spaghetti squash w/ chickpeas & kale

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

The first time I had spaghetti squash, it was served with a big scoop of store-bought marinara sauce mixed in. It was slimy and goop-y and decidedly not spaghetti-like.

About a month ago, ditching the pasta idea completely, I planned a post for bbq spaghetti squash tacos. I have a super cute photo to prove that the meal existed, but the recipe ended in total disaster.

So, long story short, I’ve learned that I prefer my spaghetti squash as simple as possible and most importantly: sauce-less. The roasted strands come out of the oven with a nice al-dente bite but, smothered in sauce, they become just too mushy for me.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfreeSpaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

In this recipe, the roasted squash strands are lightly tossed with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and a good squeeze of lemon. I added chickpeas and kale to make it a full meal and toasted some pine nuts for crunch. Sun dried tomatoes add a nice pop of flavor but you could add anything briny that you like – capers, or maybe some chopped kalamata olives.

So while spaghetti squash is not pasta and it never will be, this veggie-packed bowl just moved up my list as a healthy weeknight favorite.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

pumpkin hummus quesadillas

Pumpkin Hummus Quesadillas / @loveandlemons

Here’s my question for all of you pumpkin lovers out there – what do you do with your leftover pumpkin puree?

So many recipes (including my own) call for 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Whether I open a can or roast a whole pumpkin, I’m always left with leftover mash. It calls at me from the fridge saying “how about pumpkin cookies?” or “let’s make muffins.” But after consuming too many pancakes for the making of last week’s post, I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet.

Pumpkin Hummus Quesadillas / @loveandlemons

So I got this idea for pumpkin hummus… and I thought it would be great smushed in between tortillas with a little melty cheese. The nice part about these is that the hummus replaces the need for tons of cheese but still makes the quesadillas stick together.

I usually make quesadillas by piling more cheese on Jack’s and less on mine… which means I usually end up with wimpy flat tortilla wedges. But not this time! These are filling and creamy in the middle, and they’re especially tasty with a little slather of avocado on top.

Pumpkin Hummus Quesadillas / @loveandlemons

Apologies in advance for another recipe with 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree – might I suggest pancakes with your leftovers if you haven’t made them already?

gluten free pumpkin pancakes

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

To say that these are the best gluten free pancakes I’ve ever had would be selling this stack short. I hesitate to ever make claims that something is “the best,” because taste is so subjective after all. But these (in my opinion) have to be right up there with the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten, gluten free or not.

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemonsgluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

I made these the other day for Jack and my mom (who is in town visiting right now). After we tasted, my mom said “what’s that special flour you used? I’ll have to get some of that.”

“That flour” I used is Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix. I originally started using their flours because all of my gluten free friends had recommended it to me. This baking mix worked perfectly in these muffins, but I have to say – pancakes with it really take the cake.

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

The way I feel about gluten free baking is that it’s easier to buy one great mix than to try to combine 4 (or more!) types of flour. The folks at Pamela’s have worked out all of the ratios for you, which I promise will save you failures, frustration, and the overall unpleasant-ness of eating gritty-falling-apart baked goods.

These pancakes are not only cohesive but are light, fluffy, moist and delightfully pumpkin-ey. But wait, there’s more…

gluten free pumpkin pancakes / @loveandlemons

A Giveaway! To celebrate our partnership with Pamela’s, we’re giving away a set of all the gluten free flours I’ve used in my recipes:

- Artisan Flour Blend: I used it for these skillet cookies.

Pizza Crust Mix: I made this awesome fig flatbread with it.

Pancake & Baking Mix: In this recipe and also my banana blueberry muffins.

Five lucky readers will each win a set. Just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite gluten free baked good (or if you don’t have one, what recipe are you excited to try out?). Giveaway closes Tuesday October 28th and is open to US shipping addresses only.

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons

I make a lot of impromptu tacos. We not only have taco Tuesdays around here, but sometimes taco Wednesdays and/or taco Thursdays. When I’m looking for something quick I usually reach for tortillas, no matter what day of the week it might be. I keep them in the freezer so they’re always ready.

Except this particular night – no tortillas, but I had some sprouted pitas. This wasn’t originally going to be a post, but these turned out so pretty and delicious. And who doesn’t need a quick dinner idea?

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemonsharissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons

I roasted chopped sweet potatoes and zucchini and tossed them with dried harissa spice. If you can’t find dried harissa (I have a jar of it from Whole Foods) you can use it in paste form. If that’s not convenient for you, see the notes at the bottom of the recipe for some other alternatives.

I mixed in diced avocado because I just love avocado… and a sprinkle of hemp seeds for protein. I also made a quick spiced yogurt sauce to bring it all together.

harissa spiced fall veggie pitas / @loveandlemons

many-veggie vegetable soup

many-veggie vegetable soup / @loveandlemons

A few weeks ago, I was pretty sick. It’s not usual for me, but I didn’t leave the sofa for three or four days in a row. Jack would bring me soup and crackers and somehow we started watching Friends – in marathon form – from the very beginning. He doesn’t want his friends and coworkers to know this, but we’re now 3 seasons in and he couldn’t BE anymore into it.

many-veggie vegetable soup / @loveandlemons

Once I was back on my feet, I was still craving soup and I had a ton of random veggies to use up. This is pretty straight forward – the flavors aren’t big, bold, or spicy because I just wasn’t in the mood for that at the moment. But taste and spice this up however you like. (For some additional ideas, see the spice chart at the bottom of this post).

Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and/or skip the ones you don’t have. Make a big pot, eat it the next day, and the day after that. (It also freezes well). It’s a great bowl to cozy up with - especially when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

many-veggie vegetable soup / @loveandlemons