I find a lot of my plant-based recipes online, but there are a handful of cookbooks I swear by! There’s something extra special about flipping through the physical pages of an expertly crafted recipe collection. I’ve added the whole shopable list to Amazon, but here’s a bit more information about my favorites:
I bought The Conscious Cook when it first came out in 2009, but I’ve actually re-purchased it two more times (I tend to misplace things when I move from city to city). Chef/author Tal Ronnen, who serves as the Executive Chef at Crossroads (one of Los Angeles’ trendiest vegan restaurants) is known for creative gourmet cuisine, so it’s no surprise that these recipes are a bit complicated. The final results are sure to impress, but be prepared to double the “prep time” estimated by the chef!
Favorite Recipes from The Conscious Cook
- Asparagus & Meyer Lemon Risotto
- Paella with Sausage, Nori-Dusted Oyster Mushrooms, and Wine-Braised Artichoke Hearts
- Pine-nut-and-basil seared Gardein chick’n w/ lobster mushroom beurre blanc, Braised Kale, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Old Bay Tofu Cakes with Pan-Roasted Summer Vegetables, Horseradish cream, Apples, and Beets
- Twice-Baked Fingerling Potatoes with Crisped Dulse
Isa Chandra Moskowitz has been creating decadent vegan food longer than I’ve even know what the word vegan means. She co-created “Veganomicon“, which many consider to be the original vegan encyclopedia, but I personally think her best work is in Isa Does It. The recipes in this book are very approachable, making it the perfect resource for a weeknight cook who’s short on time.
Favorite Recipes from Isa Does It:
- New England Glam Chowder
- Roasted Red Pepper Mac ‘n Cheese
- White Wine Risotto with Peas & Shiitake Bacon
I’ve been following Chef Mary Mattern since her early days on Instagram, where she regularly provides drool-worthy food photography. Despite plates of plant-based food being her primary content, we still get a glimpse into her personality via her love for music and passion for justice. Many of her photos are unaccompanied by recipes or instructions, because her best material sits within the pages of this book! I’m just starting to work my way through it, but so far I’ve only been impressed.
Favorite Recipes from Nom Yourself: Simple Vegan Cooking:
- Cauliflower Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- Black Bean Jambalaya
- Balsamic Garlic Portobello Chop
I bought my first Crock-Pot a year ago, and I was pretty clueless about how to use it. This book really helped me experiment with my first few slow coked meals. The first recipe I ever made, the Chipotle Corn Chowder, continues to be a favorite that I make at least once a month! The recipes in this book eschew vegan “substitutes” (i.e.: plant-based meat and dairy), but I happen to like things like that, so I occasionally add something extra like Field Roast sausage or Gardein beefless crumbles. But that’s up to you!
Favorite recipes from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker:
- Chipotle Corn Chowder (One of my most frequently made recipes; I add 3/4 cup homemade cashew cream!)
- Just The Stuffing
- Caramelized Onion Soup (I made it with Follow Your Heart mozzarella and broiled it for a few minutes before serving; amateur photo attached below)
I’ve been a fan of Chef Brian Patton for many years. I stumbled upon him online and loved his humor and the fact that he’s just a fun, witty dude who happens to be an excellent cook! He’s constantly coming up with wild creations on Instagram, but some of his more fine-tuned recipes show up in his first cookbook. My favorite thing about it? The first chapter is all cocktails.
Favorite Recipes from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook:
- The Get Busy (super refreshing cocktail)
- Barbecue Ribs with Smoky Elbows and Cheeze
- Stuffed Shells Puttanesca