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Adopt a new plant-based diet with the help of these vegan cookbooks
Looking to switch to a plant-based diet? Consider these 12 vegan cookbooks as your starter kit. Learn how to cook and enjoy meatless versions of classic dishes, whether it’s American comfort food favorites or globally inspired creations. These cookbooks range from the tried-and-true to modern newcomers, all to help you live a vegan lifestyle both in and out of the kitchen.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Ama
“One Pot: Three Ways” by Rachel Ama
In “One Pot: Three Ways: Save Time with Vibrant, Versatile Vegan Recipes,” Rachel Ama shares dozens of vegan recipes inspired by her African and Caribbean heritage.
Ama shows how to build stand-out, vegetable-based meals starting with a one-pot dish that can be served with a variety of other dishes. The recipes in this vegan cookbook can be easily scaled up or down, making them perfect if you’re cooking for a group or for one.
Photo courtesy of Jackie Day
“The Vegan Way” by Jackie Day
If this is your first foray into incorporating a vegan diet in your life, start here. Jackie Day’s “The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier, Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet and You” is a modern classic that’s chock-full of information about why veganism is good for you and the earth. Day offers tips and recipes to help make the transition from omnivore or carnivore to herbivore super easy.
Day teaches how to cook more intuitively, using her recipes as a starting point. She’s a big proponent of utilizing ingredients you probably already have in your refrigerator or pantry, and she encourages you to take advantage of specials and sales at the grocery store. Along the way, you’ll learn how to “veganize” dishes you probably already enjoy, things like hearty chili and morning smoothies.
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“Compassionate Cuisine” by Catskill Animal Sanctuary
More than just a vegan cookbook, this heartwarming story of New York’s Catskill Animal Sanctuary told through stories of their rescues is a must-read for animal lovers and plant-based eaters alike.
Created by sanctuary founder Kathy Stevens, along with chefs Linda Soper-Kolton and Sara Boan, “Compassionate Cuisine: 125 Plant-Based Recipes from Our Vegan Kitchen” features recipes of dishes favored by visitors at the sanctuary, including Buffalo cauliflower with bleu cheese dressing, coconut cream pie, and chocolate chip cookie dough truffles.
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“Vegan Soul Food Cookbook” by Nadira Jenkins-El
With “Vegan Soul Food Cookbook: Plant-Based, No-Fuss Southern Favorites,” chef Nadira Jenkins-El creates an indispensable tool for those looking to switch to a vegan diet. Her recipes bring classic soul food dishes to life with simple plant-based ingredients, many of which can be made in under 30 minutes.
Most helpful is the list of pantry staples to get you started on your plant-based journey, not to mention the helpful advice on how to keep cooking easy and stress-free. After all, food should be fun — and always delicious!
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“The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook” by Victoria Moran and JL Fields
As an educator, author, vegan podcast host, and director of the Main Street Academy, Victoria Moran is valued for her compassion and expertise on living a vegan lifestyle. “The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook,” co-authored by JL Fields, features an eclectic collection of recipes seasoned plant-based eaters and new vegans alike will love.
You’ll learn how to create wholesome but comforting dishes, such as pepperoni pizza puffs and sweet red chili potato skins. The cookbook also includes tips, shortcuts, and strategies for better, easier plant-based cooking.
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“The Everything Easy Vegan Cookbook” by Adams Media
Aptly named, “The Everything Easy Vegan Cookbook” features 200 vegan recipes that range from quick-fix snacks to slow-cooker favorites. The uncomplicated recipes are perfect for any on-the-go home cook, all written in an easy-to-read format that’s accessible for beginner and novice vegan home cooks.
If you need encouragement to stay on the vegan path, don’t skip the chapter on the virtues of a plant-based diet and how it benefits the individual and the world at large.
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“The Modern Tiffin” by Priyanka Naik
Drawing on her travels and personal exploration, self-taught Indian American chef Priyanka Naik’s “The Modern Tiffin: On-the-Go Vegan Dishes with a Global Flair” celebrates plant-based cooking from around the world.
Focusing on flavor and showcasing vegetables instead of faux meats, Naik utilizes easy-to-find everyday ingredients in globally inspired dishes, everything from pumpkin bucatini to green chutney quesadillas. It’s a fun, globe-trotting cookbook for today.
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“Fun, Festive and Fabulous: Vegan Holidays for Everyone” by Marla Rose with John Beske
Holidays are tricky for even the most seasoned vegans, so it’s likely to be especially challenging for anyone new to the lifestyle. Have no fear! Marla Rose and John Beske, the team from the beloved website Vegan Street, have long shared their popular recipes online with readers. Now they’re making the most wonderful time of year easier on everyone with a vegan cookbook focused on the holidays.
“Fun, Festive & Fabulous: Vegan Holidays for Everyone: Recipes, Puns, Historic Lore and More to Help You Celebrate Without Compromise” is a bright, cheerful and colorful vegan cookbook. The photos are enticing, the writing is engaging, and the instructions are friendly and easy to follow. It simply helps you live your best vegan life and enjoy all the delectable tastes of the season.
Photo courtesy of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., Terry Sargent Photography, and Bites and Bevs LLC
“Vegan Barbecue” by Terry Sargent
Terry Sargent, chef and owner of Georgia’s Grass Vegan BBQ Joint, turns Southern barbecue on its head with his “Vegan Barbecue: More Than 100 Recipes for Smoky and Satisfying Plant-Based BBQ” cookbook. Long praised for his inventive plant-based menus and dishes, Sargent proves that meat isn’t the only thing you can cook in a smoker.
The cookbook is filled with easy-to-make, simple vegan recipes that both novice home cooks and experts will love. Sargent shows how to slow-smoke everything from vegan cheeses to plant-based meats, vegetables, and fruits. Yes…smoked fruit! Nearly 100 recipes cover appetizers, snacks, main dishes, and more.
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“The Vegucated Family Table” by Marisa Miller Wolfson and Laura Delhauer
Have young children who are new to plant-based eating? Navigating it might be easier than you think, thanks to this vegan cookbook by Marisa Miller Wolfson, the filmmaker behind the popular movie “Vegucated,” and plant-based chef Laura Delhauer. These kid-friendly recipes and actionable tips are sure to make the dinner table more fun and peaceful for everyone.
Packed with more than 125 family-friendly recipes, “The Vegucated Family Table: Irresistible Vegan Recipes and Proven Tips for Feeding Plant-Powered Babies, Toddlers, and Kids” is a timeless gem. You’ll find guidance on tricky social situations, like playdates and school lunches where vegan children need to eat alongside non-vegan kids. The book feels like a trusted, more experienced friend giving you helpful advice that’s easy to swallow.
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“Fake Meat: Real Food for Vegan Appetites” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Many vegans choose a plant-based lifestyle because of their concern for animals or the environment, but they may still crave meat-based dishes they once enjoyed. The good news is you can have those cherished tastes even as a vegan. Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s “Fake Meat: Real Food for Vegan Appetites” is the perfect vegan cookbook for making delicious, meaty recipes without any animal byproducts.
The dishes in Moskowitz’s popular cookbook are pure vegan comfort food, things like wings, pizza, mac-and-cheese, sausages, and sandwiches. Recipes include many types of plant-based meat, from bean-based proteins to seitan and jackfruit. There’s something for everyone.
Photo courtesy of Yuki Sugiura / Hardie Grant
“Plentiful: Vegan Jamaican Recipes to Repeat” by Denai Moore
If you love vegan cookbooks that blur the line between plant-based cuisine and just good eating, dig into “Plentiful: Vegan Jamaican Recipes to Repeat” by chef and musician Denai Moore. Debunking some myths about Jamaican food, like it doesn’t need to be spicy or meat-based to be delicious, Moore focuses on modernizing classic dishes, like rice and peas arancini, and ‘oxtails’ with green onion mash.
“Plentiful” is beautifully presented and full of colorful recipes that pay homage to Moore’s roots, the history of Jamaican cuisine, and her world travels.