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Sep 5, 2008 01:26 PM

Looking for the best VEGAN Cookbooks...


I'm trying to put together a list of the absolute BEST vegan cookbooks. (This is a little tricky in that I'm not a vegan myself. And now that I think about it, I wonder if there are that many vegans on Chowhound.)

Anyway, take a look at this list:

Tell me...

1. Did I miss anything?

2. Is there anything on that list that's not really all that great?

Thanks in advance!


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  1. "Millennium," "Veganomicon," "The Professional Vegetarian Chef," and "Great Chefs Cook Vegan." The last one is incredible.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      I'm intrigued by your praise for Great Chefs Cook Vegan. Can you tell me more about it? The amazon reviews weren't very helpful. Are the recipes complicated? It sounds like it is a very pretty book, with wonderful sounding food, but is it actually useful too? Very interested but want more info ...

      1. re: LulusMom

        I would say that this is a cookbook for entertaining: knock their socks off dishes, not weeknight family fare. Some of the ingredients are hard to come by, but I can find most of them in Bloomington, IN. If not, substitutions can be made. What I really like is how it stretches your imagination as a cook. I'm not a vegan, but I love to cook vegan occasionally, just for the challenge. This book pushes me in a good direction.

        1. re: pikawicca

          Gotcha. With a 2 year old underfoot, I do what I can, but I need cookbooks right now that don't push me *too* much.

    2. I bought How It All Vegan shortly before I bought Vegan with a Vengeance (which I love). I found How It All Vegan to be rather boring--uninspired recipes, overly cutesy writing. VwaV I've cooked from much more often--but be forewarned, it's not a healthy cookbook (and it doesn't claim to be, but for some reason quite a few people think that "vegan" must be synonymous with "healthy".

      One cookbook that I think is missing from this list is The Voluptuous Vegan, and not just for that vibrant cover! It's by Myra Kornfeld (who was a pastry chef at Angelica Kitchen, I think when Peter Berley was there). These recipes are NOT quick--definitely time-consuming. But I find them to be more "gourmet", if fussy. I've always enjoyed what I've cooked from it.

      FWIW, I'm not a vegan either, but I do enjoy the challenge of cooking vegan meals (and I eat many of them!)

      1. Peter
        your link did not work for me--eek

        i agree with Nofunlatte's post 100% but would add that veganomicon (2nd book) is even better than VwaV. the author of HiaV has at least one other book as well, and i think it was considerably weaker than HiaV, with even more pinup photos and stupid recipes.

        ETA: veganomicon is not really the 2nd book, there were some baking & cupcake cookbooks by the same author/duo that came out between the major cookbooks

        4 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten

          oh great-- the link is working for me now, and i see all of these are on the list. if regular veg books are fair game i think crescent dragonwagon's, jeanne lemlin's, and didi emmonds' books are good-- most recipes vegan or convertible.

          i also like the little vegan monsters cookbook-- lots of gluten-free/celiac recipes in there too.

          1. re: soupkitten

            The cupcake book is called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              thanks KT, i knew that- but couldn't think of the name, didn't take time to google it. i shouldn't post when i'm sleep deprived, i'm sure i'm less than helpful. :-P

              1. re: KTinNYC

                I've cooked from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and LOVED it...great cupcakes! Easy to make and you couldn't even tell they were "vegan" her writing style too...2 thumbs up for this one.

            2. In addition to the ones already mentioned, I can recommend a new book by Jae Steele called Get It Ripe. Dreena Burton's other two books, The Every Day Vegan and Vive Le Vegan are also really helpful resources. (Her blog just won an award for best vegan blog.) I gave my daughter The Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson and she says it is great but I have not tried it myself.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mvi

                Get It Ripe!

                I just made the Lime Coconut Cake with Lime Coconut Buttahcreem Icing for my birthday party yesterday... IT. WAS. FABULOUS. I doubled the recipe to make a two-layer and infused the coconut milk of the cake (not the icing) with lime leaf.

                Recipes for Mulled Wine and After-Dinner Rooibos Chai are spot on as well, super easy. Another cookbook for my lust list (I found this copy at the library!).

                A big thumbs up on How to Cook Everything Vegetarian as well. Mark Bittman is an engaging writer and I love how most recipes have several variations and suggestions on how to adapt a recipe to make it vegan.

                Olive Trees and Honey by Gil Marks is another amazing book... it's vegetarian Jewish with geography and history lessons worked in. The Yaprak Dolmasi (Turkish stuffed grape leaves) recipe is to die for.

                1. re: AgentLapis

                  Oh, now I have to make that Lime Coconut Cake- I have not tried it yet. Thanks!

              2. Do I sense a meat-eaters prejudice that vegans or vegetarians don't enjoy food?! ("And now that I think about it, I wonder if there are that many vegans on Chowhound.")
                As a vegetarian and avid cook who enjoys flavor, smell, texture and the look of food, it is possible to eat well without meat.

                Now off my high-soyhorse - cookbooks I use and enjoy (I haven't used all from your list):

                Vegenomicon - I use it and enjoy many of the recipes. It does seem a tad 'twigs and grains' to me at times.

                How to Cook Everything Veg - my default daily cookbook

                Vegan Lunch Box - I've used tons of her recipes from the web and am waiting for the release of the book

                The two Greens Restaurant cookbooks by Deborah Madison

                My very favorite - Veg Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. About half of the reicpes are vegan but an incrediably useful cookbook for everyone including meat-eaters.

                1 Reply
                1. re: alwayscooking

                  I cook from all the Deborah Madison books regularly and love them. Recently the Cookbook of the Month here on the Home Cooking board was "Flexitarian Table" by Peter Berley with Zoe Singer. It features a series of menus for each season of the year and each menu has both vegetarian/vegan and meat option components. It's an intriguing book and worth consideration.

                  We are not vegetarian nor vegan but, like Lulu'sMom, like to have several non-meat meals each week.