This recipe is like Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday rolled into one. I’ve got all your needs covered right here. And if you’re looking for a holiday gift for a friend who likes cooking (especially if they’re vegetarian), or if you’re looking to treat yo self, this recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks, the Love and Lemons Cookbook. Ah! I’m so excited to tell you guys about this one.
I wanted this book before it existed. I’ve always loved Jeanine’s blog of the same name (Love and Lemons), and I knew if she were to produce a cookbook it would blow me away. And of course she delivered. This book has rocketed right to the top of my list of favorite cookbooks. Let’s go over some reasons why:
1 – This book employs the idea of “backwards cooking,” where you take a look at the ingredients you already have or what’s in season and then decide what to make with them. So each chapter is separated by a vegetable or fruit (organized alphabetically), with various ways to cook with them. This is exactly how we approach cooking, especially during our CSA season. So right now I can look at my counter and see the bowls of sweet potatoes leftover from our CSA, turn to this book for ideas, and then make these tacos.
2 – All of the recipes are vegetarian, and many are vegan (although you could easily add meat if you wanted to, or swap out regular milk for almond milk, etc.). I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, but Robert and I often cook that way. We’re more of what you might call “flexitarians,” so we love to focus on meatless meals and then add bacon or chicken or something if we’re in the mood. More importantly, this book focuses on vegetables and fresh, seasonal ingredients, which means I’m more likely to turn to it when I’m trying to stay focused on healthy meals that keep me feeling great.
3 – These recipes are easy. There’s nothing too fussy here – That’s what I love about Jeanine’s recipes. She is a wizard when it comes to putting together seasonal ingredients with fresh, bold flavors and minimal effort. I would highly recommend this book for someone who is learning to cook or switching to a diet with less meat. It’s the kind of book I’d love to cook my way through, and I think that would be a fantastic idea for someone who’s just getting comfortable in the kitchen.
4 – I’ve made more recipes out of this cookbook than almost any other cookbook I own. That says a lot right there. In case you haven’t noticed, I have a ton of cookbooks. Some become more inspirational on my shelves or I’ll turn to them for reference, but only a few actually get messy on my counter at dinnertime on a regular basis. The fact that I’ve cooked out of this one so much means the recipes are approachable and fast, and the ingredients are ones I actually have on hand. I can flip through the book, find a recipe where I have most of the ingredients on hand, and then I can make the recipe or a decent adaptation of it. That’s extremely valuable to me.
5 – So as I mentioned, I’ve made a lot of the recipes from this book, and they are DELICIOUS. I read through my cookbooks in bed before falling asleep, and with this one I kept reading the recipe descriptions to Robert until he finally had to lovingly say, “Please shut up.” Eventually I would have to stop reading anyway because it was making me so hungry. So far we’ve made:
- Creamy Miso Brussels Sprouts Fettuccine (one of my all-time favs)
- These sweet potato tacos with the apple-radish slaw
- her chipotle crema (for different tacos)
- Coconut Rice with Brussels Sprouts
- a variation of her Strawberry Salad
- Spring Leek Soup with Pesto (omg so good)
- Carrot Ginger Sauce (for a grain bowl)
6 – Lastly, I want to draw attention to the design of this book. As a graphic designer and illustrator, part of what I’ve always loved about the Love and Lemons blog was the design. Jeanine has a wonderful eye, and her design sense reminds me of one of my favorite graphic design icons, Louise Fili. While emailing Jeanine I found out she shares my love for Louise, so that was not surprising. This book is just beautiful. Jeanine worked hand in hand with her designer to create a look that was cohesive with the blog. I love it. I already loved this book for the above reasons, but as a visual person this just sends it over the edge for me.
So have I convinced you? This book is so fantastic and it should be on every person’s wish list this holiday season.
Now onto these tacos – We loved this recipe because they’re tacos, obviously, but also because sweet potatoes, apples, radishes and avocados are ingredients we have on hand most of the time. And I’ll give you an example of how we took this recipe but adjusted it slightly for our lifestyle: She calls for roasting the potatoes with chili powder. We don’t do spicy stuff over here, but we do always have a batch of Billy’s taco seasoning on hand from his book Whip It Up. (We obviously don’t add the chili powder to our batch of it.) Having his taco seasoning on hand means we are never too far from tacos. You can turn almost anything into a taco filling by adding this stuff – sweet potatoes, chickpeas and corn, leftover chicken or pulled pork, black beans, etc. So when we tried this recipe we roasted our sweet potatoes with Billy’s taco seasoning and called it a day.
The more we make tacos at home, the more I realize that a good taco follows a pretty simple formula. You need something with taco seasoning or something similarly complex and savory (here we’re using sweet potatoes), something crunchy and zippy (like this apple-radish slaw), and something creamy (like avocado, cheese or crema, etc.) These tacos have all the elements and they have that sweet/savory/tart combo that makes for a well-rounded flavor profile. I hope you love them as much as we do!
Oh and by the way, I just celebrated three years of blogging in mid-November. Three years! Time flies … I’ve had such a blast doing this blog and connecting with all of you over our shared love for food. I’m excited for next year and the things I have planned as well. Thanks so much for sticking with me throughout this journey; I truly appreciate all of you. If there’s anything specific you’d like to see on here, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
To celebrate my three years of blogging and my love for this incredible book, I’m hosting a giveaway! You can use the rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win a copy of this beautiful book. The giveaway is limited to US residents only and will end on Sunday, December 11th at midnight EST.
Illustration at top created with pen and Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations (as well as other products with my work on them) are available in my Society6 shop.
- 1 apple, sliced into matchsticks
- 8-10 small radishes, sliced into matchsticks
- 4 scallions, chopped small
- juice of one lime
- ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup choppped cilantro (optional - we leave this out because we're cilantro-haters here ... sorry!)
- pinch of salt and ground pepper
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Billy's taco seasoning
- apple-radish slaw (see above)
- 1 avocado, diced
- feta cheese (optional)
- lime wedges for serving
- In a medium bowl, combine the apple, radishes, scallions, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro (if using), salt and pepper. Toss everything to coat. Chill for 30 minutes, and then season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Toss everything together to coat. Roast for about 20 min until cooked through and browned in spots, stirring every 7-10 min.
- Warm a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Warm your tortillas in it, one at a time, for about 20 seconds on each side. You want them to get some char marks. Place the warm tortillas on a plate covered with a cloth napkin.
- To assemble the tacos, place some sweet potatoes, apple-radish slaw, avocados and feta cheese in each tortilla. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top, if desired. Enjoy!
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