maple walnut granola parfaits

maple walnut granola parfaits / #vegan #glutenfree

While we don’t have kids that are going back to school this week, I’m starting to think more and more about healthy make-ahead breakfast ideas. You know – to send to work with my big kid (Jack) in hopes that one day he might start skipping the greasy breakfast tacos & processed Costco bagels that are usually waiting for him at the office. (I can at least try, right?)

maple walnut granola parfaits / #vegan #glutenfree maple walnut granola parfaits / #vegan #glutenfree

I can always win him over with a smoothie, but I don’t always have time in the mornings to break out the blender. He loved these peanut butter crispy treats but I like to change things up. This week’s plan is to have these parfaits ready and waiting in the fridge so he can easily grab and go.

This is a spin on my favorite granola recipe – this time I used hemp seeds & walnuts. It isn’t a super clumpy granola (some might call it more of a cereal), but it’s tasty and packed with protein and some good omega 3′s.

maple walnut granola parfaits / #vegan #glutenfree maple walnut granola parfaits / #vegan #glutenfree

Use whatever fruit you like – I used strawberries, blueberries and frozen tart cherries (like I said before, we’re in love with them). Feel free to use your favorite yogurt – plain, greek, or coconut yogurt if you’re vegan. I should also mention that you might want to keep your granola separate until you’re ready to eat these so it stays crunchy.

tart cherry & mint iced tea

Tart Cherry & Mint Iced Tea / @loveandlemons

We have a new superfood obsession – we’re head over heels in love with tart cherries. It started with this froyo recipe, but since then I’ve been tossing frozen tart cherries into our morning smoothies and mixing tart cherry juice into cocktails, (among other simple uses)…

Tart Cherry & Mint Iced Tea / @loveandlemons

It’s an understatement to say that Jack and I both drink a lot of iced tea. While I usually prefer unsweetened tea – I’ve found that adding just a splash of tart cherry juice to plain black tea (or green tea) is so deliciously tangy and refreshing… and just slightly sweet, which is the way I like my tea. This is quick and easy make – it has just two ingredients plus some mint and a few lemon slices. Lime or orange slices would be lovely in here as well.

Tart Cherry & Mint Iced Tea / @loveandlemons

Tart cherry juice is full of antioxidants (just look at that dark color!), and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Aside from that, most importantly, it just tastes really good. You can find it in the juice aisle of most stores. It’s next to the pomegranate and grape juices.

Tart Cherry & Mint Iced Tea / @loveandlemons

soba noodles with shishitos & avocado

Soba Noodles with Shishitos and Avocado / @loveandlemons

People like to ask me “what’s your favorite recipe?” and I never have an answer. My “favorite” is often what’s most recent and/or what’s coming up next…

But this one combines two definite favorites – blistered shishito peppers (which I usually make as an appetizer), and one of my go-to simple soba noodle recipes. Because my “favorites” are almost always the simple things.

soba noodles with shishitos and avocado / @loveandlemons soba noodles with shishitos and avocado / @loveandlemons

I brought home a bunch of shishito peppers from the farmers market, but the base of this recipe is so versatile – feel free to sub in a star vegetable of your choice.

soba noodles with shishitos and avocado / @loveandlemons IMG_5991-2

The noodles get tossed in a light sesame-soy dressing, and topped with avocado and sesame seeds. Sometimes I add sliced miso-broiled eggplant, or dengaku glazed cod or salmon. Other times, I pack it with sautéed greens and other veggies. I’ve probably never made this exactly the same way twice.

soba noodles with shishitos and avocado / @loveandlemons

In other news – (holy crap!) check out my interview on Food & Wine! I talk about vegan food, beefy Chicago, matcha, and of course, tacos…

baked sweet potato fries (a video!)

Baked Sweet Potato Fries / @loveandlemons

I hope you all are having a great long weekend! Here’s another one from our Sweet Potato video series – and a simple recipe for baked sweet potato fries. Above, are a few of my favorite screen grabs. (It was really fun to create the typography for these!).

Special thanks to Rightfrog Productions for the beautiful video work.


Click Here to check out the rest of the series (3 more videos)…

portobello pups & macaroni salad

Portabello Pups / @loveandlemons

In honor of Labor Day weekend we’re making fun, un-fussy (yet still yummy!) food. This is my vegi-ful take on a few cookout classics – grilled “hot dogs,” with all the fixins, and a lighter take on creamy pasta salad.

Portabello Pups and Macaroni Salad / @loveandlemons

We’ve partnered with French’s as part of their Mustard Mixology program to share a few grilling recipes focused around one of my favorite ingredients - mustard. I brushed slices of portobello mushrooms with olive oil, yellow mustard and balsamic vinegar… and grilled them until charred and juicy.

I’ll be honest, I originally planned to serve these in hot dog buns for the novelty of it – but it turns out that portobellos really work better in dog form than in burger-form. They get more fully covered in the flavorful marinade and (because they’re thinner strips) they cook a lot quicker and more evenly.

whiskingPortabello Pups and Macaroni Salad / @loveandlemons

This macaroni is a brighter, more fresh version than the mayo-laden one we all know (but no one really loves). It’s full of crunchy vegetables and tossed with a light dressing made of olive oil, lemon and mustard. If you’re vegan you can stop there, or you can add a big scoop of greek yogurt to make your salad creamy.

Happy long weekend!

Portabello Pups  / @loveandlemons

As part of the #FrenchsMixology program, one reader will win a fun grilling prize pack including: a Napoleon TravelQ 285 Portable Grill, Assortment of French’s Mustard Sauces, Coupons and a French’s T-shirt, bag and hat. (Prize package is valued over $450!). 

To enter, leave a comment below sharing your own Mustard Mixology ideas!