quinoa quesadillas

quinoa quesadillas w/ black beans and sweet potatoes / loveandlemons.com

Happy day-after Halloween, who’s ready to cook? No one… That’s what I thought. So before we head to Thanksgiving Town, I thought I’d share another quick and easy (and tasty) meal you can throw together using last night’s leftovers…

quinoa quesadillas w/ black beans and sweet potatoes / loveandlemons.comquinoa quesadillas w/ black beans and sweet potatoes / loveandlemons.com

Just like the picture says – take your leftovers from this salad, add some black beans (maybe a few more spices), and some cheese… fold it into tortillas… then dig in to some pretty hearty & healthy quesadillas.

Of course, cook these on your stovetop and not on your marble countertop.

Go to the recipe “quinoa quesadillas”…

easy peanut noodles {2 ways}

easy peanut noodles / loveandlemons.com

I don’t make peanut sauce nearly enough. I forget how easy it is, and that I usually already have all the ingredients on hand. I’ve made other variations before, but this time I wanted to simplify it down to just the necessary six ingredients. It takes about 5 minutes (tops) to stir it together… then toss it with noodles & veggies. Dinner is done.

spicy peanut noodle lettuce wraps / loveandlemons.com

We rarely have leftovers at the end of a meal, but when we do, this is what my lunch looks like the next day. Of course you could just eat the cold noodles on their own, but I get bored easily so this is an example of how I like to slightly switch things up. In this case, I loved the creamy noodles in the crispy lettuce leaves. (And a little extra spice).

Go to the recipe “easy peanut noodles {2 ways}”…

heirloom tomato & avocado salad

heirloom tomato & avocado chickpea salad / loveandlemons.com

This is the part where I get sad about the inevitable end of summer. Granted, my back-to-school days are long gone, and it’ll be another four months before I’ll have to so much as think about a sweater. The part I’m not ready to let go of is the bright colorful food. My eyes are not ready to adjust to the shade of pumpkin (as much as I love it)… just yet.

heirloom tomato & avocado chickpea salad / loveandlemons.comheirloom tomato & avocado chickpea salad / loveandlemons.com

Lately, I’ve been consuming these gorgeous Whole Foods heirloom tomatoes by the basket-full. They work well in this particular salad because each type is a little bit different. Some are more tart, some are more sweet… To bring out each flavor, I marinated them in my condiment of the moment – sherry vinegar. You could use balsamic, but I found the sherry vinegar not only keeps the colors vibrant, but it’s less-assertive flavor highlights the subtle nuances of each tomato.

You could make this a simple appetizer salad by adding just the avocado and some basil. To make it a meal, I added chickpeas, orzo, arugula, and pine nuts.

Go to the recipe “heirloom tomato & avocado salad”…

slow roasted tomato pasta

Slow roasted tomato pasta // loveandlemons.com

Your eyes aren’t tricking you, these are not zucchini noodles. As much as I love non-noodle noodles, some nights just call for a big bowl of pasta. Especially when I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with and a basil plant that is finally flourishing.

Slow roasting tomatoes is, well, slow. But it’s entirely hands-off and you really can’t mess it up. I find roasting to be an easy fix for my tomatoes that aren’t so perfect – you know, the ones that are sadly not that sweet. Eight or so hours later, they’re shriveled up little sugar bombs ready to be tossed into the most simple summer pasta.

Slow roasted tomato pasta // loveandlemons.comSlow roasted tomato pasta // loveandlemons.com

Go to the recipe “slow roasted tomato pasta”…

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”…