9 Recipes To Make Before Summer Ends

Pattypan Panzanllla

As a self-declared “summer person” August is always a little bittersweet for me. Five minutes ago it was May, and all of a sudden back-to-school supplies are on store shelves. Which shouldn’t matter to me – it’s been years since I’ve been in school – but the thought of notebooks and number two pencils still sends a little chill up my spine. No matter how old I am, I’ll never be quite ready to let the summer go.

Today’s recipes use all of my favorite late summer produce – zucchini, summer squashes, peppers, corn, eggplant, and (the one I’ll be most sad to see go): peaches. These are some of our all-time favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Patty Pan Panzanella: (pictured above) A hearty veggie-filled salad using sauteed summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, day-old bread and tons of herbs.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza:

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza: When it comes to pizza, I usually think less is more – but when you’ve got tons of zucchini and you’re up to your ears in corn – pile it all on. This one is messy to eat, but it’s a fun way to eat SO many summer vegetables.

Summer Squash Orecchette:

Summer Squash Orecchette: More zucchini, I know, but don’t you have tons of it? This simple pasta with rosemary and lemon is a light, yet satisfying. We like to make this one on Sundays with a glass of rose, but it’s easy enough to pull off any night of the week.

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios:

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios: This salad is one of my absolute favorites – peaches and mint are not only a winning combo, but they’re so delicious over a f zucchini noodles with a dollop of savory spiced coriander yogurt.

Peach & Plum Crumble

Peach & Plum Crumble: One of my summer goals is always to consume as many peaches as possible. This crumble recipe will work with any in-season fruit, but it’s my absolute favorite with peaches.

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches: I always get asked “what do I do with eggplant,” and my first reply is always “grill it!” If you’re afraid of working with eggplant, give this one a try.

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad: When we came home from Rome last summer, this was the first meal that I recreated, inspired by a terrific salad I had at Roscioli’s. I love the concentrated super sweet flavor of slow roasted tomatoes – they’re so good with meaty eggplant, chewy farro and peppery arugula. Make a big batch and keep this salad around all week. Its a great picnic lunch.


Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus: A corn trifecta – smoky sweet corn hummus on top of corn tortillas, topped with grilled corn (and avocado and tomatillo salsa).


Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad: Last but not least, my favorite salad that I created so far this summer – the name kind of says it all – it’s full of all my favorite fruits and vegetables, tossed with a creamy chile-lime dressing. It’s summer in a bowl.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

Here’s a little guide to how I like to plan for meals throughout the week. I don’t do a bunch of heavy weekend batch cooking, but I DO like to prep just a few basics that can be worked into versatile meals throughout the week. If I spend just a little time, I find that I can set myself up for a healthy week ahead.

And because chopping vegetables in silence is no fun, I’m partnering with Audible to share a few of my favorite foodie “reads” that I like to listen to while I work. I love how easy their app is to use – check it out for yourself and download a free book as part of their free 1-month trial offer.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

This plan changes by season, but this is what my basic summertime prep looks like. Store everything in air-tight containers in the fridge:

1. Clean & massage a big bunch of kale. I like to eat kale salads for lunch, but I hate to stop in the middle of my work day to make one. Having the kale prepped ahead of time makes these salads easy to throw together.

Wash and dry a big bunch of kale. Remove the leaves by holding the stem with one hand and stripping the leaf with your other hand. Place the kale in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and a good squeeze of lemon. Use your hands to massage the leaves together until they’re soft and wilted. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (Tip: save the kale stems for pesto or soup – I also like to chop them and feed them to my dogs).

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

2. Pre-chop some seasonal produce. This changes by season (for example, in the fall, I’ll pre-roast sweet potatoes), but current selection is corn, cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, red peppers and scallions. These veggies are great on my lunch salad (especially with avocado, chopped peaches and hemp seeds). Work them into dinners by tossing them with pasta or serving next to grilled fish with generous scoops of a good sauce…which brings me to item #3:

3. Make a good sauce. Put it on everything all week: your salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, etc. Toss with pasta or scoop onto whatever you’re grilling. This one is a creamy (vegan) basil jalapeño sauce made with hemp seeds. (Scroll down for the recipe!).

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com 3. Pre-cook a grain. I like to have cooked quinoa on hand for grain bowls. If you have extra at the end of the week make these cookies.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

4. Make a soup that’ll last the week. I love soup-prep because soups always taste better on the second day and they keep well all week. This time I went with this Watermelon Gazpacho because it’s so refreshing on hot summer days. I also strategically used many of the ingredients that I chopped up there in item #2 and I cut up extra watermelon to have on hand for mid-day snacks.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

5. Listen to a great book while you work! Currently, I’m listening to Michael Pollen’s Cooked (which is sort of ironic because this particular prep-session is entirely raw, but I digress). His previous book, In Defense of Food, was one of the reads that inspired my love for eating real, unprocessed, whole foods. His quote: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” has really stuck with me. I love listening to these books while cooking because they remind me why I love what I do so much.

6 steps to prep for a healthy week / loveandlemons.com

These are some other foodie books that I love:
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
The Third Plate by Dan Barber
32 yolks by Eric Ripert
Stir by Jessica Fechtor

If you have favorites, please recommend them to me in the comments! And don’t forget to download your first audio book for free as part of Audible’s 30 day trial offer. 

Vegetarian 4th of July Recipes

Vegetarian 4th of July Recipes

Baby Bella Veggie Kabobs Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails Tomato Basil Peach Skewers Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers Chile Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob Sweet Pepper Panzanella Tart Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits Image Map

Happy long weekend! I hope you all have some exciting 4th of July plans! And what I really mean by that is I hope you have more exciting plans than we do. We’re pretty jet lagged so we’ll probably be celebrating the red white and blue on the sofa with some Orange is the New Black. However, if I DO get up the energy to cook, I think this would be such a delicious veggie-forward summer menu:

Pictured above:
Baby Bella Veggie Kabobs
Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / Tomato Basil Peach Skewers
Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers
Chile Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob / Sweet Pepper Panzanella
Tart Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits

10 Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes

Portobello Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

Is it Friday yet? I’m SO ready for the long weekend. After a whirlwind 2 days in Toronto this week promoting the book, I’m ready to relax, sleep in, and of course eat some yummy food! If you’re hosting (or heading to) a picnic or BBQ this weekend – here are some very favorite Memorial Day veggie ideas:

Pictured above: Portobello Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

Ginger Peach Sangria

First things first, get your guests a cocktail! Mix up a big batch of this ginger peach sangria. It’s light and refreshing – my favorite summer cocktail. Serve it along with chunky Avocado, Black Bean & Corn Salsa and Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho.

Chunky Avocado, Black Bean & Corn Salsa Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho

For a veggie main course, try the Portobello Tacos (pictured at the top of this post), Orzo Stuffed Peppers or Chickpea Avocado Salad Sliders.

Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers Curried Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sliders

On the side: Sara’s Strawberry Tabbouleh and Grilled Corn on the Cob.

Sara's Strawberry Tabbouleh Grilled Corn on the Cob

For Dessert: Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookies with melty ice cream.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookies

For Dessert #2 (since it’s a holiday two desserts are allowed): Fancy S’mores! Put the Hershey bars away and gather a bunch of non-traditional toppings like crushed blackberries, almond butter, bananas and strawberries. Let your guests create their own customizable s’mores.

Fancy S'mores

Favorite Summer Sips & Sweets

Favorite Summer Sips & Sweets / loveandlemons.com

I keep hearing all of this crazy-talk about summer being almost over. I suppose backpacks are on the shelves at Target, but until the first pumpkin muffin shows up on Pinterest, summer is in full swing to me. To celebrate my favorite season not being over, here are a few of my favorite cocktails and sweet treats…

Ginger Peach Sangria

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt  /  Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails

Fancy S’mores / Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies / loveandlemons.com

… and last but not least: Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillets. (You could also bake these as normal cookies or in ramekins).

What are you making this weekend?