Let’s start with my absolute favorite part of The Love & Lemons Cookbook – the design. If you have followed love & lemons blog, you know how artistic the website is. When I built HerBakingLab, I took many inspirations from Jeanine (do you know she used to be a graphic designer?). Her cookbook does not let me down. From the cover, typography, layout, color to photos and contents, every detail is very well-designed. As a graphic designer to be, I will buy this book just for its eye-pleasing design.
The cookbook is also well-organized. It’s not your typical cookbook that organized by meal type – it’s organized by vegetables from A to Z. You can easily locate recipes by using index and contents.
Most of the recipes call for 10 or fewer ingredients, and they usually are pantry staples. None of the dishes are complicated. The directions are very easy to follow. However, I found myself always missing 1 or 2 ingredients in a recipe. Many recipes have fresh herbs, which I don’t often have on hand. Because of the simplicity of each recipe, I do not want to replace or ignore any ingredients and risk of losing flavor. This is a minor problem holding me back from making some of the recipes.
Jeanine has added tips and notes here and there, which are really helpful. Every recipe has modified vegan and gluten-free option, if that’s something you’re interested.
Writing in the cookbook is pretty much the same style you see on love & lemons blog. There aren’t tons of writing involved, but everything is clearly described. I like how Jeanine writes about her philosophy on cooking seasonal local vegetables. The introduction of each vegetable is also fun to read. Although I personally like more engagement, sometimes I appreciate a good direct-to-business writing style.
So far I have tested 8 recipes from the cookbook.
Recipes I adore are:
Shiitake & Spinach Miso Soup – shiitake mushroom and miso pair so well together, and you can use whatever green you have on hand to replace spinach. It has already become a staple in my household.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – super moist with just enough sweetness, perfect weekday feel-good-breakfast
Chipotle Apple Guacamole – apple adds an unexpected twist of sweet and crispy to the spicy chipotle guacamole, make the side dish become a crowd favorite
Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Cream – I do not know roasted cauliflower can be such a rock star with the help of chipotle cream. Taco Tuesdays, you’ll have a new friend coming!
Recipes I like, but may not necessarily go back for:
Vegan Carrot Waffles
Grilled Mexican Corn Salad
Miso Braised Mustard Greens
Recipe(s) I personally do not like:
Quick Pickled Onions
Overall, 7 out of 8 recipes I’ve tried, I enjoyed very much. However, I do think this cookbook is for vegetable lovers. If you’re not used to tasting the simple freshness and sweetness of vegetables, you probably will think the recipes are not flavorful enough.
At the beginning of the Love & Lemons Cookbook, Jeanine writes about cooking backward and why this book is not organized by breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but by vegetables. She suggests we can start with whatever vegetables we have on hand and build from there. I thought it’s a great idea because every once a while, we all have some lonely asparagus or broccolis in the fridge and you have no idea how to deal with them. However, when you actually use the cookbook to make asparagus, you’ll find yourself missing other ingredients in the recipes. I think the organization method is better for new dish inspirations, but not solving leftover veggies problem. If that’s what you’re looking for, this book will be your best friend.
I secretly wish there is an index categorizing recipes by meal type. Obviously when I first opened the book, I was trying to find all the dessert recipes. It’s a little bit tricky as the content is organized by vegetables and the desserts are just hiding everywhere. Like you probably won’t think there is a great muffin recipe under zucchini. With that being said, I still think this cookbook is great for seasonal vegetables cooking inspirations. The recipe variation charts and cooking resources appended are very useful, too.
- Recipes are organized by seasonal vegetables from A-Z
- Well-designed and appealing details, like typography, layouts, photos, etc.
- Easy to follow directions
- Modified vegan and gluten-free option for every recipe
- Simple, light and healthy dishes
- Useful recipe variation charts and cooking resources
95% Yes and 5% no.
I definitely recommend this cookbook to people who wish to eat more vegetables, but don’t know where to start. The easy to follow directions, educational writing, useful tips, and recipe variations will introduce you to the world of cooking seasonal vegetables.
If you’re an advanced vegetable lover like me, I think you’ll like this cookbook a lot. However, it’s not something you cannot live without or a bookshelf must have. If you are already a Love & Lemons blog fan, then you 100% will like this cookbook.
Like I said earlier, I would buy this book just for its design. Don’t get me wrong, the cookbook itself is very useful, but the design is unbeatable. It’s also a great book to have on hand and inspire yourself to eat more veggies.
I am trying to be as fair and critical as I can here (my inner self is shouting the love for this book). I hope my thoughts give you an idea and help you decide!
Please share this post if you think someone you know will like it. Leave a comment below or tag #hercookbookclub on Instagram! I’d love to hear your thoughts and other recommendations.
Cheers to our first Her Cookbook Club review! I had so much fun testing the recipes and writing this post. Next up, Thug Kitchen The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck. Stay tuned!