Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love this recipe and am so excited to share it with you today! As I’ve mentioned before on Lemon & Mocha, Matt and I try to eat vegetarian a couple nights a week for both cost and health reasons. However, I love the idea of almost meatless. In these almost meatless sloppy joes the ground beef isn’t the focus of the dish, but it provides a great richness and heartiness.

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes  |  Lemon & Mocha

For those of you who read the title of this post and were instantly scared away by the mention of sloppy joes, don’t leave just yet! I think you know by now I only share recipes that are absolutely crave-worthy and these bad boys fit the bill.

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I actually had never tried sloppy joes until I made this version from Cooking Light, but I am so glad I waited instead of having some dreadful version that everyone seems to remember from their school cafeteria. I’m not sure why they have such a bad rap, but let these almost meatless sliders change your mind.

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Loaded spices and veggies these mini sandwiches have a complex taste that packs a punch. The mashed kidney beans mimic the heartiness of the ground beef and provide a smooth texture. I would happily eat these every night, and may have done just that for almost a week… ;-)

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes
 
Yield: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces ground sirloin
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15.5 ounce can low sodium kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 6 mini brioche buns, or other sandwich rolls of your choosing
  • Sliced red onion, for serving
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and beef and cook until the onion is softened and the meat is browned. Stir occasionally, making sure to crumble the beef.
  2. Add the grated carrot, chili powder, sugar, oregano and red pepper then continue to cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes then bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium then cook for 10 more minutes.
  3. Take 1 cup of the kidney beans and mash them in a shallow bowl with a potato masher or fork. Add both the mashed beans and the remaining whole beans to the pot then cook until cooked through, about 1-3 minutes.
  4. Serve on the buns topped with sliced red onion.
Recipe from the May 2010 issue of Cooking Light.

Smoked Salmon Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

My brother and I are very different from one another, but there is definitely one thing we have in common: we both LOVE to eat. We also share a lot of favorite foods. I’m talking to you macaroni and cheese, sushi, and asparagus!

Smoked Salmon Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Another item high on the list is smoked salmon. Man, we can seriously chow down on smoked salmon. Toss us a platter with toast, hard boiled egg and some red onion and we are very, very happy campers. Or happy diners. I wouldn’t suggest bringing a smoked salmon platter camping, but that’s just me. When the two of us walk into a buffet we… oh you got the point already? Okay then, I promise all this raving about our cravings has a point.

Smoked Salmon Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

And it is this amazing smoked salmon salad. All the balanced flavors you love from a traditional smoked salmon platter with an added freshness. Refreshing leafy greens are piled with salty smoked salmon, fluffy hard boiled egg crumbles, crunchy mini pumpernickel croutons and red onion.

Smoked Salmon Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The whole salad is lightly drizzled with a lemon and shallot vinaigrette that brings an extra pop of acidity and brightness to the dish.

Smoked Salmon Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

So a special happy early birthday to my brother who inspired this outrageous dish! I hope you get to eat all your favorites on your birthday.

Smoked Salmon Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Smoked Salmon Salad
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
for the salad
  • ⅔ cup ½ inch cubes of pumpernickel bread
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 6 ounces smoked salmon slices
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, crumbled with a fork
  • Thinly sliced red onion
for the dressing
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon capers, optional
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Very lightly toss the bread cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place evenly on a pan and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place the greens on a medium serving bowl or platter. Layer the smoked salmon, hard boiled egg crumbles and sliced red onion on top. Drizzle the salad dressing on top then serve.
for the dressing
  1. Combine the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, parsley and capers, if using, in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did you know Tuesday was National Dessert Day? I didn’t until I saw hundreds of dessert pictures on Instagram. As I scrolled through picture after picture of gooey, velvety indulgence I thought to myself, “why is my phone not edible?” I mean, “I should share a dessert recipe with my Lemon & Mocha readers!” Yup, that’s what I said.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I knew it would have to be decadent and of course there is nothing more glorious in the world than chocolate. But chocolate with a creamy cheesecake layer? Heavenly. The first time I made cream cheese swirl brownies I could not believe how easy it was. That right there is truly dangerous knowledge.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These coconut cream cheese brownies are super simple, but incredibly delicious. The coconut provides a nice unexpected flavor and is enhanced by the use of almond extract. You can use your favorite brownie batter recipe for these coconut cream cheese brownies. I, however, have a confession to share:  I am obsessed with the Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am sure many people out there share this same obsession as it makes un-real brownies in the most amazing way possible. I am always about making recipes and ingredients completely from scratch, but I haven’t even attempted making brownies from scratch because I love this box mix so much.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I said it world, I love a box mix! If you have an unbelievable scratch brownie recipe though please send it my way as I would love to test it out. Anyways, back to these coconut cream cheese brownies. Make them. That is all.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies
 
Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 package brownie mix with ingredients according to package, or your favorite brownie batter recipe
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup shredded toasted coconut
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” by 9” baking pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie mix according to the package instructions. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a hand mixer on medium speed beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar then mix until combined. Add the egg, almond extract & coconut then mix until combined.
  5. Dollop the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter then gently spread evenly as much as possible over the brownie mixture. To create a marbled effect, carefully swirl through the batter with a knife.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely then cut into squares before serving.

 Recipe slightly adapted from Duncan Hines.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I can’t believe I waited so long to share this recipe. Matt and I love these eggplant pizzas so they get made quite often in our apartment. Aside from being out-of-this-world delicious, they are perfect for vegetarian nights, quick weeknights and carb-free nights.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Carb-free pizza, you ask? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Slices of melt-in-your-mouth roasted eggplant serve as both the base and the topping for these individual pizzas. The first time I came across this idea I was extremely skeptical. I am a pizza fiend and seriously doubted that anything could compare to chewy, crispy pizza dough. Well, my friends, I am here to let you know that I doubt no more!

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

These easy eggplant pizzas are so darn tasty that I don’t even miss the pizza crust for one second. Did I mention the ease of this meal? That is the second reason these bad boys are made so often in our place.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thinly slice an eggplant. Drizzle with olive oil and season it up. I like to do a mix of salt, pepper, dried oregano and garlic powder to really take-home those Italian pizza flavors. Roast in the oven until tender, about ten minutes, then pull out of the oven. Top each roasted slice with tomato sauce and shredded cheese, usually mozzarella or whatever well-melting cheese you have on hand.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I recently used Gruyere and oh-my-heavens! I’ll just leave it at that. Anyways, through the topped eggplant slices back into the oven for another minute or two so the cheese melts and voila! Dinner is served.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Eggplant Pizzas
 
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced (about ¼” thick)
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt, pepper, dried oregano & garlic powder for sprinkling
  • ½ cup tomato sauce, more or less depending on quantity of eggplant slices
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, more or less depending on quantity of eggplant slices
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Place the eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to very lightly coat. Spread the slices out so they are evenly spaced with none touching. Sprinkle the seasonings over the top.
  3. Roast until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your slices.
  4. Carefully pull the pan out of the oven. Use a spoon to top each eggplant slice with tomato sauce then top each with shredded cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese melts, about 1-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
 

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes & One Year Blogiversary!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today is an amazing day. It is Lemon & Mocha’s one year blogiversary! What is a blogiversary you ask? A blog anniversary, of course! It has been one year since I wrote my first ever post on this site.

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

For years I would hungrily read others’ food blogs eager to start my own and was always delighted when there would be some epic and exciting blogiversary post. I couldn’t wait to one day have my own blogiversary and here we are, how crazy is that?

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I cannot say enough to thank my family, friends, blog readers and hungry web browsers who have encouraged and supported me throughout this past year. For anyone who has ever shared Lemon & Mocha with a friend, made one of my recipes, liked a Facebook post, or simply let me know the photos made them hungry, I love you!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every single comment and e-mail is sure to make my day and brings even more joy to something I already love doing so much.

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Deserving of a very special thank you is Matt who has been by my side for every photo shoot, gorge session, kitchen melt-down (yes, there were quite a few of those), WordPress update and post edit. The amount of love and time he has put into Lemon & Mocha simply because he knows how much it means to me is remarkable; I am forever grateful and blessed!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Here at Lemon & Mocha we are celebrating with something very exciting- this unbelievable recipe for rainbow inside-out faux Hostess hi-hat cupcakes. Whew, that was a mouthful, but the name says it all! Oh baby, these are out of this world! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, as well as previous posts on my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes and chocolate ganache. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes & One Year Blogiversary!
 
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 24 chocolate cupcakes, chilled in the fridge
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (2¼ sticks)
  • 4½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2¼ cups marshmallow creme (Fluff)
  • 4½ tablespoons heavy cream
  • Food coloring, if desired
  • 1 batch chocolate ganache, still warm and in the saucepan
Directions
  1. Beat together the butter, powdered sugar, marshmallow creme, and heavy cream with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer. Start slowly to make sure you don't coat your kitchen with powdered sugar then increase the speed to medium or medium-high. Continue to beat until the mixture is fluffy.
  2. If planning to make the cupcakes rainbow colored, divide the filling into 4 separate bowls. Dye each bowl of frosting a different color. I did green, blue, yellow and purple. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip with 1 color of frosting. To frost the cupcakes I piped a circle rim around the edge of the cupcake then loosely filled in a thin layer so the top surface was covered. I then piped around in a circle slowly bringing the swirl inwards as it got higher and brought it to a point. After frosting place the cupcakes in the freezer and chill until the frosting is hardened. Continue with each color of frosting.
  3. Working with 2 cupcakes at a time, take the cupcakes out of the freezer. Tilt the saucepan with the ganache and dip the frosting portion of the cupcake into the ganache. Make sure the frosting is completely coated. Place the ganache-topped cupcakes in the fridge to chill then repeat with 2 more cupcakes. Keep chilled in the fridge until serving.
Frosting from The Curvy Carrot.