My Top 10 Vegan Cookbooks
There are so many amazing vegan cookbooks out there. Your shelves are probably already so jammed with unturned pages of recipes that every time you read about a new one your mind just wanders back to that unloved shelf. I wish I could say I felt the same way, or maybe I don’t, but I just consider myself “a collector” and get on with it. Note: If you have too much of anything, call it a collection and you’re fine. “Yes, I know I purchased flour at the store despite there being six bags in the pantry, but I couldn’t remember if we were out or not.” “This is my flour collection. One bag dates all the way back to circa 2007.” But if you’re already a collector of too many things to get away with that little trick, here’s a list of the top 10, favorite, must-have vegan cookbooks in my collection:
Vegan Vittles is absolutely amazing. Every recipe I’ve made from it has been pure gold, not to mention it contains the best vegan pot roast recipe ever created. It has a little bit of everything, from breakfasts to soups, spreads, and casseroles and beyond. I find this book extremely pantry friendly, and never find myself on a treasure hunt for rare ingredients when I’m cooking from here. The recipes share their pages with touching stories from Farm Sanctuary and common animal saying veganized. Perfect reading for while you’re waiting for that pot to boil or onions to caramelize!
Vegan on the Cheap is simply a staple in my weekly meal planning. It’s a cookbook that has the pocketbook in mind. Does white truffle oil taste amazing? Absolutely! Would a gallon of it cost more than the value of my car? Definitely! Not that I’d buy truffle oil by the gallon, but you understand what I’m saying. This cookbook keeps cost in mind and yet doesn’t sacrifice one bit of flavor. Case in point, the Smoky Southwest Sweet Potato Sheperd’s Pie. This is another book that covers a little bit of everything, and I haven’t been sent on any wild ingredient chases here either.
I’m not a morning person at all, but I love breakfast foods. Go figure. Enter Vegan Brunch. It’s filled with breakfast goodness, scrambles, frittatas, waffles, pancakes, muffins, vegan sausages, home fries… You get it. It’s all the morning goodness I crave, but in a better time slot. If you’ve ever given the jealousy-fueled evil eye to an IHOP while driving by, this book is for you. Take that IHOP and your stupid bowl of fruit. And may I recommend the Tofu Benny?
I love the way this book feels in my hands- the smoothness of the cover, the thickness of the pages… Okay, I’m a nerd. Did I mention Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan has an entire section of hummus?! And, as far as I’m concerned, it holds the record for containing the best veggie burger recipe in existence. The recipes in this book are simple, yet beyond ordinary, mostly a single page, and both the instructions and the ingredients are clear and concise. Because, really, does that 1/72 teaspoon of cardamom really even make a difference in the flavor or is it just there because cardamom is a cool word? Cardamom is a cool word, though.
I was at the book store helping a friend pick out non-food-related books, when I happened by a display with a copy of Vegan Yum Yum. I’d never noticed it on the shelves before, and I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, but the photos drew me in and I ended up making the purchase. As much as we all want to pretend we don’t buy a cookbook because it’s filled with gorgeous photos, I bought the cookbook because it was filled with gorgeous photos. For some reason, the book itself looks like it’s taken a major beating, pieces of the cover are chipping off, despite my usual tender care, but aside from that, I come back to the Red and White Cauliflower Bake and the Sweet and Sour Almond Broccoli Tofu again and again.
I think everyone, or maybe it’s just me, wants to have a few recipes around that are about more than just being tasty; they’re meant to impress. For me, The Sublime Restaurant Cookbook is where I find those recipes that have just a little something extra, like the lovely little watercress salad atop the Grilled Seitan Steaks. The recipes I’ve made from this cookbook have been a little more time consuming, and there have been some pricier ingredients, but if I’m looking for a few entertaining ideas to turn my dining room table into a gourmet vegan restaurant, this is where I look.
What does nearly every vegan say gave them reservations about going vegan? Giving up cheese! And here we have an entire cookbook dedicated to giving vegans that cheesy goodness they thought they were going to miss, without the cruelty? Quick, someone throw a copy of this baby in the veganism welcome baskets! Until The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, it had never occurred to me I could make my own nondairy cheese blocks, but now I’m a vegan cheese making superstar! I don’t know what’s not to love about a cookbook dedicated to vegan cheesy entrées, dips, spreads, sauces, and desserts.
It’s an entire book of cookie recipes, and amazing cookie recipes at that. I don’t know where I’d be without my copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, but I’m thinking it would be a really sad, cookie-less place. In fact, I love it so much, I have a life dream of making and photographing every single recipe in the book! I know, dream big, right? It’s hard to choose a favorite, but the Carrot Raisin Spice Chewies are out of this world. Especially around the holidays, this book is an absolute staple in any vegan baking enthusiast’s collection. I sleep with my copy.
If you have the cookie book, you really need this one too. I mean, they’re like themed salt and pepper shakers or sibling puppies; you just can’t split them up. With Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, you’ve got every family member’s birthday or random Tuesday night covered. There are all kinds of fun and yummy cupcakes, so you never get stuck in a cupcake rut… if there’s such a thing as a cupcake rut… If you want people to rethink everything they knew and loved about the plain white cupcake, make the Simple Vanilla and Agave Cupcakes. They’re life changing.
For every baked good under the sun, veganized, The Joy of Vegan Baking is your man… or woman… is your cookbook. This treat book contains classic recipes you know and love with easy to find ingredients and simple to follow directions. It’s is the kind of stuff you take to extended family gatherings, where everyone usually shuns your dish without even trying it, like it has some sort of giant scarlet V super glued to the side of the dish. No one will even know these desserts are vegan until the dish is cleared and you’re making certain every last person knows they were scarfing your vegan cobbler like it was the great cobbler shortage of ’10. And if someone else is already bringing the pumpkin pie, one-up them with the Pumpkin Cheesecake!
That was 10, but I just have one more thing to add…
An amazing sauce makes every dish better. An amazing no-cook sauce that takes literally under 5 minutes to prepare makes life better. I love you, The Saucy Vegetarian, for turning nothing but a pot of soba noodles and some vegetables into an actual meal.