almond-ella spread

almond-ella spread (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

Everyone loves nutella right? I love it as much as the next person, but I don’t love all of the unhealthy ingredients that are in it. This almond chocolate spread, (almond-ella is what I’m calling it), is just as creamy and delicious. It’s super easy and just 3 ingredients: almond butter, chocolate, and (the secret to it’s smooth texture), coconut oil.

almond-ella spread (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.comalmond-ella spread (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

Melt everything together, pour it into a jar. It’ll firm up and set as it cools, (if you can wait that long). Slather it on toasted bread and top it with your favorite fruit.

Udi's Gluten Free Millet Chia Bread

Many of you have asked me to recommend gluten free bread products that I like. One of my favorites is Udi’s Millet-Chia Bread. You can find it in the frozen bread section at Whole Foods (and other similar stores). I’ve been buying it long before they sent it to me for this post. (See my typical lunch).

almond-ella spread (vegan, gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

But wait, there’s more – today’s recipe was created for Udi’s “What the Hack” competition. Create your own gluten free clever “hack” recipe and enter to win $3,000. (Plus, everyone who enters gets an Udi’s coupon). Hop on over to their website to view the rules and enter!

vegan carrot cake (& frosting)

vegan carrot cake, macadamia frosting / loveandlemons.com

We have a carrot cake tradition around here. My mom makes one for Jack whenever she comes to visit, and I make one for Jack every year for his birthday. I don’t know when the “Jeanine gets cake” tradition will ever start, but I can’t complain because, really, we both get cake and we eat it too.

vegan carrot cake, macadamia frosting / loveandlemons.comvegan carrot cake, macadamia frosting / loveandlemons.com

This year, I took some liberties with my mom’s recipe and made a fully vegan version – frosting and all. Instead of cream cheese (or tofu cream cheese), I made a cream cheese-like frosting using macadamia nuts, cashews, lemon and Almond Breeze. And instead of powdered sugar, the frosting is sweetened with maple syrup.

vegan carrot cake, macadamia frosting / loveandlemons.comvegan carrot cake, macadamia frosting / loveandlemons.com

I recommend making this frosting in a super high speed blender in order to get it really creamy. If you don’t have one, you could always make coconut whip or cream cheese frosting using a regular mixer. Or if frosting is too fussy for you, this cake is super delicious on it’s own!

spicy kohlrabi noodles

spicy kohlrabi noodles / loveandlemons.comspicy kohlrabi noodles / loveandlemons.com

Oh, kohlrabi… I first learned of this alien vegetable years ago when I received my very first CSA box. At the time, I wasn’t adventurous with vegetables so I had no clue what it was and no clue what to do with it. Kohlrabi has seemed to gain some popularity since then – I often see it on restaurant menus – but back then it was barely google-able.

spicy kohlrabi noodles / loveandlemons.comspicy kohlrabi noodles / loveandlemons.com

Fast forward to now – it’s one of my favorites. People say it’s similar to broccoli stems, but I think it’s closer to daikon or even jicama. Slice it up into sticks, marinate it a bit, and it makes a great crunchy slaw. I’ve put this exact slaw on tacos, but today I’ve mixed the white kohlrabi sticks with rice noodles.

Slice your kohlrabi so that it’s a similar shape to the rice sticks. You’ll feel like you’re eating a huge bowl of noodles, when, in fact, half of your bowl is all veggie. If you can’t find kohlrabi, you could do a similar thing with cucumbers.

dukkah spiced yogurt dip

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

I recently contributed this dukkah recipe to Food 52’s Small Batch series. When they first suggested it, I had to look up how to (authentically) make it. It turns out — there’s no one way. The word dukkah literally means “to pound” and it generally consists of hazelnuts, sesame seeds and a few whole dried spices. To me, this was the perfect opportunity to use up the nuts and spices I had just cleaned out of my pantry shelves. (Specifically, the ones that didn’t fit when I transferred them from little bags to little jars).

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

Along with the hazelnuts I had been hoarding, I toasted and crushed: pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander, dried orange peel and dried cilantro, and dried peppercorns. (Feel free to change up this combination using ingredients you happen to have).

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.comdukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

It’s a great little spice mix to keep on hand (it’ll keep for awhile!). I sprinkled it over greek yogurt and served it with pita chips. It’s a super delicious snack, not to mention a great make-ahead throw-together appetizer.

spring onion fritatta

spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.comspring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com

Easter weekend might be a whole week away, but I figure it’s never too soon to start spring brunching with friends. We could call it Friendster—get it? Like “Friendsgiving” but for spring… (and not like the late 90’s social media website). Ok, maybe not. I can hear you groaning through the computer screen.

Hipster holidays aside, I have to talk about this fritatta. I’ve been making fritattas for years but I’d say they were just average (it’s pretty hard to mess them up). This time I’ve gotten it really right and I have a couple of good tips to share.

spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com

First thing: blend your eggs in a blender. I’m sure many of you do this already. I, myself, have been lazily ignoring this tip for years thinking my whisking arm strength was enough. But aerating them in the blender is really the trick to a lighter, fluffier fritatta.

Number two: add your fillings in two stages so they don’t all sink to the bottom. I learned this one by accident. (At first, I did this purely as a food styling trick). It not only made my fritatta look prettier, it created a better texture since the veggies were more evenly distributed.

spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com

So that’s it – easy and eggy. Happy weekend!