Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas

Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas  |  Lemon & Mocha

October and the following two months often become a slippery slope for me due to my sweet tooth and general food obsession. There’s my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, holiday parties, work potlucks, and Christmas, making it incredibly hard to try and eat well.

Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m sure most people can relate so with Halloween coming up tomorrow I got to work trying to come up with a healthy snack. Well, healthier than bags of candy bars.

Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Then it dawned on me to make a homemade trail mix full of delightful fall flavors. You can mix and match with whatever you have on hand or enjoy. I loaded mine up with dried orange cranberries, spiced pumpkin seeds and blanched almonds.

Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I of course snuck in just a little bit of chocolate because Halloween wouldn’t be the same without it. But it’s dark chocolate so it’s healthy! Thank goodness for those antioxidants.

Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas  |  Lemon & Mocha

My mom always used to pack us homemade trail mix when we would go hiking and I’m sure she would love this mix. Perfect for on the go, munch on some during your next road trip, movie night or to avoid eating all the leftover Halloween candy.

Fall Trail Mix with Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Fall Trail Mix
 
Yield: 4-6
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup pepitas
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • ½ cup dried orange cranberries, or another tart dried fruit of your choosing, such as dried cherries
  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Toss the pepitas with the vegetable oil then spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the pepitas browned and crisp, about 10-15 minutes, making sure to stir every 5 minutes. Once browned, remove the pepitas from the oven then toss with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Let the seasoned pumpkin seeds cool.
  3. Toss together the cooled pumpkin seeds, almonds, orange cranberries & chocolate chips.
Notes
You can find dried orange cranberries & pumpkin spiced pepitas at your local Trader Joe's.
 

Greek Yogurt Cornbread

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today I owe everyone a huge apology. It is with a heavy heart that I must humbly accept your forgiveness for keeping this outrageous cornbread recipe from you for so many months. Moist, cakey and ever-so slightly sweet, this cornbread is high on my list of favorite new recipes for 2014.

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

So long are the days of dry and crumbly cornbread! What makes this cornbread so special? Well for starters, it includes a mixture of cornmeal and all-purpose flour, which helps create its cake-like texture. Then an inclusion of plain greek yogurt makes this the most moist cornbread you’ve ever had.

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Drizzle it with some honey. Eat it with some sloppy joes. Make cornbread pudding. Serve it up with some bacon and maple syrup. Slather it with butter.

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Back in August when I made honey ice cream I almost mixed some of this cornbread right in to make honey cornbread ice cream. That may sound a little out there, but yes, that is how good this recipe is!

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did I mention that you just mix everything together with a spatula then throw the baking dish into the oven? Weeknight fresh baked cornbread, anyone?

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Greek Yogurt Cornbread
 
Yield: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8” by 8” pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together the eggs, butter and milk in a separate mixing bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture then stir until just combined. Fold in the greek yogurt and mix until just combined, being sure not to overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center. Serve warm.
Recipe from Give Me Lemons.

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.