Vegan Spinach Mac & Cheese

Vegan Spinach Mac & Cheese / www.loveandlemons.comVegan Spinach Mac & Cheese / www.loveandlemons.com

Jack here, writing for the blog today while Jeanine writes for the book…

I have something to admit that I’m having a hard time with. I’m starting to prefer vegan “mac and cheese” to actual mac and cheese. Now, this is a hard one for me. You see, I love cheese. Almost every time we go to whole foods, I raid the “under $3 cheese” bin to find crazy new cheeses that I can barely pronounce. And a great grilled cheese is work of art.

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But these vegan “mac and cheese” recipes Jeanine comes up with pretty much hit everything I need out of mac and cheese. This one is as creamy as mac and cheese could ever get, the paprika and turmeric give it an incredible depth of flavor, and the spinach gives it the right amount of texture. I honestly can’t get enough…

Sorry, Kraft.

Tart Cherry Grilled Cheese with Sage

Tart Cherry Grilled Cheese with Sage / www.loveandlemons.com

When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches, I think more is more. I say, skip the white bread and American singles and instead opt for:

1. thick grainy bread
2. fancy sharp cheese
3. fresh herbs
4. something sweet or tart, to balance it all out

In this case, component #4 – the tart cherries – are sweet and tart, making this my ultimate grilled cheese. Plus, I like to sneak in superfoods wherever I can.

Tart Cherry Grilled Cheese with Sage / www.loveandlemons.com
Tart cherries
(also called sour cherries) have some unique super-fruit benefits. They’re a natural anti-inflammatory as well as a source of melatonin. Nutrition aside, they also just taste really good. I especially love their tangy flavor in combination with the savory sage. And they become deliciously plump and juicy when smothered in melted cheese.

They’re available in dried-form year round – I find mine in the bulk bins at my grocery store.

Tart Cherry Grilled Cheese with Sage / www.loveandlemons.com

Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa Recipes / loveandlemons.com

Quinoa! It’s one of my favorite grains because it’s just so healthy and versatile. I find myself reaching for it more and more in the wintertime (especially now that we’re actually having a little bit of winter). It’s so easy to keep on hand in my pantry and it’s quick to make. Here are a few of my all-time favorite recipes:

pictured above:
Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers (these are vegan, if you skip the mayo on top)
Quinoa & Chickpea Salad / Carrot & Quinoa Salad in a Pita

Quinoa Recipes / loveandlemons.com

pictured above:
Quinoa Quesadillas / Butternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa
Mushroom & Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

Loaded Sweet Potato Avocado Toast

Loaded Sweet Potato Avocado Toast / loveandlemons

I know – avocado toast is SO over, and even if it weren’t, you don’t need a recipe for it. This trend might be on it’s way out, but you’ll still find me (and pretty much everyone else on Instagram) happily smashing & snapping away.

I usually keep mine simple – avocado, lemon, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. It’s a perfect combo that doesn’t need to be messed with, but since this was “dinner toast” for us one night last week, I thought I’d get a little fancier with the toppings. (Also, Jack is still claiming that he doesn’t like avocado, but if I hide it a little, no complaints).

Loaded Sweet Potato Avocado Toast / loveandlemons

This chart of ingredients looks a little fussy, but most of these are pantry staples and items that I happened to have on hand. For example, the adobo sauce (our favorite addition here) comes from a leftover can of chipotles that I had previously opened for this chili recipe. So feel free to use and re-use whatever you like. Send me your winning combos and, together, let’s keep this trend alive!

Loaded Sweet Potato Avocado Toast / loveandlemons

Matcha White Hot Chocolate

Matcha White Hot Chocolate / @loveandlemons

Hot chocolate always has to come with warm fuzzy memories, doesn’t it? I vividly remember being about 9 – otherwise known as the age when snow was fun. My sister and I would spend hours and hours building forts and making snow angels. We’d come in the house with red noses and leave our snowpants in a puddle at the door (you know, for mom to clean up). We’d sit down to mugs of swiss miss hot chocolate, no marshmallows for me.

I might not have wintery white Christmases anymore but here’s my fancy adult white hot chocolate that’s made oh so much more delicious by adding one of my favorite ingredients – matcha.

Matcha White Hot Chocolate / @loveandlemons

If you’re new to matcha, check out this matcha coconut latte post where I describe it a little more… or view all of our matcha recipes in our (now working again, sorry for yesterday’s glitch) recipe index.