White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

White Chocolate (& Matcha) Almond Butter Cups / @loveandlemons

We have a new favorite food and it’s not what you think. Well, ok, it is what you think, given that the title and photo in this post have given it away. Lately, I haven’t been able to make it through the Whole Foods checkout line without sneaking a package of those Justin’s white chocolate almond butter cups – have you had them? (This is not a sponsored post, btw). 

So I thought – how hard would it be to make them at home? First we tried to make a vegan version w/ cacao butter – total fail. (points for trying though?). We ended up going the (much easier) route using organic white chocolate.

I got the idea to stir matcha – my green foodie food coloring of choice – into half of the melted white chocolate. I can’t put into words how amazing the combo of matcha + almond butter is. Just know that these had to be taken away from me.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip / @loveandlemons

Hey all, Jack here – now that it’s the end of the year, it’s holiday party time! And what does it normally mean to eat at a party in the winter? To a lot of Americans, that means spinach artichoke dip. I mean, what makes you feel like partying more than eating an entire loaf of bread dipped in cream cheese and mayonnaise?

Well, Jeanine and I don’t really think that’s much of a party any more. Our idea of a party is one where the next day you (or your guests) don’t feel awful. So we took a bit of inspiration from the classic party dip and made a spread that is still irresistible but infinitely more healthy. It uses two of our favorites for creamy vegan indulgence – sunflower seed puree and chickpeas. And the spinach is subbed out for kale, because why not?

I won’t lie though – I still ate way too much of this.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip / @loveandlemons

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons

I feel like I missed the boat on the Thanksgiving leftover trend – sorry no mashed potato sandwiches happened here. (and um, eww). Instead, I turned a bunch of random veggie scraps and a chunk of red onion into fancy little veggie packed pizzas. In other words – it’s pretty much a non-recipe made on mini naan breads.

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons

You can customize these with whatever veggies you have on hand. Red onion and brussels sprouts are a tried & true combo (this recipe is still one of our favorites), and the sweet potatoes add a nice hearty bite. I slathered ricotta cheese as my base and topped mine with pecorino. (Although feel free to sub tomato sauce and daiya cheese for a vegan option).

The key here is to slice the sweet potato into pretty thin ribbons so they don’t take longer to cook than the rest of the toppings. I used just a regular vegetable peeler.

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons-2

Butternut Squash Soup & Sage Crostini

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

This soup recipe is a version of an old favorite. It’s not from my childhood or anything, but it was one of the first soup recipes I posted and it’s become one of our most searched, pinned, and most often made recipes. It’s based on a spicy combination of coconut milk, red curry and pumpkin.

As I was making it again a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but tweak a few things to make the recipe easier and more straight forward. I swapped butternut squash for the pumpkin and reduced the number of ingredients. In three years if I’ve learned anything – it’s that less is more and simple is always better. Especially when you’re using really good seasonal ingredients.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

Speaking of really great ingredients, it’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Whole Foods – it’s five minutes from my house and I shop there all the time. I was excited to hear from American Express that they were working in partnership with them on a new, amazing offer for the Blue Cash Card. To create excitement for the offer they asked me to make two dishes with seasonal ingredients available at Whole Foods, aka #2Ways2Percent. What does that mean? Right now when you use your enrolled Blue Cash Card from American Express when shopping at Whole Foods, you’ll get an extra 2% cash back.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

The project: show 2 ways to use butternut squash. I knew I wanted to share my simplified soup recipe and then I figured – what goes better with soup than crostini? These little crostini are topped with ricotta, roasted butternut squash and crispy sage. Both of these recipes would make perfect starters for your Thanksgiving meal.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

What do you like to make with butternut squash? Share your ideas with me on social media using the hashtag #2Ways2Percent. For more information, terms, and where to enroll, click here.

Simple Lemon Green Beans

Simple Lemon Green Beans / www.loveandlemons.com

Every fall when Jack and I talk about Thanksgiving-inspired recipes to make for the blog, “reinvent the green bean casserole” always comes up. And every year it never happens. I guess I just think that some traditions just shouldn’t be messed with… even if one of them involves processed cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans and canned fried onions. It’s an American family favorite so I’m not going to make fun of it this time.

Simple Lemon Green Beans / www.loveandlemons.com

However, if the infamous green bean casserole isn’t part of your tradition and you’re looking for an easy last minute veggie side, how about this one? Make a little lemon-garlic oil and toss it with lightly cooked fresh green beans. It’ll take you longer to boil the pot of water than to put this “recipe” together.

Simple Lemon Green Beans / www.loveandlemons.com

If this is too simple, jazz it up with some toasted almonds, fresh herbs, or a little shaved parmesan cheese… maybe even a few fried onions, I won’t judge.

Simple Lemon Green Beans / www.loveandlemons.com

For a few more vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe ideas click here.