Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Too soon?

I was originally planning to post this recipe in October, but we finished it early and I just couldn’t wait. Fall or not, these cookies are SO good! Oats, pumpkin, cinnamon, spices, and chocolate baked into big soft pillowy cookies – what’s not to love? These babies are vegan, gluten free, and will be so perfect for lunch boxes because they’re nut-free(!) as well.

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know so many of you have asked how to make these carrot cookies without nuts. That recipe really needs the almond butter to bind them but THIS recipe holds together beautifully because pumpkin puree is a terrific binder. It’s also easier than grating carrots which means that you’ll make these so much more often, but I’m warning you – they’ll disappear even faster.

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

Our dishwasher recently broke, which has made me realize just how many dishes we (mostly I) use in a day.

For example, I start with a big glass of water first thing in the morning before I make a smoothie. Next comes iced cold brew coffee. When it’s time to make lunch, I’m usually too lazy to go upstairs to get my previously used water glass so I’ll grab another. In case you aren’t keeping track, I’m up to 4 glasses by about noon. There’s also one by my bed, two in the bathroom, and by the end of the day there will be a larger collection at my desk. I know – first world problems. But now that I’m washing dishes by hand, I’m trying to change my ways. I’ve learned that it’s far easier to rinse and reuse the same glass than it is to have a sink full of glassware (and of course other dishes) at the end of the day when I’m trying to start dinner.

All of this extra dishwashing led me to try the infamous one pot pasta. It was apparently invented by a french chef and later made internet-famous by Martha. I never considered trying it before because it’s a little too trendy and I’ve never found it to be a big deal to wash the pasta pot. But by now I was tired of washing dishes and this recipe seemed incredibly easy. And it was (is).

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

It’s delicious too. Because the starches from the pasta stay with your pasta, this method creates a creamy sort of sauce that wouldn’t be there if you cooked and drained your pasta.

It starts like this, just add water:

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

I felt like Martha’s recipe lacked a bit of flavor so for my version I’ve amped up the herbs & seasonings. I also added lemon juice, lemon zest and my market-haul of summer veggies. In lieu of freshly grated parmesan cheese I made a “cheese-like” hempseed topping. This pasta is nicely flavorful on it’s own so feel free to use cheese or “cheese”, or skip both. I do recommend adding toasted pine nuts (I forgot to add them before we took the photo), because they add a necessary bit of texture to this otherwise soft pasta.

I had a little trouble deciding on the serving size for this recipe. The final pot looked “family size,” but then we ate the whole thing, with Jack going back for multiple helpings. So I’m going to say this serves 2 hungry people, and maybe a few more if you have smaller eaters or if you serve this with a protein on the side.

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I just turned to Jack and asked “Hey, what should I write about stuffed peppers?” He grumbled back “I dunno know, maybe write about how we’re stuffed in this room.” It’s 10:30am, and we’ve been stuck in the bedroom all morning with a jammed doorknob and two hungry dogs. And two very hungry people. A locksmith is on the way, but until then I’ll tell you about this recipe… which will surely not make me less hungry, but here goes :)

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

As the title suggests, this starts with poblano peppers. These peppers are usually mild, although the ones at the farmers markets in Texas this time of year are quite spicy so pick your peppers with caution if you’re sensitive to spice. If you can’t find poblanos, you can use any type of bell pepper that you like.

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

The filling here is made up of things that you might have easily available in your fridge or pantry – a chunk of onion, bell pepper, a small section of cauliflower, leftover cooked rice, black beans, spinach, a scoop of tomatillo salsa, and a smattering of spices.

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Instead of topping these with cheese, I opted for avocado, tomatillo salsa and cashew cream that I had leftover from this Cauliflower Burrito Bowl recipe. The cashew cream is a bit of an extra step, but it’s SO GOOD with both recipes (blend once, eat twice) and I highly recommend adding scoops of it after you bake these vegan poblano peppers. Of course, if your a cheese lover, by all means, smother these in cheese and bake until it bubbles.

Vegan Cauliflower Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

According to my Instagram feed, you all celebrated this past holiday weekend by eating watermelon, making pie, or grilling up corn on the cob. If you were part of the third group, this is a super easy, super delicious recipe you can toss together if you happen to have leftover grilled corn. And if you don’t…. well, it’s still easy nonetheless.

Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

This ingredient combo happened by accident but I’m so in love with it. I combined the corn I had left over from this grilled corn on the cob recipe with a few things I had in the fridge that I needed to use up before we left town: half of a cucumber, bell peppers, peaches, basil, lime juice and a few spoonfuls of the creamy serrano chile lime sauce from that same corn recipe. It’s a refreshingly sweet, crispy, crunchy, creamy combo that I will most definitely be eating all summer long.

Pair this with whatever you’re grilling.

Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

Oh, and one more thing. We would LOVE it if you could take a minute to nominate us for the Saveur 2016 Blog Awards. Nominations are open through July 18th (click here). We really appreciate your support, thank you!

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

This is not your regular pasta salad. In fact, Jack (who is not the biggest fan of pasta salads) said “holy crap, this pasta salad is SO good!” It’s of course heavy on the veggies – it’s packed with broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and other good things. Unlike a lot of pasta salads, it’s light on the mayonnaise – in that it has none. With Memorial Day coming up, I figure you may need a packable pot luck salad that won’t spoil if it sits out for awhile. This one, made with creamy tahini, is just right for that.

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

The key to healthy pasta salad is to go with a high ratio of veggies to pasta. Blanched broccoli, crunchy green beans, and thinly sliced (or spiralized) zucchini add tons of texture and flavor here. The dressing is made with lemon, tahini, olive oil and a bit of dijon mustard. It’s creamy, tangy, and well, lemon-y – just the way I like things to be.

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

I used gluten free fusilli so this salad is entirely vegan and gluten free. I find that everyone has some sort of dietary restriction these days (raising my hand just a little) so it’s just easier to bring something delicious everyone can enjoy.

Or you just can do what I did – make a big batch of this and eat it for lunch a few days in a row.

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad