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Food & Nutrition 1 March 2021

50 Cookbooks That Prove Plant-Based Cooking Is Here To Stay

Vegan cooking is one craze you’ll never want to let go of.

Whether you’re a beginner, on the path to boosting your health, a veggie veteran, or an experimental cook – we’ve got you covered with some of our favourite plant-based cookbooks.


Words By Eva Marchingo

Beginners

It’s a commonly accepted thought that the beginning of any task is often the hardest part, but these cookbooks are ready to take you out of your cooking stupor and into the world of plant-based cooking.

You’ll be guided on the principles of veganism and vegetarianism, how to cut and cook a vast array of vegetables, and easy and quick meals to get you in the habit of eating more plant-based foodstuffs.

Katy Beskow’s Five Ingredient Vegan gives you 100 simple, fast, and modern recipes to ease anyone into home cooking. She uses ingredients you can easily find in your local supermarket and includes helpful tips and insights throughout. You’ll find everything from basic recipes – including 3-ingredient beer bread – to soups, lunches, suppers, and sweets. Who knew bread and butter pudding could be vegan?

Acclaimed vegan food blogger and qualified health coach, Niki Webster will help you dip your toe into plant-based cooking with her new cookbook, Be More Vegan. If you’re starting with Meat Free Mondays or looking to overhaul your diet, Webster will teach you how. She clearly and simply explains the reasons behind veganism, including the environment, health benefits, and animal welfare concerns.

If you’re looking for a role-model, Lizzo is your inspiration. The multitalented sensation is also at the beginning of living a vegan lifestyle, having celebrated her six-month milestone at the end of last year.

I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, was $45 now $34.35, Booktopia

Feasting

Who says going plant-based has to impact those around you? Not us, and especially not with this range of cookbooks.

One of the major concerns when contemplating a plant-based diet is worrying about the impact on your friends and family come dinner time. Will you need to cook something else for them? Will you be able to make something as delicious as a non-plant-based dish?

The Hairy Bikers – perhaps the world’s most unassuming plant-based fanatics – have you covered with their book, The Hairy Bikers’ Veggie Feasts. With over 100 delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes, this cookbook is a compilation of the very best meat-free dishes. You’ll find crowd-pleasing favourites including curries, tray bakes, soups, pasta, pies and even barbeques.

Clare Scrine’s The Shared Table will also have you dishing out smiles across the dinner table. The philosophy behind the book is to unite food and community, believing any meal is only as good as the company with whom it is shared. Scrine celebrates shared homes and the iconic dishes that feed the crowds which they house. The only meat you’ll see is the meaty grins adorning your guests’ faces.

From a notoriously big family, Kim Kardashian West is another celebrity on a plant-based diet, using it to reduce her psoriasis flare-ups. The iconic Kim K has proudly admitted to converting members of her family to plant-based cooking.

How to be Vegan and Keep Your Friends by Annie Nichols, was $24.99 now $19.50, Booktopia

Around the World

Being a multicultural food-fanatic is not mutually exclusive to eating plant-based. Some of the most delicious foods from across the world are originally solely plant-based.

Plant-based cooking is not about restricting your diet or your choices when it comes to cooking, it’s simply a new exploration of food and cooking. There’s no better way to continue that exploration than by trying your hand at a new cuisine.

Sushi Modoki by iina is an innovative cookbook teaching you how to make vegan sushi that looks and tastes like the real thing. You’ll learn inventive ways to create unique Japanese foods that are entirely vegan. The book covers five different types of sushi: nigiri, maki, chirashi, inari, and oshi. You’ll be plating up vibrant ensembles of vegan sushi in no time.

Chetna Makan’s cookbook, Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian, is a celebration of the fresh, vibrant, and moreish vegetarian and vegan dishes found in Indian cuisine. Typical of Indian food, these dishes are delectable and inherently healthy. In this cookbook, you’ll find recipes for garlic and tamarind soup, courgette kofta curry, and masala paneer, among many other enticing dishes.

Zac Efron credits his impeccable physique to his exploration of plant-based cooking. Travelling the world with his show, Down to Earth, there’s no place or cuisine that will deter his usual diet.

Vegan JapanEasy by Tim Anderson, $46.50, Booktopia

Comfort Food

Plant-based cooking isn’t just about healthy eating or dieting – it will adapt to your way of life, whatever that may be. Whether you’ve got a giant sweet tooth or enjoy many a take-out binge, plant-based cooking will easily slot into your eating regime.

You don’t have to be on a health kick to consider going plant-based and this collection of cookbooks prove it. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan comfort food options for when you need to indulge.

Modern Vegan Baking by Gretchen Price and Melina Thompson will have your sweet tooth well and truly catered for. The book is the best resource for creative savoury and sweet treats. It’s not just a list of substitutions, rather an innovative way to reinvent traditional baking. You’ll find 125 vegan baking recipes with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful guides on using ingredients like agave, arrowroot, and aquafaba.

If you can’t find a suitable place for plant-based take-out, Katy Beskow has you covered with her book, Vegan Fakeaway. Beskow knows we all love take-out and she’s making it more vegan-friendly than ever. Each chapter is based on a different cuisine, such as American, Chinese, Indian, Italian, and Middle Eastern. In line with the appeal of take-out, these recipes require minimal effort and provide a maximum reward.

Paul McCartney, long time champion of vegetarianism, proves plant-based cooking is not just a fad for the young. Mr McCartney knows all about comfort food, well-known in his family for creating legendary mashed potatoes.

Vegan Junk Food by Zacchary Bird, was $39.99 now $30.95, Booktopia

Health

While plant-based cooking doesn’t have to be health-driven, the health benefits of eating this way are incredible. What you eat can affect both your physical and mental health in a variety of ways.

The Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based but also occasionally includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yoghurt. Studies have shown this diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and certain cancers.

Divya Alter’s, What to Eat for How You Feel, is quickly becoming an indispensable kitchen companion. The philosophy behind the book lies in Ayurvedic principles, which focus on balancing different energies within the body. This book bridges the gap between ancient food wisdom and modern living with 100 different recipes.

Who would have known there is such a distinct link between your gut and skin health? Carla Oats, for one. If you’re a beauty guru, The Beaty Chef Gut Guide is your new best friend. It’s an 8-week program that informs you of the importance of gut health, providing meal plans and including more than 90 recipes to help you on your way.

One of the all-time tennis greats, Venus Williams eats a mostly raw vegan diet. She changed her diet to ease inflammation in her body caused by Sjögren’s syndrome, the autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with in 2009. She says eating plant-based helps her maintain her game.

The Beauty Chef Gut Guide by Carla Oates, was $39.99 now $30.95, Booktopia