Wednesday 18 September 2013

My Top Five Vegan Recipe Books

I have quite an extensive collection of vegan cookbooks, I’m pretty sure most vegans do. Some I bought during my first few months of veganism, when I was desperately searching for something to fill the void left by my classic pre-vegan dinners; waffle and cheese slice sandwiches, and yorkshire puddings filled with peas and gravy. It’s fair to say I wasn’t much of a foodie in my younger days.

Since those early days, where I invested in the go-to vegan books, my library of recipes has expanded further with each passing birthday and Christmas. My collection is a strange mix of recipe books I’ve longingly awaited the release of, and others I’ve picked up for 25p at the local charity shop. The charity shop finds tend to have been printed in the 80s, and filled with uninspiring recipes for lentil-filled bland dishes. I usually try out a couple of the recipes, before retiring the books to the back of the shelf, only to be brought out in times of desperation.

There are, however, a number of cookbooks that I find myself reaching for time and time again. Most weeks, as I sit down to do the meal plan, I will have these five books, and perhaps a handful of others, scattered around me for inspiration.

This is my absolute most favourite and most used cookbook. I haven’t tried all of the recipes, nowhere near in fact, but the pages of the ones I’ve tried are in disrepair because of overuse. The first thing I ever made from this book was the potato and kale enchiladas, they’re so good. They have become a go-to dinner party offer in my house. If you love spicy food, then this book is perfect because they don’t shy away from big flavours.

This book is seriously amazing. The food is so decadent, I usually binge-bake for a week and then have to hide the book from myself for a month or so. The jaffa cakes are amazing, and taste so much like jaffa cakes - it’s worth buying the book just for that. Every recipe I’ve tried has been amazing, so if you don’t have it yet, you need this book in your collection. You can read more about my thoughts on this book here.

Isa’s books are amazing, and I think every vegan must own at least one book by her. I think I have most of hers now, and I love them all. This one is great because it focuses on low fat, healthy meals. Lots of vegan cookbooks seem to focus on sweets and fatty foods, I suppose because in the past it was harder to find vegan food like that. Now though, it’s easy to find vegan junk food, so I think a low-fat vegan recipe book was needed. This book is responsible for my recently acquired love affair with quinoa, amongst other things.

I was sent a copy of this book to review for the Vegan Society, it’s aimed at new vegans and offers a lot of nutritional information alongside a selection of recipes. The recipes are taken from other books, so there are some really good dishes in here. There are lots of family-friendly recipes (salt-free, for example) so I use it a lot to cook meals for my toddler.

This final book is one I picked up for 25p at my local charity shop. Unlike my other bargain finds that now sit gathering dust at the back of the cupboard, this book sees a lot of use. Not all of the recipes are vegan, but most of the vegetarian dishes can be easily veganised. This book is great for achieving great-tasting Indian food, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.

So there you go, those are my top five vegan recipe books. What are your favourite vegan cookbooks? Please share in the comments below, so I can add them to my wishlist.

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