Vegan & Gluten-free Recipe from Love & Lemons Every Day

What's life without love, lemons and good health!

Jeanine Donofrio's new cookbook LOVE & LEMONS EVERY DAY is filled with the best plant-based recipes that will get your whole family on board to a healthy lifestyle. 

There's no secret ingredient, but there are recipes that just may help convert those hard-to-please skeptics. 

Want to try a few recipes? Here's one that's sure to win a lot of hearts: 

Cauliflower Steaks with Lemon Salsa Verde

I hate waste, and this recipe uses the cauliflower from florets to the core. The "steaks" are cut from the middle section, where the core holds the slabs together. The remaining florets are used to make a creamy puree. It's a warm, hearty vegan & gluten-free dish that gets a pop from the bright preserved lemon salsa verde on top. 

1 medium cauliflower tender leaves included
2 garlic cloves 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more from drizzling 
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water; plus more as needed
Lemon zest, for garnish (optional) 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon Salsa Verde

3 tablespoons diced Preserved Lemons (recipe in book)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or basil
2 teaspoons capers 
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and/or 1 tiny red chile pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Remove the coarse outer leaves of the cauliflower, then slice 4 (1-inch-thick) "steaks" from the middle of the cauliflower, keeping the core intact. This helps hold the steaks together. 
Place the steaks on the baking sheet, drizzle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the core is fork-tender. 

Break the remainder of the cauliflower into florets (about 2 cups) and bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and the garlic cloves and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fork-tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the florets and the garlic to a high-speed blender. Let cool slightly, and then add the 2 tablespoons olive oil, miso paste, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water. Puree the mixture, using the blender baton to keep the blade moving or pausing to stir as necessary. If needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water to create a smooth puree. Season to taste.

Make the lemon salsa verde: In a medium bowl, combine the preserved lemons, parsley, capers, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, and pinches of salt and pepper. Stir in the olive oil. 

Assemble each plate with a scoop of the cauliflower puree and a cauliflower steak. Top with the lemon salsa verde and garnish with the lemon zest, if desired. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, and serve.


You can't go anywhere these days and not be bombarded by advertising about plant-based foods. Most big chain grocery stores have vegan sections.
Even fast-food restaurants are introducing vegetarian and vegan food choices, like A&W's Beyond Meat Burger

This plant-based food trend has also reached some fine-dining establishments like Chef David Lee's Nota Bene. Lee opted to shut down the successful restaurant, and rebrand into a new incarnation: Planta Queen.

It's clear that people's love for plant-forward recipes is gaining momentum, and this fad will soon become a fact of life with ever growing focus on the (lack of) sustainability and carbon footprints from the traditional food industry. Plant-based meals are here to stay, and why not? In addition to planet Earth's ecology, who doesn't want to indulge in healthy eating these days? 

Personally, I've been dipping my finger into a bit of vegan recipes thanks to encouragement from some of my millennial colleagues (you can read all about it in my next post). From avocado toast, to humus, millennials are indeed changing the way we think and interact with food. In fact, a recent report by Forbes magazine indicates that millennials just might be the driving force behind the global vegan movement.

So, if you are someone who is interested in having fun plant-forward food at home, look no further than Jeanine Donofrio's new cookbook LOVE & LEMONS EVERY DAY. 

You'll remember Jeanine Donofrio from her famous Mediterranean flavoured plant-based dips, that boast simplicity, without compromising sophistication. I've never come across a cookbook that I go to back and back again for tried-and-true recipes, like one of my faves, Grapefruit, Quinoa & Fennel Salad with mint

I've loved Jeanine's easy simple recipes right from the moment I tried them for myself at an event hosted by Chapters Indigo a few years ago. It's not hard to see why her recipes are an instant hit. 

So what can we expect in LOVE & LEMONS EVERY DAY? A lot of different combinations of meals...some that will be variations of your favourite comfort foods, and others that will inspire you to try something new.

Love lasagna? Sure you do! Who doesn't? But consider this: lasagna in a soup. Seems an impossible feat, but Jeanine Donofrio has found a way to do just that. After all, sometimes, you just don't feel like going through the effort of making lasagna, but wouldn't mind the hearty flavours of this comfort food. 

The great thing about cookbook recipes is that you are introduced to new flavours of the world, without having to leave your kitchen (except for the grocery store to pick up the ingredients, of course!). I didn't know what muhammara was until I saw a recipe for Beet Muhammara Dip. For those who didn't know either, it's a spiced Middle Eastern red pepper walnut dip, which has hint of fragrant coriander and bold flavours to boot. 

Of course, it's not just about the recipes. There's also a learning component associated with LOVE & LEMONS EVERY DAY. For example, there's a section called "Wait - What About Protein?" Here Jeanine tells us about the different plant-based proteins that you can use in preparing a balanced meal for your family. 

What do you do with your broccoli stalks, carrot tops and cauliflower cores? Jeanine Donofrio's attitude is much like mine "Waste not, want not", and so she shares some of her favourite ways to use "scrap parts".

If the title of Jeanine Donofrio's cookbook didn't give it away, you should know that all the recipes have that dash of lemon in them. It makes every dish approachable and delectable --and from a health perspective, adding lemon helps reduce the need for salt (sodium) without sacrificing flavour.

It goes without saying, but important to repeat, that none of Jeanine Donofrio's recipes are complicated. In LOVE & LEMONS EVERY DAY, each recipe also comes with a helpful everyday tip, like how a particular recipe can be made quicker (quinoa!), or which salads make great next-day desk lunches (the peach and pole bean salad, and soba salad!). 

A great cookbook to pick up for your summer entertainment. 


Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who is a self-confessed foodie and believes the great tasting food is essential to daily happiness. Love & Lemons Every Day by Jeanine Donofrio is published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random HouseCopy provided by Penguin Random House Canada.

Review by @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)


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