9 Cookbooks On My Shelf That You Should Have Too

It’s easier than ever to find recipes thanks to websites such as Pinterest and Yummly. However, every now and then I really just want to do it the old fashioned way. There is just something about holding the actual book in your hand with its big bright photos and being able to physically mark your favorite recipes.

In addition, books are often the only way to get exclusive recipes from my favorite chefs. Because of this, I’ll always be a fan of cookbooks. I still have quite a few on my wishlist, but I’m also pretty happy with my current mini collection. These books not only helped me with my transition to veganism, but also keep me continuously inspired. Here are 9 of the best cookbooks in my possession. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant or just a veggie lover, I think you’ll like them too.

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1- Afro-Vegan

Vegan Soul Kitchen was one of the very first vegan cookbooks I purchased. Consider “Afro-Vegan” it’s sequel. I had the pleasure of attending a Mardi Gras themed dinner hosted by Bryant Terry. During which I got to taste some of the dishes that inspired this book. I even got to purchase a signed copy for myself. The cookbook is full of African, Caribbean, and Southern inspired recipes. There are plenty of full color photos of the dishes. In addition, each recipe is accompanied by a suggested track from the chef’s suggested playlist.

2- Plum

A few years back, The Vegan Vine co-hosted a wine dinner with Plum Bistro. Many of the dishes served came from this cookbook. I absolutely fell in love with the cuisine of Plum Bistro during that dinner. Each dish was full of color, beautifully plated, and absolutely delicious. Once again, I was fortunate enough to snag a signed copy to take home. The dishes are hearty, satisfying, yet elegant at the same time. I highly recommend adding this book to your collection.

3- The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook

Boy was I grateful to have a place like Native Foods to eat when I first went veg. They make vegan versions of all your favorite every day dishes. They are so tasty that many of their customers aren’t even vegan. Native Foods operates several restaurants with menu items such as burgers, wraps, salads, tacos, nachos, bowls, and an array of desserts. I could eat the Native Nachos with a glass of their lavender lemonade every day. Lucky for us, we can now make many of their dishes at home using this cookbook. There is more than one, since they release a new one every few years. However, you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

4- Vegan Brunch

Isa Chandra Moskowitz is well known in the vegan community for her collection of cookbooks and her awesome blog Post Punk Kitchen. Her recipes rock and the ones in this cookbook are no exception. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch? I love brunch foods and having a legitimate excuse to have a couple mimosas. Sip away, while whipping up some vegan pancakes, waffles, french toast, scrambles, and more.

5- The Juice Generation

So technically the recipes in this book don’t require any cooking. I just had to add it nonetheless. Every now and then, I like to get in a good cleanse. My cleanse method of choice is a juice fast. For 3-10 days I will drink nothing but freshly-pressed organic fruits and veggies. It’s not always easy to figure out good flavor combinations. This book has a great variety of recipes. Whether you are barely able to get down a fruit juice or you are an all green veggie juice pro, there is something for you. Not everyone is a fan of the taste of vegetable juice. This book contains recipes that are both nutritious and palatable. There are even a few that are just downright delicious.

6- Grilling Vegan Style

Ok, so my boyfriend and I have recently become obsessed with grilling. The evidence is all over my Instagram feed.

New Place + Bigger Patio + New BBQ Grill + Warmer Weather = Grilling Marathon.

Many people don’t associate vegan food with BBQ. That’s a shame because plant foods are some of the easiest to cook on the grill. In the short time we’ve had the grill, we’ve made veggie burgers, veggie sausages, potatoes, grilled veggies, quesadillas, sweet and sour tofu, two types of vegan fajitas, plus more, on the grill. Just to make sure we didn’t run out of ideas, I purchases this book. It is chock full of awesome grilling recipes, from causal burgers to fancy tapas. In addition, there is a section for picnic-friendly desserts and an awesome list of BBQ friendly summer cocktails. I can’t wait to try out one of the grilled pizzas. This is your veg friendly guide to all things summer foods.

7- Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays

The holidays can be a challenging time for many vegans. This is especially true for those that are transitioning into a plant based lifestyle. Fortunately, giving up dairy products doesn’t mean having to give up all your holiday favorites. This is another book that I bought right after going vegan. It is full of both gluten free and vegan holiday classics. With this in your arsenal, you’ll never go hungry at any holiday gathering.

8- Vegan On The Cheap

One of the biggest myths surrounding veganism is that it has to be expensive. Sure, artisanal and specialty vegan products can be pricey. However, those items don’t make up the bulk of what most vegans eat. If you cook at home and use fresh whole food ingredients, plants foods are often less expensive. This book is full of simple, made mostly from scratch recipes that won’t break the bank. Also included are prep tips, a shopping list, budgeting advice, and a cost comparison chart.

9. The I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook

Some of you may know that I am a big fan of Trader Joe’s. Hopefully, you’ve read my post Easy Three Ingredient Plant Based Meals From Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s has so many awesome specialty items that you can’t get anywhere else. Even better, they always have a great variety of plant based items. This cookbook is part of a series of books all about cooking from Trader Joe’s. This particular book contains exclusively vegetarian recipes. Many of the recipes also happen to be vegan. The best part is that every non-vegan recipe lists modifications to easily veganize it. Each recipe’s features ingredients that you can find at Trader Joes. What a great way to guarantee you’ll only have to stop at one store. The recipes are simple, easy to prepare, and don’t require a laundry list of ingredients. Make this book your shopping companion on your next trip to Trader Joe’s.

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