Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo / loveandlemons.com

I love pico and I love mango salsa, so I’m not sure why it took so long to come up with the delicious idea to combine the two. This is probably the prettiest salsa I’ve ever made, but I also love the flavor and texture variety that each tomato brings to the table bowl. Cherry tomatoes are sweet, green tomatoes are more tart and firm. I always find myself adding a pinch of sugar to my tomato salsa for balance, but that’s not necessary this time because of the sweet juicy mango.

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo / loveandlemons.com

Make a big batch, it’ll keep in your fridge for 3-4 days if you don’t stand there dipping chip after chip into it like we do. Scoop it on all kinds of tacos, into burrito bowls, or serve it over corn fritters, zucchini cakes, or these black bean patties:

Heirloom Tomato & Mango Pico de Gallo / loveandlemons.com

Portobello Tacos w/ Vegan Jalapeño Sauce

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

Today we’re celebrating Taco Wednesday, because oops, I missed Taco Tuesday. I know this because Jack has this new favorite t-shirt that says “Taco Tuesday,” and he gets a kick out of wearing it weekly when the event comes around.

But, really, we’re up for tacos any day of the week so here we go…

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.comPortobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

If mushrooms aren’t your thing, don’t stop reading because this recipe is ALL about this sauce. I was going for a vegan cool ranch sort of thing with cashews, onion, garlic, roasted jalapeños, and cucumber (the cool part)… and while it’s not exactly a replica of everyone’s favorite midwestern condiment – it’s darn tasty.

It was delicious on these grilled portobello tacos. It was equally good on the fish tacos I ate the next day… and it was also good as a dressing on the kale & avocado salad I ate the day after. I always love a “blend once” eat 3 times kind of sauce.

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

What I like about this creamy sauce is that you can make it as spicy as you like. Use 1/2 of a jalapeño for a mildly spicy sauce, 1 for medium, 2 for extra spicy. Start with less and taste, you can always add more. Pictured is a mild version (which is why it’s pretty white) because Mr. Taco Tuesday is a little sensitive about spice.

Portobello Tacos w/ Creamy Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / loveandlemons.com

Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas

Jalapeño Margaritas / @loveandlemons

Happy Friday!

We’re getting the weekend started a little early today with my favorite late summer drink. It’s been nearly 100 degrees around here lately – and to that I say, let’s make it hotter! Bring on the jalapeños…

Jalapeño Margaritas / @loveandlemons

My #1 rule of margaritas is to never use margarita mix. Fresh limes are a must. My #2 rule: mess with this recipe and make it your own. Adjust the ratios to make your margaritas as sweet, sour and/or spicy as you like. (I always like mine on the tart & spicy side). Double the recipe if you’re having friends over.

These are best served with salsa and tortilla chips… which are best served in this gorgeous platter from Crate & Barrel, who so kindly provided us with the serving pieces & glassware for this post. Check out the full story we created for the Crate & Barrel blog along with some healthy tailgating recipes!

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