Finally made your way into veganism but find yourself struggling to cook vegan food?
Don’t worry. Even if you’ve never boiled a grain of rice in your life— the following vegan cookbooks will teach you how to easily come up with plant-based delicacies that will mesmerize anyone at your dinner table.
Coming from a traditional family— my dietary change wasn’t seen in a good light.
That wouldn’t take too long for me to solve, however. Once I started creating yummy vegan dishes, a change in attitude emerged… along with a willingness to taste my food.
Today… I’m asked to cook plant-based food whenever I’m around. Gladly, that’s just one aspect of being able to cook delicious vegan food.
Here are the 10 best vegan cookbooks for beginners:
#1 – Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give F*ck.
There are elements in this book I found fascinating.
The first one is the fact the food tastes delicious. I’ve tried many recipes over the years, and I can’t help but feel most aren’t designed to taste good.
Thug Kitchen shows you how you can create delicious vegan food without fail. Yes… the book includes A LOT of instructions… as a beginner would have it.
Furthermore, the recipes don’t demand any high-end kitchen gadgets or cream of the crop ingredients from the Amazonian jungle.
No-no— simple ingredients and delicious food go hand in hand in this amazing book.
What I enjoyed as well was the cursing in the book. It makes reading it a very hilarious experience! To be honest — MOST recipe books are boring, but this one isn’t!
To give you an example, here’s how they describe breakfast, salads, and soups:
- Carpe Fucking Diem.
- Short Order Shit.
- Big-Ass Cup Of Cozy.
If that isn’t hilarious, I don’t know what is.
Also, did I tell you this is a #1 New York Times Bestseller? That should tell you something about the quality of this book because of how food critics view it.
If you ever get to read it… please try their grilled peach salsa. I can eat that stuff with ice cream and still love it. 🙂
#2 – The Vegan 8: 100 Simple, Delicious Recipes Made with 8 Ingredients or Less
Do you want to heal yourself with a plant-based diet?
That’s what Brandi Doming did for her husband after he was diagnosed with gout.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the secret lies dormant inside this book. And it doesn’t take much — you have 100 simple, delicious recipes made with 8 ingredients or less.
In the first chapter of this book— you’re given a thorough introduction to tips, tricks, techniques, and ingredients to assure you get the most out of the recipes every time.
The rest of the chapters are divided by the type of meals in a day: Breakfast, Scrumptious Snacks & Appetizers, Time-Crunch Lunches, Sauces & Dressings, Easy Entrees, Comforting Soups & Stews, Sides & Dips, Crowd-Pleasing Desserts, and Staples.
Every recipe comes with its header, indicating whether the meal is gluten or gluten-free, as well as other allergen information.
The premise behind using 8 ingredients (or less) lies in the fact most people are busy… and most are beginners giving their first steps as newborn vegans. Brandi wrote this cookbook with those people in mind because delicious food SHOULD NOT be this beast which you need to set aside 3 hours of your day to elaborate.
This being said, Brandi does have her petit preference, and you’ll notice that she loves to include that smokey barbecue flavor in her dishes. Not only that, her desserts are light on fruit but heavy on chocolate— for those of you who revere chocolate, this is an absolute dream.
However… I’d love to see her striking a better balance ingredients-wise.
#3 – Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week.
Isa is one of a kind. Her experience & creativity in the kitchen helps you create full, rich, multidimensional flavors that exceed the tastiness of comparable meat dishes.
Whether it’s a vegan creamy sauce or a bean salad— Isa takes it to the next level.
Isa is capable of using fairly simple ingredients and morph them into bold, satisfying and crave-worthy foods you can make in 30 minutes or less.
Furthermore, the pages in this book look gorgeous and the texture of the paper itself adds to the spectacle that is the book.
Here are some of the names of the amazing recipes in the book:
- Chickpea-Rice Soup with Cabbage.
- Chicky Tuna Salad Sandwiches.
- Puttanesca Pomodoro.
Looking at the cover, one might feel underwhelmed and tie it to the hundreds of thousands of similar books on the same topic— but obviously, that’s not Isa’s job.
When she writes, she always guarantees surprising, delicious, unexpected, and new vegan recipes you can easily create every day of the week.
Isa also took the time to add notes to each recipe, by including variations. You might be allergic to gluten or nuts, or you might have a certain dislike… in which case Isa doesn’t limit the reader by only accounting for the regular ‘I love it all’ person.
Imagine buying a cookbook and not being able to cook 10 recipes in it. Not with Isa.
This being said, the desserts could be MORE interesting and appealing.
#4 – Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized
There’s something magical about this book.
The way the book is presented… the imagery, the fonts, the way the images show you how each step should look like in the cooking process… along with the respective instructions on the side of each image makes this a great book for beginners.
This says a lot about Sam’s sparkly personality, and how awesome she is. Her recipes are delicious, easy to follow, quick and easy to prepare.
I’m warning you though, this book does not settle on grabbing pre-made ingredient, and hoping to explore the realms of holy vegan food with a handful of mass-made and frozen ingredients. You can do it, but this book is about creating delicious and healthy foods from fresh, whole, plant-based ingredients that fill your soul.
That’s what food is about anyway! It’s an expression and it is love. And this creative chef does a great job of teaching us how to eat amazing food.
If you love cooking, you’ll find true bliss in following the simple recipes laid out by Sam.
What’s more, the ingredients you find in the cookbook, despite being fresh, are not expensive to attain. Another aspect I appreciate is the VARIETY of foods in there… there’s just something for everyone in this cookbook.
The only people I see having a hard time with this cookbook are those allergic to nuts. It’s hard to find replacements for nuts.
#5 – Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget: 112 Inspired and Effortless Plant-Based Recipes
Do you wanna have a go at delicious vegan food on a budget?
Liv B has created 112 effortless, plant-based recipes to get yourself quickly adapted to a vegan diet. The book is prefaced with a list of cheap and accessible ingredients that minimize grocery costs in comparison to some other cookbooks.
What’s really awesome about Liv B (and you’ll see this in her Youtube videos as well), is how practical she is about cooking — and how her tips help beginners quickly adapt and become familiarized with cooking plant-based ingredients.
Plus, everything is laid out very clearly.
The pages are not overwhelming at all! (If you’ve tried your share of cookbooks over the years, you will understand why I mean by this. Some books have pages we skip because the recipes are simply too long — which deters some people trying a new recipe)
With Liv B, you can rest assured because she makes everything about cooking really easy. Including the pages in her cookbook:
How do you feel about the page above? Simple right?
If you love to cook on a budget, but still want absolutely delicious food, this is hands down the best cookbook you can get.
#6 – But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner
Do you resist the idea of using ingredients created to emulate animal-based ingredients?
This book, authored by Kristy Turner, contains an awesome chapter that specifically provides you with authentic plant-based recipes, and not recipes that try to mimic animal foods.
“Why call it something it isn’t and then try to make it taste like what it will never really taste…? We should allow the plants to truly shine in their own right.”
I have to be honest — I love this philosophical view.
This being said, this book starts with an interesting and easy to follow introduction covering basic ingredients and tools you need to get started; as well as a basic guide on topics such as roasting garlic, making nut butter and cooking various grains.
And if you’ve always wondered how you can make tofu and seitan taste great— Kristy teaches you how to make condiments and components that will turn bland ingredients into flavourful powerhouses. (And no — not tasting like meat.)
Lastly, an important aspect that is missing is the nutritional information of each recipe.
Like I’ve mentioned before, a plant-based diet thrives on balance. Being able to know what’s on your plate helps to balance out the nutrients you need in other meals.
Although I do enjoy taking my time cooking, even though I’m not an expert — some people don’t. Therefore, this might not be a cookbook made for the lazy cooks out there. It takes time because you have to create your condiments to add the flavourful punch to some of the recipes.
All in all, it’s a great book if you’re enthusiastic about cooking.
#7 – The Beginner’s Guide to a Plant-Based Diet: Use the Newest 3 Weeks Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan to Reset & Energize Your Body. Easy, Healthy and Whole Foods Recipes to Kick-Start a Healthy Eating.
Let me start by saying this: If you love a book with colorful pictures, this is not the book.
This being said, not everyone cares about colorful books with pretty pictures— although it may affect your decision to choose (or not choose) a recipe.
The Beginner’s Guide to a Plant-Based Diet gives you an eating routine that if followed closely, will certainly prolong your life and diminish your risk of disease. In fact, this book insists on the consumption of natural plant-based foods that keep up the correct adjust of proteins, sugars, and fats in your body.
It’s about implementing an authentic whole food, plant-based diet by using organic ingredients, fruits, grains, seeds, and vegetables.
More than creating tasty recipes — I feel like the purpose of this book is different. Food is sustenance, and while we seek to taste in food, there’s an appeal in eating food for the energy and nutrients it provides.
Having said that, this book might not strike a chord with most people — but it’s a good way to get educated, and transition into a plant-based diet for the sake of health.
#8 – The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
A great thing about this cookbook is that you won’t need to go find a weird ingredient in a health food store to make these recipes; you just need to have access to whole, plant-based foods.
If you read some of the reviews on this particular book; you’ll find some arguments to be somewhat odd. One person, in particular, complained about how complex the recipes are and how long they take to create. But that is impossible because you can actually find a variety of recipes in this book.
In fact, you can find recipes that take 5 minutes to prepare— and recipes that can take you up to 2-3 hours to make. It really boils down to you actually taking the time to read the cookbook before making early assessments.
This being said, there’s a not so good aspect — which should be brought up. I believe vegan food should be healthy — and really purge the need to rely on processed ingredients to add any flavor to ingredients.
However, I consider the recipes in this book to be quite indulgent — since almost every recipe has oil and added sugar.
I certainly wish there were healthier choices — more salads, healthy pancake or waffle recipes, and less creamy dishes. I’d really rank this cookbook higher if the recipes were more vegetable-rich — because we should really look at plant-based food as something that should improve our health and keep us healthy for a long time!
#9 – Vegan Cookbook For Beginners: The Essential Vegan Cookbook to Get Started
This vegan cookbook markets itself as a book made for beginners.
With 150 vegan recipes, there’s a huge appeal in finding hundreds of recipes that are easy to prepare— most under an hour.
This being said, I felt this cookbook gave a bigger emphasis on health.
If you’re looking for a bit more tasteful food, there’s a chance you’ll need to add more salt or seasoning when cooking. It’s a great starter book but I felt some things were lacking.
First off, I could not find any nutritional information with the recipes. Providing a break down of the nutritional value of each meal is essential for a vegan diet. It’s important to strike a balance and see exactly what you’re getting in each meal.
The other odd aspect — and this will turn off many people… is the lack of pictures. How do prepare a meal without mental imagery of the recipe? This is especially true for beginners.
Lastly, I noted there was a bigger focus on dressings and sauces, as well as smoothie recipes. While these recipes are great, I’m always in for variety. And this book kind of missed the mark on that… despite still being a great book, nonetheless.
#10 – Forks Over Knives―The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year
Honestly— I’m a fan of Forks Over Knives.
I’ve read the documentary, I’ve used their app — and I’ve followed their website closely over the years. They’ve introduced millions to veganism!
Thus before I get to the critical part, I want to acknowledge what they are doing here.
Seriously, I know why anyone would buy this cookbook over any other.
The cover is beautiful; the brand launched an eye-opening documentary seen by millions; they launched a free educational app you can use to get new recipes every week… and they even have courses that introduce people into a vegan diet.
THEY HAVE DONE A LOT.
Not only that, but some people fell in love with this cookbook because it brought them results they never expected.
People have lost weight and felt more energetic; some have even cut back on asthma medication — which speaks volumes about the impact this cookbook had.
This being said, I want to point out a few things I’ve discovered after simulating some of their recipes.
First off, some recipes state they can feed 4 people, but I’ll just assume most people feel full with very little. And my wife likes to save food for the next day, but unfortunately, their tomato soup, if you follow it strictly, comes up a bit short. The same can be said for creams and sauces in some of their main dishes. (Stroganoff anyone?)
The recipes are some kind of mix of too much/not enough and you’ll never know until it’s too late. For an inexperienced cook, this might be difficult to figure out.
What’s more, the recipes in this cookbook can get somewhat spicy. Don’t get me wrong— I’m a spicy guy, but my wife doesn’t like spice at all.
Additionally, despite the 300 recipes in the book, there’s a lack of real variations.
Sometimes it feels like they build-up from previous recipes and just adds a small ingredient here and there to create similar versions of the same thing.
And as much as I loved soy when I started veganism — today I just don’t. There’s just too much BS that goes into creating soybeans.
In end, I just feel like there are better books out there for beginners.
Conclusion: What I Want To Reinforce.
When I became vegan, I found myself seeking the flavor of meat and cheese in my vegan meals. This made me realize that my brain was hooked to that flavor, just like a drug addict is addicted to heroin.
A diet with meat and cheese is not healthy for you.
But nor is a diet with fake meat and fake cheese.
Just because you are vegan now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get overweight or sick.
Therefore, you must practice an authentic whole-food, plant-based diet.
Yes, it’s okay to go wild sometimes, but the healing ingredients are within nature. Whatever cookbook you end up following, please keep that in mind.
A plant-based diet can be delicious, but you don’t need to constantly seek the thrill flavorsome food every day. Keep it healthy ~
Thanks for taking your precious time to read this post.
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Top 2 Vegan Recommendations in 2021
- This is hands down our favorite vegan supplement. It’s not your typical multivitamin because it was created from vegans to vegans. It contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, and the Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA). These ingredients are delivered in the right doses, so that you never have to worry about a potential deficiency in the future. Feel free to read my review on the supplement as well.
- Our second recommendation is this amazing vegan starter kit. It is actually a bundle with 9 e-books that will help you lead a healthy, vegan lifestyle. It has great advice, and it includes print-outs and checklists that will allow you to easily put theory into practice, particularly if you’re new to the vegan lifestyle. This is a recommendation I’ve also included in my essential vegan products page as well.