My Top 10 Must-Have Vegan Cookbooks Reviewed

Written by Liz

I’m Liz, I share recipes and easy substitutes to make plant-based living simple!

November 27, 2020

Whether you’re a long-term vegan or just looking to reduce your meat consumption, there are thousands of delicious plant-based recipes out there to choose from. Whilst there are loads of recipes online, sometimes there’s nothing like having a real cookbook to inspire you to get in the kitchen. Plus, who doesn’t love looking at a beautiful colourful range of cookbooks on their kitchen shelf? Below are my favourite vegan cookbooks with a variety of balanced and adventurous meals for everyday inspiration.

 

10 Must-Have Vegan Cookbooks

 

1. The Global Vegan by Ellie Bulleen

The Global Vegan – The Wholesome Store

The second cookbook from Ellie Bulleen – an Australian plant-based nutritionist and influencer, famous for her blog and Instagram @elsaswholesomelife where she has a huge follower base of around 800k fans! This was inspired by her travels overseas and showcases some of the world’s most celebrated meals, re-created vegan. A distinctly feminine, bohemian look and feel with travel photography worthy of a vision board.

The good

Great for variety and simplicity. Most of the meals can be made in about 45 minutes. They’re consistently fresh, filling and packed with flavour.

The bad

Some ingredients are a bit pricey (e.g. avocado oil, coconut sugar etc). Unless I happen to have it in my cupboard, I sub the premium ingredients for more affordable everyday products, and the recipes turn out just fine.

The bottom line

A very pretty paperback with a wide variety of flavoursome, wholefoods recipes. Would suit singles and couples who have a bit of time to cook and are open to spending a little extra on groceries. A good vegan-starter book.

Best recipes

Fysh & Chips, Nasi Goreng

 

 

2. The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner

The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner - Penguin Books Australia

Renowned for her delicious vegan cheese, Miyoko Schinner of ‘Miyoko’s Creamery’ has made a delightful book of simple homemade staples. Great for those looking to make swaps for animal-based products, or to save money on expensive store-bought substitutes (coconut-yoghurt I’m looking at you). Miyoko really demystifies the whole process behind meat and dairy substitutes and empowers you to make your own products cheaply and easily.

The good

Easy recipes for pantry staples that taste great and will save you money and unwanted, highly processed ingredients.

The bad

There’s no avoiding it, some vegan substitutes require unusual ingredients. You’ll need to buy some agar agar, tapioca flour and probably a few other bits and bobs. If you end up making these basics regularly though, you’ll easily use these up and it will still work out much cheaper in the long run.

The bottom line

Great book of pantry staples to have in your collection – why buy store bought when you can make your own? Fresh, clean ingredients, better results and you’ll save money.

Best recipe

Oil-Free Melty “Pepper Jack” Cheese

 

 

3. Chloe Flavour by Chloe Coscarelli

Chloe Flavor by Chloe Coscarelli - Penguin Books Australia

Chloe Coscarelli is a chef and entrepreneur; whose career took off in 2010 when she became the first vegan to win the American TV reality series ‘Cupcake Wars’. Since then she’s released several best-selling cookbooks and has even had her own restaurant in New York. She was listed on Forbe’s 30 under 30 for the Food & Drink Category in 2017 and in 2018 launched ‘Chloe Flavour’ as her fourth cookbook.

The good

A variety of unique modern recipes, covering every meal in the day from breakfast to cocktails. Colourful, delicious, unusual pairings that are simple and straightforward to prepare.

The bad

Meals are predominantly focused on taste, so the recipes are not quite as balanced as some more health-and-wholefoods leaning cookbooks.

The bottom line

A great variety of colourful, flavoursome and unique recipes that are easy to make. My personal favourite.

Best recipe

Kale Pesto Pasta

 

 

4. Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon - Penguin Books Australia

Angela Liddon began her blog ‘Oh She Glows’ in 2008 to document her journey recovering from an eating disorder; focusing on health and promoting a positive relationship with food. Entirely self-taught, she makes easy and delicious everyday recipes to nourish the body.

Oh She Glows Everyday is her second cookbook, which she wrote after having her first child, intending to make family-friendly, quick recipes for those with a busy, active lifestyle. The book has a balance of straightforward ‘weekday’ recipes and some more elaborate ‘Sunday dinner’ recipes that take a bit more time.

The good

Balanced meals disguised as comfort food! A non-intimidating and comprehensive collection of quick and easy vegan meals. A great book for vegan first-timers.

The bad

As the book is focused on everyday eating, there aren’t many experimental dishes. Main meals are classified as Entrées, not sure why.

The bottom line

Nutritious vegan-ised versions of everyday anglo/western meals. Simple, wholesome, great for families.

Best recipe

Shepherd’s Pie with Mushroom Gravy

 

 

5. Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

The big mama of vegan cooking! Veganomicon was originally released in 2007 and is viewed as a bible to vegan cooking by its cult following. Written by Brooklyn foodies and activists Terry Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz who launched their rose to cooking fame with their Punk Kitchen TV series.

They set out to provide a dependable resource for all skill-levels and diets, creating food that ‘you wish you grew up with’. They describe Veganomicon as ‘a big, bold, vegan cookbook that doesn’t hold back any punches.’ It was re-released in 2017 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

The good

With 250 tried-and-true recipes, this is a solid investment in your kitchen library. This book feels warm and welcoming, nostalgic almost! There’s no pretentiousness, just great vegan food.

The bad

Whilst the book has been updated with the latest release, some of the recipes feel just a tad dated.

The bottom line

Brooklyn, punk rock music and vegan food? It’s a vibe. The ultimate resource for vegan cooking with something for everybody.

Best recipe

Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelised Onions and Sage

6. Zaika by Romy Gill

 

This is a beautiful collection of Punjabi recipes by British-Indian author and chef Romy Gill, written as a tribute to her late mother. Raised in West Bengal in India, Romy learned to cook from a young age, watching her parents make wholesome plant-based, family meals.

Although not vegan herself, her affinity for vegan cooking stems from her Indian heritage, where plant-based eating is the norm due to various religious, cultural and socio-economic circumstances. Romy relocated to the UK and in 2013 opened her own restaurant in Bristol, where she served Indian dishes with a British twist. Romy has mastered the art of elevating humble ingredients with spices and sauces to create a flavour-packed eating experience.

The good

Recipes are straightforward and super affordable, often made with dried or canned pantry ingredients. Great if you’re on a budget. There’s a story behind every dish, and you can really feel Romy’s down-to-earth presence and love for her Mum woven throughout the book – it’s very touching.

The bad

I find the portion sizes are a tad small, and some dishes can be a little salty, but this is easily solved, just double the quantities and taste as you go.

The bottom line

Indian food from the heart! Affordable recipes for the whole family with intense, authentic flavour.

Best recipes

Sweet and Sour Sticky Tofu, Baingan Masala

 

 

7. Wicked Healthy by Chad and Derek Sarno

Written by Derek and Chad Sarno, two professional chefs and brothers from the US who are global leaders in innovative vegan cooking. They’re most well known in the UK by their Wicked Healthy range of products in Tesco which has had impressive results – the launch of their products grew the sales of chilled vegan goods by 25% in just under two years. Derek holds a senior position at Tesco as the Executive Chef and Director of Plant Based Innovation and has previously worked as a global executive at Whole Foods Market.

The brothers’ philosophy when it comes to food is simple: “shoot for 80% healthy, 20% wicked and you’ll be 100% sexy.” Derek has proudly stated (and I think this sums them up very well) “we make f**king cool food… We make food for meat eaters.” 

The good

These guys have a great vibe, and they make incredible food. I am always blown away by end result – it’s better than eating at a restaurant. They also have a detailed guide on kitchen prep, pantry staples, flavour pairings and organisation hacks.

The bad

Uncommon and sometimes expensive ingredients that you won’t always use up. If you live in Australia, unfortunately some of the key mushroom varieties (like Lion’s Mane) aren’t available here, but if you’re in the UK or the US, this won’t be an issue. The recipes are pretty intensive and can take a long time – make sure you read the recipe all the way through, otherwise you’ll accidentally end up eating dinner at midnight.

The bottom line

Chef-quality, incredible meals. Recipes are intensive and usually take 1-3 hours. Set aside an evening, and I guarantee you will be amazed.

Best recipes

Mac & Cheese Sauce, King Oyster Mushroom Skewers, Corn Dumplings with Coconut Broth

 

8. Smith & Deli-cious by Shannon Martinez & Mo Wise

Authors Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse are owners of celebrated restaurant Smith & Daughters and take-away delicatessan Smith & Deli located in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, the unofficial vegan capital of Australia. Determined to challenge the perception of vegan food, they quickly became famous on the local food scene for creative flavour-bomb menus, drawing crowds of vegans and omnivores alike.

The chef of the pair, Shannon, isn’t vegan and this gives her an extra edge in replicating the tastes and textures of animal products – she was even a guest judge on the Australian Masterchef TV series. What is really unique about the book is that the recipes don’t specify vegan substitutes, and simply call for conventional ingredients like ‘milk’ and ‘butter’ allowing the reader the freedom to choose their preferred plant-based alternative.

The good

Delicious comfort food to indulge in. Refreshingly, the book doesn’t have a guide on the basics of a vegan pantry, equipment or how to cook beans. This information is included in almost every single vegan cookbook so it’s nice to skip past it on this one.

The bad

Flavour is king in this cookbook, and some recipes are expensive and not so healthy. Best suited to those already familiar with vegan cooking, as the reader is expected to decide on vegan substitute ingredients at their discretion.

The bottom line

Indulgent, exciting vegan food for those looking to spice things up in the kitchen or replicate their favourite dishes from the deli. Best suited to confident vegan cooks who are happy to dedicate a bit of time and dosh $ to their meals.

Best recipe

Choc chip Rosemary Cookies

 

 

9. Vegan by Jean Christian Jury

The Cookbook Vegan – Oriigin Store

An encyclopedia-style cookbook with a whopping 500 hundred recipes from over 150 countries around the world. French chef and restaurateur, Jean-Christian Jury, has created a comprehensive resource with straightforward instructions to create unique dishes and flavours you’ve never experienced before. There are enough recipes to keep you cooking unique meals for years.

The good

SO many recipes and different cuisines, it’s basically a vegan encyclopedia. This book is a great long-term investment that you’ll keep coming back to for new ideas every time.

The bad

As it’s a high-volume book, there aren’t many photos, so it can be hard to decide which to make.

The bottom line

A substantial book with hundreds of plant-based recipes from around the world, a great resource to invest in.

Best recipe

Caramelised Pineapple & Tofu

 

10. Forks Over Knives by Del Stroufe

Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook - Over 300 Plant-Based Recipes

Before The Game Changers, there was Forks Over Knives. This is the companion recipe book to the highly popular 2010 documentary which cast a spotlight on the negative health implications of an average Western diet, and championed the scientifically proven benefits of a wholefoods plant-based diet.

The good

Super accessible, wholefoods recipes that can improve your overall health and wellbeing. Loads of options to choose from – great value.

The bad

Functional and tasty food, but not the coolest of cookbooks

The bottom line

A manifesto of plant based food-as-medicine. Forks Over Knives has hundreds of easy-to-make, tasty but wholesome plant-based recipes to help achieve optimum health.

Best recipe

Penne with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

 

That’s a wrap!

Do you own any of these vegan cookbooks? Or do you have a favourite cookbook I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. Joey

    Great list . Miyoko is my go to .

    The Jean Christine – Jury is one that I was not even aware of !

    Wicked looks interesting , are they the same people that have developed the grocery line ?

    Not a fan of the grocery line , but willing to check out the book .

    Reply
    • Liz

      Yes same people! I haven’t been to the UK to try the grocery line myself but definitely try the cookbook, it’s excellent! The recipes are pretty labour intensive but I’m always super impressed by the flavours they create. The Jean-Christine Jury one seems to be lesser known in general so definitely not just you. And Miyoko is such a queen, she’s incredible. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Joey 🙂

      Reply

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