seasons & spice pairings: fall

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons

As much as I love summer and it’s fresh herbs, there’s nothing more comforting this time of year than pumpkins, squashes and warm spices. Instead of posting just one recipe today, we’ve partnered with McCormick’s to share some of my favorite ways to use fall produce with their Gourmet Spices. Most of these are simple non-recipe ideas, so feel free to use these pairings as a jumping off point to get a little creative with your favorite fall fruits and veggies.

Acorn Squash: Roast with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and ground ancho chile or chipotle spices. Stuff with a quinoa or rice pilaf made with a variety of nuts, seeds & dried fruits.

Apples: Slice in half and bake them topped with a quick crumble made from crushed walnuts, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. Or slice them and make apple crisp. Spice it up with ginger and allspice, if you like.

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash: Obviously, you can make pie, but my favorite fall food is soup. Roast pumpkin, apple slices, and onion slices in the oven until soft. Blend with coconut milk, a bit of veggie broth, and spice it up with ground cardamom and freshly grated ginger. (recipe here)

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons

Carrots: Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, with olive oil, salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Remove carrots from the oven when they’re browned and caramelized on the outside, but before they’re mushy on the inside.

Beets: Scrub whole beets and wrap them in foil. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until fork tender. (about 40 minutes, depending on the size of your beets). Remove from oven, let cool, then slide the skin off under running water. Slice and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and ground coriander. For a quick salad, toss them with a splash of balsamic vinegar, bit of honey, and some feta or goat cheese.

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons Cayenne and Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries / @loveandlemons

Sweet potatoes: Make sweet potato fries with a sweet & savory kick using cayenne and saigon cinnamon. Or make a version this sweet potato chile or spiced quesadillas with ground chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of smoked paprika.

Sweet Potato Greens: These soft greens remind me most of spinach or Japanese mizuna greens. Slice them (stems and all), then quickly sauté them in a pan with coconut oil, hot madras curry powder and a splash of coconut milk.

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons

This post is in partnership with McCormick. All thoughts, words and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Love & Lemons!

Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup

Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup (vegan) / @loveandlemons

It’s only October 1st and yet I feel like I’m already the last to post a pumpkin recipe. This time of year, pinterest is crazy for pumpkin. But don’t worry – if you’re too cool for pumpkin, you can just as easily make this soup with butternut squash.

This recipe comes together pretty easily and it doesn’t even require a pot. I roasted the pumpkin, an apple, an onion and a few garlic cloves all in the oven. I put it all in a blender and pureéd it into a creamy soup with coconut milk, ginger, and the special ingredient – cardamom. If you don’t have it you can sub in some curry powder, but cardamom (the hardest spice to describe), has a spicy-sweet sort of floral flavor that works really well here to create a nice balance with the sweet apple and savory roasted pumpkin.

Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup (vegan) / @loveandlemons

For some texture – roast your pumpkin seeds until crispy and sprinkle them on top. (Or just snack on them and forget to put them into the picture like we did).

chocolate pb&j cups { vegan, gf }

Chocolate PB and J Cups (vegan and gluten free) / @loveandlemons

Ever think “I’d like to combine my favorite school lunch with my favorite halloween candy?” Well neither had I – until Jeanine (this is Jack, by the way) came up with this crazy and amazing snack idea. And she even put some salt on top, just to cement it as the best peanut-butter cup idea ever.

I’m sorry that this post is a bit light on the photos – I kind of… ate… the subjects before we could take more follow up shots. Sorry about that. Just make your own – you won’t regret it.

These are also vegan and gluten free, so here’s a bonus healthy Halloween tip from Jack: Make these little guys, eat them, then buy some apples to hand out to children.

Chocolate PB and J Cups (vegan and gluten free) / @loveandlemons

fig & arugula salad w/ pistachio pesto

Fig and Arugula Salad w/ Pistachio Pesto / @loveandlemons

A few weeks ago, I made this in pizza form… since then, I haven’t been able to get the ingredient combination out of my mind. I knew it was destined to become a really great salad, so here we have it - a late summer/early fall salad with figs, arugula, balsamic, pistachios and a few dollops of pistachio pesto.

Fig and Arugula Salad w/ Pistachio Pesto / @loveandlemons

Instead of ricotta, I tore creamy pieces of burrata and added some diced avocado. (Just skip the cheese if you’re vegan – this is indulgent enough without it). For me, this salad hits every note a good well-rounded salad should – sweet, salty, creamy & crunchy, with a nice peppery bite from the arugula.

Fig and Arugula Salad w/ Pistachio Pesto / @loveandlemons

Today, I’ll keep this post short and sweet – but check out this fun interview I did last week on Get the Gloss.

roasted chickpea ratatouille

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

Everyone loves a one-pot meal. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the one-pan meal. Arrange everything onto a baking sheet, have a glass of wine, and let the oven do the work.

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons

Start with a good assortment of late summer veggies. (p.s. how cute are those little round squashes?). Chop your eggplant, squash and tomatoes so they’re roughly the same size (about 1-inch pieces).

Pile everything onto a baking sheet – this time, it’s ok if things are little crowded. Normally, you’d want more space between your vegetables but you want your ratatouille to be a little juicy, so this works.

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons

Add a dash of oregano or herbs de provence. Roast until golden, then add a splash of white or red wine vinegar (this gives a nice zing)… toss, and roast just a little longer.

Serve with crusty bread, (or in this case I heated up some leftover millet).

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille / @loveandlemons