Mix & Match Summer Crostini Bar

Mix & Match Summer Crostini Bar / loveandlemons.com

Tell me, who doesn’t love a variety of yummy mix & match toppings on little pieces of grilled bread? Here’s a party idea that you can easily pull off this weekend. All you have to do is chill some rose, gather a bunch of toppings (and a bunch of friends)… grill some bread and voila, you have a fun, casual crostini party!

The combinations you can put together are endless, but my strategy here is pretty simple. I chose ingredients that hit on a variety of flavors and textures – sweet, savory, salty, fruity, herb-y, creamy, crunchy… you get the idea. For this post we’re partnering with Stonewall Kitchen because their delicious jams fit perfectly into this mix (hello, Hot Pepper Peach Jam!). I often reach for their jams, chutneys & crackers (among their other gourmet products) when I’m entertaining and when I don’t want to make everything myself.

Mix & Match Summer Crostini Bar / loveandlemons.com

Your guests can, of course, mix and match crostini toppings to their hearts’ desire, but these were some of our favorite combinations:

Strawberry Champagne Jam +  brie +  mint
Hot Pepper Peach Jam + cashew cream + a peach slices + pistachios
– Pesto + Roasted Garlic Onion Jam + cherry tomatoes

Mix & Match Summer Crostini Bar / loveandlemons.com

And because Stonewall Kitchen is celebrating their 25th anniversary, they’re giving away a Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Picnic Tote Gift which includes: a nautical recycled tote by Sea Bags, stemless wine glasses, a teak wood spreader, a cutting board, a jar of their delicious Mango Chutney, crackers, a picnic blanket & an insulated Corksicle water bottle. (A $349 value), check it out and enter to win by clicking here!

Mix & Match Summer Crostini Bar / loveandlemons.com

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

If you’re the salad-bringer in your family or circle of friends – this one’s for you. It’s super easy and also really super bright & flavorful. It goes great with whatever you’re grilling and packs up well for picnics. You can make it in advance which, in my opinion, is a key element to summer salad-ing.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

This is not a traditional tabbouleh because, as you see, I’m using dried tart cherries (which are also sometimes called sour cherries) in lieu of tomatoes. I just love the pop of sweet bright flavor they bring here – it contrasts so nicely with the earthy flavors of the herbs and it balances so well with the tang of the lemon juice.

For this post, we’re working with the Cherry Marketing Institute. If you haven’t heard, I’m pretty obsessed with Montmorency tart cherries (see all previous recipes here). As their name suggests, they bring a pop of tart flavor to so many dishes, and I love the challenge of creatively working them into various types of recipes. They also have some great health benefits – they’re known to help with muscle soreness after a workout and studies have shown that they can help with sleep since they’re a natural source of melatonin. Give these superfruits a try if you haven’t already! I find mine in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, some of you have also mentioned that they can be found at Costco.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur but I used millet here because it’s gluten free and the texture is pretty similar. I’ve included cooking methods for both in the notes of the recipe.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

I mixed the millet with tons of herbs, diced cucumber, red onion, and scallions. It’s simply seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and a touch of white wine vinegar – mix it all in one bowl and serve. As I type this I’m trying to hold myself back from finishing the leftovers in the fridge – this salad is especially good on the 2nd day when the flavors have had the chance to mesh together.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I just turned to Jack and asked “Hey, what should I write about stuffed peppers?” He grumbled back “I dunno know, maybe write about how we’re stuffed in this room.” It’s 10:30am, and we’ve been stuck in the bedroom all morning with a jammed doorknob and two hungry dogs. And two very hungry people. A locksmith is on the way, but until then I’ll tell you about this recipe… which will surely not make me less hungry, but here goes :)

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

As the title suggests, this starts with poblano peppers. These peppers are usually mild, although the ones at the farmers markets in Texas this time of year are quite spicy so pick your peppers with caution if you’re sensitive to spice. If you can’t find poblanos, you can use any type of bell pepper that you like.

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

The filling here is made up of things that you might have easily available in your fridge or pantry – a chunk of onion, bell pepper, a small section of cauliflower, leftover cooked rice, black beans, spinach, a scoop of tomatillo salsa, and a smattering of spices.

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Instead of topping these with cheese, I opted for avocado, tomatillo salsa and cashew cream that I had leftover from this Cauliflower Burrito Bowl recipe. The cashew cream is a bit of an extra step, but it’s SO GOOD with both recipes (blend once, eat twice) and I highly recommend adding scoops of it after you bake these vegan poblano peppers. Of course, if your a cheese lover, by all means, smother these in cheese and bake until it bubbles.

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Rainbow Bowls w/ Almond-Ginger Dressing

Rainbow Noodle Bowls w/ Almond Dressing

This is one of those “it’s good to be home” meals. I love vacation, and I love eating out, but after traveling for awhile, I just can’t wait to get home and get back to my regular healthy eating routine. You know, the one that includes a morning smoothie instead of a croissant, and light vegetable-packed dinners like this one instead of multi-course dinners with wine pairings. Not that I’m complaining AT ALL, btw… but it’s time to get back on track and I’m doing that by eating the rainbow:

Rainbow Bowls w/ Almond-Ginger Dressing

We’re partnering with Almond Breeze as part of their Serve Up Your Best campaign. Since they’re the official sponsor of Team USA Volleyball, I thought I’d serve up a super healthy recipe today.

You can customize these bowls with whatever veggies you like, but my strategy here was to represent every primary color. Well, except blue. Blueberries would be a little weird here. What’s not weird are red peppers, orange carrots, yellow tomatoes, cucumber, baby kale, scallions and shredded purple cabbage. Slice & dice, then toss everything together with brown rice noodles and this light savory dressing that’s made with almond butter, ginger, lime, tamari and creamy Almond Breeze Almondmilk Cashewmilk.

Rainbow Bowls w/ Almond-Ginger Dressing Rainbow Bowls w/ Almond-Ginger Dressing

This salad keeps well in the fridge – save the leftovers for multiple lunches during the week.

Rainbow Bowls w/ Almond-Ginger Dressing

But before you run off to make this, we would love it if you could take a second and fill out this short survey. Afterward, come back and leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 VISA gift card. The winner will be chosen at random. The giveaway ends July 25th. CLICK HERE to go to the survey. Thank you!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Before I talk about this recipe, I just wanted to let you know about 2 things:

1. I’ll be in New York on Thursday, July 21st signing cookbooks at the Chelsea Market Anthropologie – hope to see you there! Click here to RSVP.

2. The cookbook is about to be released in Australia! It comes out July 18th but you can pre-order your Australian version now by clicking here.

And now – salsa!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

It’s so easy to buy salsa in a jar, but it’s SO much better when you make it fresh yourself. This is my go-to green salsa. It’s fresh, it’s tangy and it’s spicy (although see the recipe notes to adjust the heat to your own taste level).

I use salsa in so many recipes, that I thought this one finally deserved a post of its own. It’s pretty easy to make – just roast and blend. If you don’t want to turn your oven on, you can char everything on the grill. This salsa is great to have around in the summer – you can scoop it onto whatever you’re grilling or serve it as a snack with chips and guacamole. Or try it along with one of these recipes:

Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus
Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
Collard Wrap Tacos with Citrus Slaw
Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos
Vegetable Tacos with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
Portobello Tacos with Vegan Jalapeño Sauce
Poblano “Crema Enchiladas”

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa