One of the major roadblocks I hear from folks considering going vegan or vegetarian is that they don’t know how to cook a meal without animal products. This makes total sense, if a meal to you is centered around the protein on your plate, and most of us grew up feeling like that was what a meal looked like. I’m a firm believer that a good vegetarian or vegan cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes: it inspires you to put together a different sort of meal and re-teaches you how to cook. These are the veggie cookbooks that my kitchen would feel empty without:
Molly Katzen is the owner of the Moosewood restaurant in New York and one of my cooking heroes. The Moosewood Cookbook was one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I ever owned, and I really learned a lot about how to cook vegetarian food from this one. She has a very flexible recipe style that encourages you to experiment, substitute, and learn.
I almost think of Veganomicon as the Joy of Cooking for vegans. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is another one of my cooking heroes, and I’ve never made a recipe from this book that didn’t turn out deliciously. She features beautiful photos of the dishes and talks about food in a way that makes you excited to get cooking.
Whether you have kids or not, Vegan Lunchbox is a must for any vegan cooking library. Jennifer McCann wrote the book to chronicle her journey packing vegan lunches for her son, but these meals are a delight at any age. She focused on creating lunches that are not only tasty and nutritious but ones that would help her son fit in in a lunchroom full of more conventional brown bag lunches.
Vegan food isn’t all about savory dishes, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is proof of that. This is another book from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and it’s my go-to any time I need to whip up a treat for a special occasion. It features a wide range of recipes, from your basic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes to flavors like matcha green tea with almond and Boston cream pie.
Giving up cheese is one of the hardest parts for many folks that go vegan, and this book is definitely a must have for cheese lovers. The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook is full of cheesy recipes with none of the animal cruelty of the dairy variety and none of the mystery ingredients found in some store-bought vegan cheeses.
Do you guys have any favorite vegetarian and vegan cookbooks? I’d love to hear what’s on the shelf in your kitchen!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jessi-girl
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