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Vegetarian and Vegan Cookbooks

I'm always looking to expand my cookbook collection, especially when it comes to vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. My current favorites (the ones I turn to most often) are:

* How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman
* Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison
* The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook, by Robin Robertson
* Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World, by Madhur Jaffrey
* Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine, by Martha Rose Shulman
* A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends, by Jack Bishop

What are your favorite vegetarian or vegan cookbooks?

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  1. All of those....

    and Vegan with a Vengance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
    and Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry

    1. I don't know if this makes my answer off-topic, but I find that I tend to get better veg*n recipes from non-vegetarian cookbooks most of the time. I buy a lot of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, but most of them end up sitting on the shelf, or only have one or two usable things.

      I really enjoy Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters, anything by Fuchsia Dunlop for regional Chinese food (her upcoming book will feature even more vegetable based recipes). Diana Kennedy's books are a great resource for cooking Mexican food, despite her preference for lard over vegetable based oils.

      I can see the appeal of "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" - I enjoy Bittman's columns and articles, but I don't really need the "permission" to tweak recipes or experiment with different combinations, so I find the comprehensiveness and sheer size a bit much. Don't tell me 50 ways to do X; just tell me the 5 that taste the best.

      1. Books by Kurma Dasa:
        - Great Vegetarian Dishes
        - Quick Vegetarian Dishes
        - Cooking with Kurma
        - Vegetarian World Food

        Books by Yamuna Devi:
        - Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Vegetarian Cooking
        - Yamuna's Table: Healthy Vegetarian Cuisine Inspired by the Flavors of India
        - The Vegetarian Table: India

        Books by Shanka Dasa:
        - Simple Vegetarian Cooking, Indian Style
        - Simple Vegetarian Cooking, Italian Style

        Other great books:
        - The Hare Krishna book of Vegetarian Cooking by Adiraja Dasa
        - The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet
        - The Book of Eggfree Cakes by Cintia Stammers
        - The Art of Indian Sweets by Krishna Priya Dasi

        All are fantastic vegetarian/vegan cookbooks!

        1. I would love some suggestions for vegan baking cookbooks that don't use a lot of specialty ingredients. I'm not vegan, but I would like to bake for someone who is without spending a fortune on a bunch of ingredients I have no other use for. I've made some recipes from Post Punk Kitchen with varying results, some good, some bad.

          8 Replies
          1. re: sharonlouk

            you might want to look into "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar," by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (author of "Veganomicon" & "Vegan with a Vengeance," and creator of the Post Punk Kitchen).

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I love all of these that goodhealthgourmet mentioned. I love Isa Chandra Moskovitz and her punk rock style and her good taste in cookies. She has a cupcake book that I also use, not as much though. I like the brunch book too. Okay, this gal can do no wrong in mine eyes.

              I also love the Babycakes gluten free cookbooks. Yeah, the cakes are kind of heavy, but these recipes, once tweaked to my tastes, are the best vegan cupcakes and frostings I've had in a long time. I did tweak the recipes a LOT, but the first cookbook is still awesome imho. I'm going to get the second cookbook for the doughnut recipe. Love the freshly dipped chocolate doughnuts from the shop, would love to make them at home.

              1. re: choctastic

                I love 'The Concious Cook' (vegan). Lots of good recipes but focusses a lot on using gardein products.

                1. re: choctastic

                  Her books suffer from a lack of editing. I ditched "Veganomicon" after encountering too many recipes with serious errors.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Veganomicon is the only cookbook I regret buying. Had I taken it out at the library & reviewed it beforehand I wouldn't have bought it. To me it's not a good or "serious" cookbook. The editing mistakes are annoying and I've had to seriously rework each recipe to make the dish taste right. I still don't understand the adulation it receives.

                    1. re: corj

                      Now that you guys mention it, I have to admit that Veganomicon is the one book that Moskowitz put out that I don't use at all. But she has so many free recipes on her website that work really well for me (chocolate chip cookies turned out surprisingly well), that I will forgive her on this one. Plus I got an Amazon deal on mine.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet


                  Her raw strawberry cheesecake is one of my favorite recipes from PPK.

                3. re: sharonlouk

                  "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The ingredients are totally normal and the cupcakes are fabulous. The absolute best recipe in the book, of the ones I've made, in my opinion, is for Banana Split Cupcakes.

                4. The Rebar Modern Food Cookbook!

                  Painted Desert Salad! (Leafy greens, roasted red peppers, aged cheddar, avocado and pine nuts with smoky chipotle vinaigrette!) Bombay Roll-Up (filled with cashew-ginger hummus and tomato-ginger chutney)! Every single recipe is SO GOOD. I have been cooking from it for years, and gifting it for years, and everyone loves it!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jetgirly

                    A few years back, I was a raw vegan. While I sold many of my raw cookbooks, I still have some favorites left. I thought about selling them, but actually, there are many recipes that are still valid considering I'm now Paleo.. especially the dessert recipes. I've ditched the agave, though. That stuff is worse than high fructose corn syrup!

                    1. re: Jetgirly

                      i might have to look into the Rebar book - it sounds terrific.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        goodhealthgourmet I second the Rebar modern food cookbook. Rebar is a vegetarian restaurant in Victoria British Columbia that serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. Their book is full of well seasoned interesting vegetarian/vegan dishes which delight the taste buds. One of my main books for inspiration.

                    2. I love Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi for really creative vegetarian food (he's not actually a vegetarian, just likes vegetables!).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: greedygirl

                        His first book (called simply "Ottolenghi"), while not vegetarian, is full of terrific vegetarian dishes.

                        I also like 660 Curries which again, is not veggie, but when there's 660 recipes, they don't all have to be!

                        1. re: greedygirl

                          When I saw the title of this thread I logged on so I could suggest "Plenty." I had leafed through it earlier this morning while planning a Shabbat dinner and ended up with way too many recipes! (And a further testament to the book, I rarely if ever go to a recipe book to plan a meal, rather I decide what I want to do and then go to look for takes on a dish.)

                        2. Thank you all for the recommendations; my Amazon wish list is growing exponentially and I am looking forward to expanding our meal repertoire.

                          1. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned Heidi Swanson's two books, Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day. I've enjoyed reading those books but I don't LOVE them the way some people do. They're worth taking another look at, and maybe worth a thread as to what people have had success with.

                            Also, I love Olive Trees and Honey, which is a collection of vegetarian recipes from Jewish communities around the world. There's a lot of really interesting (and delicious) recipes in there that I haven't seen elsewhere, particularly from Sephardic areas.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: herring

                              I don't own the cookbooks but I read the 101 cookbooks blog. The recipes are interesting and I've made several. A lot of recipes call for unusual grains. I prefer the vegetable recipes.

                              Also the Bittman book is excellent. I keep it on my counter and use it almost every day.

                            2. The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Diana Shaw, all of the Moosewood cookbooks, Mollie Katzen's books and the Vegetarian Times cookbook. I just finished a bowl of African Peanut Soup from the VT book.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: LisaPA

                                I second Moosewood and other Mollie Katzen (especially Enchanted Broccoli Forest).

                                1. re: eatingherselfalive

                                  I have to join in the Moosewood and Mollie Katzen chorus. My mom became a vegetarian in the late 70s/early 80s and many of my childhood food memories (good and bad!) come from those cookbooks.

                                2. re: LisaPA

                                  If you're lacto-ovo I definitely second the Moosewood books. If you're vegan they're not so good.

                                3. Currently I use Mark Bittman a lot, I love the way he gives you basic recipes and then tons of ideas for variations and substitutions, to encourage you to do your own thing. For many years, I cooked from the "Greens" restaurant cookbooks (Deborah Madison & Annie Sommerville) -- Greens, Fields of Greens, The Savory Way. I also like the Moosewood cookbooks, and Nava Atlas (Vegetarian Family Cookbook) for quick and easy.

                                  1. I eat vegan, but have tons of non-vegan cookbooks from my pre-vegan days.
                                    My Top Ten cookbooks are:
                                    1. Radiant Health, Inner Wealth by Tess Challis {vegan}
                                    My kitchen was revolutionized when I discovered Tess’ cookbooks. Fresh, flavourful food without too much fuss. I have cooked so many of the recipes from her 3 cookbooks, and I have maybe had like 1-2 recipes I didn't care for.
                                    2. The Two Week Wellness Solution by Tess Challis {vegan}
                                    3. Radiance 4 Life by Tess Challis {vegan}
                                    4. Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz {vegan}
                                    I go through periods where I love this cookbook and then I set it down for a while. Not all recipes have been winners, but most have been great and healthy.
                                    5. Love Soup by Anna Thomas {vegetarian}
                                    It is no secret that I love soup and I love Love Soup by Anna Thomas. All of the soups have been real gems, flavourful and healthy. However, one draw-back is that the recipes are usually pretty long and dirty a lot of dishes.
                                    6. For the Love of Food by Denis Cotter {vegetarian}
                                    I peruse this cookbook more than I cook from it because while all the recipes are mouth-watering, they typically include multiple steps for one dish. When I do bust them out, though, the recipes have been nice.
                                    7. Olive Trees and Honey by Gil Marks {vegetarian}
                                    This is a collection of Jewish recipes from around the world. What I love about this vegetarian cookbook is that there are plenty of variations with each recipe. Swapping a single spice will transfer a dish from an Indian version to a Syrian delicacy.
                                    8. 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyers {meat dishes included but lots of veg*n}
                                    This is one daunting of a cookbook but when we tackle it, the results have been great. It is also one reason we have a large collection of spices and beans.
                                    9. Rebar by Audrey Alsterburg and Wanda Urbanowicz {vegetarian}
                                    This cookbook has phenomenal soups and salads. Every time I pick it up there is another recipe I bookmark. The long ingredient lists can be daunting but definitely worthwhile.
                                    10. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi {vegetarian}
                                    Master of combining new ingredients, this is a great way to try something you have likely never thought of before. A lot of his recipes have been previously published through his column at The Guardian.

                                    Honourable mentions to some more recent acquisitions:
                                    1000 Indian Recipes {meat included, mostly vegetarian but many vegan dishes}
                                    Bean by Bean {meat included, mostly vegetarian but many vegan dishes}
                                    River Cottage Veg Every Day {vegetarian}


                                    1. 1. Olive Trees and Honey by Gil Marks
                                      Page after page of wonderful recipes, the subtitle gives mark's secret away, it's something like "vegetarian recipes of the Jewish world", With (almost) all the cuisines of the world to explore, he gives you the great recipes used by Jewish cooks on every continent. Except Antarctica.
                                      2. Rose Eliot, Classic Vegetarian. Like Julia Child's French cook book, for vegetarians. Learn the technique of making a perfect terrine. Enabled me to raise my vegetarian meals to a whole new level.
                                      3. Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It's like cooking school, in a book.

                                      1. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

                                        After posting here a couple of days ago, I went back to my bookshelf. This really is the best vegetarian cookbook. Bar none. The best. In both the Vegan and vegetarian categories.

                                        She doesn't play around with imitation meat, or imitation anything. She just teaches you how to cook the most amazing food.

                                        1. A lot of good suggestions here. One of my favorites that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet is Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons. frequently the first place I look.

                                          1. I stumbled upon a great Indian cookbook called "From Bengal To Punjab" by Smita Chandra at a used book store. It does have some meat recipes, but is mostly vegetarian (and many recipes are vegan, and many of the meat recipes could easily be adapted for tofu or other faux meat instead).

                                            1. I don't think anyone has mentioned
                                              -- Lorna Sass' Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure (one I use most frequently for tasty meals that prep quickly)

                                              --or anything by Martha Rose Schulman (although many of her books include non-vegetarian recipes a substantial portion of each book is veg. Her recent one on Med. cooking is wonderful)

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: alc

                                                Both Lorna Sass and Martha Rose Shulman are wonderful cookbook authors. I consider them both mentors, especially Lorna, from whom I learned how to pressure cook and write pressure cooking recipes..

                                                1. re: The Veggie Queen

                                                  Thanks! And I don't think anyone has mentioned Crescent Dragonwagon -- Passionate Veg. is great and I love her new book on beans.

                                              2. My current guilty pleasure cookbooks have been Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson (her seitan recipes are the best ones I have encountered; they are never-fail for me) and the new Chloe Cosarelli cookbook (which I won through VegNews).

                                                1. I have Bittman and Madison too. Bittman's is far more useful to me; Madison often calls for ingredients that I don't have and aren't easily come by. Bittman's variations on basic recipes are sometimes brilliant - for example, miso paste as one of the 11 variations on anything-scented peas.

                                                    1. In addition to all of the excellent authors and books mentioned above, I can recommend anything by Dreena Burton and Jae Steele. I use Jae's book, Get It Ripe, all the time. One of my family members has absconded with my collection of Dreena's books, but they were among the first I purchased when I switched to a (mainly) vegan diet. (I think my first was Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.) Lately, I have enjoyed Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason. Love the flavors, the fruit, the coconut.....

                                                      For desserts, no one tops Hannah Kaminsky. My copy of My Sweet Vegan is tattered and torn. I do love Isa and Terry's work in the dessert world, too. Cookies, pies and cupcakes, all really good.

                                                      I also follow many vegan blogs, which is great fun. Happy Cookbook Collecting!

                                                      1. My all time fave cookbook is Veganomicon by Isa Chandra. There are recipes in there that I eat over and over again. If you want something for fancy dinners The Concious Cook by Tal Ronnen is really good but all the recipes def require planning and forethought, the recipes have ingredients that you won't have lying around most of the time.

                                                        1. I get very frustrated with omnivores, or those looking to get into vegan cuisine constantly attempting to reinvent the wheel by veganising omnivore recipes. You wouldn't pick vegan recipes and swap in animal ingredients to create fantastic nonvegan dishes, so why would you do it vice versa?

                                                          There are so many great vegan cookbooks and cookbook authors out there, but they don't tend to be the most popular ones. And sadly, a lot of people come to a vegan/vegetarian perspective from a healthy view - which is great for them, but shouldn't define the cuisine. Fat, and sugar should all be acceptable within the cuisine, using "vegan" as a definition. And yes, vegan cooking is becoming a cuisine. Don't be afraid of flavour, people!

                                                          As far as I'm concerned, *the* best vegetarian or vegan cookbooks out are:
                                                          Vegan Diner, by Julie Hasson (everydaydish.tv)
                                                          World Vegan Feast or Nonna's Italian Kitchen, by Bryanna Clark Grogan (veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com)
                                                          The Urban Vegan, by Dynise Balcavage (urbanvegan.net)
                                                          and Let Them Eat Vegan, by Dreena Burton (plantpoweredkitchen.com).

                                                          I don't know why these ladies are not famous - they're incredible. Their recipes are well researched, tested, reliable, and tasty. And they present a great spectrum and variety. They're all very helpful and accessible for questions, as well.

                                                          12 Replies
                                                          1. re: mattheworbit

                                                            Perhaps this is not really the board to say this, but I disagree with your proclamation that omnivores would not pick vegan recipes and swap in animal ingredients. I have added chicken to some grain salads, for instance. The world of cooking is quite wide; cooks can do just about anything they want, and succeed at it, if they know what they want and what they're doing.

                                                            1. re: mattheworbit

                                                              I'm not saying that people should always "veganize" omnivorous recipes, but a lot of non-vegetarian cookbooks have recipes which are inherently vegetarian or vegan in them, and often others which can be trivially modified (using oil instead of butter, omitting cheese, etc.).

                                                              Let's face it -- for most people, you're lucky if a cookbook has even a few recipes you like and cook often. I own and have read a *lot* of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, and I stand by what I said above.

                                                              1. re: will47

                                                                I'm the same way. I'm one of those who take omnivore recipes and modify them. I do have some veggie cookbooks I like but I've never consistently found recipes I like as much as when I modify omnivore ones from cookbooks. This has been for both veggie and vegan cooking. I have been vegetarian for decades, long before I began really cooking at all, so I didn't get into veggie cooking that way. I was already a longtime vegetarian when I began cooking more and adapting recipes.

                                                                1. re: bythebay

                                                                  Now that I think about it, I realize I'm the same way with kosher cooking. I keep kosher, but far prefer using "regular," i.e. non-kosher, cookbooks, rather than all kosher ones. Some people who cook kosher prefer recipes that leave out pork, shellfish, etc. right from the start, but I far prefer to modify regular recipes, like to substitute chicken for pork, rather than use the kosher cookbooks, which often tend to be far less interesting and have far less variety in them.

                                                              2. re: mattheworbit

                                                                As an omnivore I have to say I'm happier with my omnivore cookbooks for vegetarian/vegan recipes than my explicitly vegan/vegetarian cookbooks. For example, Vegenomicon was a big fail for me; I love Ottolenghi and 660 Curries, as I mentioned above. Sometimes I think the "hard core" ones just try too hard. YMMV.

                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                  I never said I liked Veganomicon ;).

                                                                  I just feel like that omnivores approach vegetarian/vegan food differently, in that you're often looking for something "light" and "different", whereas we're eating it every day - so we want something hearty, and familiar!

                                                                  I get so disappointed when I go to restaurants and they merely remove the non-vegan products.

                                                                  A good vegan recipe should be written so that it is good enough to not require "omnivorising, or whatever". And sadly there are a *lot* of bad vegan recipes out there.

                                                                  I'm often disappointed by recipes that are "inherently vegan" in ethnic cuisine - sure, they may be delicious - but will they fill me up? I don't really want to live on lentils, chickpeas, and salads.

                                                                2. re: mattheworbit

                                                                  Vegan Diner is possibly my husband's new favorite cookbook. He loves it because it proves that vegan food can get down and dirty and greasy. Also, I think Julie's seitan recipes kick ass. The pastrami one alone is worth the price of purchase.

                                                                  1. re: mattheworbit

                                                                    Ideas in cooking evolve from exposure to other influences. What on earth is wrong with taking a meat or dairy-based recipe and making it vegan? I've made lots of good dishes by doing that.

                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                      Oh my goodness, I didn't expect all of you to get in such a flap over my comments!

                                                                      I just think ultimately it's a little bit strange, because it's almost like saying you don't trust that the vegetarian and vegan cookbook authors have created a good enough dish?

                                                                      Have any of the people attacking this idea tried the cookbooks I've recommended?

                                                                      1. re: mattheworbit

                                                                        I don't think it's a matter of not trusting those authors, but more one of making use of books people may already own. Also, if I have a long-standing favorite, why not try to adapt it to my new way of eating?

                                                                        1. re: mattheworbit

                                                                          I've used the first two cookbooks on your list and have already commented on them, but to answer your new question: as a non-vegetarian who likes his vegetables, :-) I'm inclined to trust authors like Bittman who share my perspective. Bittman has since declared himself a vegetarian, but he's still the same cook who wrote "How to Cook Everything," that's what earned my trust, and many of the recipes in his vegetarian cookbook are straight from his general cookbook or slightly modified, which didn't require me to trust him at all.

                                                                          I bought Madison's cookbook because a friend recommended it highly, but haven't found it nearly as useful or appealing as Bittman. I attribute this partly (and maybe unfairly) to her always having been a vegetarian chef, teacher, and cookbook author, and having the rather specialized taste and attitude that this implies. Her book may well be better than Bittman for lifelong vegetarians who share her palate, but I don't feel her recipes have repaid my trust.

                                                                        2. re: Josh

                                                                          And the original question was for *vegetarian and vegan cookbooks*. I'm simply answering the question as it was asked.

                                                                          I guess the other thing is - there are so many bad vegetarian and vegan cookbooks out there - I'd really like to draw attention to some of the good ones.

                                                                      2. Here are a couple more vegetarian books by good writers:

                                                                        Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, "From the Earth: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking"

                                                                        Darra Goldstein, "The Winter Vegetarian: A Warm and Versatile Bounty"

                                                                        1. ALL of the books by Anna Thomas - "The Vegetarian Epicure", "The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two", "The New Vegetarian Epicure", & "Love Soup". I own all but "Love Soup", & cook from them frequently; in fact my copies of the first two are falling apart. The recipes appeal to vegetarians & non-vegetarians alike - good food is good food.


                                                                          1. I have three kind "out there" suggestions for folks looking to branch out.

                                                                            This first one is most definitely a guilty pleasure. I have a lot of whack-ado cookbooks: Dinah Shore and Star Trek to name but two. Babe's Country Cookbook: 80 Completely Meat-Free Recipes can be had for a song, used, and the recipes are actually pretty good.

                                                                            The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Whitecap books is great but it does contain a couple mistakes and one needs to convert every once in a while when only one measurement or temperature is given. That said, I like the added conversions from Fahrenheit to Celsius to Gas level numbers. Aside from many tasty and often-used recipes I also really appreciate that the cover is waterproof.

                                                                            This last one is radical in every way, but I just love it: Please Don't Feed the Bears!: A Vegan Cookbook. If you are offended by random or not-so-very-random swearing and/or you are put off by death-metal then avoid at all costs. For me, it was worth every nickel just for the Cannonball Cabbage Salad with Hellfire Peanuts. That was the 1st recipe I made from the book and I haven't found a clunker yet. The only criticism I have of the recipes is that a lot of them call for liquid smoke, which is fine if you like it - I personally don't care for liquid smoke. The other slightly maddening thing is that there is no index and recipes refer to each other without page numbers. Hey, it's a 'zine cookbook - so that's a small ding.

                                                                            1. Chloe's Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli is my favorite