black bean & quinoa burgers

black bean quinoa burgers (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.com black bean quinoa burgers (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

I’m not sure where to begin here. I can’t decide if I’m more excited to tell you about this vegan veggie burger that I’ve been working on for quite some time, or if I should start by talking about this to-die-for chipotle mayo. I could also go on and on about the typography on that (spiced!) ketchup bottle. There are a lot of drool-worthy things are happening for me here.

Ok, twist my arm, I’ll start with the ketchup bottle. (I mean how cute is that!)… Beyond the sans-serif, Sir Kensington’s ketchup is also sans-additives, stabilizers and other artificial ingredients… it’s made from real tomatoes (not concentrate) and it just tastes fresh. (Jack hates ketchup and he loved this). It also has less sugar, which is good for me because I easily use twice as much ketchup as any normal person.

black bean quinoa burgers (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

I set some strict veggie burger criteria for this recipe: no eggs, no cheese, no oats, no rice. I really wanted to make this vegan so everyone could enjoy. I didn’t want to use oats or rice because I feel like those things make heavy gummy burgers and I wanted a better texture and a little more protein. Black beans & flax make it cohesive while the walnuts create a nice bite and the quinoa makes it a little crisp around the edges.

If you’re a “sometimes vegan,” like myself, I also encourage you to slather your burger with chipotle mayo. That is… if it makes it to your burger. This stuff is so good you’ll most likely want to lick it straight off the knife.

Go to the recipe “black bean & quinoa burgers”…

sesame noodle salad

sesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.comsesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.com

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I think Monday lunch is the most important meal of the week. If I’ve destroyed myself indulged a little too much over the weekend, I like to recover with a good healthy Monday lunch. Start the week off right and it’s easier to make healthier choices throughout the week. I’m also trying to make more meals in advance (I’m hoping these kinds of recipes are helpful for you too).

sesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.com

This is a noodle salad, but secretly there’s a kale salad hidden in here as well. I like to go light on the noodles and pile on a rainbow of veggies of varying textures – this time I went with soft kale, thinly sliced cabbage, meaty mushrooms and some crunchy carrots and radishes. (There’s also some tofu that’s not pictured, but feel free to sub in whatever protein you like). We ate this for dinner one night and I packed it up for lunch the next day.

A good start to the week… even if all bets might be off by Friday.

Go to the recipe “sesame noodle salad”…

valentine’s link love

Valentines Pinboard / loveandlemons.com

Happy Valentines Day!

I’m so happy to be home after a chilly week in Chicago – the sun is shining here and it’s WARM! I’ll take a beautiful day over a dozen roses any day. Jack might get off easy in the gift department, but tonight is the night he cooks(!) and I can’t wait to see what he’ll make.

I had some treats planned that didn’t get finished on time – so instead, I thought I’d roundup some sweet things I’ve seen around the internet. All of these recipes and more are on my Valentines Pinboard (click to see it).

Pictured above:
Valentine’s Cookies
from Style Me Pretty Living (photo credit)
Pink Milkshakes from Oh Joy, by Nikole Herriott (photo credit)
Chocolate Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes by Raspberri Cupcakes
Chocolate Beetroot Cake from Gourmet Traveller
Roasted Beet Farro & Kale Salad from Leafy Greens and Me
Vegan Rhubarb Cheesecake from A House in the Hills

Some other treats I have my heart set on:
The Valentines Smoothie from Cook Republic
Chocolate Olive Oil Cakes from Daily Candy (we’re trying these tonight)
My go-to brownie recipe (I sub coconut oil for the butter)
Vegan Gluten Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies from Minimalist Baker
Sprouted Kitchen’s Triple Chocolate Cookies
(gluten free)
Rawlos from My New Roots (nearly vegan & gluten free)

For more ideas, check out my Valentine’s roundup that I posted last week.

Have a lovely day!

cauliflower mac & cheese

cauliflower mac and cheese (vegan and gf options) / loveandlemons.comcauliflower mac and cheese (vegan and gf options) / loveandlemons.com

Stop what you’re doing right now and – wherever you live – go search out a CSA or local farm delivery in your area. Ok, that sounded pushy, but really, you’ll thank me later! Here are a few reasons why:

1. You will support small farmers in your community… and your vegetables will be tastier because everything is better in season.

2. You will learn how to become a creative cook, rather than a recipe cook, which means you’ll spend less time and money at the grocery store.

3. You’ll become super impressed with yourself when you first learn how to whip something up out of “nothing.”

4. It’ll feel like Christmas morning when you get something unexpected and amazing like this super bright orange cauliflower.

5. Your husband will be happy that this farm cauliflower inspired the idea for “cheesy” mac… something that wasn’t planned or editorially scheduled, yet somehow manifested itself onto our dinner table.

cauliflower mac and cheese (vegan and gf options) / loveandlemons.comcauliflower mac and cheese (vegan and gf options) / loveandlemons.com

We made a vegan and cheddar cheese version of this creamy cauliflower sauce… and even Jack admitted that they both turned out pretty darn similar (although don’t tell him I said that). Pictured above is the vegan version, which I slightly un-veganized by adding a little bit of parmesan cheese on top. Whichever way you go – this is a lighter healthier mac thanks to the cauliflower that’s the star of the sauce. (And, of course, you can use regular white cauliflower if that’s what you have).

This vibrant cauliflower comes from Farmhouse Delivery here in Austin.

orange cauliflower / @loveandlemons

Go to the recipe “cauliflower mac & cheese”…

pinning: winter salads

a winter salad pinboard

This year, I have no New Year’s resolutions… (I made a few last year that I still haven’t gotten around to).

I say… lets not be healthy because it’s January, let’s be healthy because it tastes good. Soups always steal the show in the wintertime (rightfully so), but lets not count out salads… especially vibrant, hearty ones full of interesting colors and textures. Here are a few from around the web that have inspired me lately. Check out my Winter Salads board to see more.

Happy Salad-ing!

Image credits:
Seared Radicchio from Lily
Beet, Carrot and Pomegranate Salad from Foodiecrush
Grilled kale salad with beets, figs, and ricotta from Five and Spice

Pecorino, Black Grapes and Mixed Leaves from Salad Pride
Freekeh Salad with Fennel and Mint by drbabs on Food52
Red Christmas Salad from A Tasty Love Story