creamy leek & almond pasta

creamy leek & almond pasta / loveandlemons.comcreamy leek & almond pasta

Meals like this are the reason I love cooking at home. These are the kinds of dishes that my lactose intolerant self can’t order at restaurants. The amount of butter and cream that go into pastas and risottos… I don’t even want to know.

creamy leek & almond pasta

I worked on this a few different ways. I was going to make an almond version of cashew cream (similar to this one), but I decided I didn’t want to ask you to break out the blender. At least not this time.

The winner was this version where I simmered leeks & mushrooms in almond milk. Such a rich & creamy flavor develops, sans the butter. I did a little bit of pecorino cheese at the end, but it’s so very little that you could easily sub vegan cheese or nutritional yeast (or possibly omit it), without compromise.

creamy leek & almond pasta / loveandlemons.com

Go to the recipe “creamy leek & almond pasta”…

vegan french toast

vegan french toast / loveandlemons.com

The first year Jack and I were together, he was working in Austin while I was finishing college in Chicago. He’d come visit me nearly once a month. It feels like such long time ago now (11 years, yikes)… many of those early memories are fuzzy, but a few stand out.

Friday nights, I would take the blue line to the airport to “pick him up” and we’d ride back to the city together. I was always late, he was always mad (or madly in love, ha). 

Saturday mornings, we would head to the Pick Me Up Cafe where he would read The Onion in print (back then I think they only distributed it in Chicago), and I would eat vegan french toast. He’d read me funny headlines and I would ramble on about how this french toast couldn’t possibly be vegan. It was that good.

vegan french toast / loveandlemons.com

This one is close, or maybe better. Even Jack was surprised it didn’t have eggs. I used vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk, millet flour, nutritional yeast, (which seems strange, but it gives it that eggy essence), cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of maple syrup. I loved it with chewy ciabatta bread, but this would be gluten free if you sub in gluten free bread.

vegan french toast / loveandlemons.com

Go to the recipe “vegan french toast”…

nutella stuffed french toast

nutella stuffed french toast / loveandlemons.com

This might be the most unhealthy thing I’ve made for this site thus far. It’s not “surprisingly” vegan or “by the way” gluten free. And I didn’t make my own Nutella, although I thought about it.

But… it’s fast, easy, and super delicious. We’re having some Nutella-loving friends over for Easter brunch next weekend, so I’m thinking this will be sure to impress.

If sweets are too much for you in the morning, this can double as dessert with a scoop of ice cream on top. (If you’re reading between the lines here, yes… we ate these for breakfast and the extras for dessert last night. Today, a good salad is in order).

Go to the recipe “nutella stuffed french toast”…

apple muffins

apple muffins / loveandlemons.com

My mom made these for us last week while she was visiting. And I made them again for breakfast this morning. I haven’t been feeling well all week and Jack is also home from work today. Suffice it to say, we overdid it a little during the sxsw weekend… a few too many late nights, a few too many tacos from trucks. I’m calling it south-by-sickness.

The cure? Simple food. These muffins aren’t too sweet, and they’re not too indulgent. But they were the perfect little pick me up with a nice coffee to start off this slow morning.

Go to the recipe “apple muffins”…

apple pancake

apple pancake // loveandlemons.com

My sister and I used to beg my mom for things like Fruity Pebbles and Frosted Flakes. She didn’t cave often, but I remember the few times she did… she’d sigh and say “If I buy this, are you really going to eat it this time?” We’d smile and nod, excited to be taking home the same colorful boxes our friends had.

We’d each eat maybe one bowl full. Then up in the pantry it would go… to collect dust and then ultimately get tossed in the next pantry clean-out. The smiling kids on Saturday morning commercials would convince us to beg again… and we’d try SO hard to like the stuff. But sugary soggy flakes and blue milk were not for us.

Especially when homemade muffins, pancakes, eggs, doughnuts, and this german(ish) apple pancake were all part of our regular breakfast rotation.

apple pancake // loveandlemons.com

This was a staple of our childhood and my mom still makes it every time she visits.

Apples, brown sugar and cinnamon get softened in a pan with butter, and an egg mixture gets poured on top. The thin egg layer and pillowy apples create more of a custard-like texture than a traditional doughy pancake.

Bake until it puffs up and serve hot slices right out of the pan.

Go to the recipe “apple pancake”…