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.

sweet potato tahini crostini

sweet potato tahini crostini / loveandlemons.com

We got home last week and I immediately started thinking about post-vacation recovery foods. Kale salads, green juices… that sort of thing. That is until Jack announced that he was craving bread. Which sounded good, so bread we had. This cozy little crostini turned out to be perfect for our lazy, rainy weekend. (Kale salad, on the side).

This sweet potato spread – it’s halfway to hummus. It’s thicker and has a stronger tahini flavor, which was a nice contrast to the light & airy ricotta. It’s also a convenient way to use up a bit of leftover baked sweet potato and a partial can of chickpeas. Which were the lazy-person ingredients I happened to have on hand.

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

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

butternut squash croquettes

Butternut Squash Croquettes // loveandlemons.com

I don’t have much of a weakness for fried foods. French fries don’t make me crazy, I never really cared for fried chicken… but whenever we’re on vacation, I find myself ordering little balls of fried stuff everywhere we turn. Cod croquettes in Japan, arancini in Italy, and all kinds mashed veggie fritters (with tangy yogurt sauces) in London.

Butternut Squash Croquettes // loveandlemons.com

Since we’re currently not on vacation, these are baked, not fried… but I promise they’re so good that you likely won’t even notice. I mash creamy butternut squash with cumin and smoky paprika, mix in some tangy feta, and serve them with a creamy light yogurt sauce for dipping. They’d be great as party food but, really… Jack and I often sit down to a plate of these, a glass of wine (or two), and call it dinner.

Butternut Squash Croquettes // loveandlemons.com