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Over the past few months, I’ve gradually become almost 100% plant based in my diet. I’ve been dairy and egg free (due to allergies) for the last seven years, and have never been a big fan of meat. To be honest, I still eat fish and seafood occasionally, and there are very rare times when I will eat meat. So far, my body and mind have responded well to this change in my diet. I feel more at peace, knowing that no animal was harmed for my meal, and to be honest, I haven’t noticed either a significant positive or negative change in my physical health so far.
But I am obsessed with food. Seriously. I love it. My mum is an amazing cook, so I’ve grown up with a diverse and exotic food education. My partner is a chef, and the day he lets himself put a flavourless, uninspired dish on the table will be the day hell freezes over. None of us have time for boring food! Delicious, nutritious and exciting food is integral to our family, and our education has just become more intriguing since I’ve moved to a plant baed diet.
Those of you who have already, or are considering, moving towards a plant-based diet will know there are plenty of pre-conceived ideas out there about what plant based and vegan food tastes like. Bland vegetable burger patties, boring white tofu and uninspiring salads tend to be the cliche. But most of that is completely false! There are so many delicious recipes out there that don’t use animal products, and the cookbook scene is starting to burst with incredible new authors shifting the way we consider plant based food.
Inspired by my recent cookbook acquisitions, I’ve decided to share some of my favourites, plus a number of others that I am desperate to purchase and put through their paces! The vegan and plant based food scene is so exciting, with new ideas and recipes emerging continually. I hope you enjoy my roundup of impressive recipe books designed to ignite your tastebuds!
Kids & Families
Let’s start with the ‘tricky’ one, shall we? Most parents will have faced the ‘trying to get the kids to eat vegetables’ challenge (I’m not a mum yet, but I’ve heard plenty of war stories), so a vegan diet? For kids?? Is that even possible? Keep reading for three exciting cookbooks designed for families with children that will definitely get them eating their vegetables!
Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes
This fantastic book, written by mum and cookbook writer Dreena Burton, not only shares mouth-watering recipes, but tips and tricks on how to deal with fussy eaters, how to stock a vegan pantry, packing school lunches and how to handle a vegan diet while you’re out and about.
The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth
This cookbook is too cute for words! Filled with colourful photographs and illustrations, it is designed to get kids involved in making their own food, so they know where it’s come from, what it does for them, and how it impacts the planet. The recipes themselves look great (think: Leprechaun Footprints, Tomato Tornado and Tiger Stripes), but the kids will also find cool facts and cute animal characters.
But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!: 125 Recipes to Win Everyone Over (But I Could Never Go Vegan!)
We’ve all heard the reasons ‘not’ to go vegan. Whenever I tell people I am allergic to dairy, the first response is (without fail), ‘oh you poor thing! I could never give up dairy!’ I bet they could if they’d tried truly delicious alternatives! Author Kristy Turner very cleverly bases her cookbook around 20 common objections to becoming vegan as a family… and busts them right open with mouth-watering recipes to prove the naysayers wrong!
The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples
My partner and I have found that some of the most satisfying things to make in the kitchen are those real basics: the perfect stock, homemade jam, and vegan butter. Getting those staples right is so rewarding, plus you know exactly what has gone into them! In this gorgeous cookbook, Miyoko Schinner shares delightful recipes for making your own basics at home…vegan style!
The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes That Are Ready When You Are
I absolutely love a good slow-cooker meal. You just throw everything in the pot, leave it to cook for a few hours, and have a magically delicious and nutritious meal at the end of it. It’s the ultimate in winter luxury in my books. This super popular vegan version of slow cooker cookbooks is filled with over 100 time-saving and mouthwatering meals.
The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts―and the Rest of Your Life
I love a good myth-buster. And the No Meat Athlete Cookbook sure is a fantastic myth-buster. Co-author Matt Frazier is an ultra-marathon runner who sustains himself on a plant based diet. I love how his book and blog show what a body is capable of on a plant-baed diet.
The Australian Women’s Weekly Vegan Kitchen
The Women’s Weekly cookbooks are an institution here in Australia. I have them, my mum has them, my mum’s mum has them. I can guarantee my neighbour’s aunty’s sister-in-law has them, they’re that popular. So I was delighted when, for my birthday this year, mum presented me with the new ‘Vegan Kitchen’ by the AWW. Ten minutes later, she also presented me with a whole feast of dishes for my Birthday Dinner cooked straight from the book! As the rest of my family aren’t usually plant-based, this made me so happy! And to top the night off, we then got to eat a delicious Citrus Poppyseed cake that mum had cooked from the Vegan Kitchen. It was delicious. Even my dairy and egg eating family loved it, which can be a struggle when it comes to cakes.
I absolutely love this book. The photography is bright, cheery and millennial. The recipes range from ‘whip it up quick’ salads to ‘this one is reserved for Christmas lunch’ Vegan Wellingtons.
¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook: 150 Mouthwatering Recipes from Tamales to Churros
Mexican food is my bliss. My partner lived in San Sebastian, Spain, for a year while working at a Michelin-star restaurant over there (he doesn’t brag about himself, so someone has to). He worked with a number of Mexican chefs who taught him recipes that I now devour! I love how light and clean good Mexican food can be, while also being ridiculously delicious, and now we can do it completely vegan! In this colourful and uplifting book you’ll find Jackfruit Guisado Tortas, Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas Verdes and Churros! I feel like this is worth inviting over your best friends for a Mexican feast!
The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
One of the first vegan cakes I ever made was a Ginger and Pear Bundt Cake from the Oh She Glows blog. It remains one of my favourite desserts. Ever. Just thinking about it makes me happy. Even my partner exalts its virtues when I mention The Bundt. And blogger Angela Liddon followed up her amazing blog with this cookbook which also includes gluten, nut and soy free options. She’s also followed it up with the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook which is filled with quick and easy family-friendly recipes.
Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes
On the first morning of my London trip in May, I marched myself straight to the Mae Deli, blogger Ella’s gorgeous plant based cafe. I ordered (delicious and jet-lag worthy) pancakes, a huge mug of tea and sat myself down at the communal table. And lo and behold, who was sitting next to me chatting with her friend? Ella herself. I almost fell off the rustic wooden bench. I fan-girled internally for a little while before my pancakes were served, which were yummy enough to distract me. Having eaten the food at Mae Deli, Ella’s cookbooks are at the top of my must-buy list!
Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized
Blogger Sam Turnball is here to make vegan eating quick, easy and delicious. And, you guessed it, fuss free. I love her blog and her honesty – ‘Sometimes I love a smoothie or a juice, but for the most part, I just want pancakes and pasta. Why did I have to become all sprouts and kale just because I was vegan?’ If that sounds like you, find out more about her book below.
Vegan 100: Over 100 Incredible Recipes from Avant-Garde Vegan
This was another winner that mum gifted me for my birthday. It’s full of down-to-earth food with a few new exciting recipes such as vegan butter spreads. This was the first recipe from the book that I whipped up and it was super quick and easy! Gaz’s food is hearty and comforting- thing Vegan Big Breakfast with the lot!
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
Thug Kitchen has turned into a cult, and I love it! Note- this book isn’t for those with an adversity to swearing, you’ll find rude words (hilariously) dotted throughout. But you will also find deliciousssss recipes that appeal in particular to millennials- ‘HEAL THY HANGOVER WITH THIS BRUNCH BADDIE. You can make our Breakfast Tamale Pie the night before and let Past You be a goddamn hero to Future You.’ You get the idea.
Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes
The Minimalist Baker blog has been a hit since 2012, and Dana’s followup cookbook has been just as popular. You’ll find simple and delicious meals, step by step recipes, must-have plant based pantry items and equipment and top tips.
The Plantpower Way: Italia: Delicious Vegan Recipes from the Italian Countryside
My partner comes from a half Italian family that he takes a lot of pride in. And he is obsessed with pasta. So I couldn’t really leave out this stunning cookbook inspired by the Italian countryside. In The Plantpower Way: Italia, you’ll discover breath-taking Italian scenery and your favourite Nonna-Inspired meals turned vegan!
Chloe is all about bold and exciting vegan flavours! You sure won’t find anything bland in this cookbook! She is an award-winning chef, successful entrepreneur, and bestselling cookbook author who rose to fame by being the first vegan chef to win Cupcake Wars #winning. You’ll find Bacon Lovers BLTs, Banana Donuts and a heap of other divine vegan recipes inside.
VBQ―The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook: Over 80 Recipes―Seared, Skewered, Smoking Hot!
So, I’m Australian. And Australia tends to mean Summer (except for those real cold 5 months a year we have, but whatever). And Summer means BBQing. Because who wants to heat up the house when it’s 36 degrees outside? Not this little vegan. We are heading into my first summer plant based, and to be honest I’m a little nervous. Because traditionally, BBQ= meat. Luckily, this cookbook has come along with eggplant hot dogs, Vietnamese pizza and roasted avocados to save the day! No dodgy meat sausages for me, no sir! This book has me excited for trying out a whole host of plant based, interesting grilled recipes.
Baking & Sweets
Modern Vegan Baking: The Ultimate Resource for Sweet and Savory Baked Goods
For me, baking has been the hardest area to crack when moving towards a plant based/vegan diet. In this divine book, Gretchen Price explores new and inventive ways of using ingredients to create delicious baked goods. Everything from riple Chocolate Glazed Donuts (yes please), Rosemary and Fig Focaccia, to Lemon Lavender Shortbread (yummm).
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats
Cookies. Everyone’s weakness. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re little sugary circles of happiness. A good choc-chip cookie is so perfect it’s beyond words. But in this book you’ll also come across brownie, biscotti and bar recipes that are just as moreish. I feel like this would be my ideal Christmas present (hint, hint anyone!).
Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking: Delicious, Gluten-, Egg- and Dairy-Free Treats and Sweets
This one is designed to support our gluten free friends, too. This cookbook is overflowing with yummy gluten free and vegan baking recipes to make every tummy happy. The Sweet Almond Braided Bread is highest on my must-try list, but frankly the Pumpkin Cupcakes sound just as amazing!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my round up of plant based and vegan cookbooks. I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the recipes in these books, and what you thought. I think it’s so encouraging to see emerging bloggers, authors and chefs coming out with tantalising plant based recipes!