I am probably the world’s worst omnivore. Is that even a thing? What I mean is: I don’t particularly like meat apart from the occasional burger or barbeque, and I eat fish/seafood between once a week and once a month. I can go for weeks without even thinking about meat…and while dairy is another story, I still don’t consume it daily. So I’ve amassed a decent handful of vegan cookbooks over the past few years. The ones below offer plenty of familiar flavors, along with a few more unusual options for adventurous eaters.
Power Plates, Gena Hamshaw
If cooking an entree and 2+ sides sounds like too much trouble to you (it sure does to me)….this is the vegan cookbook for you. All 100 recipes here are one-dish meals. You’ll also want to try these recipes if you’re feeding people who swear vegan food won’t fill them up – whole grains, legumes, and plenty of veggies have made every meal I’ve cooked from Power Plates hearty and filling. The soup chapter especially stands out; I’ve already tried almost half the recipes, and nearly every soup is one I could see myself making repeatedly. One thing I didn’t realize initially is that this book is 100% main dish recipes – go elsewhere for desserts and snacks. (I won a copy of this book in a giveaway, but was not obligated to review it.)
Chloe Flavor, Chloe Coscarelli
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. This is the vegan cookbook to get if you want makeovers of omnivorous favorites. Turn to the pasta chapter first: whatever your favorite noodle dish – mac and cheese? fettuccine Alfredo? pad Thai? – chances are you’ll find a delicious vegan version here. Chloe Flavor doesn’t claim to be a health food cookbook; decadent cinnamon roll pancakes sit right alongside veggie-filled tofu scrambles. I like that kind of balance in a cookbook. My main complaint is that all the “cheese” sauce recipes (and there are several!) are cashew-based. At least one nut-free version would have been nice.
Sweet Potato Soul, Jenne Claiborne
Vegan southern food – I wrote a full review here.
Blissful Basil, Ashley Melillo
On average, the recipes in this cookbook require more time and effort than the others on this list (though it also has its share of quick recipes). But I love the creative spins it offers, like carrots as Reuben “meat” and yellow split peas as the base for nacho “cheese”. I also appreciate the dessert chapter, which contains several quick, delicious, and not tooth-achingly sweet cookie bar recipes. You’ll also appreciate these recipes if you’re working with food allergies; each one includes color-coded bubbles showing which common allergens it’s free of.
Short-Cut Vegan, Lorna Sass
You won’t find much new and exciting here – rather, this is the cookbook for nights when you just need something quick and easy, but still healthy. The recipes rely on staples like canned beans, frozen vegetables, and pre-made sauces and seasoning mixes to have food ready in sometimes under 20 minutes (each recipe provides a time estimate). I found this title at my library book sale; it looks like the current edition might be titled Short-Cut Vegetarian instead.
Do you have a favorite vegan cookbook?
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