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

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl / loveandlemons.com

If you saw what I eat for breakfast every day, you would be so bored. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my daily eggs & avocado, but lately I’ve been trying to switch things up just because I think change is good every once in awhile. Especially if that change means another excuse to smother things in peaches.

This one is inspired by all of those beautiful breakfast bowls of oatmeal that I see all over the internet. You know the ones – they’re chock full of colorful fruit and other various superfoods. They’re so pretty that they make me wish I liked oatmeal… so finally I had this idea to make a sweet non-oat quinoa bowl for breakfast.

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl / loveandlemons.com

This base of this recipe is the quinoa that is lightly sweetened by cooking it in almond milk with a few cinnamon sticks. It’s this simple: Almond Breeze + quinoa + whole cinnamon sticks. You could also get creative with your spices. Nutmeg, cardamom, and/or vanilla bean would all be welcome here.

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl / loveandlemons.com

To your spiced quinoa, add whatever seasonal or dried fruits you like. Obviously, peaches are my thing right now, the raspberries are for Jack because they’re his favorite. For crunch, I topped these with toasted almonds and coconut flakes.

I’m going to give you two options of how to serve these bowls because Jack and I both have different preferences. Because I have a thing about mushy food, I like my quinoa bowl best served pilaf style, leaving my quinoa fluffy. (it can be served warm off the stove or at room temp if you’ve made it in advance). Jack prefers his porridge style – hot with plenty of almond milk to soak into the quinoa. So to each their own…

Sweeten the deal by drizzling a little maple syrup on top.

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl / loveandlemons.com

Peach & Plum Crumble

Peach & Plum Crumble / loveandlemons.com

It sounds silly to say, but one thing I love most about traveling is coming home. Suddenly everything I used to take for granted day-to-day is pure luxury – sleeping on my own pillow in my own bed, getting into a shower I can actually fit into without bumping into the sides of the glass, and making breakfast in my own kitchen without having to search for utensils.

Peach & Plum Crumble / loveandlemons.com

We’ve been home for 2 days now, and since then we’ve done about 3 things: lay on the sofa, go out for tacos and stock up on all of my favorite foods. Peaches are still going strong so it seems like the perfect time to share one of my favorite easy summer desserts.

This is a version of my go-to oat crumble – this time it’s made with stone fruits and pecans. I usually make this with coconut oil, but you can use butter or vegan butter – I tend to grab whichever one I happen to have on hand. You really can’t mess this one up.

Peach & Plum Crumble / loveandlemons.com

I realize, you might not want to turn your oven on but the nice thing about peaches (vs. apples, pears, etc), is that they cook pretty fast. If you’re still not convinced – try this version with grilled peaches instead.

Either way, serve it piping hot with extra scoops of ice cream.

Peach & Plum Crumble / loveandlemons.com