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

Millet Cakes with Carrots & Spinach

Millet Cakes with Spinach & Carrots / www.loveandlemons.com

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get quinoa to stick together to form cohesive patties. With eggs, without eggs… I’ve made countless variations, some more successful than others but now I have just one word: millet.

It turns out that millet is sticker than quinoa so these little guys bind together really easily. They’re packed with carrots and spinach and spiced with curry and garlic. This recipe is so delicious and foolproof… as it should be since it comes from America’s Test Kitchen’s new book: The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.

Millet Cakes with Spinach & Carrots / www.loveandlemons.com

Because I knew this recipe was well tested, I messed with it anyway. I knew many of you would ask if these can be made vegan, so I tried these 2 ways – half (as written) using an egg and yogurt to bind the patties, and half using flaxseed and almond milk to vegan-ize them. Guess what – both ways worked! The sticky millet was enough to bind the cakes together, with or without eggs.

The only other instruction I didn’t follow, was that I baked mine instead of pan frying them as they recommended. They were delicious baked, so I can only imagine that they’d be extra tasty if you were to pan fry them.

Millet Cakes with Spinach & Carrots / www.loveandlemons.com

So back to the book – you’re going to want this one in your kitchen. It’s packed with 700 recipes, vegetable cooking tips, ingredient explanations, step-by-step chopping how-to’s and more. It’s a great resource for vegetarians or anyone who just wants to incorporate more meatless meals into their lives. Many of the recipes are also vegan and gluten free. Buy it here, or leave a comment below telling me: what’s your favorite meatless meal? One lucky winner will win a copy. Giveaway is open to U.S. & Canadian residents only and will end March 13th.

The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen

Butternut Squash, Kale & Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash Kale & Quinoa Stew / loveandlemons.com

And soup season continues! It might not be snowing here, but the fact that it’s been 80 degrees outside doesn’t stop me from craving big pots of stewy vegetables. Plus I just love having the leftovers around for lunch all week. They get better on the second day, and even better on the third day.

Butternut Squash Kale & Quinoa Stew / loveandlemons.com

This stew has pretty much all of my favorites: hearty butternut squash, quinoa & kale. It all gets simmered in a stewy tomato broth. It’s a pretty simple recipe that you should spice up as much as you like. I used cumin, coriander & smoked paprika, but (as I type this), I’m thinking about how delicious it would be in a curry-spice direction. I’ll keep you posted when I give that a go…

Butternut Squash Kale & Quinoa Stew / loveandlemons.com

I’m excited to partner once again with Crate & Barrel. They have so many kitchen staples that I use all the time – this classic french oven, my go-to vegetable peeler, not to mention these bowls, and how cute are those wooden spoons?

Butternut Squash Kale & Quinoa Stew / loveandlemons.com

Saffron Couscous & Spinach Stew

Saffron Couscous & Spinach Stew / www.loveandlemons.com

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about fancy cooking and elaborate meals. If pasta making sounds too stressful, try this cozy one-pot stew that’s perfect for two. (With maybe a little leftover, if you eat less than we do).

Saffron Couscous & Spinach Stew / www.loveandlemons.com

It doesn’t get much easier than this – sauté leeks and mushrooms in an oven-safe pot or this adorable heart shaped one. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, couscous and – the fancy part – a few pinches of saffron. Yes, saffron is expensive but a little goes a long way. Plus, it’s Valentine’s Day so let’s live a little.

Saffron Couscous & Spinach Stew / www.loveandlemons.comSaffron Couscous & Spinach Stew / www.loveandlemons.com

Pop it in the oven and bake until the couscous has absorbed most of the water, then stir in a few handfuls of spinach. The heat of the stew will wilt the spinach. Enjoy with crusty bread and a good spanish red wine.

Saffron Couscous & Spinach Stew / www.loveandlemons.com

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls / www.loveandlemons.com

As a kid, I was obsessed with everything rainbow – my Rainbow Brite doll, a fresh new Crayola 64 pack (with built in sharpener!), and best of all - the rainbow-neon terminal at O’hare airport. Pure magic.

I couldn’t get enough, which is probably why I get a little too excited whenever I see rainbow chard pop up at the farmers market. I’m not much of a gardener (black thumb over here), so it’s mesmerizing to me that those bright pink, red, and neon yellow stems actually grow from the ground.

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls / www.loveandlemons.com

What I love to do is chop up the stems separate from the greens and sauté them in the pan for about 30 seconds before adding the leafy greens. They add such a great crunch to your dish – don’t ever toss them. (If you have extra stems, you can always pickle them for later).

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls / www.loveandlemons.comRainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls / www.loveandlemons.com

These bowls are simple and warm and they are all about the chard. I made some whole wheat orzo and tossed it with a little olive oil, garlic, dijon and lemon. (Mustard and chard are a really terrific flavor match). I toped each bowl with a healthy serving of chard, a little feta cheese and some toasted walnuts.

Quick beauty tip: you’ll want to serve these bowls with the ingredients assembled rather than tossed together. (As the colors run together it’s just not the prettiest!).

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls / www.loveandlemons.com