Monday, April 4, 2016

Love & Lemons Cookbook!

I'll admit that I hadn't heard about the Love & Lemons blog before I was contacted about reviewing blogger Jeanine Donofrio's new cookbook by the same name, but I've since become a new fan. It's not an entirely vegan blog — she uses cheese and eggs — but many of her recipes just so happen to be vegan. And of course, swapping out subs for cheese and eggs is a breeze these days with all the awesome vegan products on the market. Plus, on the blog and in the cookbook, Donofrio typically provides a vegan option for the non-vegan recipes.

The gorgeous hardcover Love & Lemons Cookbook mimics the clean, crisp style of Donofrio's blog — lots of white marble table backdrops, tan or blue pin-striped kitchen towels, wooden spoons, cast-iron skillets, bright white plates, and highly stylized images shot from above. And the food is fresh, and vegetable-heavy, relying on seasonal and local produce.

The chapters of the cookbook are organized by vegetable or fruit, which will be pretty awesome during farmer's market season. I often go to the market with a list and come home with a few extra fun things that I've no idea what to do with. Using the Love & Lemons Cookbook, I could just flip to the mushrooms chapter or the corn chapter or the brussels sprouts chapter.

That's how I decided to make the Kale Salad with Roasted Root Veggies first. My office was having a cookout, and I wanted to bring a side dish. I had a sweet potato that needed using, so I flipped to the root veggies chapter. This salad — loaded with roasted sweet potato, turnip, radish, sunflower seeds, onions, and chickpeas — was perfect for a cookout! My (mostly non-vegetarian) co-workers gobbled it up!

Last weekend, I went to a tea party, and we were supposed to bring dishes that related to the elements — earth, air, fire, and water. You could be creative in your interpretation of that, of course. I figured cucumbers would fall into the water category, so I flipped to the cucumber chapter and found this Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles salad. 

Soba noodles, sesame, peanut butter sauce, and spiralized cucumbers. There was a list of suggested add-ins, and from that I picked snap peas, radishes, and edamame since I had those on hand. Again, this was a hit! And again, it was a non-veg crowd. I think non-vegans are most impressed with veggie dishes over plant meat stuff. While I would prefer some greasy deep-fried plant meats or cheezy vegan casseroles at a potluck, when I'm cooking for non-vegans, I stick to veggies. It's common ground.

Also for that event, I made the Sweet Potato Hummus from Love & Lemons to represent earth. Because, you know, sweet potatoes grow in the earth.

This is a creamy hummus with a hint of sweetness from both baked, mashed sweet potato and maple syrup. It was a hit too! I especially love the back of Love & Lemons Cookbook, where the author has some cool build-your-own charts with different ingredient combos for making hummus, smoothies, pesto, salsa, and guacamole. That's where this recipe came from.

The farmer's market season is just kicking off here, and I can't wait to bring home random veggies and pick out recipes from this book! The Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos, Vegan Carrot Cake Waffles, Crispy Shiitake BLT, and Swiss Chard & White Bean Tacos are calling my name.


vegan peace said...

All three dishes look really beautiful. I've never had sweet potato hummus before, it looks tasty. I agree that plant meats and cheeses can turn off non vegans, but using veggies that are fairly common is sometimes a safer bet.

Jennifer said...

I like the idea of organizing the book by veggies! I think my biggest complaint about cookbooks are poor indexes, where I can't just search recipes by ingredients, because of my CSA I get certain veggies that I want to use up.

Susan said...

Having it organised by vegetable is definitely nifty. :)