8veg
by Ali Berman
Categories: Eats, Lifestyle, Recipes, Vegan.

Ecorazzi’s Food Editorial Series is brought to you by Ecorazzi Eats Restaurant Week happening in vegan, vegetarian, & sustainable restaurants across the US on October 12-19, 2011.

If someone said to me ten years ago, “In a few years vegan cookbooks are going to be dominating best sellers lists and retail outlets,” I’d have said doubtfully, “Yeah right – I wish.” It turns out, no wishing was necessary. Vegan and vegetarian cookbooks are everywhere. From healthy vegetables and whole grain foods to sugary cupcakey goodness, we now have our pick of hundreds of titles created by compassionate chefs.

We’re here to give you one heck of a list of some of the best vegan cookbooks out there. With each title, we also recommend one of the best recipes, or in some cases a few of the best. Did we miss your favorite book? Add it in the comments, and please recommend your favorite recipe too. Bon appetite!

Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Brunch, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

If you’ve been in the vegan scene for even a day (or if you’ve paid attention to best selling cookbooks), you’re already familiar with the genius collaboration between Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. These vegan masterminds have created an empire of delicious cruelty free recipes. This list could have easily been filled with their cookbooks, but I decided instead to cluster them together into one powerhouse group. I happen to own all of these cookbooks and use at least one of them once a week. If one were to randomly visit 100 vegan’s homes and check their cookbook selection, 99 of them would have at least one of these books. And rightfully so. Each is filled with creative easy to follow recipes for all occasions. Sample some recipes in advance on the Post Punk Kitchen website.

What to try:
Veganomicon – Cashew Ricotta (use it in lasagna, stuffed shells, or eat it with a spoon.), Pistachio Rosewater Cookies
Vegan with a Vengeance – Raspberry Blackout Cake with Ganache-Y Frosting
Vegan Brunch – Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast)
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World – Red Velvet Cupcake
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar – Peanut Butter Blondies

 

Vegan Yum Yum

Cookbook author and foodie blogger Lauren Ulm created a masterpiece when she cooked up Vegan Yum Yum. The vegan world fell in love with her blog and her beautiful photos, and then her cookbook. Personally, it’s my go-to recipe source. With a nice sampling of side dishes, main courses, soups and drinks, it’s without a doubt one of the best books out there. Also, the 100 recipes (for the most part) call for easy to find ingredients. Some cookbooks have you out there scouring the shelves of health food store for rare spices or extracts. Ulm gets all the taste while keeping it simple.

What to try:
Smoky Miso Tofu
Creamy Broccoli Dal
Seven Spice Udon

 

The Angelica Home Kitchen

Photo Credit: Domestic Dharma

Chef Leslie McEachern has been a pioneer in the cruelty free scene since Angelica’s Kitchen began in 1976. The New York City location was actually the very first all veggie restaurant I dined at back in 1993. The cookbook not only offers 108 delicious recipes but also explores the politics and consequences of our eating habits, supporting local farms and more. This book doesn’t rely on the tastes and textures of meat. Instead, it explores all the wonder that the vegan world has to offer. No imitations necessary.

What to try:
Chickpea-garlic soup w/rosemary & olive oil

 

The Kind Diet

Photo Credit: Peas In A Blog

The Kind Diet doesn’t just offer up scrumptious recipes. It goes beyond and discusses Alicia Silverstone’s decision to give up meat, the health benefits of a vegan diet such as weight loss and clear skin, and of course the environmental reasons too. Silverstone is a true animal lover and from The Kind Diet, she created The Kind Life, her website all about how to live with a small footprint. For her, a vegan diet is more than just animal free. It also encompasses things like local foods and fair trade purchases to be kind to people, animals and the planet.  If you want to try before you buy, Alicia posts some of the recipes on her site including these peanut butter cups.

What to Try:
Artichoke Dip
Azuki Beans w/Kabocha Squash

 

The Conscious Cook

Tal Ronnen was the chef who helped Oprah through her 21 day vegan experiment. He’s the guy who catered Ellen and Portia’s wedding. If he’s good enough for them, you know he’s at the top of his game. For those vegans who still like the texture of meat, this cookbook is for you. He’s one of the developers behind the product gardein which he uses in a lot of recipes. In this book you’ll get 75 recipes, with a protein base at the heart. Tal Ronnen likes fat in his food and doesn’t skimp on the oil. If you enjoy a hearty meal, The Conscious Cook will satisfy your cravings. Case and point, the recipe recommendation below which you can try in advance.

What to Try:
Chicken Scaloppini

 

Bloodroot

Bloodroot, a vegetarian restaurant located in Bridgeport, CT has a two volume set of cookbooks that are bound to become a regular kitchen staple. The first book has 300 vegetarian recipes (with many vegan recipes or dishes you can easily adapt to being vegan). The second volume is all vegan and contains 350 recipes. So, in two volumes you’ve got access to 650 recipes. Not too shabby. My favorite chocolatier and the head of Lagusta’s Luscious vegan chocolate shop in New Paltz is a former Bloodroot chef and sings its praises day and night. (One of the recipes below is her creation.) In the cookbooks, you’ll also find essays on health, art, music and literature. Talk about an all-encompassing cookbook! Take a test drive with some of the recipes offered on their site.

What to Try:
Lagusta’s Lemon Curd
Onion phyllo tart

 

The Candle Café Cookbook

Photo Credit: Cape Ann Vegan

For New Yorkers, Candle Café and its sister location Candle 79 need no introduction. Every vegan craves it, and every vegan brings their omnivorous friends and family there to show them what the best vegan food tastes like. Happily, you don’t have to be in NY to enjoy the tastes of the Candle world. They shared 150 recipes in their cookbook.  You’ll find restaurant favorites like the seitan chimichurris and the seitan piccata. Also, look out for their new cookbook coming out in November 2011. They already have blurbs on the back from people like Tal Ronnen, Biz Stone, Kathy Freston and Dr. Oz.

What to Try:
Summer Borscht
Vegetable Lasagna with Herbed Tofu Ricotta
Chocolate Mousse Pie

The Joy of Vegan Baking

Photo Credit: Brittany’s Veg Kitchen

‘The Joy of Vegan Baking’ by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is one of the standard books in every vegan home. Her recipes are moist, delicious and features cakes, crepes, pies, puddings and pastries. I remember hearing Patrick-Goudreau a few years ago at the animal rights conference Taking Action for Animals down in D.C. When she says, “the joy of vegan baking,” she really means it. She said that being vegan is joyful. Not inflicting harm on others is a kind of happiness like no other. She urged others to share that happiness. Because being vegan isn’t about sacrifice. It’s about taking joy in your decision to live ethically. I agree. And I certainly like to have my joy with a side of cake from her cookbook. Try some recipes before you buy.

What to Try:
Cinnamon buns
Chocolate Cake

(Main image photo credit: Flickr/Creative Commons – And yes, those are vegetarian sausages. :)  )

 

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Field/700499199 James Field

    Would have been nice to include Viva Vegan and Appetite for Reduction with their other books. Both are a nice addition to the PPK books.

  • Sonia

    Although I love Tal Ronnen and his faux meats, according to this article Gardein products are among those soy products that contain hexane.

    http://cornucopia.org/hexane-guides/hexane_guide_meat_alternatives.html

    If anyone knows any different let me know.

  • christina

    nobody ever sings the praises of the SOUPS in isa&terry books! corn chowder and carrot bisque (mmmmm) in vegan with a vengeance, black bean veggie soup and potato soup in veganomicon, etc. i get the allure of vegan desserts, but i want an all-soup-all-the-time cookbook from them next!

  • don miguelo

    What, no “How It All Vegan” by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard, nevermind their sequels: “The Garden of Vegan”, “La Dolce Vegan!”, and “Vegan à Go-Go”?

    If you like your vegan punk-rock, kitschy and you’re on a budget– these tattooed ladies are for you!

  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    great post, Ali, thanks for sharing these books. And next month…part 2 with other great vegan cooking books like the ones mentioned by Don. ;-)

  • Ali Berman

    Thanks Herwin. I knew I couldn’t get them all though. There are far too many amazing veg cookbooks out there. That’s why I asked for people to share their faves in the comments:)

  • Chessie

    Nice list, but how could you possibly omit the wonderful cookbooks by Robin Robertson? She’s my fave!

  • Kessa Jo MialCara

    I was quite surprised that The Happy Herbivore or The Everyday Happy Herbivore were not on the list. Healthy, whole grain, low fat tasty recipes.

  • Jacqueline Hannah

    Its never on anyone’s lists but mine it seems, but the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen is one of the best ever. I got this cookbook, The Candle Cafe cookbook, and a vegan baking cookbook together as a wedding gift. We’ve used the Candle Cafe one a few times, but the Mediterranean one is simply falling apart, we use it so very often! Simple, delicious, heavy on the vegetables recipes! And a follow up article that skipped all the deserts would be great, this list is desert heavy and I’d love to see more focus on entrees!