Mix & Match Veggie Quesadillas

Mix & Match Veggie Quesadillas

We’ve been overloaded with decisions lately. “Where to live?” has been the question of the year, but I’m happy to say that we’re finally in the process of buying a new home (more on that later!). Now the decisions at hand are things like “which barstools match the new countertop? which sofas are free of VOC’s?” and “is a white sofa a really bad idea?”

Suffice it to say, when I got around to this recipe, I couldn’t make up my mind on just one option so… Mix & Match quesadillas it is! A no-brainer. Hallelujah.

Mix & Match Veggie Quesadillas

Here’s how they go:

First, the binders. Yes, you could just bind your quesadillas with melted cheese, but refried beans, mashed sweet potato, and mashed avocado are fun, healthy, vegan-friendly alternatives. Spread a thin layer onto your tortilla before adding the fillings (see the photos below).

Next, the veggie fillings! Fresh sweet corn, sauteed spinach, red onion, diced avocado, sliced serrano peppers, and sliced cherry tomatoes are all good seasonal choices.

Salsas by Gaby Dalkin of What's Gaby Cooking

Next, make your quesadilla really flavorful by adding a few dollops of salsa inside before you fold them up. My dear friend Gaby of the blog What’s Gaby Cooking just launched her own line of salsas – they’re SO delicious in these! Her Tomatillo Salsa is bright and tangy, and her Chipotle Tomato Salsa is rich and smoky. I haven’t tried her Guacamole Starter yet, but I pictured it here anyway because you can buy these 3 as a set at Williams Sonoma. So good, (way to go Gaby!)

Mix & Match Veggie Quesadillas

Fold your filled tortillas in half and grill on each side. Slice the finished quesadillas into wedges (as pictured at the top of this post). Serve hot with more salsa on the side 🙂

Mix & Match Veggie Quesadillas

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatball Subs

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatball Subs

Lately, Jack and I have been spending a lot of time with my family in Chicago. One thing my husband especially loves about this area is the plethora of meaty things between bread. People always ask me “is your husband vegetarian?” The answer is… nope, he’s not. He eats what he wants even though the food I cook at home is primarily plant-y. I call him an everything-eater. He loves a Chicago Italian beef sandwich just as much as he loves a macrobiotic meal… as long as you keep olives out of his food, he’s the least picky eater I know.

He’s also really honest with me. I tend to shy away from the “fake meat” types of things, but when I do make something that is inspired by a meat dish, he’s the first to tell me if it’s great or if I’ve missed the mark. Well, I fed these subs to him and my family last night, and not only did Jack wolf his down with approval, in a surprise move, my dad was the first to ask if there was any extra.

This recipe is a riff on the Eggplant Mushroom & “Meatball” recipe from our cookbook that we both love. I messed with it a bit, replacing the out-of-season eggplant with black beans, switching up the spices, and of course putting them between bread. I think even your pickiest eater will love this one, because even the mushroom flavor isn’t very pronounced after you smother these with marinara sauce.

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatball Subs

The meatballs are not difficult to make but they do take a little bit of time. Start by sautéing onions, garlic, mushrooms in the pan and then adding balsamic, tamari, and black beans. I use my non-stick non-chemical GreenPanthis super pretty set that I showed you last week – because I hate when mushrooms stick to the bottom of the pan and love knowing the surface they’re cooking on is completely toxic-free.”

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatball Subs

The mushroom mixture gets pulsed in the food processor with walnuts and black beans. Then mix it in a bowl with brown rice and spices. Finally, use panko to form them into balls. This is what they look like before you bake them – they will brown nicely in the oven. If you want to make these in advance (say, for your Memorial Day gatherings this week) store the uncooked meatballs in the fridge overnight and bake them when you’re ready to eat. They firm up a bit in the fridge so this is a terrific make-ahead meal.

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatball Subs

Once baked, heat up marinara sauce, add the meatballs, and then assemble them in buns with basil and (optionally) grated parmesan cheese. Note: this recipe is best when served in soft buns or baguette – nothing too crusty; these little veggie balls are more smush-able than a regular meaty meatball.

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatball Subs

Also, since so many of you asked about the cookware that I used last week, GreenPan is offering 20% off the Padova 10-pc cookware set, in both available colors: grey & light blue. Use the code LOVEANDLEMONS20 at checkout. They also offer free shipping for orders over $50. This offer expires May 31st and cannot be combined with other offers.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic & Kale

Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic & Kale

Have you tried sweet potato noodles? In the past, I’ve made zoodles and doodles (noodles made out of daikon radish), but it didn’t occur to me until recently to make swoodles(?). Is that what we’re calling them? Anyway, one night, with a hungry stomach and minimal ingredients on hand, I saw this gorgeous recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, and I realized I could make something similar using sweet potatoes in place of the pasta.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic & Kale

This recipe starts with 2 medium sweet potatoes – you’ll be surprised how many noodles they make, and then you’ll also be surprised by how much they cook down in the pan. This recipe will make about 3 decent-sized servings, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes.

P.S. I’m a big fan of the Inspiralizer because unlike the other types that I’ve tried, it clamps down to your countertop making the “noodling” process far less frustrating and you won’t have sweet potatoes all over your floor.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic & Kale

Because this is not actual pasta, more is more. The toppings are a really important component in this recipe to make the flavors and textures more exciting. Add plenty of toasted pine nuts, basil, grated cheese (or vegan “cheese” from this post), and serve with dollops of pesto.

You can also customize this to your liking: roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and goat cheese (if that’s your thing) would be great additions.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic & Kale

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

Of course you don’t need a recipe for grilled cheese, but I just HAVE to share this simple combo because it’s so so delicious. This is the sort of thing that I love to make when I don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen but I also don’t feel like leaving the house.

Sweet, soft apples, savory sage, red onion, and a good slather of grainy mustard – all between melty cheese (or vegan cheese) and bread. I think this might be my favorite sandwich assembly to date, I just love the sweet and salty mix. Make these with a bowl of soup and you have perfect week-after-Thanksgiving couch food.

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

But before you head to the couch – be sure to checkout Monday’s cookbook & grocery giveaway post if you haven’t already!

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Back in college when I first started incorporating more vegetables in to my life, my go-to vegetable was broccoli. I’d throw it on everything – broccoli on pizza, broccoli in pasta, broccoli stirred into my stir fry. Then one day the world went crazy for kale and I feel like broccoli got left behind. It’s so humble and hearty, yet folks always seem to forget about it. It’s not winning awards for the trendiest vegetable, but who knows/? Maybe 2017 will be its year in the spotlight?

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

I love these twice baked sweet potatoes because they’re at least twice as healthy as any version I’ve eaten before. They’re made with nutrient-dense sweet potatoes and stuffed with broccoli. I made a creamy cashew sauce by blending some of the baked sweet potato mash with creamy cashews and rosemary. Before I baked it all, I lightly steamed the broccoli and tossed with lemon, dijon mustard and scallions. More of that creamy sweet potato sauce goes on top.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

This is one of those recipes where the cheese is optional or not optional, depending on your preference. The creamy sweet potato/rosemary cashew filling is so delicious that the cheese isn’t necessary for flavor. But if you ask husband Jack if he wants cheese on anything his answer will always be “yes, please more cheese!”

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli