a very veggie cookbook guide

veggie cookbook gift guide / loveandlemons.com

Some last-minute gift ideas for the veggie lover in your life! (links below):

Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables
Vegetarian Everyday (by David & Luise of Green Kitchen Stories)
Vegetable Literacy *my favorite book of the year*
Bountiful (by Todd & Diane of White on Rice Couple)
Superfood Kitchen
Moosewood Restaurant Favorites
Pure Vegan
True Food
The Sprouted Kitchen (by Sara & Hugh of Sprouted Kitchen)
Super Natural Everyday (by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks)
Giada’s Feel Good Food

kitchen essentials gift guide

kitchen essentials gift guide / loveandlemons.com

While my earlier guide may have been my holiday wishlist, this is it’s more practical sister, the reality-list. These are the things I have in my own kitchen that I use pretty darn often. If you’re new to cooking, or know someone whose moving into their first home or apartment, this might be a good place to start: (links below)

1. Le Parfait Jars : my favorite jars for storing grains in the pantry. Air tight.

2. Whisks, set of 3 : because inevitably one is in the dishwasher.

3. Basic Colander : can’t go wrong with simple stainless.

4. Shun Chef’s Knife : you don’t need a knife set, just one good knife will do.

5. Bamboo Steamer : steam veggies, dumplings, etc. Fun & fry-free.

6. Julienne Peeler : gadget of the year? Makes easy veggie noodles.

7. Wooden Spoons : set of 3, because I know I will lose one.

8. Microplane Grater (or this kind) : grate cheese, garlic, lemon zest, etc.

9. Mini Food Processor : my most used appliance because it’s small & convenient

10. Le Creuset Dutch Oven, 3 1/2 quart, or 5 1/2 quart : soup’s on!

11. Boos Cutting Board : if you have a good knife, invest in a good board

12. Measuring Spoons : for those few times I actually measure (kidding).

13. Mini Prep Bowls : the more the merrier.

14. Mini Mandoline : I like this one because it’s easy to store and dishwasher safe.

15. Vitamix Blender : a must-have for the creamiest vegan soups & sauces.

16. Measuring Cups : a kitchen basic

17. Cast Iron Skillet, 8-inch or 12-inch : will last a lifetime

Happy shopping!

favorite cookbooks, by region

favorite cookbooks, by region / loveandlemons.com
It goes without saying that I collect a lot of cookbooks. Here are some of my favorites, organized by place:


Amalfi Coast Recipes
Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Lunch in Provence
Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple but Classic French Recipes
The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen

Leon: Ingredients & Recipes (also looking forward to: Fast Vegetarian)
River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes
Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch

Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art
Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan & Vegetarian Traditions
Japanese Farm Food

Korea & Southeast Asia:
Burma: Rivers of Flavor
The Kimchi Cookbook
Pok Pok: Food from the Streets, Homes & Roadside Restaurants of Thailand

Obviously not every place we love is represented here (hello, Spain?)… please feel free to fill in any blanks I might have missed and let me know some of your favorites!

This post contains affiliate links, any kick backs will most likely go directly back into feeding my obsessive cookbook habit.

moonshine sweet tea giveaway

moonshine sweet tea giveaway / loveandlemons.commoonshine sweet tea giveaway / loveandlemons.com

Today we’re giving away a sweet little taste of Texas: Moonshine Sweet Tea.

There are so many budding local food companies here in Austin… good people that are making great things with the best of the best ingredients. So when the folks at Moonshine Sweet Tea approached me, I was over the moon (bad pun, sorry), because this is exactly the kind of business I am excited to support… Family owned: check, locally made: check, good typography: check check.

The recipe has been passed down for 4 generations. It’s handmade in small batches using real organic tea leaves. The sweet tea is highly concentrated… mix just a splash of it with water and drink it cold or hot. I also love it mixed with vodka and a squeeze of lemon. (note: there’s no actual moonshine in the tea, it’s just a cute name).

If you live in Austin, head to Whole Foods on Lamar, Dec. 18th & 19th for a free taste.

The giveaway is now closed, thanks for all your comments! Special thanks to Moonshine Sweet Tea for sponsoring this post!

avocado & pomegranate crostini

avocado pomegranate crostini / @loveandlemons

‘Tis the season for sugary, buttery treats… but as you may know, I’m not big on butter. I’m also not particularly good at holiday traditions…

Maybe it’s the Austin influence, but I love anything with avocado. I made this glorified guacamole and I think the little pomegranate gems make it especially festive. Only thing missing in this picture is a merry Christmas margarita.

avocado pomegranate crostini / @loveandlemonsavocado pomegranate crostini / @loveandlemons

For a healthier version, this would be delicious on endive spears. For a less healthy (but gluten free) version, feel free to break out the tortilla chips.