My philosophy is that a diet that is comprised primarily of organic whole plant foods is the road to sparkling health for everyone.
Even if you’re not vegan, you may want to explore some of the incredible new cookbooks that are hitting the shelves. Actually not all these books are 100% vegan anyway. I prefer to stay about from the “vegan” label anyway – let’s just call it “healthy” eating, which to me means: primarily meat-free, maybe a teeny bit of wild fish, or sheeps/goat cheese, and BUCKET LOADS OF FRESH ORGANIC VEGGIES AND FRUITS. The meat-free movement is going full-steam ahead, with the creme de la creme of food bloggers putting together beautiful cookbooks for us to salivate over. Here are 25 of my all-time faves:
1. The Lusty Vegan by Ayinde Howel and Zoe Eisenberg: This is a kind of love story/cookbook (a “relationship manifesto”), which centers around the theme of vegan being pretty sexy. It’s a perfect book for Millennials, who are looking for a fun and more healthy way of eating. My fave recipe? Tempeh Fries with Dill Avocado Dip.
2. Plum by Makini Howel: This cookbook came about because the clientele of Plum Bistro in Seattle demanded it! I love that all the recipes are relatively easy, so do-able for a newbie, and the images are exquisite. My fave recipe? Gotta go with the Jerk Tofu and Roasted Yam Sliders.
3. The Thug Kitchen: The subtitle is “eat like you give a F…” Not everyone’s cup of tea, granted, but this book is selling out big time. It’s a perfect cookbook for a dude who has had to cut out meat for health reasons, or your boyfriend/husband who is extremely skeptical about your recent habit of marinating a slab of tofu instead of a hunk of red meat. My fave recipe? Baked Okra and Potato Hash.
4.My New Roots by Sarah Britton: I might have to go with this one being one of my personal favorites. The design of the book is so pretty and feminine, and yet the recipes pack a seriously nutritious punch. Sarah Britton knows her stuff and manages to pull off plant-based recipes that really work, without too many ingredients and fussing around. It doesn’t hurt that her photography is outstanding. My fave recipe? Ugh – hard to pick one, but I’m going to go with the Raw Cashew Yogurt with Maple and Blackberry (perfect for the Gorgeous For Good 30-day program).
5. Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda: I know that some of you are already thinking about Holiday menus (I swear I’ve heard a couple of friends mention this…to my horror!), but this is a cookbook that every vegan chef or wannabe chef needs in her arsenal. The recipes are all “celebratory” and hail from the legendary Candle Cafe and Candle Restaurants in NYC. Frankly, this book is great for any time of year. My fave recipe? Joy’s Grandma’s Seitan Brisket with Roasted Carrots, Shallots, and Turnips.
6. How Not To Die Cookbook: Yep – my buddy Dr. Greger has come out with an absolute beauty here. This is a must-have book, with tons of really great information and recipes. You absolutely cannot go wrong with anything in this wonderful companion to How Not To Die.
7. Frugal Vegan – Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee: Love that the recipes are so darn simple, with truly affordable ingredients. For those who don’t want to have to trawl the aisles of expensive health food stores, this is a great find for you.
8.Vegan Richa Everyday by Richa Hingle: You know that I love Richa because I often post her wonderful recipe videos on my Facebook page. She is AWESOME. She has a way of really dialing up the flavor on most everything she cooks. And she does it in a way that isn’t too complicate. She includes variations on a number of different dishes like burgers, lasagnas, and pasta, which I love (family favorites). And she also inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and experiment without going too crazy.
9. Vegan 101 by Jenny Engel and Heather Bell: Sooooooo – I know this cookbook like the back of my hand because I’ve used it so much. Jenny and Heather are friends! They actually came to teach at my last wellness retreat. Everyone fell in love with them and their recipes. If you’re transitioning to a plant-based diet, this is an absolute MUST-HAVE cookery book.
10.Kale & Caramel by Lily Diamond: Although not strictly vegan, this is a stunning book. The images are beautiful, and the recipes unique and Sophie-approved (especially if you’re going plant-based the 80/20 way).
11. The First Mess by Laura Wright: I was turned on to Laura’s blog about 3 years ago by by lovely web designer (who was obsessed with her). I fell in love with her smart, simple, and tasty recipes. She has a knack of taking simple, seasonal ingredients, and turning them into an extraordinary dinner. Nothing run-of-the-mill here. I highly highly recommend this book.
12. Vegan Family Meals by Ann Gentry: I know Ann and her wonderful Real Food Daily restaurants well. I’ve been enjoying her food for years. I particularly love her second book because she makes cooking for the family really easy. She includes wonderful cheese recipes, veggie hot pots, and extraordinary soups and salads. My copy is very well used and loved.
13. Vegan For Everybody by America’s Test Kitchen: I am totally obsessed with this cookbook – Be sure to check out the many recipes for burgers, and burger sauces – all of which makes my mouth water! This is a go-to, must-have book for anyone setting out on a plant-based journey.
14. The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner: This is less of a cookbook and more of an informational book. Definitely a favorite read for anyone interested in a plant-based diet (and living longer!).
15. The Crossroads Kitchen Cookbook: This is a little bit more on the expensive side, but oh my god, these recipes are to die for. If you’re a real cook-cook, then this is a major recommendation.
16. The Vegetable Butcher: This book made me fall in love with cooking again. It’s an incredible resource, organized A-Z by vegetable ingredient. It’s the perfect handbook if you’re thinking “I have so much broccoli and I don’t know what to do with it.” I love flipping through the pages of this book for inspiration!
17. Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: This is such a gorgeous book from an organization that I think is truly amazing. If you’re interested in animal wellfare and eating healthy, this is a great book for you. It also has recipes from many different contributors, so you’re getting great variety!
18: Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen: If anyone’s ever told you vegan food doesn’t have flavor, they’ve never cooked from this book. For me, this is an everyday book – I’ve returned to recipes again and again!
19. Vegan Weight Loss Manifesto: This book is full of clean, simple recipes. It’s the perfect gift for a teenager, or someone new to a plant-based diet.
20. Food With Benefits – The JingSlingers’ Delicious and Game-Changing Organic SuperFood Recipes of Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free, Paleo, Vegan & Omnivore Comfort Foods by Joy Coelho and Jay Denman. Wow!!! This is an extraordinary cookbook because the recipes are so unique. Joy and Jay “sling” superfoods into delicious ice creams, granitas, and even Panna Cotta like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll wow yourself and be utterly delighted my the unique concoctions in this beautiful book.
21. The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics: A Philosophy for achieving a Radiant Mind and a Fabulous Body by Jessica Porter: I bought this book way back in 2004, and I still dip in to get her recipe for Miso soup, and many other hearty macro dishes.
22. Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson: I just love the way Heidi Swanson puts together recipes. They’re simple yet utterly delicious. Although not strictly plant-based, she’s very light on animal products, so if you’re going down the plant-based road, you’ll probably find some great go-to dinners in this beautifully photographed book.
23. The Perfect Blend: 100 Blender Recipes to Energize and Revitalize by Tess Masters: Tess is a power house, and has shot the now ubiquitous Vitamix blender into a whole new stratosphere. As Tess says, “we have teeth, and we’re meant to chew”, so she delivers tons of crunchy, hearty, everyday recipes that we can sling together in our blender.
24 Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook by Victoria Moran and JL Fields: Victoria Moron is the Duchess of Veganism! She’s been a vegan for over 30 years and so clearly knows her stuff inside and out. This is a wonderful cookbook, full of stunning photographs and tasty everyday recipes – many of which are mouthwatering. Many of them are super easy. Next on my list to try is the “Sage-Mushroom Polenta With Butternut Squash And Caramelized Brussel Sprouts.
25. Gorgeous for Good: A Simple 30-Day Program for Lasting Beauty – Inside and Out by none other than YOURS TRULY. There are over 100 plant-based recipes in this book. No photos I’m afraid, because the book is top heavy with detailed information pertaining to every aspect of living a healthy and gorgeous life.