couch with two spoons.

Walnut Pear Crisp / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

shredded brussels sprout & apple salad

Shredded brussels sprout, apple & kohlrabi salad / @loveandlemons

You may or may not have noticed, but I love salads. I intended to start November off with big hearty Thanksgiving inspiration… but, well, I’m not sure if the thought of mashed potatoes made my jeans feel tighter or if it was all the Christmas cookies I ate last week (don’t ask)… this week I ended up craving soups and, especially, salads.

I’m really excited about this salad because it’s so simple yet so delicious with all of it’s shred-y, crunchy textures. If you have a mandoline, this will go really quickly. If you don’t, you can use a sharp knife, just try to slice everything as thin as you can. (And a side note: please use the safety attachment even though I didn’t here).

Shredded brussels sprout, apple & kohlrabi salad / @loveandlemonsShredded brussels sprout, apple & kohlrabi salad / @loveandlemons

Shredded brussels sprouts and apples are the base of this salad. At the last minute I also tossed in some kohlrabi which had been sitting in my fridge for weeks as if it were waiting to be included in this salad. Sliced into thin matchsticks, it offers a really nice crunch. If you don’t have kohlrabi, you can skip it. But don’t skip the dried fruit or the toasted nuts. It’s these sweet & salty flavors that bring everything together.

We ate this salad with big bowls of pumpkin soup, but it’ll also be great as a lighter option on your Thanksgiving table.

Shredded brussels sprout, apple & kohlrabi salad / @loveandlemonsShredded brussels sprout, apple & kohlrabi salad / @loveandlemons

spaghetti squash w/ chickpeas & kale

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

The first time I had spaghetti squash, it was served with a big scoop of store-bought marinara sauce mixed in. It was slimy and goop-y and decidedly not spaghetti-like.

About a month ago, ditching the pasta idea completely, I planned a post for bbq spaghetti squash tacos. I have a super cute photo to prove that the meal existed, but the recipe ended in total disaster.

So, long story short, I’ve learned that I prefer my spaghetti squash as simple as possible and most importantly: sauce-less. The roasted strands come out of the oven with a nice al-dente bite but, smothered in sauce, they become just too mushy for me.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfreeSpaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

In this recipe, the roasted squash strands are lightly tossed with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and a good squeeze of lemon. I added chickpeas and kale to make it a full meal and toasted some pine nuts for crunch. Sun dried tomatoes add a nice pop of flavor but you could add anything briny that you like – capers, or maybe some chopped kalamata olives.

So while spaghetti squash is not pasta and it never will be, this veggie-packed bowl just moved up my list as a healthy weeknight favorite.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree