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Best Vegetarian Cookbook

Have you been considering a transition to a more plant-based diet? Are you wondering how to make vegetables every day without becoming boring? If you are already vegetarian, are you looking for a few new recipes to shake things up a bit?

There is a wide variety of vegetarian cookbooks available online, and some are more useful than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and highly recommended vegetarian cookbooks available on the market today.

La Vida Verde: Plant-Based Mexican Cooking with Authentic Flavor

This cookbook by Jocelyn Ramirez can help make your vegan cooking fresh and colorful. The authentic, time-honored Mexican recipes are easy to follow and approachable, and include delicious offerings such as mushroom cocktail, jackfruit tacos, and chocolate bread pudding – yum!

Ramirez, the chef and founder of a catering company called Todo Verde, has transformed 60 traditional dishes she learned from her grandmother while growing up into wonderful plant-based meals you and your family are sure to love. The recipes make a few vegan substitutions that are simple, healthy, and affordable, and still taste authentic, spicy, and savory. Even die-hard meat eaters will love these recipes.

For people who grew up on Mexican food, or love that type of cuisine, but want to go vegan, this cookbook will make the transition so much easier. Many people, including those of Mexican descent, love this book for its authentic taste and simplicity in use.

Aside from the wonderful recipes, the book itself is a gem to look at. The photos are beautiful, the layout is intuitive, and the binding is top notch.

One drawback is the recipes rely heavily on jackfruit, and some users would have preferred other authentic Mexican plant-based alternatives and more creativity.

Pros

  • Written by Jocelyn Ramirez, a chef and founder of catering company Todo Verde
  • Includes authentic Mexican recipes that make vegan cooking more fresh and colorful
  • Transforms 60 authentic meals into wonderful plant-based alternatives
  • Incorporates vegan substitutions that are simple, healthy, spicy, and savory
  • Makes the transition to vegan cuisine much easier
  • Includes beautiful photos, with an intuitive and easy to follow layout

Cons

  • Recipes rely heavily on jackfruit

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The Moon Juice Cookbook: Cook Cosmically for Body, Beauty, and Consciousness

This thoughtful and well put-together cookbook opens the reader up to new techniques and ingredients in plant-based cuisine. The author, Amanda Chantal Bacon (yes, Bacon), has put a lot of her passion for healthy cooking into this book.

Bacon, the founder of a popular wellness boutique in L.A. called Moon Juice, helps people restore their health by offering nutritious and delicious vegan choices in her cookbook. She shares over 75 recipes for healing beverages, snacks, and sweets, harnessing the healing properties of herbs, raw foods, and alkalizing ingredients. Her recipes claim to deliver benefits like glowing skin, boosted immunity, and improved libido.

The book is very science-based and also very original, with stunning photos.

Keep in mind this is not an easy cookbook to follow. There are numerous ingredients like Kombu strips or colloidal silver that you might not even be able to find in Whole Foods. Granted, other ingredients such as chia seeds, milks, coconut, and nuts are readily available.

The book begins by describing the importance of consuming good fats, cultured and fermented foods, and eating organic. It describes foods that can detoxify, increase immunity, and decrease inflammation. It then provides recipes for juices, milks, shakes, lattes, broth bowls, yogurt, cheese, kefir, fermented veggies, snacks, baked goods, and other meals. It is a bit like a mad chemistry book for the adventurous cook, and describes how to make potions that sooth and heal.

Pros

  • Offers over 75 recipes for healing beverages, snacks, yogurt, cheese, and sweets
  • Recipes deliver benefits like glowing skin, boosted immunity, and improved libido
  • Dishes harness the healing properties of herbs, raw foods, and alkalizing ingredients
  • Original, science-based book, with stunning photos
  • Describes importance of good fats, cultured and fermented foods, and organic produce

Cons

  • Includes ingredients that are not readily available in stores
  • Recipes can be complicated to follow

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The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook

This book is a fun time capsule of vegan cooking in the 1970s – the first meat-, dairy-, and egg-free cookbook published in America. It is a classic of its time, the perfect example of hippy veganism of that era. It contains lots of faux meat recipes, despite being from a time when meat analogues were not even a thought in most people’s minds.

This cookbook, with over 250 recipes compiled by authors Louise Hagler and Wendy Louise, was the first to introduce nutritional yeast as a good tasting source of vitamin B12. This updated edition goes more in-depth, to provide a plethora of information about plant-based nutrition.

‘The New Farm’ refers to an intentional community in rural Tennessee and the recipes are family favorites from members of The Farm. The recipes are low in fat and sugar. The book includes detailed instructions on making soy milk, tempeh, tofu, yogurt, and other soy foods. Three of its most popular recipes include nutritional yeast gravy, vegan French toast, tofu quiche, and vegan coffee cake.

This book is a treasure to be passed down from generation to generation.

One drawback is the book relies heavily on soybean recipes, with very few actual vegetables.

Pros

  • A fun time capsule of vegan cooking in the 1970s
  • The first meat-, dairy-, and egg-free cookbook ever published in America – updated in 1988
  • 250 recipes compiled from members of The Farm, a community in rural Tennessee
  • Contains many faux meat recipes
  • Provides lots of information about plant-based nutrition
  • Includes instructions on making soy milk, tempeh, tofu, yogurt, and other soy foods

Cons

  • Relies heavily on soybean recipes and few actual vegetables

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Ultimate Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone

This cookbook by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver offers easy, delicious, plant-based recipes. Some examples include veggie pad Thai, veggie chili, and summer spinach pancakes. Oliver explains the book is not just for vegetarians, as it will appeal to anyone who just wants to enjoy a meatless meal a few times a week or simply enjoy something different for a change.

Oliver spent more than eight years traveling the world and developing new recipes for this book, his ‘labor of love’.

The book focuses on family favorites and simple suppers, with pure, great tasting food. There are chapters on soups, sandwiches, brunch, pies/baked goods, curries/stews, burgers, pasta, and rice/noodle dishes. Oliver dedicates an entire chapter to one-pan meals that minimize clean up after cooking.

This cookbook will widen your repertoire of vegetable dishes, and show you how to make satisfying meatless meals that are filling and delicious. All the recipes include nutrition information, and the American version of the book uses Imperial measurements instead of metric.

The book is gorgeous with vibrant images and photos of Oliver’s travels, exploring cuisines around the world. And Oliver has a unique writing style that brings in some of his favorite British colloquial sayings to liven up the recipes. It’s a fun and entertaining book to read even if you’re not cooking.

Pros

  • Easy, delicious plant-based recipes by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver
  • Appeals not just to vegetarians but to anyone who wants to try something new
  • Focuses on family favorites and simple suppers, with a chapter dedicated to one-pan dishes
  • All recipes include nutrition information
  • Gorgeous book, with vibrant photos
  • Unique writing style which is fun to read even if you are not cooking

Cons

  • None mentioned by users

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Veganomicon, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

This is a great cookbook if you are learning basic vegan cooking techniques. It contains a variety of recipes that are diverse in terms of flavors, ethnicities, and the level of skill needed. It is written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Romero, both of whom have written numerous bestselling vegan cookbooks previous to this one.

The book includes 250 recipes covering everything from the basics to fancy desserts, and lots of tips on vegan cooking. Examples include roasted fennel and hazelnut salad, bok choy cooked with crispy shallots and sesame seeds, hot and sour soup with wood ears, and chocolate bundt cake. There are also soy-free, gluten-free, and low fat options.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this beloved cookbook, they have introduced 25 new dishes. All recipes in the book have been tested to make sure they are easy to follow and yield delicious results.

This new edition is a gorgeous, sturdy hardcover with an ornate illustration on the cover. The inside pages are high quality and each recipe is set on its own page. The recipes are well organized and easy to read, and they include useful tips and notes.

One issue is the pages are not bound well, so they tend to fall out over time. Also, the font size used for the ingredients lists is very small, making it hard sometimes to read.

Pros

  • Handy cookbook if you are new to learning vegan cooking techniques
  • Diverse in terms of flavors, ethnicities, skill level required
  • Includes 250 recipes covering everything from the basics to fancy desserts
  • Includes soy-free, gluten-free, and low fat options
  • Recipes are easy to follow
  • Cookbook pages are high quality and each recipe is set on its own page

Cons

  • Pages tend to fall out over time due to poor book binding
  • Font size for ingredients lists is too small and hard to read

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Vegetarian Mediterranean Cookbook: 125+ Simple, Healthy Recipes for Living Well

This cookbook focuses on the Mediterranean diet, which goes hand in hand with vegetarianism. It includes 125 recipes from author Sanaa Abourezk, that offer traditional dishes such as eggplant moussaka and spanakopita, and creative recipes like lentil and mushroom lasagna. It provides a thorough introduction to the basics of Mediterranean cooking, including important ingredients to keep your kitchen stocked up with, and useful tips.

The recipes are timeless, gluten-free, and use whole, simple ingredients. They help bring Mediterranean flavors and freshness into your kitchen. There is a focus on Mediterranean cooking philosophies such as infusing oils and focusing on texture, and shopping locally. All ingredients in this book are easy to find.

One drawback is there are no photos in the book (other than on the cover and the first page of each chapter). Also, the pages in the book use a lower quality paper.

Pros

  • Includes 125 Mediterranean dishes ranging from traditional to innovative
  • Provides thorough intro to Mediterranean cooking, including ingredients to keep on hand
  • Recipes are timeless, gluten-free, and use whole, simple ingredients
  • Focuses on Mediterranean cooking philosophies like infusing oils and shopping locally
  • All ingredients are easy to find locally

Cons

  • Book contains very few photos
  • Pages in the book are of lower quality paper

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Choosing a vegetarian cookbook

As you can see, there is a wide variety of vegetarian cookbooks available in the market today. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing such a cookbook for yourself.

Quick and simple

Even if you’re a gourmet cook, your first vegetarian cookbook should focus on quick and simple recipes. Most of us are busy rushing around, and quick and easy recipes are best for this lifestyle. Fast and simple is also handy if you are new to vegetarian cooking because then you won’t become overwhelmed. Look for a cookbook that features recipes you can make in a short amount of time.

Versatility

Your first vegetarian cookbook should not focus on one particular item such as noodles or desserts. Look for a cookbook that includes recipes on everything from breakfast to entrees to desserts and snacks. This is very important if you are new to vegetarianism, so you can learn how to plan out your meals.

Later, when you are more well-versed in the art of vegetarian cooking, you can look for cookbooks that specialize.

Nutrition

With almost all vegetarian cookbooks, you won’t have to worry about whether the meals will be well-balanced. For peace of mind though, you can look for cookbooks that include nutritional information for each recipe.

Also search for cookbooks that focus on recipes that include a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Vegetarians can fulfill their nutritional needs by making sure they eat lots of different types of vegetarian foods each day. Protein is important, so look for meals that include quinoa, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, or meat substitutes.

Locally sourced ingredients

Some cookbooks include obscure ingredients that are hard to find at your local store. Although they may be interesting, they will not be useful if you can’t find them. Look for a cookbook that focuses on ingredients you can find in your area.

If your ingredients are locally sourced, they are guaranteed to be fresh, and more likely to be high in nutrients. Seasonal vegetables are also a great choice because they are better tasting and they lower your carbon footprint.

Culture

Look for vegetarian cookbooks that feature recipes from your favorite cultures. You shouldn’t have to miss out on your preferred cuisines just because you are going vegetarian.

Accommodating meat lovers

If you cook for your family, chances are they are not all vegetarian or vegan. You may still need to cook dishes that will appeal to them too. Instead of focusing on faux meat, which many meat lovers do not like, look for cookbooks that incorporate umami into their recipes. Umami is a savory flavor common in meat dishes, and you can achieve this flavor with certain vegetarian ingredients such as mushrooms, cheese, and fermented vegetables. Later, you can introduce your meat-loving family to tofu and faux meats.

Vegetarianism is a wonderful way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cookbooks are a useful way to learn about vegetarian cooking and acquire tasty recipes. Consider your lifestyle, local sourcing, and the versatility of the cookbooks when looking for one of your own, and compare the various books available on the market. Before long, you will find the vegetarian cookbook that is right for you.

 

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