This new and stunningly gorgeous vegetarian cookbook from the couple behind the Love & Lemons blog is a delightful celebration of fresh produce. The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking combines the fresh flavors of author Jeanine Donofrio’s recipes with the enticing and perfect photography from her husband, photographer and blog partner Jack Mathews. This is one of the most eye-catching and well designed cookbooks we’ve ever seen. We loved the simplicity, fun A-Z organization by ingredient and overall passion for cooking and produce that’s present throughout this book.
We sampled a number of recipes from The Love and Lemons Cookbook and appreciated the easy to follow, well written steps and crisp color photography throughout. The chapters are broken down by the featured ingredient (Artichoke, Cauliflower, Greens, Stone Fruits, etc) and each chapter has around 4 recipes. In total there are over 100 vegetarian recipes. This is not an entirely vegan cookbook – eggs, dairy and honey are used in some recipes – but the limited recipes that are not vegan usually contain notes for a vegan option.
“My intention with this book is for it to give you ideas…Feel free to put your own unique spin on things using good ingredients that you have available, adapting to your own taste preferences as you go.” — Author Jeanine Donofrio
The cookbook starts with a quick guide to stocking your kitchen and discusses the importance of using seasonal produce and using what you have on hand. It also highlights that these recipes work perfectly as a simple foundation for you to build your own flavors on over time. Overall we enjoyed the foods we prepared from The Love and Lemons Cookbook. Most of the recipes were a tad on the sweet side and not overly spiced, but both of these things can easily be adapted and adjusted to our own personal tastes. The Love and Lemons Cookbook is a truly joyous celebration of fresh ingredients, bright flavors and impromptu cooking!
Creamy Broccoli Soup
pg 54-5, Chapter 6 Broccoli
This refreshing, thin Creamy Broccoli Soup was an easy and refreshing recipe to whip up. It has a thin, somewhat frothy consistency after a quick blitz in the blender. The recipe recommends adding lemon juice to brighten it up a bit, we added 1 tablespoon and it was the perfect amount. This soup, with the thin green consistency, spot of cream and light frothiness is reminiscent of a creamy French pea soup, Crème Ninon, that’s seasoned with lemon, sherry, champagne and finished with cream. The cream in this Creamy Broccoli Soup is light coconut cream, giving the dish a subtle coconut flavor that we enjoyed. Like all of the recipes in this cookbook, the serving sizes are spot on – this recipe makes 3-4 servings.
pg 124-25, Chapter 12 Corn
Quick, simple, soft and caky. This Spicy Cornbread is packed with flavor and texture. The recipe calls for a half cup of maple syrup, but we opted to halve the maple. They still turned out pretty sweet, but the sweetness helps to balance the chile. We recommend halving the maple and serving the cornbread with additional maple or agave on the side. Reserve some of the chile and corn, or use additional chile and corn, and top each cornbread before baking for a lovely appearance and added texture. We like ours a little crustier and golden, so we opted to extend the baking time from 20-22 minutes to 25 minutes. The recipe made enough to fill three 6” Staub cast-iron gratin pans.
Pea & Sweet Potato Samosas
pg 194-97, Chapter 19 Peas
It may be a fairly long process to make these samosas, but each individual step is quite easy. There is a shortcut option, using wonton wrappers in place of freshly made dough, but we really enjoyed the dough and recommend making your own if you have the time and ingredients. The filling, dough and sauce perfectly complemented one another.
Tip: For the sauce, we used agave in place of honey and added an extra dash of lemon juice to get it a bit more tart. We could also see adding chile to the sauce if you like things on the spicier side. The sauce recipe made about twice what we needed for our samosas but it was nice leftover with other snacks and vegetables we already had around. Recipe makes 16 samosas.
Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Cream
pg 98-9, Chapter 10 Cauliflower
There’s no doubt that we love tacos; and this easy, flavorsome recipe for zesty roasted cauliflower is a nice addition for any taco lover. The sauce has a smoky, sweet and tangy flavor that pairs well with the crisp, roasted cauliflower. A squeeze of fresh lime gives it the extra acidity and bright flavor that we know and love from Mexican cuisine. This recipe is best when served on fresh corn tortillas (recipe) and makes enough for about 12 tacos. We recommend making half a batch of the sauce, since a whole batch will leave you with a lot leftover.
Tip: The original recipe for the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce calls for full-fat Greek yogurt, olive oil and honey; in their place we used vegan mayo (Follow Your Heart) and raw agave. We recommend these vegan substitutions and have included our adaptation of the original recipe here.
Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Cream from The Love and Lemons Cookbook
Serves 4 (Gluten-Free)
VEGAN: Make the chipotle sauce with sun “cheese” (page 286) and skip the honey.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 chipotle peppers from canned chipotles in adobo sauce
- 8 tortillas, warmed or grilled
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
- 7 ounces (200 g) full-fat Greek yogurt *See Vegan Miam’s vegan notes*
- 1 chipotle pepper (from the can used above)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) honey
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the cauliflower and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Working over the baking sheet, use your hands to break up 2 chipotle peppers, along with some of the adobo sauce. Toss again to coat the cauliflower and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Make the chipotle yogurt sauce: In a small food processor, combine the yogurt, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and lime juice as desired.
Fill each tortilla with a spoonful of sauce, the roasted cauliflower, and a slice of avocado. Serve with the cilantro and lime slices on the side.
Vegan Miam’s vegan notes: The original recipe for the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce calls for full-fat Greek yogurt, olive oil and honey; in their place we used vegan mayo (Follow Your Heart) and raw agave. We recommend these vegan substitutions.
Reprinted from The Love and Lemons Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Jeanine Donofrio. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews
Thanks to the author, Jeanine Donofrio, and her publisher, Avery Books, we are giving away one (1) copy of The Love and Lemons Cookbook to one (1) US based Vegan Miam reader.
Use the Gleam widget below to enter for a chance to win.