Despite the celebration-worthy proliferation of vegan and plant-based blogs, nothing can replace the beauty of a stellar cookbook. I love looking through an entire collection of recipes to get a feel for the chef’s distinct aesthetic. Vegan and plant-based cookbooks never fail to inspire in me a renewed love for produce and the culinary joys it yields. The following are five of my favorite vegan/plant-based cookbooks of late. Here, you’ll find a range of raw and healthy-driven recipes as well as hearty, deeply comforting dishes perfect for a romantic meal—plus some fantastic cooking advice!
5 Vegan Cookbooks to Fuel Your Inner Foodie
This cookbook is perfect for the person who wants to eat delicious, whole-food recipes with minimal prep and fairly basic (affordable!) ingredients. Some recipes are raw while others a cooked (often steamed or baked—in the case of potatoes). The recipes can be tweaked depending on what you’ve got in your pantry or fridge. In other words, there’s plenty of room to hone your culinary intuition.
My favorite recipe: Fully Loaded Yams with Black Beans, Sesame Miso Gravy, Green Onions, and Purple Cabbage.
2. Thrive Energy Cookbook: 150 Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes by Brendan Brazier
Designed with athletes and fitness enthusiasts in mind, Brazier’s Thrive codes recipes (raw, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, protein-rich, and transition) to help followers of Brazier’s nutrition plan easily locate the type of recipes they need at a given time. Whether or not you’re an athlete, these recipes are crafted to help you make the most of your energy in your food–while still thoroughly enjoying your meal.
My Favorite Recipe: Yellow Peanut Curry Rice Bowl
This book is a recent favorite in my family. First, I bought it for my mother, an Italio-phile, and a year later, an aunt gifted a copy to me—and we’re so glad to have enough copies to go around! If you ever need to whip up a truly special vegan dish for your veg-skeptical friends, consult this book. Full of creative takes on Italian classics, these recipes hit the spot when you just *need* carbs but you want to stick to minimally processed, home-cooked foods.
My favorite recipe: Lemon Thyme Cupcakes
This book is lovely for anyone new to juicing and making smoothies. The recipes are simple and health-focused—so you’re less likely to run into juices with too much fruit sugar, for example. Carr answers several FAQs about juicing for health and offers tips for overcoming common juicing and blending conundrums. What to do with all that pulp? What if my smoothie is too “green”? Plus, Carr offers a healthy way to do a cleanse (note: it doesn’t involve fasting!).
My favorite recipe: Crimson dawn—a juice with carrots, beet, and bell pepper.
Okay, technically this isn’t a cookbook. Nor is it strictly vegan. But this is a staple for any plant-based chef. This 500+ page tome is organized alphabetically by produce name. Produce is classified by season, flavor, volume (e.g. quiet, moderate, or loud), nutritional info, techniques (boil, roast, etc.), cooking time, possible substitutes, and finally, all of the other foods and spices it combines with plus combination suggestions. It’s deliciously pleasurable for the organization-obsessed among us (including yours truly).
What are your favorite vegan or plant-based cookbooks?
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Photos: Neha Deshmukh via Unsplash, This Rawsome Vegan Life, Vega, Chef Chloe, Amazon, Karen and Drew