Want to make the move to eating vegan but don’t know where to start? Chloe D’Inverno shares her favourite plant-based cookbooks for inspiration!
For those starting to delve into the world of plant-based food, or for any vegans looking to expand their current range of meals, please enjoy this list of my favourite plant-based recipe books! I’ve accumulated plenty of recipes over the past five years of being vegan, and I would love to encourage more people to try a more sustainable and plant-based way of living.
1. Broke Vegan
Although this list of recipe books doesn’t have a particular order (no favourites to least favourites here!) I’m starting with Broke Vegan which happens to be the one that I use the most. My lovely dad is also vegan and bought me this book (as well as BOSH! Healthy Vegan) as he is passionate about cooking. Although I will likely never reach his level of cooking expertise, this recipe book has helped me develop my own skills! The recipes are simple, easy, and perfect for those on a budget. I surmise he chose this one for me because I’m a student (and we all know what students are like with money), so thank you for thinking of my bank, dad!
To showcase one of the delicious dishes I’ve learned from this book, I’ve made the delicious Chilli Con Veggie on page 48 to show you all. Being one of my favourite meals, this was a chance for me to try a new chilli recipe, rather than just throwing a load of beans and spices into a pan and hoping for the best. This is possibly the best chilli I have ever tried and it goes with everything! Here, I had mine with rice and tortilla chips, but it’s great on a jacket potato or even in a wrap (pairing the chilli with spinach and mayonnaise in a wrap is absolute heaven!).
2. Feed Me Vegan
If you want comforting, homely recipes, whether you’re a health guru or just looking for a dessert to indulge in…you’ll love this cookbook! Peta even gave this book a vegan food award- it’s that good and has something for everyone. In a rush? Need to feed friends? Sweet tooth? Feed Me Vegan has you covered for every occasion!
To show off my baking skills, and for an excuse to make myself a sweet treat, I have prepared this heavenly recipe for Banoffee Pie. Before now, I will admit I have never made (or even eaten) banoffee pie. But this was incredible. I love cream. I love bananas. I love hobnobs. So, it was a no-brainer to choose this recipe. For extra aesthetic appeal, I used little jars instead of making a large pie, portioning it out for myself so I don’t eat it all in one go! If you choose this cookbook, flick to page 138 for a true taste of heaven.
3. BOSH! Healthy Vegan
This is the second vegan cookbook my dad has kindly sent me in the post. It was a pleasant surprise to receive this; as soon as I flicked it open, I was excited to tag the pages that had the recipes that intrigued me the most. Before getting to the tasty bit of the book, it’s nice to see the first 60 pages are filled with important information. You get an insight into why plant-based diets are so beneficial and why eating well is so vital for our bodies, as well as a list of key nutrients essential for a healthy lifestyle. Although all this information can be a little daunting, it’s great to educate ourselves on what’s going into our bodies. Another thing I LOVE about this book is that each recipe includes a calorie count and indication of how much protein, fibre etc. the dish contains.
The title did raise a few questions and made me wonder if my dad was trying to tell me something. BOSH: Healthy Vegan. Healthy? Is that a not so subtle suggestion about my lifestyle? I guess I need to stop looking at so many baking recipes, and instead focus on healthy and hearty main meals. So, to show off this book’s recipes, I did just that!
Admittedly, I was one of those people that thinks of the word salad and thinks of a boring bowl of leaves. Not to worry, this book knows how to spice up the word ‘salad’, that’s for sure! Now, I LOVE barbeque sauce and mushrooms are in my top 5 favourite vegetables so I simply had to make the BBQ Portobello & Potato Salad on page 115. The picture below hardly does this lunch justice!
4. Eat Vegan
Eat Vegan is a cookbook full of quick and easy recipes, ideal for those just being introduced to veganism. Not only are there vegan versions of traditional recipes (like burritos and casserole), there are also intriguing original dishes meant to be made from plant-based ingredients like curried bananas and bread & tomato soup!
For the purpose of snapping a picture and showing off one of the recipes from Eat Vegan, I decided to make The Best Veggie Burger Ever served with homemade sweet potato fries and a handful of spinach. I thought it was time to test this recipe’s name and it did not let me down! I love veggie burgers, sometimes even craving them more so than burgers that mimic meat. When I eat them, I just feel like they’re healthier! Pop to page 162 if you are wanting The Best Veggie Burger Ever.
5. Chloe’s Kitchen
This is actually the cookbook I have owned for the longest amount of time. For my sixteenth birthday, my friend gifted it to me because I had recently become vegan and needed help with meal ideas! Since then, I have tried plenty of the recipes inside it and Chloe’s Kitchen has become one of my favourites to use. Admittedly, some of the recipes can be fairly complicated or the recipe list can be a little daunting, but if you’re like me and enjoy a challenge, I think you’ll appreciate this book.
One of my most loved meals is traditional mac n’ cheese, and the recipe on page 127 of Chloe’s Kitchen is my favourite way to make it; I think it just might be the ‘Best Ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese’. I considered attempting a recipe I hadn’t tried yet but I couldn’t resist a bit of cheesy goodness for my lunch. Below you will see the picture of my delicious mac and cheese…try not to let your mouth water too much!
About the Author: Chloe D’Inverno is a second year English Language and Linguistics student at the University of York. She has a passion for veganism since making the change in 2016, and is now on the path to further help the environment by doing her part in regards to sustainability and finding zero-waste alternatives.