By Published On: 29 June 2013509 words2.7 min read

cookbooks

When my husband first saw me read a cookbook, like page-after-page, cover-to-cover, he asked me, “You READ cookbooks?” Yes, when I’m serious about a cookbook, I actually read it.

I read them to discover the angle of each cookbook I try, to discern if recipes will require me to purchase obscure kitchen instruments or learn the origins of hard-to-pronounce ingredients. I’ve come to know that certain cooks and bakers rely on a few basic ingredients, and after over 15 years of running my own vegan test kitchen, I’ve developed some preferences—nutritional yeast can be overused, beans don’t belong in desserts, and I’m not always going to have fresh spices on hand (unfortunately).

My two recent favorite cookbooks are Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli and Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton.

When I got Chloe’s Kitchen for my birthday, I looked at my husband like, “Where’s her dessert cookbook, and why did you get me this one that has less sugar?” He saw my face and assured me that it was well-reviewed. Coscarelli, perhaps known best for beating non-vegans at The Cupcake Wars, is one of my vegan dessert queens! And now she reigns over all food, sweet and savory.

Chloe’s Kitchen covers the basics, like sweet and sour and marinara sauces, but she champions the more complex meals such as pastas, pizzas, soups and dinner pancakes (breakfast for dinner…that’s when I know I love a cook!).

This cookbook has easy recipes, like Easy Peasy Pasta Salad, and she gets more involved for some tasty treats like Ooh-La-la Lasagna. At one point she asks “Orange you glad I made crispy tofu? And I have to give a resounding, YES!

My favorites from Chloe:

  • Basic pizza dough
  • Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Country Meatloaf and Golden Gravy—Our next Thanksgiving staple, I’m sure. DON’T leave off the gravy because it’s that good!

My Mother’s Day gift, Let Them Eat Vegan!, is perfect for “plant-powered” families. Burton has a variety of recipes, from breakfast to dinner to snacking, and while the recipes aren’t super easy to make, there’s just some basic prep and recognizable, common ingredients (try baking with dates, if you haven’t already!). I fudge some steps by using lemon juice out of a bottle rather than freshly squeezing, as she suggests, but this hasn’t taken anything away from the flavors.

My plant-powered favorites:

  • Apple-a-Day Green Smoothie
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh with Olives
  • Pumpkin cake (I used cupcake option for my son’s first birthday—yum!)
  • Berry Patch Brownies

What I like best about this book is that it’s not only free of meat, dairy and eggs, but free of common allergens, always offering gluten-free versions if the recipe isn’t already there. Burton also has several raw recipes that are accessible and delicious—this cookbook is so appealing that you don’t even realize it’s attempting to provide such variety!

These are just two of my recent favorite vegan cookbooks, what are yours?

Photo credit: prideandvegudice via Flickr

By Published On: 29 June 2013509 words2.7 min read

cookbooks

When my husband first saw me read a cookbook, like page-after-page, cover-to-cover, he asked me, “You READ cookbooks?” Yes, when I’m serious about a cookbook, I actually read it.

I read them to discover the angle of each cookbook I try, to discern if recipes will require me to purchase obscure kitchen instruments or learn the origins of hard-to-pronounce ingredients. I’ve come to know that certain cooks and bakers rely on a few basic ingredients, and after over 15 years of running my own vegan test kitchen, I’ve developed some preferences—nutritional yeast can be overused, beans don’t belong in desserts, and I’m not always going to have fresh spices on hand (unfortunately).

My two recent favorite cookbooks are Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli and Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton.

When I got Chloe’s Kitchen for my birthday, I looked at my husband like, “Where’s her dessert cookbook, and why did you get me this one that has less sugar?” He saw my face and assured me that it was well-reviewed. Coscarelli, perhaps known best for beating non-vegans at The Cupcake Wars, is one of my vegan dessert queens! And now she reigns over all food, sweet and savory.

Chloe’s Kitchen covers the basics, like sweet and sour and marinara sauces, but she champions the more complex meals such as pastas, pizzas, soups and dinner pancakes (breakfast for dinner…that’s when I know I love a cook!).

This cookbook has easy recipes, like Easy Peasy Pasta Salad, and she gets more involved for some tasty treats like Ooh-La-la Lasagna. At one point she asks “Orange you glad I made crispy tofu? And I have to give a resounding, YES!

My favorites from Chloe:

  • Basic pizza dough
  • Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Country Meatloaf and Golden Gravy—Our next Thanksgiving staple, I’m sure. DON’T leave off the gravy because it’s that good!

My Mother’s Day gift, Let Them Eat Vegan!, is perfect for “plant-powered” families. Burton has a variety of recipes, from breakfast to dinner to snacking, and while the recipes aren’t super easy to make, there’s just some basic prep and recognizable, common ingredients (try baking with dates, if you haven’t already!). I fudge some steps by using lemon juice out of a bottle rather than freshly squeezing, as she suggests, but this hasn’t taken anything away from the flavors.

My plant-powered favorites:

  • Apple-a-Day Green Smoothie
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh with Olives
  • Pumpkin cake (I used cupcake option for my son’s first birthday—yum!)
  • Berry Patch Brownies

What I like best about this book is that it’s not only free of meat, dairy and eggs, but free of common allergens, always offering gluten-free versions if the recipe isn’t already there. Burton also has several raw recipes that are accessible and delicious—this cookbook is so appealing that you don’t even realize it’s attempting to provide such variety!

These are just two of my recent favorite vegan cookbooks, what are yours?

Photo credit: prideandvegudice via Flickr

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  1. RC July 2, 2013 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Yes, Eat Yourself Sexy? Thanks

  2. Amy July 2, 2013 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Thanks for reading! Are there any other cookbooks you’d like to hear about in the future?

  3. Rachel Behrens June 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Amy, what an informative article, thank you!