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Vegan Cookbook

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I've been doing some research online and everyone here just seems so knowledgeable. My husband and I, purely for health reasons, are transitioning to a mostly meat and dairy free diet. I'm having such a difficult time finding recipes that are both vegan and healthy.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a yummy vegan cookbook that is geared towards all natural foods and not over-processed substitutes. For example, I hardly think that boca burgers are healthier than chicken breasts.

Thanks so much!

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  1. The authors of Veganomicon don't use many processed foods in their recipes. Lots of good recipes in there!


    1. +1 on Veganomicon. You might also want to look at The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage. She does use some soy cheeses in some of the recipes, but she generally shies away from the faux meats. There are recipes with seitan, tempeh, and tofu. Mostly healthy recipes.

      1. don't overlook Post Punk Kitchen - the website from the authors of Veganomicon:

        1. An oldie but a goodie is "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison. It's mostly vegan (with a few cream/butter recipes in there).

          1. The two I recommend most highly are Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley, and Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld. I cook from these more than anything else. I think the quality of the recipes is higher (albeit a bit more complicated) than Veganomicon, although I do use that, too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cathyeats

              cathy, have you ever looked at Kornfeld's "Healthy Hedonist" cookbook? i believe it was the follow-up to Voluptuous Vegan. it's a flexitarian approach, and the recipes are relatively simple, but thoughtful and pretty tasty.

              1. re: cathyeats

                I was so happy with Berley's Flexitarian Table (which is half vegetarian half not. I don't know how vegan the vegetarian recipes are) that I picked up a copy of his Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, but have never cooked from it. Not because there's anything wrong with it; I just haven't gotten into it.

                cathyeats, would you mind naming some of your favorite recipes from it to inspire me to jump in, perhaps?


              2. Hi dRel,

                Our household is going through a similar shift in eating but for ethical reasons. We are still in our less meat phase and moving towards vegan so I understand all the research you've had to do.

                I have veganomicon and I gotta say I'm not that thrilled with it. Ditto the other Isa Chandra books...Some of the recipes that everyone raves about, like chickpea cutlets, I found blah. I want vegan food that can compete with what I'm giving up. And yes, I guess you've noticed there's a lot of sugar in the baking and there can be a lot of oil and frying. Some recipes seems really unbalanced to me, especially pretend meats when they feature in a carb+carb meal.

                Anyway, I like www.1010cookbooks.com (vegetarian, not vegan) and www.dirtcandy.com is good for inspiration and in general I pay more attention to my favourite cooks vegetable dishes. www.fatfreevegan.com is quite good too.

                It's hard to build up a fully functioning cooking repertoire and completely make the switch. Jonathan Saffran Foer said it took him 25 years or something like that!

                Good luck.

                2 Replies
                1. re: hillsbilly

                  I'm guessing hillsbilly means 101cookbooks.com, Heidi Swanson's site, not 1010 cookbooks?

                  I love that site just for the beautiful photos. Vegetarian, not vegan, but still lovely. She's got a cookbook, too.

                  EDIT: also, if you're willing to consider vegetarian (and don't mind converting from British measure to American), perhaps check out Ottolenghi's brand new "Plenty" that is generating a lot of excitement. There are some sample recipes and he has a column in the Guardian. Again, vegetarian, not vegan. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7038...




                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    She does have a cookbook (two, I think). I have Super Natural Cooking and while it's not bad, the recipes are frankly just ordinary. This one disappointed me--I so wanted to love it. But it's just kind of blah. The photography is great, though. And, as you note, vegetarian, but not vegan.

                2. Hi there! I was vegan for about four years - here are some of my favorite cookbooks:
                  Vegan with a Vengence
                  Nonna's Italian Cookbook (absolute favorite!!)
                  Check out this site too - http://www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com/pag...

                  1. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman has many recipes that are actually vegan, or can be made so by a few simple substitutions. I have friends who are vegetarians, and some of them are vegan, and this book has been an easy go-to for main dish meals. It does, however, have large sections devoted to eggs and cheese, and searching out his vegan recipes online might be a better bet. Also, many libraries have a decent cookbook selection, and some of these suggestions might be available for a test-drive. Good luck!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: onceadaylily

                      Yes, this is a fabulous cookbook, and many of the recipes are vegan. My favorites are the Mediterranean-Style bok choy, the sauteed eggplant, and the miso soup.
                      Party Vegan by Robin Robertson is fantastic...it has recipes that EVERYONE will love.
                      Also, Refresh by Ruth Dal features many delicious juice recipes plus noodle and rice bowls and interesting appetizers.

                      1. re: jenniferdines

                        Speaking of Bittman, his newish (published in 2010) "Food Matters Cookbook" features a lot of vegan recipes. Bittman's recipes never really work for me, but for those who are fans of his recipes, a couple of 'hounds, Gio and pikawicca report being happy with numerous recipes from Food Matters Cookbook. I thought the one recipe I tried from the book was an abomination, but, it wasn't vegan either!


                    2. Take a look at "Supermarket Vegan." No weird meat analogs or fake cheese, just lots of quick, tasty dishes made with fresh ingredients. Super simple.

                      1. I'm perusing "1.000 Vegan Recipes" by Robin Robertson. It's got some tasty looking recipes in it and is quite expanded (Everything from sauce to main course to dessert). See if you can borrow a book from the library 1st and do a test run before you commit to bringing it into your home.

                        1. Thanks everyone for all your help. I will definitely check out all of these books!

                            1. The Vegan Gourmet by Susan Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Gourmet-E...