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Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m going to shock you all right now by letting you know that I’m obsessed with this salad. As I’ve mentioned here before, I am not a big fan of salads unless they are loaded with stuff. This salad doesn’t have a ton of stuff, but the goodies it does have on top are just the right stuff. Cue New Kids on the Block. This Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing is the ultimate culmination of a few recipes I’ve shared recently. I made the Roasted Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower and the Crispy Roasted Chickpeas with this fall salad as my main intention, but they were so good on their own that I figured they deserved their own posts, too.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’ve also already seen this creamy and tangy tahini dressing before on the Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls. The dressing pairs really well with spiced and tender roasted vegetables so I knew it would be perfect over the Roasted Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you haven’t made the Roasted Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower dish yet, you need to make it soon! Preferably to eat on top of this awesome salad. The spices aren’t hot spicy, they are warming spices, which I like to think of as warming you from the inside out, similar to how you might describe a cozy bowl of soup. I threw some red onion in with the cauliflower to get caramelized. I love the flavor onion brings to dishes, but oftentimes raw onion is too pungent for me. Roasting the onion slices really mellows the onion flavor and brings out a nice sweetness to them.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I had this salad with our dinner and the next day I had it for lunch with some deli turkey slices on top. One great thing about this salad is that it tastes so good whether the cauliflower is warm out of the oven or cold right from the fridge.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

I created this salad with Thanksgiving in mind. I think it is a great way to have a healthy salad option that complements the fall Thanksgiving flavors better than your typical garden salad. Also, you can make it ahead and serve it cold so that’s always a bonus for the holidays! Enjoy, everyone!

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Roasted Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing
 
Yield: 4 servings, ⅔ cup of dressing
Ingredients
for the salad
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ large red onion, cut into large strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup crispy chickpeas
for the dressing
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions
for the salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and ground black pepper. Pour over the cauliflower florets and toss to completely coat. You may want to really rub the tops of the cauliflower florets in the mixture to get them completely coated.
  3. Place the coated cauliflower florets on the prepared baking pan and spread them out. Bake for 20 minutes, then add the red onion to the baking sheet with the cauliflower, lightly tossing. Continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and browned. Make sure the onion doesn’t burn. Top with the chopped fresh parsley.
  4. Add the spinach and arugula to a large mixing bowl or salad bowl. Top with the turmeric roasted cauliflower, the roasted red onions and the crispy chickpeas. Serve with the dressing on the side.
for the dressing
  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients or mix in a high-speed blender until smooth.

 

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

November already? I’m here to sweeten your Friday with these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins! Another monthly muffin post, except there’s something different about this one. This is not the Food Network Magazine’s November muffin recipe. Theirs was a corn chestnut muffin that Matt and I could not get excited about so I made these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins instead!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used the base from February’s Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins since they were extra chocolatey and moist. Then I add some cinnamon and brown sugar spiced pecans to the top that you can whip together in a small mixing bowl. The inspiration for these November muffins came from my love of chocolate pecan pie – see recipe for Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies – but way easier and perfect for eating for breakfast.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

There’s a few things I miss about college, but one of the biggest is their dining hall food – is that weird? Every once and a while Boston College would have slices of the most amazing chocolate pecan pie in to-go boxes and I always had to get it, and maybe a second one for my mini fridge. As you know I have a hard time parting with chocolate treats and I begrudgingly shared these muffins, but I’m glad I did because everyone really liked them! Also, because then I would have eaten them all so basically a win-win all around.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s also fitting to be posting these for the November Muffins since Diane’s birthday is later this month and my stepmom loves chocolate pecan pie – big emphasis on the chocolate! I hope you all love these muffins! I don’t like the sound of December’s muffin either so I have something in the works for that one, too. Think savory like March’s Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins – yum!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did any of you make the Food Network Magazine’s November muffins? What did you think? Also, don’t forget to turn back your clocks this weekend. Fun fact – Japan hasn’t observed daylight savings time since 1951, but they are considered adopting it for the 2020 Olympic Games. Okay, that’s all I have for you today, happy Friday, friends!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 2 minutes then remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, spoon some of the pecan mixture into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 16-20 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out with just a crumb or two.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

 Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Halloween, everyone! I wanted to send out a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween and to share an easy and creamy hot chocolate recipe. This Boozy (or non-boozy) Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate is perfect for staying warm while passing out Halloween candy or for pouring into a to-go mug to sip on while taking your kids trick-or-treating.

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

A couple years ago I shared my Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, also known as when I discovered you could combine hot milk and Nutella to make a irresistible homemade hot chocolate. Mind still blown!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

This year I’ve added some pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice since I’m about all things pumpkin in the fall. Both the chocolatey Nutella and the warming spice of the pumpkin come through and the whipped cream on top is key for making it extra cozy. I tried to slowly sip on mine to make it last, but as soon as it got cool enough next thing I knew my mug was empty. I love the extra depth of flavor the pumpkin adds to the hot chocolate so I’ll probably be making this one all hot chocolate season long. Yes, hot chocolate season is a thing!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

You can keep this drink alcohol free for the kids and non-drinkers or you can turn it into Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate. My original Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate recipe called for some hazelnut liquor, like Frangelico, but apparently there is a pumpkin spice Kahlua that tastes really good according to Adam Rippon that would taste so good in this boozy hot chocolate. The recipe below only makes one, but I have a feeling you’re going to need to multiply that so you can share!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Just a reminder that I’ll be in Japan starting today for the next week and a half so if I don’t get to your comments or emails right away that is why. <Insert all the excited and sushi emojis here!!!> I hope you all enjoy today and tonight with your family and friends! What are your plans for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below! Maybe making this Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate?!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate
 
Yield: 1 hot chocolate
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor or pumpkin spice Kahlua, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for topping
  • Whipped cream
Directions
  1. Heat the milk on the stove top or in the microwave until lightly steaming. Add the Nutella, pumpkin puree, liquor (if using), and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until smooth. Top with whipped cream and a light dusting of pumpkin pie spice.
Notes
You can use any type of milk that you prefer.

 

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Monday before Halloween! I don’t love Halloween solely because of the candy, but all those Kit Kats and Reese’s are definitely a big factor! No matter what age you are, you’re bound to have leftover candy after Halloween. It may because your kids collected way more than they need so you snagged a stash for yourself. It may be because you bought several Costco size bags of candy, but no one in your neighborhood felt like coming to your house since it’s on a “hill” – speaking from experience.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

It may be because you went trick-or-treating at Disneyland’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which Matt and I did two years ago and it was so much fun! Or maybe you just took advantage of all the after-holiday sales while you were hungry and felt at the time you really had to have all four bags of those fun size chocolate candy bars. Either way, now you have a bunch of candy and while it’s great to eat on its own you can only do so much of that before you never want to look at a candy bar again.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Enter this Halloween Chocolate Lasagna. I hesitate to call it a Chocolate Lasagna since I think the name makes people not want to try it, but according to the internet and Pinterest that is what this layered chocolatey dessert is called. The bottom layer is a no-bake Oreo crust. Next up we have a sweetened cream cheese layer that’s been folded together with some whipped topping to make it light and fluffy. If you don’t want to use store bought whipped topping you could always fold in some homemade whipped cream so I put those directions in the recipe as well. The next two layers are creamy chocolate pudding and then whipped topping. Don’t forget the Halloween candy! You can use whichever chocolate candies you prefer. I chopped up Kit Kat, Reese’s, Milky Way, Snicker’s and 3 Musketeers and sneaked them in between the pudding layer.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

This dessert is addictive, especially with the candy added in as a fun surprise. It tastes incredibly light while you are eating it, but it’s also very rich at the same time. Everyone who had this ate it up and they even each brought a bowl-full home.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

The first time I ever heard of Chocolate Lasagna was last year when Matt’s mom made it for Christmas. The minute I saw all the whipped cream and chocolate I knew I was going to be in love. We kept the leftovers and by we I mean I may or may not have told Matt he couldn’t have any 😂. When I thought of turning it into a leftover Halloween candy dessert I asked Matt’s mom to send me the recipe so I could share it with all of you. And so I could get to eat it again since I had been dreaming about it since last Christmas. If you are looking for other leftover Halloween candy ideas, check out my Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies!

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna
 
Yield: 20 - 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 14.3-ounce package of Oreo cookies, about 36 Oreos (not double stuff)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, cold (use any fat percentage of milk except non-fat)
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), defrosted
  • 2 4-ounce packages chocolate instant pudding
  • 3¼ cups milk, cold (use at least 1% milk)
  • About 3 cups chopped leftover Halloween candy
  • Halloween sprinkles, for decorating
Directions
  1. Crush the Oreo cookies using a food processor or by placing them in a large freezer bag and crushing them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. They don’t need to be fine crumbs, but there shouldn’t be any huge chunks of cookie. Pour the cookie crumbs into a large mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter until combined. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9x13 baking pan and press the crumbs to form an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate while you work on the rest of the layers.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and the 2 tablespoons of milk then beat until combined. Fold in 1¼ cups of the whipped topping and spread in an even layer over the Oreo crust.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl (or the same one used for the Oreo crust), combine both chocolate instant pudding mixes with the 3¼ cups cold milk. Whisk until the pudding starts to thicken. This will take several minutes; be sure to scrape from the bottom as you whisk. Spread half of the pudding in an even layer over the cream cheese layer. Top with the chopped candies then pour over the remaining half of the pudding and smooth with a spatula. Let sit in the fridge for at least 5 minutes so the pudding can firm up more. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or the freezer for 1 hour before serving. Add the Halloween sprinkles right before serving (the colors on the sprinkles may run if you add them ahead of time).
Notes
If you would prefer to use fresh whipped cream instead of frozen whipped topping, follow this substitution. Beat 1¾ cups cold heavy cream (in a cold metal mixing bowl with a cold beater is preferred) with ¾ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until you have stiff peaks. This will make about 4 cups whipped cream.

Recipe from Genius Kitchen.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

I just realized this is the third Friday in a row I’m posting a vegetable dish. Don’t worry, this Braised Red Cabbage and Apples is just as swoon-worthy as the other two healthy side dishes. Tender, sweet and the perfect amount of acidity from the balsamic vinegar, you will be hooked on this cabbage after one bite.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

Instead of adding any sugar, the red cabbage is cooked down with an apple to give it some natural sweetness. The cabbage takes on a lot of the balsamic vinegar flavor, which is also slightly sweeter than other types of vinegar since it’s made from grapes. I love making this dish for the holidays because it makes a ton, the color is stunning and you can absolutely make it ahead of time. In fact, it tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld together. It also freezes really well; I just freeze it in quart size freezer bags or reusable containers.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

My grandma, Babu, is always on my mind, but especially today on her birthday. Babu loved cabbage and I think she would have been a big fan of this Braised Red Cabbage and Apples. I also think she would be laughing about me celebrating her birthday with cabbage and telling me she would have much preferred some vanilla ice cream! She used to make ground turkey and rice stuffed cabbage rolls, baking them right in our toaster oven. I would never take a bite of them – they didn’t look like my usual macaroni and cheese and fish sticks – but I bet I would love them now.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s so interesting to me how your taste-buds evolve and change the more you introduce them to different foods. Also, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, a lot of it has to do with how the foods are prepared and presented. Matt gobbles this braised cabbage up every time I make it and its been a big hit whenever I make it for company. I hope you enjoy this one and have a wonderful weekend!

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
 
Yield: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large red cabbage, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tart apples, such as granny smith, peeled, cored and sliced
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Prepare the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage and remove the loose outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into quarters: place the cabbage stem side down and cut it in half. Slice each half in half again from the top to the stem to make quarters. Remove the stem and core from each quarter wedge by diagonally cutting it off. Finally, lay each quarter down on the flat side and thinly slice. Place the sliced cabbage in a bowl and cover with cold water while you finish getting everything else together.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet that has a lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is golden, stirring while it cooks. Add the apple slices and cook for 3 more minutes, continuing to stir.
  3. Drain the red cabbage slices and add to the onions. Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and 2 more tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine well them season with salt to taste. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Before removing from the heat, add some freshly ground black pepper and another tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Season with additional salt according to taste if needed.
Notes
This recipe makes a lot, but it can easily be halved. It also freezes really well in freezer bags.

Recipe from NY Times Cooking.