Sure, there are plenty of vegan food blogs online, but sometimes there’s nothing so satisfying as cracking open a cookbook and chancing upon a tried and true recipe. By flipping a good ole-fashioned page, you’re bound to find the perfect recipe, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anything in between.
With these five cookbooks, you can start building up your recipe library with tons of plant-based meals that are just as nutritious as they are delicious.
Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein
Cooking vegan from scratch can be quite the culinary experiment, especially for those new to the plant-based lifestyle. Many vegan recipes call for ingredients many people have never heard of, which can be very discouraging if you’re not the type who loves the challenge of finding Japanese mirin in your grocery store or perfecting the exact quantity of nutritional yeast in your cheese substitute.
Fortunately, vegan cooking doesn’t have to be fancy. In Supermarket Vegan, you can find a wealth of recipes that hit the trifecta: delicious, nutritious, and simple to make. Here’s one of my favorites:
Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus on a Bed of Spinach
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bag baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped; ½ tablespoon marinade reserved
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups prepared hummus
- 8 large Portobello mushroom caps
Preheat oven to 400F. Smear the bottom of a 13 x 19 inch casserole with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and then line with the spinach leaves. Drizzle evenly with the remaining oil, followed by the reserved sun-dried tomato marinade. Sprinkle lightly with salt and red pepper.
In a small bowl, mix together the hummus and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle the insides of each mushroom cap lightly with salt and pepper. Fill each mushroom cap with equal amounts (about 3 ½ tablespoons) of the hummus mixture. Transfer the filled mushrooms to the spinach-lined casserole. Cover with foil (lightly oil underside if it will touch filling) and bake about 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and have started to release their juices. Serve hot, directly from the casserole, using a wide spatula to transfer the mushrooms and spinach to serving plates.
Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin
Written by Roberto Martin, personal chef for vegan celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, this is the book to end all vegan jokes. Next time you cook for your skeptic spouse or dubious parents, Roberto’s recipes will be just what you need.
Though there is a wide range of meals that use meat substitutes, his simple but satisfying recipe for vegan macaroni and cheese is my favorite.
Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese
- 1 ½ cups of dry shell or elbow pasta, cooked until al dente according to the package directions
- 5 ounces vegan cheddar cheese
- 1 cup cashew cream (see below)
- 1 cup broth made from Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base or Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place all the ingredients except for the salt and pepper in a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted and the ingredients are well incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 3.
- 2 cups raw organic cashews
- 2 ½ cups water
Soak the cashews in water over night or bring the cashews and 4 cups of water to a simmer. If using the second method, remove the pan from the heat and allow the cashews to soak 1 hour. Drain and rinse the cashews. Place the cashews into the jar of a blender and add 2 ½ cups of water. Blend until completely smooth, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the jar with a silicone spatula. Strain the mixture to remove any particles that did not get pureed thoroughly; the cashew cream should be the consistency of heavy cream.
Clean Food by Terry Walters
In her introduction, Terry Walters describes Clean Food as more than a cookbook, and throughout, she stays true to her word. Clean Food is a comprehensive guide to a plant-based diet, approachable for beginners new to the “clean food” movement but still engaging enough for those who have already educated themselves on the topic.
The recipes in Clean Food are divided into four groups for the four seasons. Here’s my favorite pick from the summer section.
Curry Tempeh Salad with Raisins and Cashews
- ½ pound tempeh, any variety
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- ¼ cup raisings
- 2 tablespoons chopped, roasted cashews
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Cut tempeh into 4 large pieces, place in steamer basket over boiling water and steam 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Chop into small pieces and place in medium mixing bowl. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, raisings, cashews and cilantro and fold to combine. In separate mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, curry powder, cumin and sea salt. Add to tempeh mixture and fold to incorporate all ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 4.
365 Vegan Smoothies by Kathy Patalsky
Tired of the same-old smoothie combination of kale, strawberries, banana and almond milk? That’s where Kathy Patalsky’s 365 Vegan Smoothies come in. Her recipes are finely tuned to offer the best blend of flavors along with the appropriate portion of nutrients. Kathy offers twelve sets of recipe types, from detox to slim-down, brain-boosting to anti-aging.
You can find my favorite recipe, the Secret-Ingredient Matcha Shake, in the section for energizing smoothies. For those looking to wean off coffee, this is the way to go. Here’s the recipe:
Secret-Ingredient Matcha Shake
- 1 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 ½ cups frozen watermelon chunks
- 1 to 2 teaspoons matcha powder
Combine all the ingredients in and blender and blend from low to high until frosty smooth.
The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
Angela Liddon’s cookbook was highly anticipated by fans of her blog, Oh She Glows. Her book combines the best of her recipes, from her signature power snacks to hearty entrees, quick breakfasts and delicious desserts. Here’s one of her classics.
Effortless Vegan Overnight Oats
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 large banana, mashed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Fresh mixed berries, or other fruit
- Hemp seeds
- Pure maple syrup or other sweetener (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, almond milk, chia, seeds, banana, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight to thicken.
In the morning, stir the oat mixture to combine. Serve the oats in a jar or parfait dish, alternating with layers of fresh fruit, granola, hemp seeds and a drizzle of sweetener, if desired.
These five cookbooks are basically vegan essentials, but they’re just the beginning! With so many amazing vegan cookbooks out there, the only thing you’ll be searching for is more room on your bookshelf.