shiitake & napa cabbage gyoza

shiitake and napa cabbage gyoza / loveandlemons.com

These days, our idea of a “date night” rarely involves restaurant reservations. First, we never think ahead to actually make reservations, and then (way too often) we find ourselves waiting 2 hours on a Friday night for a meal. Some people might be ok with that, but this girl gets hungry.

Gyoza (Japanese dumplings) are one of our favorite things to make together at home. They’re not difficult but they take a little time – the assembly is definitely quicker if you have 4 hands and a bottle of sake on the side.

shiitake and napa cabbage gyoza / loveandlemons.comshiitake and napa cabbage gyoza / loveandlemons.com

We often eat these as a light meal on their own. Other times, I’ll serve them with soba noodles or a version of this sesame kale salad (both could be made ahead). If you wanted to get fancy, this citrus cod would be a nice main course.

Dip in soy sauce, or my personal preference: ponzu. Pick it up at the store or make your own.

Kanpai!

Go to the recipe “shiitake & napa cabbage gyoza”…

“ricotta” stuffed cabbage

vegan ricotta stuffed cabbage (grain free & gluten free) / loveandlemons.comvegan ricotta stuffed cabbage (grain free & gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

This is my gluten free solution last week’s stuffed shells. You’ll notice it’s also pasta-free but trust me – this “cheesy” cashew filling – tastes just as indulgent.

This little creation was a total happy accident… while I was shopping, I had filled my cart with everything necessary for the stuffed shells, with one ingredient left to go: the shells. And just my luck, no shells. I figured, I’d go searching for them somewhere else the next day. But when I got home I noticed a lonely cabbage in my fridge and voilà.

vegan ricotta stuffed cabbage (grain free & gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

When I remade these (for this post) I found this beautiful savoy cabbage, but regular large green cabbage leaves worked just as well. Large halves of chard leaves (without the stems) were also delicious. In the summer, I’ll roll this filling with thin strips of zucchini or eggplant.

I grated a little bit of pecorino on top for a bit of a cheesy crust (but if you’re vegan just leave that off).

Go to the recipe ““ricotta” stuffed cabbage”…

sesame noodle salad

sesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.comsesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.com

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I think Monday lunch is the most important meal of the week. If I’ve destroyed myself indulged a little too much over the weekend, I like to recover with a good healthy Monday lunch. Start the week off right and it’s easier to make healthier choices throughout the week. I’m also trying to make more meals in advance (I’m hoping these kinds of recipes are helpful for you too).

sesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.com

This is a noodle salad, but secretly there’s a kale salad hidden in here as well. I like to go light on the noodles and pile on a rainbow of veggies of varying textures – this time I went with soft kale, thinly sliced cabbage, meaty mushrooms and some crunchy carrots and radishes. (There’s also some tofu that’s not pictured, but feel free to sub in whatever protein you like). We ate this for dinner one night and I packed it up for lunch the next day.

A good start to the week… even if all bets might be off by Friday.

Go to the recipe “sesame noodle salad”…

chilaquiles with avocado

Chilaquiles with avocado / loveandlemons.com

I’m thinking of trying to grow avocados this spring… I don’t really have a green thumb, but I eat so darn many of them, I figure it’s worth a try. (Also, I’m just now realizing that this is my 3rd avocado recipe in a row – oops!) If anyone has any experience growing them, please let me know! I’m guessing that I probably have to start soon…

Today’s recipe is something I really love to make at home because it tends to be a little too greasy for me at restaurants. Chilaquiles are usually considered hangover food and it all starts with frying tortillas in a skillet. Of course, I went a little (a lot) lighter on the oil so they toast in the skillet and crisp up without becoming an oily mess. This way, we reserve a few extra calories for that brunch-time margarita!

Chilaquiles with avocado / loveandlemons.com

Remember this chile salsa from a few weeks ago? Here’s another way to use it… this meal comes together really quickly if you have some on hand in your fridge. (If not, see below for other sauce suggestions). This is perfect topped with fried eggs, but it would be equally delicious with black beans if you’re vegan.

Go to the recipe “chilaquiles with avocado”…

chickpea miso noodle soup

Chickpea lemon-miso noodle soup / loveandlemons.comChickpea lemon-miso noodle soup / loveandlemons.com

They say to feed a cold right?

I don’t get sick very often, but this week I’ve been a little bit down for the count. It’s not the worse thing ever – it’s just lingering… and it’s also hungry. Lately, I’ve been craving foods that are hot, cold, and, well, salty (you know, so I can actually taste things).

My scratchy throat and I were on Pinterest the other day and we were inspired by this soup and also this one. I read somewhere that garlic, lemon, and steam help to cure coughs and colds so this broth-y soup fit the bill. I didn’t want cheese to be necessary for depth of flavor so I thought I’d use miso instead, which – bonus – is also healing. (I did add a little bit of pecorino at the end for extra rich saltiness but it’s very optional).

A perfect simple soup for the soul… also quite tasty for lunch the next day. I’m sure this one will be a keeper even when I’m feeling a bit better.

Go to the recipe “chickpea miso noodle soup”…