I can never have enough cookbooks… and I have not been this excited about a crop of plant-based cookbooks in a while!
To be honest, for a long time, I didn’t buy many vegetarian or vegan cookbooks because I didn’t find them inspiring. Instead, I took my inspiration from traditional cookbooks and used those to create my plant-based recipes. A lot of the recipes in Eat More Plants Cookbook actually came from me wanting to vegan-ize old favourites or things I had seen on restaurant menus or old cookbooks.
Now, it’s totally a different ball game: there is an explosion of creative, fun, healthy and just downright good plant-based cookbooks. So here are my picks – new, newish and classic in random order – for the best plant-based cookbooks that I think should line your shelves.
Um, what’s the difference between plant-based and vegan?
The terms plant-based and vegan get used pretty interchangeably…but they can mean different things!
Here is how I define it.
Vegan means 100% animal free: no dairy, no eggs, no honey. It might be healthy, it might not. It might mean Oreos and faux cream cheese…or it might mean salad and steel cut oats. If you identify with this term, you may also extend avoiding animal products to your entire lifestyle, typically for ethical reasons.
Plant-based means eating mostly whole plants. Like, actual, single ingredient plant foods like broccoli, almonds and chickpeas. If you eat a plant-based diet, you might 100% avoid animal products…or leave a little wiggle room for an egg or honey or some fish once in a while. You might come to this diet for sustainability, health or ethics…or all three.
Got it? Let’s do this!
Here are my picks for the ten best plant-based cookbooks out there!
To convince even the plant-based skeptics:
Minimalist Baker’s recipes are always delicious…Dana’s blog is one of my go-to’s for recipes that will satisfy a crowd. She keeps the ingredients lists, or the dishes, minimal (hence the name!) and they’re so, so good. Lots of gluten free recipes in this cookbook too.
Food that will help you feel truly energized and amazing…and that you’ll actually love to eat:
Um, heyyyy…it’s my book! Of course I’m going to put it in here. And here’s why: Eat More Plants is all about creating weeknight doable recipes that are crazy healthy but still fun and tasty to eat. Truly anti-inflammatory food IS delicious. Want to try it for yourself? Make these Crispy Baked Tofu ‘Paneer’ with Mint Chutney.
For southern-inspired comfort food that is packed with flavour:
Jenne’s recipes are soul-satisfying…and easy enough for anyone to get right! Think cauliflower ‘fried chicken’ and creamy grits. This is food you will crave!
To master the staples..and double down on flavour:
This book is a staple – want to make your own plant-based ‘butter’? It’s here. What about beetroot ketchup or chickpea-based omelets? This book from the blogger behind Avant-Garde vegan is sure to inspire.
For inspiring you to up your everyday recipe repertoire:
I have been a massive fan of Chef Amy Chaplin for a long time now. She is quietly making some of the most creative and healthy plant-based food out there. Her new book is really clever, because it revolves around core recipes that we use everyday – like chia puddings, waffles, breads, dressings – and gives them endless variation. The pine nut pasta sauce is a revelation.
When you don’t want to compromise between flavour and nutrition:
I love Laura’s recipes…they are consistently what I feel like cooking. A wonderful balance of flavour, ease and health, you’ll want to make these dishes all of the time.
To help you get your kids to eat their veggies!
The Green Kitchen Stories family always inspires me…and this book is specifically tailored to feeding kids. Unfussy, ready in 30 and upgrades for parents who want a bit more pizazz.
When you want to strip it back to the basics…without eating ‘basic’ food:
This book is an absolute delight. The recipes all have 7 or fewer core ingredients…it’s all about fresh and fast. Totally whole food, no refined sugars.
For celebrations…and making everyday feel like a celebration:
This is not a 100% plant-based cookbook but most of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, with vegan substitutes. The angel cakes are my family’s favourite pancakes ever – and the mushroom wellington will be on our holiday table this year.
For the fun seeker:
This book is all about full sauce, deep-fried fun! And yes, sometimes a bit of vegan cheeze. The Buffalo Cauli Sandwich is just as mind-blowing as you think it will be…and the waffles make a regular appearance on our family’s Sunday table.