With national interest in plant-based foods continuing to grow, publishers show no sign of cutting back on vegetarian books (which is clear every time I look at the teetering pile of new releases on my desk). Vegan books and books that feature gluten-free recipes remain strong trends in this season’s vegetarian category.

While most new vegetarian books stay tightly focused on a particular cuisine or ingredient type, two big-concept, comprehensive vegetarian books have recently hit bookshelves: “The Vegetarian Flavor Bible” published by Little, Brown and Company and “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” put out by America’s Test Kitchen. I write about the first below, and I’ll share details about the second later this year.

For now, here are 10 new vegetarian books to savor this spring.

“Eat Clean Live Well”

By Terry Walters

Price: $33

Recipes: Vegan and gluten-free

Photos: Full-color throughout

Best-selling author Walters returns with more of her clean food philosophy and seasonally arranged recipes. This hardbound book dishes up family-friendly dishes: black bean-mango tacos; blondies made from white beans and almond flour, and more adventurous fare: lacto-fermented kimchi; purslane with strawberries and fennel. At the start of each seasonal section, Walters provides ideas and tips for everything from house cleaning to holiday giving. Simplicity reigns in her advice, ingredients and recipes.

“DIY nut milks, nut butters & more: from almonds to walnuts”

By Melissa King

Price: $16.95

Recipes: Vegan and gluten-free

Photos: Full-color throughout

If you’re ready to move beyond store-bought boxes of almond milk and jars of natural peanut butter, King’s small book is the perfect guide to homemade nutty goodness. She begins both the nut milk and nut butter chapters with a basic recipe that can be used with any type of nut. She expands on these with recipes that include strawberry Brazil nut milk, spiced pistachio milk, chocolate hazelnut spread and maple vanilla almond butter. King also devotes chapters to smoothies, breakfast, no-bake and baked treats and ice cream.

“Living Candida-Free: Conquer the Hidden Health Epidemic That’s Making You Sick”

By Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN

Price: $18.99

Recipes: Vegan and gluten-free

Photos: Section of full-color photos in the middle

While many mainstream doctors don’t acknowledge the condition known as candida or yeast overgrowth, it continues to be diagnosed by alternative health practitioners such as Heller. Here the nutritionist provides in-depth information about and recipes tailored for the particular anti-candida diet she prescribes. Like most such diets, this one excludes refined flour, white sugar, bread and alcohol. Unlike other anti-candida diets, this one doesn’t include animal products but does include naturally fermented foods. The recipes cover a lot of territory with dishes such as chickpea breakfast scramble, sushi with spicy ginger-miso sauce and grain-free fudgy brownies. The book includes a three-page yeast assessment form, which Heller uses with clients to help determine whether they may have an overgrowth of candida.

“Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking”

By Kittee Berns

Price: $19.95

Recipes: Vegan and mostly gluten-free

Photos: A few full-color photos showing multiple dishes

The author of the limited edition zine Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food and the blog Cake Maker to the Stars, Berns taps her passion for this African cuisine in an approachable cookbook. Ethiopian cuisine is naturally vegetarian-friendly, Berns explains, because the country’s religious majority observes more than 200 fast days each year that require vegetarian food. The book begins with a foreword by Mesfin Hailemariam, the founder of Vegan Ethiopia, and then serves up traditional vegetarian dishes, veganized Ethiopian recipes and fusion dishes that combine Ethiopian flavors with nontraditional foods. A short chapter is devoted to making injera, the traditional Ethiopian flatbread eaten with every meal.

“Greens 24/7: More than 100 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes for Eating Leafy Greens and Other Green Vegetables at Every Meal, Every Day”

By Jessica Nadel

Price: $19.95

Recipes: Vegan and mostly gluten-free

Photos: Full-color throughout

The owner of a bakeshop in Ontario and the author of the Cupcakes and Kale blog, Nadel has now written a beautifully executed cookbook devoted to enjoying leafy greens and green vegetables at every meal. Nadel says she got hooked on greens after buying a community supported agriculture (CSA) share from a farm. Her cookbook ranges from pancakes with spinach to chocolate-dipped kale chips. In between, Nadel’s recipes touch on a variety of culinary traditions, with dishes such as dandelion colcannon, curried dal with chard, zucchini noodle Bolognese and romaine tacos with Southwest quinoa.

“Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes”

By Nancie McDermott

Price: $19.95

Recipes: Vegetarian and mostly vegan

Photos: Two full-color sections

While not a vegetarian herself, McDermott uses her experience with Thailand and Thai cuisine to create plant-centric versions of dishes that traditionally call for meat, seafood or the ubiquitous fish sauce. A few of the recipes include eggs (often with a substitute provided), and the rest are vegan. Thai food fans will be in heaven with all the curries, stir fries, soups, salads, noodle dishes and appetizers the book provides. Yet the crown jewel of this cookbook is the collection of recipes for Thai curry sauce made without shrimp paste.

“Super Seeds: The Complete Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Chia, Quinoa, Flax, Hemp & Amaranth”

By Kim Lutz

Price: $14.95

Recipes: Vegan with many gluten-free

Photos: Black and white throughout with a section of color photos in the middle

Riding the wave of interest in super foods and grain substitutes, this handy little cookbook offers creative ways to consume super seeds. Lutz focuses on the five seeds named in the title. She provides detailed nutritional information about each and follows with basic recipes such as hemp milk and popped amaranth. More elaborate dishes include taco-seasoned quinoa-stuffed avocados and chocolate-sunflower seed butter chia pudding.

“The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 150 Healthy Recipes for Meals, Snacks, Sides, Desserts, and More”

By Susan O’Brien

Price: $17.99

Recipes: Vegetarian with vegan substitutes

Photos: Section of full-color photos in the middle

With gluten-free eating on the rise, O’Brien shows how to avoid overly processed gluten-free products by cooking more meals from scratch. Her bread and baked good recipes use eggs (or an egg substitute) as a binder and almond, sorghum and other flours instead of wheat. Recipes include teff waffles, hearty sandwich bread, oat and walnut scones, mu shu wraps and flourless chocolate chip cookies. She also includes a variety of pizzas on teff pizza crust and an assortment of soup, salad and main dish recipes.

“The Vegetarian Flavor Bible”

By Karen Page

Price: $40

Recipes: None

Photos: Full-color throughout

James Beard Award-winner Page – who wowed the foodie world with her 2008 “The Flavor Bible” – has given up meat and reinvented her well-loved tome. This 550-page hardbound book is a must-have for vegetarians and chefs of all stripes. The bulk of the book is detailed flavor pairings (for instance, ramps paired with asparagus, lemon, mint and pasta).

These extensive lists are garnished with cooking tips and examples of restaurant dishes that use particular ingredients well. Equally fascinating is a chapter at the beginning of the book about how leading chefs have discovered that ingredients traditionally seen as culinary staples – chicken broth, cream, butter – actually overwhelm and mask the inherent deliciousness of vegetables.

“The Vegiterranean Diet: The New and Improved Mediterranean Eating Plan – With Deliciously Satisfying Vegan Recipes for Optimal Health”

By Julieanna Hever, MS, RD

Price: $17.99

Recipes: Oil-free vegan

Photos: None

Hever, a registered dietitian, blends the best of the Mediterranean diet with the best of a plant-based diet to create an oil-free, vegan approach to eating that emphasizes fresh vegetables and minimally processed foods.

The book is loaded with information about diet-related medical studies, nutrition needs and specific foods. She rounds out the book with meal plans and recipes, including dishes such as Red Hot Eggplant Salad and tempeh cutlet sandwich with arugula and basil aïoli.

Avery Yale Kamila is a freelance food writer who lives in Portland. She can be reached at:

[email protected]

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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