My Cookbook Recommendations​

Love and Lemons Cookbook

My Cookbook Recommendations​

D'Ana Joi, who goes by her middle name “Joi,” is a multi-passionate, educator, community builder, and content creator. She believes having many passions is a gift, not a burden and she’s on a mission to rewrite the narrative around “choosing one thing” being the only path to success. Through her e-book, courses, and upcoming podcast, Joi teaches creatives how to make friends with focus, overcome overwhelm, and step into their Multi-Passionate Mastery. 

Meet the Author

I can often be found lounging on the couch with a drink in one hand and an open cookbook in the other, reading the recipes cover to cover like articles in a magazine. This page offers a quick reference guide for a few of my favorites. I’ve put the cookbooks in various categories so that you may easily find what you’re looking for. Links to purchase all books are found throughout as well as at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

*The links in this post are affiliate links, if you click through and make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you, but I receive a small percentage which helps keep things going here on the blog. Thank you for your support.

 Go-To/Easy Peasy/ Basic Recipes:

The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld

The Can't Cook Book

This is a great book for all of the beginner cooks out there, and a great book for staple recipes in general. I love the “How-To” pages in the beginning of the book which provide easy to follow instructions for how to chop, slice, peel, etc. With sections for breakfast, poultry, beef, fish, veggies, deserts, and “quickies,” this is truly a book for every home cook. Try her “Minty Snap Peas” as a no-fail pot luck side.

Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger

Clean Eats

This is my go-to when I’m focused on eating clean (which is always). If you have dietary restrictions or goals, this is a great book to have in your collection for building clean meals. All the recipes I have tried have bold flavors and are easy to prepare. Usually I shy away from cook books that don’t have photos of most the recipes, but I’m glad I didn’t let that deter me from this book. Make the “vegetable frittata” on Monday and enjoy a hearty breakfast all week long. Getting ready for Taco Tuesday? Whip up the “shredded chicken” recipe in only 20 minutes and you’re good to go. There is also a wealth of nutritional information throughout the book to help you stay on track with eating clean.

It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook by Gwynethth Paltrow & Thea Baumann

It's All Easy

So, you want to have elegant-yet-simple weeknight/last minute dinner party recipes at your fingertips? This is the book for you. From delicious beverages to how to make pizza crust with chickpea flour (in under 5 minutes!), this book really does have it all. I’m in love with the matcha latte drink and the “Black bean Soup” is a Meatless Monday victory every single time. When Worldly Wednesday rolls around, try out the “Singapore Rice Noodles.” Also,  If you’re like me and enjoy glossy pages with tons of lush images, this book will win you by looks alone.

Veggie based/Vegan Friendly/Meatless Mondays Galore

The Love & Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews

Love & Lemons

I cannot say enough good things about this book. Based on their blog, this gorgeous vegetarian cook book is organized alphabetically by the vegetable, which makes it super easy to choose a recipe around the produce you already have in your fridge, or something new you’ve been wanting to try. Many of the recipes are naturally vegan and gluten-free or can easily be made vegan by swapping out ingredients. The “Coconut Rice with Brussels Sprouts,” is a full Meatless Monday meal waiting to happen. Craving a hearty soup? Try the “Roasted Red Pepper & Carrot Soup.” My personal favorite is the “Sweet Chili Charred Broccolini.”  There are also a slew of quick bites perfect for serving at your next party. Just when you think this book can’t get any better, you’ll reach the last section which is a reference for variations of pesto, guac, salsa, and more. Highly recommend this book!

Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook  by Michelle Davis and Matt Halloway

Thug Kitchen

If you’re vegan and have a sense of humor (and like delicious food), this is the book for you. I first picked up this raunchy-vegan-bible because the title jumped out at me, and um, cauliflower tacos? Yes please. However, I didn’t realize the book was vegan until I was half-way through oohing and ahhing at the recipes. That is how delicious this food is, the vegan part is an afterthought. Healthy, thoughtful, eating is at the forefront. I will admit that many of the recipes have long ingredient lists, take heart, the cooking instructions are almost too straight forward. There is a lot of cursing and making sure you know what the f*ck you’re doing. Imagine having a potty-mouthed friend teaching you how to make “Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Dressing,” or “Sweet Potato, Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas.” That’s what this book is, your new vegan bestie.

Kid-Friendly Faves

Time for Dinner by Pilar Guzman, Jenny Rosenstrach, and Alanna Stang

Time for Dinner

I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, this book will be in my corner cheering me on as I prepare meals the midst of motherhood mayhem. With sections such as “Babysitter in a Box,” with ideas for how to keep your little ones busy while you cook, and “Picky-eater emergency kit,” this is more than just a book with kid-friendly recipes—it’s a reminder of how to be creative and keep healthy food in your home, even when you have tiny mouths to feed. “Ice-cube tray Sushi”, “Juice box Salmon” and “Please everyone Pizzas” are just a few of the recipes your entire family is sure to love.

It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turseman

It's All Good

Another GP  book going up here. This entire book is lovely, and it has a “Kid-Friendly” section that I cooked from very often back in my nanny days.  Paltrow offers a few helpful hints at the beginning of the section, such as creating “mini” versions of foods to spark a child’s interest, and keeping flavors simple. Kiddos go ga-ga for the sweetness of the “Japanese Meat Balls,” and you might just be able to get them to try kale if you follow the recipe for “Fried rice with kale.” P.S. Adults love these recipes as well!

Detox Friendly

Naturally, Delicious by Danny Seo


First of all, how gorgeous is this book cover?! The recipes inside are just as stunning. Inspired by his magazine publication, Danny Seo takes great care to present food that heals, naturally (and taste amazing). My favorite recipe so far is the “Matcha Chicken Noodle Soup,” and I can’t wait to try the “Summer Slow Cooker Low n’ Slow Seafood Boil” out for one pot Thursday. Bonus: This book has recipes for bone broth, juices, and loose leaf tea combos. Double bonus: There are many more pages full of food inspired art laced throughout the book. Naturally, gorgeous.

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson

FullSizeRender (7)

I brought this book home from a visit to one of my favorite L.A. bookstores and it stayed by side for an entire week. I read it cover to cover, like a novel. When I need a little pick-me-up, I curl up on the couch with this book. Not exaggerating. Sarah Wilson is a pioneer for consuming less sugar, and consuming less in general. There are endless hacks in this book for using leftovers and scraps, such as her  “Leftovers Pesto” recipe and many more in the “Leftover Mishmases” section. She is responsible for my obsession with “Zmoothies,” green smoothies made with zucchini (!), and she also taught me how to ferment my own foods on my kitchen counter with confidence. The recipe for “Israeli Whole-baked Cauliflower,” completely wow-ed my dinner party guests (Worldly Wednesday, anyone?). I really could go on and on. Oh, did I mention that her recipes have little to no added sugar? You won’t notice. This book is a party, an honest to goodness celebration of food, and you’re invited.

A Vintage Classic

Land O Lakes Treasury of Country Recipes by Land O Lakes

FullSizeRender (5)

No cookbook collection is complete without a book that can add the knowledge and charm of a vintage classic. This Land O Lakes book from 1992 happens to be mine. However, this is less of a recommendation for this specific book, and more of an overall suggestion that you go to a used bookstore and discover a vintage cookbook of your own. This particular book has a wealth of information for how to choose, store, and carve poultry, as well as some delicious veggie recipes, such as “Lemon Chive Brussels Sprouts.” There is also an entire section on bread (because nobody was gluten free in the 90’s). For classics such as whole roasted chicken, these types of cookbooks are gold. The “Whole Roasted Chicken with Garden Vegetables,” is proof. Don’t let the outdated food photos turn you off, these oldie-but-goodie recipes deliver delicious flavors across generations. Which classic will you discover?

That’s it for my first list of cookbook suggestions! My second list will be coming soon. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend. Any purchases made through the links in this post help to keep my blog up and running, at no additional cost to you. 🙂

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10 Amazing Cookbooks

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*All cookbook vignettes were designed and photographed by me, and are from my personal collection. If you have a cookbook that you would like me to review, please email me. I will only review cookbooks that I actually enjoy and have full confidence recommending. Thank you.

10 Amazing Cookbooks
  1. This is such a helpful post! I really like the look of the Thug Kitchen book – I’m not vegan but I’d like to incorporate more plant based meals into my diet (my other half is a butcher so meat is normally the main event!). I should really get I Quit Sugar too… (she says whilst tucking into a bag of sweets…!!) Rx

  2. Hey Rosanna! Honestly I didn’t realize the Thug Kitchen book was vegan until after I brought it home! Haha I highly recommend it. I’m a “part time vegan,” everything in moderation right? 😁

  3. neeliev says:

    These books really make me want to start cooking right away. Especially curious about that Love Lemons one, thanks for sharing!

  4. So glad you found these recommendations helpful!

  5. C. says:

    I’m a mom, and I honestly didn’t know that child friendly cookbooks were a thing. I’m going to be checking that out. It’s always fun to find new cookbooks.

  6. Oh yes!! Definitely look into Time For Dinner. It’s like a treasure chest of kid friendly recipes! Glad my recommendations were helpful for you. 🙂

  7. farahzia says:

    Omg so many good recommendations!! I want to get one!

  8. Glad you enjoyed!! Let me know which one you get. 🙂

  9. My goodness, as if I didn’t have enough delicious inspiration to drool over already… I must say though, that’s a very good problem to have! I’ll have to investigate these all. I’m glad the public library here caters to such committed foodies, too!

  10. Hey Hannah! Oh yes, sounds like you share my deep deep love of Cookbooks haha. I love getting them from the library but the hard part is returning them!

  11. lnicoleorg says:

    I want every single one of these cookbooks. I love cookbooks and trying new recipes and who doesn’t enjoy “easy peasy” recipes? Love the flat photography also. Great shots.

  12. D'Ana Joi says:

    Hey Lacy,

    I do hope you’ll get one, or two, or three! I adore all of these and they are constantly in heavy rotation in my kitchen.

  13. D'Ana Joi says:

    And thank you re:photos. I had so much fun with this shoot! I’m gearing up for my second round of recommendations soon and can’t wait to set up more flatlays. 🙂

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