EyeSwoon

the bite: Love & Lemons

By Natalie Goel

At EyeSwoon, we’re big believers in cooking with what’s in season. We’ll admit making bright, beautiful food can become a little more challenging in the colder months — but if there’s any food blog that manages to put a pep in our culinary step all year round, it might just be Love & Lemons.

We’ve long been fans of the Austin-based outlet’s healthy, in-season meals and fresh, light-soaked photos, and this year has been a particularly eventful one for Love & Lemons. In March 2016, site creator Jeanine Donofrio came out with The Love & Lemons Cookbook, and recently she was awarded her second Saveur blog award. Here Jeanine shares the recipe for her Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls and shares her kitchen habits, favorite local haunts and a bit about her past life as a graphic designer.

Love & Lemons Sweet Potato Bowls | EyeSwoon

NAME: Jeanine Donofrio

PROFESSION: Food blogger at Love & Lemons/influencer

PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD? I like to cook fresh, seasonal food using great local ingredients. Most often, my dishes are finished with a squeeze of lemon. I love food that is fresh and bright.

A LITTLE ABOUT THE RECIPE YOU’RE SHARING WITH US? These Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls are one of my go-to fall meals. They’re something I can easily throw together for lunch, but they also make for a healthy and filling dinner.

COOKING MAKES ME FEEL… Calm — I mean, unless something is burning in the oven!

THREE INGREDIENTS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT? Olive oil, lemons, salt.

ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOL? A good knife and my microplane zester. Although I’m really obsessed with my Vitamix blender as well.

Love & Lemons Sweet Potato Bowls | EyeSwoon

BRIEFLY, HOW YOU CAME TO DO WHAT YOU DO: Years ago, I was running my own graphic design business. The more stressful it became, the more I enjoyed the end of the day when I would come home and cook. There’s something very creatively satisfying to me about cooking because it hits all senses. Eventually, I realized that starting a blog meant that I could combine my visual art talents with my passion for food — and here we are.

TRIED-AND-TRUE ENTERTAINING TIP? Invite people who don’t know each other — everyone always leaves with a new connection.

MIDNIGHT SNACK? I’m not really a late-night eater, but I was testing some pumpkin waffles late last night and it reminded me of all of the midnight pancakes I used to eat in college 🙂

QUIRKY FOOD HABITS? This maybe isn’t too unusual, but I get stuck on a restaurant dish and I eat it over and over until I get sick of it. Recently, I’ve been on an every-day-poke-bowl kick, and now I’m obsessed with a salad with chickpeas and marinated carrots at a restaurant called Fresa’s that’s down the street from me.

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Jeanine Donofrio of Love & Lemons | Sweet Potato Bowls | EyeSwoon

BIGGEST SINGLE INFLUENCE ON YOUR COOKING STYLE? The farmers’ market.

I CAN NEVER RESIST… Chocolate chip cookies.

THE RECIPE OR MEAL YOU ARE KNOWN FOR? Big, bright, seasonal salads filled with seasonal produce, a grain like farro or quinoa, and lots of lemon juice, of course.

BEST SOURCE FOR FOOD AND RECIPE INSPIRATION? My CSA box and the farmers’ market. Whenever I get stuck and don’t know what to make, I look at what’s growing together right now. What grows together goes together, and that usually inspires an ingredient combo I might not have otherwise thought of.

THEY SAY YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT — WHAT ARE YOU? An avocado.

FAVORITE FOOD CITIES? Aside from Austin, of course, Kyoto, Barcelona and San Francisco.

GO-TO AUSTIN EATERIES? Lately, I’ve been frequenting Fresa’s on South 1st, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Josephine House, Launderette.

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Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls

Jeanine Donofrio

  • Ingredients

    • Serves 2 to 3
      ▪   1 medium sweet potato, cubed*
      ▪   extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
      ▪   1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
      ▪   1 cup cooked quinoa
      ▪   2 scallions, finely chopped
      ▪   1/4 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
      ▪   1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
      ▪   1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
      ▪   2 cups baby salad greens
      ▪   juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more to taste
      ▪   sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • The Prep

    • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

      2. Toss the roasted sweet potatoes with the chickpeas, quinoa, scallions, cabbage, feta, almonds, and salad greens. Drizzle with olive oil, the lemon juice, and pinches of salt and pepper, to taste. Toss and serve in bowls.

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