June Book Done: School’s Out, Summer’s here!

June’s Cookbook Love and Lemons was a huge success! I was torn yesterday because I was thrilled it was Canada Day, Happy 150, but I was so sad that Love and Lemons was coming to an end. I found so many “keepers” or “MA” (make again) recipes! The book is gorgeous to look through but I find just as many pretty pictures and recipes on her blog and instagram feed. So, if you don’t feel you can purchase another cookbook head over to instagram for sure.

Where to start…everything was exactly my taste and style of eats. I will give a special shout out to 3 of my favourites though. The Strawberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts P.41, the Millet Pilaf with Herbs & Grilled Asparagus P.25 and the Flatbread with White Bean Puree & Asparagus Ribbons P.23…

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Strawberry Salad is my new go-to this summer I think.

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The addition of the soft-boiled egg is a must.

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I feel like the white bean puree for some would sound gross but seriously give it a go!

This book is organised “ABC order” (as the kiddies would say) by vegetable/fruit. I appreciate the idea but it’s definitely not my preference. When I cook I usually have a type of meal in mind e.g. app, main, dessert etc. It becomes a real pain to have to search through every veg/fruit to find what you need. That being said this book is not hard on the eyes so it’s a bit of a pleasure to be forced to scroll through. With that theme in mind I’ll review the recipes in veg order…

Cardamom  Apple Crisp P.5, Yup! Yum! I’d use more cardamom I think but overall a nice light, not too sweet crisp and really who doesn’t love a crisp. Made this for John because he doesn’t get enough apple pie or crisp, his favs…

Apple Fennel Salad P.7 Amazing. I LOVE fennel shaved thin in a salad, enough said…

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I also love making salads so I can use my gorgeous salad bowl (Stinson Studios at One of a Kind. His bowls are the best ones!)

Apple Radish Slaw P.11 Ok, this could not have been easier, especially with my matchstick attachment on my V-slicer mandoline. This salad is proof that the simplest ingredients often make the best flavours…Ah, refreshing…

Raspberry Lemon Dutch BabyˆP.49 DANGEROUS, I almost at the whole thing myself. It’s like a puffy, airy, light, beaver tail! Squeeze on lemon and icing sugar and go. I can see doing other “beaver tail” inspired toppings like cinnamon sugar…

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Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Crunchy Red Cabbage P.83 I fell in love with a chickpea salad sandwich (basically a faux tuna salad) from Oh, She Glows’ first book. This rendition is as delightful. I love the cabbage topping and caper additions too. I’ll be making this many times this summer for sure!…

Vegan Carrot Waffles P.87 Nothing vegan scary about these waffles. The got the kid stamp of approval too…I thought they’d be a bit heavy but I was wrong. The flavour was subtle…

Carrot Gazpacho with Lemongrass P.89 I was nervous of this recipe. I wasn’t sure if we were going to like it but we had so many carrots to use I needed to try. Turns out it was oddly refreshing. I would recommend small portions though. The sherry vinegar really added a depth of flavour and I think it would be lacking if you chose to omit. It was fab to just whip it up in the Blendtec…It got paired with the Spicy Cornbread P.125 and yes that was a bizarre combo that I wouldn’t recommend! I would also suggest using a fine cornmeal. I used a medium ground and I found them a bit too grainy once cooked…

Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup P.101 This turned out well. Nice and creamy because of the cashews. The roasted cauli on top is a must…Worth trying…

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Near the end of this month I kept forgetting to take nice pics!

Eggplant & Mushroom “Meatballs” P.141 If you don’t eat meat like us then you will love these veg balls. They are worth the effort! I made it with the Simple Fresh Tomato Sauce P.251 which I don’t think was worth the effort to roast the tomatoes. In the health food section of Zehrs they carry a can of roasted diced tomatoes and they will do the trick just fine!…

Cashew & Caper Dill Spread P. 161 with Quick Pickled Onions P. 187  I’ve decided to always have quick pickled onions in the fridge, so easy and go with just about everything! This spread was a tasty, creamy vegan dip. Served it with Ciabatta but crackers and veg would be equally yum…

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If you don’t read ahead and blend the capers and dill in with the other ingredients you get a nice green version, oops!

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Quinoa Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions P. 183/187 and Mango-Basil Salsa P.281 I served this to friends and it went down a treat. Such a nice alternative to a simple veg fajita. I highly recommend this dish with all the extras. It was totally worth the effort. Make extra salsa because you could eat it on its own!…

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Roasted Red Pepper & Carrot Soup P. 203 Made this as part of friend’s birthday lunch with the Heirloom Tomato Panzanella with Fresh Oregano P.249 and the Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins P.269. I could have done without the soup but I think others liked it. It was a bit bland for me and was just ok “ish”. The Panzanella turned out a bit dry. I probably used too much bread. The oregano was a nice add though. The zucchini muffins saved the meal. They were moist and tasty and a must try if you like that kind of thing…

Grilled Pepper & Quinoa Taco Salad P.209 I’m not sure the grilling of the peppers was totally necessary but it was fun to make in my grill pan as we don’t have a gas stove. I also just bought ready made tortilla salad topper…It was totally tasty, especially with the Spiced Chili-Spiced Yogurt P.287

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Good one for company!

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos P.219 HELLO! These were gorgeous. The mango and avocado work so well together. I recommend extra cheese 🙂 The sweet potatoes shrink to like 1/2 their size so don’t stress if it looks too much on the pan initially…

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas P. 259 YES! Such goodness. You could totally make this ahead of time for company. Worth the effort. It was rich and “meaty” with a bit of spice from the adobo sauce. I used extra chipoltes for more spice…Get pre-diced squash at the grocery store if you are short on time…it even made enough for a second dinner the next night…

I think that’s all she wrote for Love and Lemons. I tried some of the smoothy combos at the end of the book that were nice too. The peach, ginger and lime combo was delightful. Overall, get yourself over to the Love and Lemon blog and start cooking! So glad I chose this for June.

I’m super pumped for July…The Green Kitchen! I chose their first book. They have a new one out now that I can’t wait to purchase! They also have an amazing app that may be more up your alley…I’ve tried a few things from the book in the past couple of years but am yearning for more healthy goodness. There are some ingredients that will be hard to find in Canada (they are Swedish and Danish) e.g. Nettle leaves and juniper berries, good luck here! I’m away in England for 2 weeks this month but other than that have time to make some of the longer recipes in Green Kitchen and I can’t wait…Check out their website here.

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May is A Modern Way To Eat

May is over and that means 4 more weeks of school, I mean time for another cookbook! I love, love, love a modern way to eat by Anna Jones. I wanted to eat every recipe. It’s just how we like to eat. Lots of fresh ingredients and different flavours. Not too crazy though, real, everyday eating. Not to mention the simple white theme for the cover and pics, love the style. I will definitely be using this book again and recommend it to buy if you need a new cookbook treat.

Breakfast: We tried the…

  • Overnight Bircher with Peaches (we used strawberries)
  • Morning Smoothies (Go To Green, Avocado and Toasted Coconut and the Sesame Date
  • Lemon Maple Granola
  • Huevos Rancheros (Super yum and could eat for any meal
  • Banana, Blueberry and Pecan Pancakes (Cooking these was a disaster. It was basically fried oatmeal. Tasty though!)
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The Sesame Date Smoothie was the perfect combo. I’m adding tahini to all my smoothies these days! Ugh, that counter top needs to go soon!

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Eggs steaming for the Huevos Rancheros

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Mmmmmm a Mexican morning feast

Dinner:

  • Maple Peanut California Wrap (Tempeh is not my fav but the marinade was good and all the other ingredients helped to mask/complement the flavour of the tempeh)
  • Chickpea and Preserved Lemon Stew (This was a huge hit! Will make again for sure)
  • Sweet Tomato and Black Bean Tortilla Bowls (Can’t decide if I liked this or the preserved lemon stew the best, love a preserved lemon)
  • Lemony Lentil and Crispy Kale Soup
  • Caramelised Leek and New Potato Salad
  • Spiced Carrot and Cashew Salad With Fresh Coconut and Coriander (This looked VERY impressive)
  • Lemon-Roasted Feta with Traffic-Light Tomatoes (If you like feta, and who doesn’t, then you have to try this)
  • Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad
  • Dhal With Crispy Sweet Potato and Quick Coconut Chutney
  • Proper Chilli
  • Any Night of the Week Pizza (with a cauliflower crust)
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      Preserved Lemon stew. I used store bought preserved lemons.

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      The Lemon stew was topped with arugula, pine nuts and saffron yogurt. The yogurt was a must, so simple to whip up, if you have saffron laying around.

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      One of my favs, tomato and black bean soup/stew. Fresh and tasty.

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      Roasted carrot salad was a dinner party delight! It looked really Ottolenghi worthy 🙂

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      Roasted Feta salad, the mint was a lovely addition rather than the more traditional basil.

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      Hello tasty Dahl! Who can resist a roasted sweet potato topper.

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      Sorry, horrible picture but I love me a vinaigrette potato salad. The radishes and celery gave a nice crunch.

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      Worth the cutting Thai Slaw. Could not have tasted more fresh.

Sweet Endings: there were actually a ton of dessert recipes I wanted to make but it’s almost bathing suit time everyone, what’s that…only 4 more weeks of school, that’s right! I’m dying to try Cardamom and Carrot Cakes with Maple Icing, but they will have to wait a bit…we did try…

  • Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp (great little crisp recipe, the lemon and orange zest is a must)
  • Salted Caramel Crack Brownies (Yes, the name is justified, so good)
  • Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Blondies (Wasn’t impressed, really, too cakey for me)
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These really were probably the best brownies I’ve ever made. You make your own caramel and then once it’s hardened you crack it on top and then bake. As it cooks the caramel oozes in.

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Strawberry and Rhubarb crisp. Really nice with the almond flour.

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Blondies. Not my fav but some liked the cakiness.

So, if you’ve been following along with my New Year’s challenge to pick one of my cookbooks a month to cook from then you will be wondering what’s next…

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I’ve been saving this baby for closer to the summer when we can get more fresh produce. June…close enough I’ll say. Every recipe in this book looks like it uses simple, fresh ingredients which are usually the best recipes. I need to start flagging meals…