Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup

Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup (vegan) / @loveandlemons

It’s only October 1st and yet I feel like I’m already the last to post a pumpkin recipe. This time of year, pinterest is crazy for pumpkin. But don’t worry – if you’re too cool for pumpkin, you can just as easily make this soup with butternut squash.

This recipe comes together pretty easily and it doesn’t even require a pot. I roasted the pumpkin, an apple, an onion and a few garlic cloves all in the oven. I put it all in a blender and pureéd it into a creamy soup with coconut milk, ginger, and the special ingredient – cardamom. If you don’t have it you can sub in some curry powder, but cardamom (the hardest spice to describe), has a spicy-sweet sort of floral flavor that works really well here to create a nice balance with the sweet apple and savory roasted pumpkin.

Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup (vegan) / @loveandlemons

For some texture – roast your pumpkin seeds until crispy and sprinkle them on top. (Or just snack on them and forget to put them into the picture like we did).

whole wheat vegan waffles

Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles / @loveandlemons

Fall happened for me last night. I stepped off the plane at Midway Airport (in shorts) and immediately thought “they really have the AC blasting here.” Until I realized, oh wait, that’s just Chicago.

As I write this, I’m sitting in the kitchen I grew up in (with a few sweaters on), thinking about some of my warmest fall memories… Saturday mornings with pancakes and waffles are definitely at the top the list. Crisp cool air, hot waffles… and most likely the Muppet Babies on TV in the background.

Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles / @loveandlemonsWhole Wheat Vegan Waffles / @loveandlemons

These are great right off the waffle iron, but lately (especially because I’ve made so many test batches), I’ve been freezing the extras for easy-waffling any day of the week. Let them thaw just slightly and them pop them in the toaster. Because sometimes you want a waffle on a Wednesday.

Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles / @loveandlemonsWhole Wheat Vegan Waffles / @loveandlemons

These are made with whole wheat pastry flour, which I love because it’s whole grain but not too dense. I used my non-dairy milk of choice – Almond Breeze with a squeeze of lemon (to create a vegan “buttermilk” flavor). They’re soft on the inside, crisp on the outside, and are best with maple syrup and tons of fruit!

Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles / @loveandlemons

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maple walnut granola parfaits

maple walnut granola parfaits / www.loveandlemons.com #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 / www.loveandlemons.com #vegan #glutenfreemaple walnut granola parfaits / www.loveandlemons.com #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 / www.loveandlemons.com #vegan #glutenfreemaple walnut granola parfaits / www.loveandlemons.com #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.

fig & ricotta flatbread pizza

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

It’s possible that I’ve been going a little salad crazy around here lately. Jack has brought it to my attention that we may have one too many salad recipes on the site. So this week, I’m changing things up: first pasta and now pizza. Because sometimes we all need to live a little and just say yes to a few carbs.

So last Sunday night when I announced “pizza night!,” I got a thumbs up from Jack. When I said “it’s gluten free pizza night!!!!” he gave me a look.

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

I knew Pamela’s pizza crust would be good (like I mentioned before, all of my gluten friends swear by their flours), but even Jack was surprised how gluten-full it tasted. The dough is very sticky to work with (you won’t be tossing it into the air). We carefully formed it, partially baked it and then grilled it. The edge was crispy, the middle was chewy… you’d never know this crust was made with brown rice and other whole grains.

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

Figs just showed up at our farmers market so I did a flatbread-style pizza with creamy ricotta, juicy figs, pesto, arugula, pistachios and balsamic. (Basically a really good salad on a pizza!). I’m so excited about this salty-sweet ingredient combo that I figured out how to make an animated gif to demo it for you:

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

Technically, this recipe should serve 3, maybe 4. That night, it served two. We had a hard time not devouring every slice before we were done with the photos…

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

lemony summer squash orecchiette

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons

You still have tons of zucchini right? Ok, I thought so, just checking. If you don’t (hi, Australia!), you can use this recipe as a template for whatever vegetable you do have (ie. broccoli would be delicious here). It’s a straight-forward simple pasta recipe – perfect for highlighting a special seasonal ingredient.

My zucchini and yellow squash were on the small side, so I sliced them into thin little coins and paired them with orecchiette pasta. I like how the shape of the squash and the shape of the pasta are somewhat similar. It makes for a nice “easy-to-get-it-all-on-your-fork” sort of texture.

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemonsLemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons

Rosemary isn’t super summery, but it’s what I had (my basil didn’t last through the heat). If you’ve been more successful with your herb-growing, feel free to switch it up. If you use leafy herbs, just be sure to add them closer to the end so they stay fresh and bright.

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons

Just a few minutes in the pan and you’re done. I folded in some creamy feta near the end – for a vegan option, add pesto instead.

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons