Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone

I always talk about how much I love soup and now that it’s winter (in Chicago! Ack!), I’m more obsessed than ever. I love making it, I love eating it, I love freezing it… and I love reheating it just to enjoy eating it all over again. There’s never a day that I’m not in the mood for soup – it just makes my body and soul feel so nourished and happy. This blog could have been titled: Love and Lemons and Soup because I first fell in love with cooking by routinely making soup on Sundays.

This was an especially fun soup to make because how pretty are these veggie noodles?! Usually I put pasta in my minestrone, but this time I used spiralized zucchini and sweet potato noodles that I made using the KitchenAid® Spiralizer Attachment. I might never make soup with regular noodles again.

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone

Sharp-eyed readers may notice that we’ve replaced our blue KitchenAid® Artisan® Stand Mixer with a shiny new lemony yellow (Majestic Yellow, to be exact) one. We loved the old one, but with all the blue in the new kitchen, now seemed like as good a time as any for a change. Plus, I’ll never say no to lemon-colored anything 🙂

I love this new Spiralizer attachment, and here’s why:

  1. It’s easy to clean(!) because only two small pieces of it actually touch the vegetable
  2. It’s simple to use – once you get the hang of putting the attachment on, you just start the mixer and voila! Vegetable noodles.
  3. It’s fast. Once I load a vegetable in and start, the whole thing is spiralized in seconds.

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone

I know what you’re thinking – “that’s one long noodle, I bet you made a mess of yourself trying to eat it.” Well I trimmed it into smaller more bite-sized pieces before adding to the soup, I just thought that the one noodle was super fun.

The rest of the soup is pretty simple but so delicious – carrots, tomatoes, broth white beans, chickpeas… and it’s flavored with generous amounts of rosemary and fresh thyme. Don’t forget to tie up your thyme so you can dig it out easily before you eat it! (Alternatively, you can pull the leaves off the thyme sprigs, but I like to save time and bundle it.

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone

This soup reheats perfectly – the veggies stay firm and the broth just tastes better and better. Enjoy it for days like we did!

Shredded Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Salad

Shredded Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Salad

I just woke up to a snowy white Saturday morning, which means that it’s the perfect day for… salad! Ok, maybe I’m the weird one that just loves salad no matter what’s going on around me. If you’re craving something warm and cozy, go make a mug of this cacao hot chocolate then come back here if you’re looking for an easy salad to make for weekend holiday festivities. This one will be your go to throw-together winter salad that you’ll crave when you want a break from cookies and other indulgent treats.

The recipe comes from our book and after making it multiple times Thanksgiving weekend, I just had to share it here because it’s such a breeze to put together. You can make it hours in advance and even though it’s made with so FEW ingredients, it’s so delicious.

Quick tip: look for pre-shredded Brussels sprouts (I’ve seen them in many stores recently). I don’t often buy pre-cut vegetables in bags but I won’t tell if you won’t tell.

Also, a reminder that our cookbook makes a great holiday gift! It’s packed with tons more easy and delicious recipes like this one 🙂 Click here to read more about it!

Salad Cheers!

The Love & Lemons Cookbook

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Overnight Oats

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Overnight Oats

It’s December! How did that happen already? With the holidays quickly approaching, you’re busy (and I’m busy!)… all the more reason to have a super quick energizing breakfast ready to go in the morning. This recipe takes less than 5 minutes to put together at night and it’s ready in the morning.

Admittedly, I was late to the overnight oat craze, but I’m pretty obsessed now. What I love is that they’re creamy without being gummy and the flavor combos are endless! I love this version with blueberry jam that I made in the summertime – this fall/winter apple version is just as delicious but totally different. It’s just oats, almond milk, diced apples with a little lemon, and your favorite granola. It’s amazing how something so simple can be so satisfying.

I’ve been keeping these stocked in my fridge (they last up to about 3 days) for both myself and Jack. This recipe was inspired by one from the Quaker Oats website where there are lots of fun ideas for overnight oat combinations.

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Overnight Oats

Speaking of holiday craziness, this weekend we got the chance to get a head start on our holiday shopping at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago at the Bridgeport Arts Center. Since moving back here, we’ve been enjoying exploring everything that Chicago has to offer, but we especially loved this event because it had a very art-y Austin-y vibe :). There was sunshine, beautiful goods, creative craftspeople, and even a few food trucks.

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago

Our friends at Quaker Oats had a booth at the event and asked us to stop by. The place was PACKED, so it was a nice place to take a break (and get some more overnight oats…)

The booth was great – for starters, you can get your name etched on your very own overnight oat jar. Since this is a craft fair, they also have an area for kids to decorate their jar. There are stickers and glue sticks, and, well, I have to admit I spent quite awhile decorating my own jar  – if I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it right! It’s fun, free, crafty, and like I said, a great snack stop! (Pictured above: me rolling oats)

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago

Of course, I nabbed some pretty ceramic plates before we left. Such a great day!

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

So, by now you all know that I don’t drink regular milk. I do enjoy cheese occasionally, and I love greek yogurt, but regular milk… no matter if it’s just a little, it’s just not my thing (although, my entire family loves it and I’m totally fine with that – to each their own!).

Suffice it to say that I’ve been drinking, baking with, and altogether enjoying non-dairy milk for years, but I had yet to discover how lovely and delicious homemade PECAN milk is until now. This post is in partnership with Pure Leaf Tea Home Brewed Teas because their Chai Tea + homemade pecan milk = perfection. The spices in the tea – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and spicy black pepper – work so well with my creamy homemade pecan milk. The milk is deliciously nutty from the pecans and sweetened lightly with maple syrup and vanilla. I’m really trying to embrace fall this year, in case you can’t tell 🙂

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

I know, homemade nut milks seem fussy, but this pecan milk takes only a few minutes of actual work – I promise. I soaked my pecans for an hour or so, blended them with water, a touch of maple syrup, vanilla and a bit of cinnamon…

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

… strained it, and that’s it! Soak, blend, and strain! Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make chai lattes. To make the lattes, heat up the pecan milk and steep it with Pure Leaf Home Brewed Chai Tea.

Take your latte, sit by a window, and enjoy a chilly fall day at home 🙂

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

To help enjoy fall to it’s fullest we’re giving away $50 Gift Cards for Pure Leaf Tea to 5 lucky readers. Leave a comment below telling me how you like to enjoy tea in the fall!

Winners will be chosen at random, the giveaway ends on December 5th and is available to U.S. and Canadian Residents.

Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates

Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates

I hope you need a last-minute Thanksgiving appetizer because this butternut squash hummus dip is so insanely good! While I was making it, I couldn’t stop eating it. Now that the leftovers are in the fridge, I can’t walk by the kitchen without grabbing a cracker for a quick swipe.

It’s easy to make, especially if you’re roasting butternut squash for another recipe – just roast an extra cup of cubed squash and swirl this hummus together in no time. It’s thick, creamy, tangy, and nicely spiced from the cumin, coriander, and a bit of cayenne.

Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates

Now the important part – what REALLY puts this dip over the top is serving it all fancy with feta and pomegranates. The feta adds a nice salty bite and the burst of sweetness from the fresh POM POM pomegranate arils brings such a delicious pop of flavor, as well as a contrast to the feta. Plus that ruby red color is so pretty for the holidays!

Today we’re partnering with POM Wonderful, because we really really love pomegranates and ’tis the season for them (October through December). The little arils not only delicious but they’re packed with fiber and antioxidants. I love the convenience of the little ready-to-eat packs because they’re great for snacking or sprinkling and, let’s face it, I’m sometimes just too lazy to open up whole pomegranates 🙂

Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates

I served my dip with crackers, pita, sliced black radish, and chopped up romanesco – I think the little green romanesco trees look so festive for the December holidays that are just around the corner!

Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates