Five years ago, I admittedly had no idea what vegetarians ate or how they met their nutritional needs. When I met my boyfriend, he had been a vegetarian for over 13 years, so I immediately began my inquisition. What do you eat? Where do you get your protein? Do you feel satisfied after plant-based meals?
I downloaded recipes, purchased cookbooks, and examined store aisles to figure out which foods might appease both a long-time vegetarian and a skeptical carnivore. I soon began testing the new recipes. From green curry tofu to sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, I quickly discovered how filling and delicious the meat-free dishes actually were.
Though I still eat wild-caught fish and pasture-raised eggs on occasion, I’ve gone months at a time without consuming animal products. The biggest reason I’ve been able to accomplish this is because committed chefs have taken the guesswork out of new recipes, sharing their favorite discoveries online and in published cookbooks.
Here are my five most well-loved vegan cookbooks–the ones with worn binding, food splattered pages, and modification notes in the margins.
Best of the best vegan cookbooks
1. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out (link): My very first vegan cookbook, this one offers familiar ingredients combined in innovative new ways to resemble other familiar dishes (think vegan burgers, street tacos, and pad thai). This may still be my all-time favorite.
2. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (link): This bad-ass, user-friendly guide is filled with curse words and an introduction to vegan ingredients and procedures. The cookbook has tons of sideways comments and is a fun read that leads to some great meals. The black bean and sweet potato enchiladas are always a hit.
3. Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (link): I love South Indian cuisine, so was thrilled to try out some of my favorite dishes at home. From dosas and fritters to curries and dals, this cookbook provides straight-forward recipes filled with lots of flavorful spices.
4. The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods (link): This simple, minimalist cookbook contains countless recipes that are easy-to-assemble and aesthetically-pleasing, making them perfect for entertaining. The delicious drinks, appetizers, and deserts are sorted by color, which adds an odd charm.
5. Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi (link): This cookbook is filled with gourmet recipes that will wow vegetarians and carnivores alike. The dishes are delicious and easy to make, yet also offer a gorgeous and visually-intriguing presentation.
Have you ever experimented with vegetarianism or veganism, or have you been living a plant based-diet for many years? If so, do you have any favorite cookbooks, recipes, or realizations on your journey?
NOTE: The above are NOT affiliate links and are simply provided so you can explore the overview and reviews of some of my favorite vegan cookbooks. Enjoy!