Vegan’s often get a pretty bad rap from their stringent ways of eating. And while eating vegan is very specific and requires a lot of thought and planning, anyone who has ever eaten a truly vegan meal or bit into a decadent vegan dessert knows firsthand that veganism is not just healthy, but quite delicious.
Veganism is like the stricter sister of vegetarianism. Eschewing not just meat, but dairy, eggs and fish, vegans subsist on vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, nuts and seeds. And just as shunning meat has become increasingly popular among health and eco-friendly devotees, so has veganism seen a rapid rise in its comrades of followers.
For anyone who is interested in becoming a vegan, even just for a day, getting a good vegan cookbook is a necessity, unless you run the risk of eating salad with tofu and sunflower seeds for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The great news is that there is now, more than ever, an entire mini library of vegan cookbooks to choose from.
Vegan with a Vengeance: Written by a quirky and edgy Brooklyn born and raised vegan, Isa Moskowitz, this cookbook includes 150 recipes like fresh corn fritters, orange scones, BBQ pomegranate tofu, TLTs (tempeh, lettuce and tomatoes) and tons of other vegan-friendly fare. Moskowitz gets rave reviewers for her innovative and yummy recipes and her entertaining and upbeat dialogue.
The Garden of Vegan: Two-hundred pages of meat- and dairy-free recipes makes this cookbook a real hit. Dishes like portobello mushroom bake, caramelized onion and fennel mashed potatoes, coconut spiced vegetables are not for the advanced vegan chef, but are rather fairly simple and straightforward. It also features a section for college students who want to cook vegan in the dorm room. One downside is that the recipes don’t include photos.
Simply Vegan: If sweets are your thing, but dairy isn’t, Simply Vegan is your must-have dessert cookbook. Featuring 140 recipes of your traditional favorites like chocolate cake, fudge, apple pie, cheesecake, rice pudding and some creative ones too like jelly donuts, hold the wheat carrot cake, pink passion smoothie, and Boston cream pie, Simply Vegan will do more than just satisfy your sweet tooth. Fifty of the recipes are wheat-free, too.
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: Another gem by Isa Moskowitz, this cupcake bible includes 75 different recipes for cupcake batter and frosting. From lemon macadamia and pumpkin chocolate chip to from white chocolate marble and cappuccino filled with espresso cream, Vegan Cupcakes will tantalize and inspire, especially with the beautiful photos of each recipe.
Skinny Bitch: From just plain old Skinny Bitch to Skinny Bitch in the Kitch and Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven, vegan devotees Rory and Kim have created a mini dairy-free empire arm-wrestling women to eat and become just like them.
Ten years ago, you would have had a tough time finding a vegan cookbook, let alone one devoted solely to cupcake-making, but the vegan cooking climate has surely changed. And don’t think you’re going to restock your pantry with funky ingredients like xanthum gum and amaranth flour, most of the recipes call for ingredients commonly found in grocery or health-food stores.
Happy vegan cooking!
April 5th, 2009