My collection of cookbooks is always expanding. I love gathering inspiration from different people all around the world. With the change seasons why not change your up your routine and try some new dishes.
It’s usually at this time of year that I return to some of my trusty cookbooks for inspiration. I’ve put together a varied selection of some of my favorites. There’s a book for all types of cook, from the lazy cook to the home chef aiming to master vegan haute cuisine.
BOSH! The Cookbook: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants. by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby
If you haven’t heard of the BOSH! Boys yet, let me introduce you. These two charming British chaps have a talent for making tasty, easy, and all vegan comfort food. I love following their Instagram account for daily inspiration and new ideas of what to make for dinner. The BOSH! cookbook is a firm favorite in our household and is chock-full of comforting recipes.
Some of my favorite recipes from the book are ‘fish’ and chips made with tofu, a British classic I turn to when I’m missing the English seaside. Some other highlights include recipes for a rich and creamy lasagna, a tasty berry crumble and a creamy seaside pie. The dishes are beautifully photographed, with simple to find ingredients that are very easy to follow. BOSH! Is a true vegan gem to add to your cookbook collection.
Vegan JapanEasy by Tim Anderson
This is the newest addition to our blossoming vegan cookbook selection. I love the recipes in this book! It can be hard to find vegan Japanese recipes, so Tim Anderson has solved this problem by publishing an entire book of them. I find many of the recipes healthy and filling, which is what I look for in a meal! Tim includes a description of commonly used ingredients and sauces in Japanese cuisine and how to make your own. For example, how to make your own Tonkatsu sauce and vegan Japanese mayonnaise.
Some of my favorite recipes include: the curry ramen, the stir-fried cabbage and bean sprouts with ginger sauce, and the delicious vegan sushi recipes. I’d never attempted vegan sushi before, and this book made the whole process enjoyable and super easy. If you love Japanese food, then this book is a must for your kitchen.
Vegan – The Cookbook by Jean-Christian Jury
We affectionately refer to this book as ‘The Bible’ in our household as there are SO MANY vegan recipes (almost 500) in this vegan tome. Jean-Christian Jury includes recipes from all over the world and has conveniently veganized them for our cooking pleasure. The recipes are usually simple to follow without never-ending ingredient lists.
For each recipe he includes the country of origin or the country in which he first discovered the dish. This is a great book to own if you feel stuck and need some new inspiration. It includes healthy soups and salads as well as bigger dishes and desserts.
A few of the highlights for me are the peanut stew with cucumber sauce from Kenya, the tempeh and spinach stew from Pakistan and the wild mushroom and potato soup from Latvia.
The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones
Anna Jones writes beautiful vegetarian cookbooks with many vegan recipes included, and you can often veganize the veggie dishes. The Modern Cook’s Year is one of my favorite cookbooks to flick through to find foodie inspiration. The photography and styling are gorgeous; you can get a taste for it over on her wonderful Instagram account.
The Modern Cook’s Year is organized by the seasons, so a wonderful addition if you cook with seasonal produce. Jones also includes steps on how to brew your own kombucha and how to make delicious spring herbal tonics as well.
A couple of my top picks from this book are the nourishing almond satay bowl with tempeh, the Sri Lanka green bean and tomato curry and the spring stew of artichokes, peas and herbs. This book inspires me to become a better cook and I return to it again and again for motivation as the seasons change.
The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook by Sarah Kate Benjamin & Summer Singletary
The Kosmic Kitchen combines herbalism with delicious food. I had to have this book as I’m always looking for innovative ways to add more herbs to my diet. This book isn’t vegan, but a lot of the recipes are for herbal brews and you can veganize most of the food recipes. The book includes a wonderful introduction to Ayurveda and how to cook for your constitutional type. There’s a great section on ingredients needed to make your kitchen kosmic as well as a short introduction to the herbs used throughout. The book is organized by the seasons and helpfully includes nourishing rituals for each season as well.
The Kosmic Kitchen is a truly magical labor of love by two herbalists. I’ve tried many of the recipes and a few of my favorites include the roasted dandelion chai concentrate recipe, the miso immune soup with astragalus, burdock and shitake and the delicious Tom Kha Gai soup with lemon balm and rice noodles.
Bento Power by Sara Kiyo Popowa
If you are looking to create vibrant lunches by combining your art skills with your food skills, then this is the book for you. Sara makes the most beautiful bento bowls; I came across her Instagram a few years ago and was blown away. She makes lunch boxes an art-form. I still haven’t reached her level of mastery, but maybe one day!
Bento boxes hail from Japan and are often used for lunch boxes—to take to the office, school, or on a picnic. This book contains many inspiring and healthy ideas to make your own bento boxes at home, and the majority are vegan. You could buy this book just for the food photography alone! The recipes are perfect for warmer days and summer lunches.
My favorite bento boxes include the no-wrap summer roll bento with watermelon, the roast cabbage slaw bento, and the tofu scramble bento. There are also ideas for breakfast including granola and no-bake matcha brownies. The perfect book if you are need lunch inspiration this Spring.
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Photo: Respective publishers