I’ve been a vegan for four years and, after learning that vegan means that I do not eat any animal products (which include dairy, meat, and eggs), one of the most frequent questions I get (after “where do you get your protein?”) is “so what do you eat?!” Since going vegan, however, I have never eaten such a variety of foods in my life nor felt better than I do now. I only wish I had done it sooner. Simply put, I eat plants.
The following cookbooks (and their authors’ blogs and web sites) have guided me and introduced me to some of the most delicious foods ever. And because I’ve been cooking for so long and so often now, I can create meals quickly and easily. If you’re new to being vegan, or just curious, these books are very informative and helpful and, most important of all, the recipes are outstanding.
How It All Vegan, The Garden of Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard and La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. These Canadian punksters are so enthusiastic about being vegan they make it fun. What started out as a gift zine for friends and family quickly turned into something much, much bigger. Tons of recipes will have you wanting to try a different dish every single day.
Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. This is my number one go-to book for quick, easy, and delicious recipes in less than 30 minutes. Everything she creates looks fresh and beautiful and, best of all, impresses your meat-eating friends!
Dreena Burton’s books, especially Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and Vive le Vegan! are wonderful for one-of-a-kind meals using whole foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes). I especially enjoy her breakfast and dessert sections because she uses a lot less sweeteners and oils in her recipes than a lot of other vegan cookbooks. As my tastebuds have changed (which is common for vegans), so has my sugar intake and tolerance for sweets in general.
While not vegan, Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson is eye candy for its gorgeous photography alone and the texture of its pages; it’s an art book for food. She stresses the use of colorful whole foods and I have successfully “veganized” many of her recipes.
Finally, Short-Cut Vegan by Lorna Sass is just a nice little book to have around when you want something fast. There are no pictures but the recipes are delicious. I was disappointed to hear that Sass is no longer vegan, but I won’t hold that against her.