Lunch Hacks: Cauliflower, Kalamata Dip & A Quick Pulled Salmon Salad by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i'm going to be super honest here.  i'm not the greatest when it comes to preparing lunch.  for some reason, even before anesy was in the picture, i couldn't be bothered to put much thought into it.  please tell me i'm not the only one!?  

a few days out of the work i basically eat 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado, maybe in a salad, but mostly on a piece of toasty bread.  the weekdays are pretty scheduled, so i roughly know how much time i have between amesy's naps to get work done, and eat lunch.  so preparing a lunch that requires more brain power than boiling eggs, toasting bread, and mashing an avocado can simply be too overwhelming.  but since moving to LA, the amount of wholesome, prepared food that's available is kind of crazy.  so, my lunch hack has been to pick up some prepared items a couple times a week to give myself a break.  so i'll pick up a few pieces of wild salmon for amesy and i (he loves it mashed in avocado πŸ‘πŸΌ).  i usually throw mine over greens, with some other veg, and whatever hummus or dip i have in my fridge, and always serve it with some crackers (because crunch is key!).  

another thing that's key is dip!  i've talked all about my fondness of it before, but it's really the thing that makes lunch feel fun for me.  and since i have such a lack of love for lunch, it's the one thing i look forward to eating midday.  i'm a little meticulous (or maybe just crazy) when it comes to actually eating this salad/dip, and have somewhat of a sequence in eating it.  i usually add half of it to the salad to mix around with the salmon and veg, and the other half i save until the end just to enjoy with my crackers.  i was loving simple mills sprouted crackers even before i started limiting the amount of grains i eat, but now that i am, they've been coming in clutch!  their ingredients are as simple and straightforward as ingredients lists come, made with a sprouted seed mix, with some tapioca, and cassava flour, as well as a few other basic components.  you can learn more about how simple mills is making our back-to-school/back-to-work lives easier here ;) 

do you have any lunch hacks? i'm considering starting a monthly, lunch series to help push myself out of this lunch rut, anyone with me!? ;)  let me know if you're into it in the comments, or shoot me an email.  i'm all ears!  

big hugs! xo

this post was created in partnership with simple mills.  all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.  thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal running!

cauliflower, kalamata dip

you can mix your lunch items around depending on your diet.  i usually aim to have a good portion of protein and healthy fats, some leafy greens, and always something a little crunchy, like crackers :)

| makes a little over 1 cup and about 5 servings |

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans (preferably non-bpa), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • herbs, for garnish

pulled salmon salad

  • 1/4 cup cauli white bean dip
  • 5-10 Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Everything crackers
  • bibb lettuce
  • 1 piece prepared wild salmon
  • thinly sliced radish
  • cucumber spears
  • microgreens
  • juice from half of a small lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. bring a lidded pot with about 2 inches of water to a boil.  place the florets into a steamer basket, and place into the pot.  cover and turn heat to medium.  steam for until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-12 minutes.  remove it from the heat and let cool.
  2. add the cauliflower, beans, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic to a food processor fitted with a metal "s" blade, and blend until smooth.  add the olives and pulse until the olives are broken down into small flecks.  season with salt and pepper.  place the dip in a lidded container and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. 
  3. to prepare your lunch, tear the lettuce with your hands and place in a large bowl.  pull the salmon from the skin into bite-size pieces an place in the bowl as well.  to your salad add sliced radish, cucumber, and microgreens.  finish it off with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.  season with salt and pepper.  give it all a toss and serve it with your dip and crackers.

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Summer Squash Vegan Mac 'N' Cheese w/ Herb Pesto by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

we're coming off of a pretty hectic week.  frank just returned from a trip upstate (do you californians call northern california upstate?), and i've been trying to keep it together working and taking care of amesy.  admittedly, when time gets tight, and there aren't enough hours in the day, my diet suffers.  no matter how many veggies are in my fridge, preparing myself high-vibe meals always falls short at the end of the day.  i like having options, or go-to's, so that isn't the case all the time.  because if i think about it enough, every day feels a bit chaotic in one way or another.  stocking my fridge or pantry with easy-to-put-together ingredients and halfway prepared meals is just where i'm at in life, and i'm kind of just going with it at the moment.  whether that's buying a pre-made protein and adding a salad to it, buying prepared vegetables and cooking up something on the side, or buying a box of mac 'n' cheese to have on hand.

there aren't many store-bought mac 'n' cheese brands that cater to my gluten-dairy-free diet, while also having good, wholesome ingredients. i'm so grateful to companies like Annie's that have options that appreciate different diets, and lifestyles, and that they're so readily available to all families at stores like Target.  i've been eating their mac 'n' cheese since i was young, and it's nice to come back to an old favorite when they came out with their vegan and gluten free variation.  it's a brand that has always been transparent, and i can trust it to feed my family in the right way.

it usually depends on how i'm feeling, or what the weather is like, but most times i prepare a big salad on the side, or add veggies to the the pasta itself.  this time i blended up some herbs i had leftover in my fridge to make a quick pesto, and sliced a couple of summer squash to sautΓ© with garlic.  alone the mac 'n' cheese is tasty and super delicious, the cream sauce is made with pumpkin and sweet potato mixture that's ready to go when added to your plant-based milk of choice.  it all makes for a quick, fresh, meal that basically feels homemade ;)  

big hugs, all! xoxo

Summer Squash Vegan Mac 'N' Cheese w/ Herb Pesto | gf

| serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side |

herb pesto

  • 1 packed cup mixed herbs (i used a combination of parsley, sage, thyme, and oregano)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

summer squash mac 'n' cheese


  1. for the pesto.  combine the herbs, oil, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor or blender.  season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it, or 1 week.  alternatively, the pesto can be made 1 week before using it. 
  2. for the squash and mac 'n' cheese.  heat a skillet over medium heat.  once it's hot, add the olive oil and garlic, stir and cook for about 45 seconds.  then add the squash and let it cook for about 4 minutes without disturbing it, letting it get a little brown.  turn them over and let the squash cook for another 4 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.  remove the squash from the heat.
  3. make the mac 'n' cheese according to the instructions on the box.
  4. in a large serving bowl toss the mac 'n' cheese together with the summer squash.  dollop the top with pesto blobs, and give it all a stir. serve with more pesto on the side.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Target & Annie's. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Grain-Free Summer Berry Scones by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

we're coming up on almost 7 weeks until amesy turns one whole year old (!!!!), which seems insane sometimes.  i've begun casually planning a few things like buying decorations from my favorite store in brooklyn, and making a smash cake in the form of a mini dinosaur..maybe..?  frank thinks it'll be too hard, but i think i can do it (we'll see!).  it's really too difficult to put into words what a (almost) year of being a parent feels like. frank and i have had discussions about how much our relationship has changed, but also how much we've continued to have a similar dynamic.  how we love each other more than anything, but how we love amesy so much more.  if i could describe my feelings about it in one sentence it's that this first year as a parent has gone at warp speed, but has also crept by at the slowest rate of time imaginable.  it's all very disorienting when i stop to think, which is why perhaps i tend to just go, and do.  but i think this 1 year mark will hit us, at least that's what i'm anticipating. 

these scones aren't directly related to amesy, or his 1 year birthday, but they are related to my diet; which had changed when i was a few months postpartum.  balancing my blood sugar has also been an issue, even from a really young age.  but i recently began confronting it once again, and i started reducing the amount of grains in my diet, which is something i've done here and there for a few years now.  it's not something i would say is for everyone, but it works for me, and i feel better for it.  (just as a side note, everybody and body is different, what works for me, may not work you and vice versa.)  in any event, i've been baking with almond flour a lot, and have just started working with cassava flour, which is made from the root of a yuca (or cassava) plant.  whenever i bake with a nut flour i always combine it with a starch (it gives the baked good more a crumb texture, and it's great for binding), and cassava works perfectly here, just like in these cookies from the other week.  

i never liked scones growing up, but my mom would occasionally have one in the afternoons with some tea, and over time i began liking their lightly sweetened, biscuit-like flavor and texture.  i've tested grain-free scone recipes here and there, but was never really happy with the result.  (i even made a semi-pledge back when the blog was still a teeny baby, that i was looking forward to making a good grain-free scone!) finally after about 4 years these babes were born!  they are perfect sliced in half, toasted up, and slathered with some salted ghee, or vegan butter.  the summery berries in there can replaced with whatever fruit you like or have on hand, i could imagine peaches or nectarines tasting really great as well.  i hope you have the chance to make them. and if you do, tag me at #dollyandoatmeal so we can share in the goodness :)

big love!  xo

grain-free summer berry scones | gf & df

| makes 4 large scones |

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour, more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 large egg (preferably pasture raised), at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mixed raspberries and blackberries, cut in half
  • 1 egg white (optional)


  1. in a mixing bowl, combine the milk and vinegar, give it a little whisk and let it sit for 10 minutes, until it's curdled a bit.
  2. while the milk and vinegar are resting, use a separate mixing bowl and whisk together the almond flour, cassava flour, coconut sugar,baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. to the milk and vinegar mixture, whisk in the egg, oil, and vanilla. 
  4. add the wet ingredients to the dry, and use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together.  then cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. in the meantime, preheat your oven to 350Β°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  remove the dough from the fridge and fold the berries in.  turn the dough out onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. dust your hands and the top of the dough with cassava flour and form it into a round with a 1 1/2-inch thickness.  use a sharp knife to cut the dough in half, and then in fourths. (the dough will be sticky, this is ok.)  pat the 4 pieces of dough into rounds with about 1 1/2-inch thickness.  lightly brush the tops with egg white (if using).
  7. bake for 18-23 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden.  let them cool before eating.  scones can be stored at room temperature covered by a piece of parchment for about 3 days.  alternatively, you can store these in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, and reheat them in your toaster/oven.

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