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 sautรฉ 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 350ยฐF 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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Chipotle Black Beans w/ Collard Greens, Avocado, and Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

my cooking this summer has been pretty lack-luster.  after moving and settling in (which i feel is still happening somewhat), and trying to acclimate to a new life with a little babe, i've had zero mental space available to work/be creative/recipe develop.  the mental block is so great at times i wonder what i'm doing, or if my creativity will ever come back.  i know i've been saying this for months, but the cookbooks that have been coming out this past spring, and this summer have been what has been feeding me, both literally and figuratively.  

the recipe here today comes from hetty mckinnon's, neighborhood.  aside from the book's design, recipes, and photographs being completely gorgeous and refreshing, the central theme of neighborhood photos are so dear to my heart.  as i said goodbye to our old neighborhood in brooklyn just over 3 months ago, i found myself revisiting it through the pages in hetty's book.  my butcher shop on court street, the italian bakery i would frequent when i wanted to get my dad a treat, and my little local farmers market that i would hop over to on sunday mornings. it's all so familiar and heartening, as i have yet to find that neighborhood feel where we live now.  

the book centers around the best things in life: food, family, and friendship with the backdrop of brooklyn.  all the recipes are hearty salads that are plant-based, many of which are gluten free and vegan.  the chapters of the book are organized by different places in the world: america, france, the mediterranean, asia, and australia.  for dessert hetty invites some of friends to share recipes with us readers which just drives home that lovely community feel.  

"no matter where you live in the world, it is the daily rituals of food that connect us." - hetty mckinnon

happy august, friends!  

Chipotle Black Beans w/ Collard Greens, Avocado, and Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette | gf & v

reprinted with permission from Neighborhood, by Hetty McKinnon

this salad is on the spicy side.  since the dressing is quite fiery i halved the portion of chipotle pepper in the salad.  hetty instructs you to chop the dressing ingredients, but i was short on time, and threw it all in a mini food processor which worked just as well i assume.  because the salad is quite hefty, it works really well as a taco filling.  i stuffed a tortilla with the salad and crumbled a veggie burger over and it was delicious ;)

| serves 4-6 |

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 red, finely diced
  • 1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained, and finely chopped
  • one and one half 15 oz cans (500 g) black beans (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch of collard greens (about 14oz; 400 g), stems removed and very finely sliced
  • 2 large avocados (about 21 oz; 600 g), diced
  • 1/2 cup squash seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • sea salt & black pepper 

chipotle-lime vinaigrette

  • 1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained, and finely chopped
  • juice of 1 -2 limes
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • black beans: red kidney beans
  • collard greens: cavolo nero, kale


  1. heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  add the garlic, onion, and chipotle chili and cook for 2 minutes, then ass the black beans, along with a big pinch of salt, and toss well.  continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until the beans are slightly crispy.
  2. to make the chipotle-lime vinaigrette, add the chopped chipotle chili to a bowl with most of the lime the juice, olive oil, cumin, sugar, and garlic.  whisk together, adjusting the lime juice until you achieve your preferred acidity.  season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. combine the black beans, collard greens, and avocado.  spoon over the chipotle-lime vinaigrette, season well with salt and pepper and toss everything together.  to serve, scatter over the squash seeds and cilantro leaves.