I used to hate cooking from cookbooks. There, I said it.
I despise following instructions. I’m not naturally inclined to listen to anyone but myself.
One time not too long ago I made these vegan pancakes and changed about seventy things in the recipe. They failed big time.
Both kids were crying because they were so hungry. And possibly because their very responsible and adult acting Mama threw the failed, mushy pancake at the kitchen cupboard. But that’s pure speculation.
I don’t think my husband really knew what to do with me right then and there. But after inhaling a chocolate bar (hey, I’m human) and drinking a big mug of chamomile tea (it’s called balance), I decided I had to at least get better at following recipe instructions.
And that’s what I’ve been working at really, really hard lately. It seems silly, but I seriously want to get better at following instructions. Learn that my way is not always better.
It’s already starting to benefit my cooking, my mood at our mealtimes and definitely my marriage.
I don’t believe in owning all the things, all of the time – but I keep adding to my collection of cookbooks. Especially vegan and vegetarian ones have been extremely helpful in this recent diet change of mine. It’s great to flick through a beautiful book when you need fresh inspiration for all the plants you’ve got in your fridge.
I’ve been cooking my way through a lot of the recipes from the books on this list the last couple of months. Some are more recent purchases and some I’ve had for years – I’m in love with each and every one of them. So I hope they’ll inspire you on your journey to a more plant-based, wellness/earth/animal/human friendly and happiness-inducing diet, too.
Just a short disclaimer: Not all of them are the latest and trendiest. Some are actually a few years old – but since this is not a list of most edgy plant-based cookbooks but my personal highlights I find useful every single week, I think you should be OK with that.
My Favourite Vegan and Vegetarian Cookbooks
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
I’m all over Kris Carr. My absolute woman-crush.
She is beyond inspirational and needs to be a staple ingredient for anyone seeking out more wellness in life.
I got her book* back in 2014 when it first came out and immediately hat to get a hardcopy to give to my aunt for Christmas. Yes, it is that amazing.
She wrote the book together with chef Chad Sarno and various other guest-chefs, so be aware that this is not a book solely devoted to the kind of recipes you’re going to make on a Thursday night after lugging your five kids home from sports practice.
But are they beautiful? Oh yes, they are. And while there are still plenty of easy options, it’s also great to have something a little more substantial for leisurely weekend cooking or dinner guests.
We absolutely adore the Cornmeal Banana Walnut Pancakes. And the Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Burgers are pretty much bliss on a plate.
I suggest you get yourself and everyone you love some Crazy Sexy* for the kitchen.
Anything from Anna Jones
Anna Jones’ books are such a breath of fresh air. First and foremost, they are absolutely stunning works of art.
But they’re also filled with real human thoughts on eating a healthy plant-based diet. And of course there are loads and loads of scrumptious recipes to choose from!
I’ve been eyeing her first two books for a long time. The other week the doorbell rang and the postwoman delivered a parcel from Amazon – and inside were all three cookbooks. I think I may have married the right guy.
Her books are called A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook and The Modern Cook’s Year.
I’d say A Modern Way to Cook is focused a little more on quick weekday recipes and The Modern Cook’s Year is a very seasonal one, but they’re all great to call your own.
I want to add that they are not 100% vegan and there’s a few recipes you can’t make substitutions. But a lot of the time Anna gives easy vegan subs such as chia instead of eggs in baking.
Here’s A Modern Way To Cook*, for example.
Appetite for Reduction
The title wasn’t very carefully chosen for this book* in my opinion, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great resource.
And who in the veg scene does’t know Isa Chandra Moskowitz?! You just have to trust me that she can ace a healthy vegan cookbook with a terrible title and not the most aspirational design you’ll find.
You could probably say this is the book* with the most prominent East Coast vibes on my list, definitely not your crunchy, green juice collection.
But it’s where I first learned about bowls (alll the way back in 2011!) and where I learned that pasta with broccoli, cannellini beans and a million cloves of garlic is the best dinner you can make when you seriously have zero motivation to cook.
Very tasty food, very fun writing, but not for you if you think tempeh and tofu are a waste of space. Also I want to give you a heads-up that there’s talk about calories and stuff, so if you’re in a phase where seeing that sort of thing makes you anxious, better leave this on its virtual shelf.
Deliciously Ella Everyday
This one is a bit of a given, right?
I’ve been following Ella for a long time and honestly found her a bit out there at first. But when you really get into the whole plant-based health movement and listen to her talk, you realise what a kind and sweet person she is.
I cook from her second book* all the time. The recipes make sense, are quick, easy and usually budget-friendly to throw together.
If you’re looking for down-to-earth meal inspiration, this is your book! My favourites from this one are the Chickpea, Quinoa and Turmeric Curry and the Banana Breakfast Bars – so scrumptious.
I have the eBook, but you can get both the Kindle and the paper version on Amazon*.
I know, this is terrible. But I really have to put this book* on here.
As of right now, it is only available in German, and it’s such a pity!
It’s an absolutely beautiful vegetarian winter cookbook by chef Paul Ivić from the restaurant Tian in Vienna, which is the highest rated vegetarian restaurant in Europe.
The dishes are not all light or healthy, but many are and they sure are amazing. A lot are vegan or are easily veganised (apart from the ones where eggs are the main component of course).
We only had this book for two weeks and already made 4 dishes. My favourites were the red cabbage soup (sharing the recipe soon!) and a dish of herbed hummus, charred romaine hearts and marinated beetroot. So amazing.
If you know anyone who can translate the recipes for you (or you speak German yourself), or you have a German friend who really wants to cook some top-notch veggie food – this book* is your thing.
And there you have it – my current faves when it comes to plant-based cookbooks.
I know it’s not the biggest list on the planet, but I don’t believe in overwhelming you with thousands of links just to persuade you to click one. Yes, I earn a commission if you use the affiliate links in this post – but I don’t just throw random things at you for the dollars.
I only want to share what I really, truly love and use in my kitchen on a weekly basis. I’m a minimalist at heart and believe less is more, 100%.
All I want for you and me is to enjoy this kind of food, not to see it as a cause of frustration.
Having a few cookbooks to draw inspiration from is invaluable when you’re trying to stick to a new way of eating (and living!), so I’m hoping you’ll find something from this small selection of gems you (or someone you love) can really dive into and feel excited about.
Just try to stick to the recipes – otherwise you might end up throwing pancakes at your cupboards.
* I make a commission for purchases made through these links.