Sure, you could find vegan cookbooks 10 years ago, but they were neither as plentiful nor as polished as they are today. In 2007, “Veganomicon,” an impressive hardback, with a chatty style and comprehensive contents, changed all that. Co-authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero revolutionized the food world’s approach to vegan cuisine.

To mark the book’s 10-year anniversary, Da Capo has reissued it with a new (hard) cover, new layout, more photographs and 25 new recipes.

It is among dozens and dozens of books released in 2017 that are inspiring American cooks to try their hand at a vegan dish.

Another of this year’s new releases stirring up talk of plant-based eating is one that isn’t even vegetarian. “The TB12 Method,” by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, is mostly a workout book, but it includes details about Brady’s plant-centric philosophy and a section of recipes (some with meat), including his-much discussed, all-vegan chocolate avocado ice cream.

The growing international profile of plant-based eating can be seen in both the recipe composition and the author biographies of this year’s vegan titles. The new crop of books also makes clear that vegan eating is coalescing into a cuisine of its own, one that includes standard dishes ranging from pancakes and mac and cheese to shepherd’s pie and cauliflower Buffalo wings. Cauliflower, in fact, continues to pop up everywhere, from sauces to gratins to steaks to “rice,” while carrot hot dogs are an emerging trend.

On the dessert front, smoothies, granola bars and cookies remain plant-based mainstays while more decadent sweets such as panna cotta, doughnuts and ice cream are on the rise in the vegan repertoire.


The embrace of homemade pantry staples, such as condiments and plant-based “meats” and “cheeses,” continues to be a strong focus of vegan cookbooks.

Chickpeas, too, remain a favorite of this year’s plant-based books.

But the real story is the liquid in the chickpea cans – recently dubbed aquafaba and used as a substitute for egg whites.

It skyrocketed to super star status this year, with two titles devoted solely to the topic, “Aquafabulous!” and “Baking Magic with Aquafaba,” and many, many vegan cookbooks featuring the ingredient in their recipes.

After spending weeks reading through piles of new cookbooks, here’s my list of 2017’s 10 best vegan books, well worthy of gift giving. Happy holidays, and may your winter season be filled with good food and great books.

“The China Study Family Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Bring Your Family to the Plant-Based Table,” by Del Sroufe. BenBella. $19.95.


Best for: Fans of “The China Study” and “Forks Over Knives”; parents of young children; people who eat an oil-free, plant-based diet; and anyone in need of a dietary intervention.

With vegan eating’s arrival in the mainstream, it’s no longer just a health food trend.

And while many of this year’s vegan cookbooks use refined sugar, white flour and processed oils freely, Stoufe stays true to vegan eating’s nutrient-dense roots in this book.

It’s an approach well-suited to “The China Study” conception, and it’s well-paired with family-centric recipes that kids can help cook.

Stoufe also includes a section of age-specific suggestions for getting children involved in the kitchen.

Recipes center on oil-free remakes of vegan comfort food classics, including breakfast tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot dogs, tater tots, Mediterranean meatball subs, ramen and tortilla pie. Sweets, such as cheesecake pops and whoopie pies, close out the cookbook.


“The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes,” by Candice Hutchings. Robert Rose. $27.95.

Best for: Fans of Candice Hutchings and her Edgy Veg YouTube channel; meat-eaters skeptical about vegan food but whose family member has recently gone vegan; vegetarians who crave veganized fast food; and cooks who prefer their vegan veal Parmigiana served with a side order of sass and “straight talk.”

Based on the ideas that “you can’t eat a kale salad every day,” this hardcover book features only a handful of heavier salads but is chock-full of heartier remakes of animal-based comfort foods. It covers a lot of standards with plenty of recipe hacks and variations on a theme – three recipes for pancakes, three more for ice cream, four for bacon, six for aioli, and seven for Buffalo cauliflower wings.

At the center of the table find chive and sriracha beer waffles (made with aquafaba); très flawless French onion soup, Montreal poutine, famous Edgy Veg fried chicken, street-food style Thai basil beef, shredded Hogtown jackfruit and the pho-ritto.

The book ends with smoothies, cocktails and sweets such as New York cheesecake with raspberry coulis and “literally dying” skillet cookie à la mode.

“Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share & Savor,” by Tommy McDonald. Da Capo Lifelong Books. $30.


Best for: Fans of Field Roast meats; lovers of plant-based charcuterie; skilled kitchen wizards; vegetarians who own meat grinders; and people who appreciate artisanal preparation techniques.

Since 1997 Field Roast, the vegetarian meat and cheese company from Seattle, has been steadily increasing its shelf space in the coolers and freezers of the country’s mainstream grocery stores. Now its executive chef has written a hardcover book that provides a how-to for making plant-based roasts, sausages and deli slices.

The recipes don’t spill the beans (or more precisely the vital wheat gluten) on the company’s signature products, but they do serve up 15 unique plant-based meat recipes and more than 100 other recipes that use those meats (or the store-bought variety).

The book’s meat recipes include harvest holiday roast, pastrami roast, fennel and garlic sausage, and Little Saigon meatloaf. These plant-based meats then star in recipes including biscuits and gravy with spicy sausage and corn; Jackson Street five-alarm chili; cornmeal-crusted oyster mushroom po’boy; and leek dumplings in dashi.

“The Healthy Convert: Allergy-Friendly Sweet Treats,” by Nicole Maree. Hardie Grant Books. $19.99.

Best for: Lovers of dessert; people who want to stop eating junk food but don’t want to give up doughnuts or cheesecake; people you invite to your parties; and anyone who is allergic to gluten, eggs or dairy.


This approachable introduction to the world of healthful sweets comes from an Australian who suffers from food allergies but loves dessert.

The hardcover book begins with a thorough section on substituting for white sugar, wheat flour, eggs, dairy and nuts, where Maree also provides a number of conversion charts. The recipes range from bars (triple layer caramel cream; strawberry blondie bars; and peanut berrybutter fudge) to baked goods (cappuccino cupcakes; red velvet cake; and pumpkin pecan tart) and finally special treats (sticky date donuts; cookie dough ice cream; and rainbow meringue, which uses aquafaba).

“The Naked Vegan: 140+ Tasty Raw Vegan Recipes for Health and Wellness,” by Maz Valcorza. Murdouch Books. $24.99.

Best for: Fans of raw food; fans of boozy late nights who need a detox; chefs who like new challenges; people seeking health food; and people who don’t eat enough health food.

From the former owner of a raw vegan restaurant in Sydney, Australia, this lavishly illustrated book elevates the uncooked meal. Valcorza organizes the book like a restaurant menu with sections for smoothies and cold-pressed juices (piña colada zinger; green velvet smoothie); breakfast (banana crepes with coconut whipped cream, chocolate fudge sauce & berries; the Sadhana Kitchen Benedict); breads (bagels; burger buns); snacks (cheezy pea & cauliflower croquettes; mushroom calamari with tartare sauce & pickles); main meals (stir no-fry with coconut cauliflower rice; banh mi wraps with sriracha mayo); fermented foods (aged macadamia cheeze; kombucha); and desserts (choc-raspberry cheezecake; strawberry doughnuts). Sections devoted to nut milks and tonics finish the book.

“This Cheese Is Nuts! Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home,” by Julie Piatt. Avery. $25.


Best for: Cheese lovers who are sensitive/allergic to dairy; vegans who like to make homemade pantry staples; fans of ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll; and adventurous cooks who want to tackle new challenges.

Piatt, who co-authored “The Plantpower Way” with her husband, Rich Roll, and used to live in Paris, returns with a cookbook devoted to plant-based cheese.

Her vegan alternatives are organized into quick spreads and sauces, formed cheeses, aged cheeses, nut-free cheeses, and cheese-based recipes.

Her creations rely on nuts (most often cashews) and ingredients that include acidophilus, agar-agar, nutritional yeast, miso, coconut oil and aquafaba.

Cheese recipes range from cream cheese, fondue and queso fresco to smoked gouda, cashew bleu cheese and aged red pepper cashew-pine nut blend. These creations can then be turned into elaborate dishes, such as raw beet ravioli with cashew-macadamia nut aged truffle cheese, almond fettuccine alfredo and banana cream pie.

The book ends with a handful of dairy-free crackers, yogurts and other related staples.


“Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and In-Between,” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. America’s Test Kitchen. $29.95.

Best for: Vegans who want hacks to popular plant-based recipes; non-vegans who want recipes tested by omnivores; fans of America’s Test Kitchen; and anyone who wants a comprehensive survey of American vegan cuisine.

Following up on its 2015 “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook,” the editors behind the popular public television cooking show and magazine have returned this year with the results of their rigorous testing of popular vegan recipes.

These plant-based standards include tofu scramble, whole wheat pancakes, kale chips, Buffalo cauliflower bites, avocado toast, chickpea salad sandwiches, tofu banh mi, mac and cheese, shepherd’s pie, saag tofu, pad Thai, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shortcake, coconut ice cream and tons of other vegan favorites.

All come with the tips and tricks the editors discovered while rigorously developing and testing the recipes. The test cooks worked extensively with aquafaba, and reveal the secret to whipped peaks (cream of tartar, just as with egg whites) as well as how to use to produce meringues and other baked goods. Two other notable tips: Using oat milk as the key to golden brown baked goods and processing potatoes in a blender to create a sticky nacho cheese.

“Vegan for One: Hot Tips and Inspired Recipes for Cooking Solo,” by Ellen Jaffe Jones with Beverly Lynn Bennett. Book Publishing Company. $17.95.


Best for: Single vegans; vegans who live with omnivores and cook for themselves; college students; and people with small appetites who love veggies.

Cooking when single brings a number of challenges. At the top of the list? The fact that most cookbooks are designed for family-sized meals.

Enter veteran cookbook writer, fitness trainer and former TV journalist Jones, who has put together a book that combines recipes that make just one or two servings with simple preparation techniques and money-saving tips.

Since single cooks often lack the motivation to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, these recipes fit the bill with few ingredients and steps.

The dishes include overnight oats, Tex-Mex breakfast burritos, seitan and veggie stew, easy vegetable fried rice, deconstructed veggie lasagna, rich and chewy brownies and no-bake dried-fruit cereal bars.

A handful of recipes – particularly for the soups – make larger quantities so some can be frozen for later.


“The Vegan Holiday Cookbook: From Elegant Appetizers to Festive Mains and Delicious Sweets,” by Marie Laforêt. Robert Rose. $19.95.

Best for: Non-vegans who host a lot of holiday parties; vegans who go to a lot of parties; fans of northern European food; and anyone who loves the winter holidays.

Packed with ideas for pretty party dishes, this book veganizes many staples of the Christmas holiday.

The author is a Parisian, so it’s no surprise that the 60 recipes tend to replicate meat-and-cheese-based dishes from northern Europe.

There are many veganized fish dishes, too, such as caviar (in three flavors), blinis with carrot gravlax, tofu gravlax canapés, and fisherman’s puff pastries.

Other dishes include foie gras-style terrine, mozzarella cranberry croquettes, vegan sausage mini tarts, chestnut vol-au-vents, holiday roast, lentil Wellington, Swedish meatballs, and seitan pot pies.


Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate recipes for cardamon almond kringle, mince tarts, pepparkakor, frozen tiramisu log, and glazed citrus merinque log (which calls for aquafaba).

“Vegan: The Cookbook,” by Jean-Christian Jury. Phaidon. $49.95.

Best for: Serious vegan cooks; chefs looking to expand their plant-based repertoire; cookbook collectors; and libraries.

Released as part of Phaidon’s library of international cuisine series, the hefty hardback (clocking in at 2 inches thick and more than 4 pounds in weight) is an encyclopedic compendium of 450 plant-based recipes from more than 150 countries.

While impressive in size, scope and presentation (including two sewn-in ribbons for marking recipes), the book’s prose is no-frills, without introductions to chapters or recipes. It’s the sort of book written for busy professionals. No surprise since Jury is an acclaimed chef from France who went plant-based after suffering heart failure. Now he works as head chef at the Blue Lotus plant-based academy in Thailand.

The recipes show their restaurant roots (including liberal use of margarine and sugar) but the ingredients and instructions are straight-forward and relatively short. (The exception is a staggeringly long French recipe for gargouillou of young vegetables in the guest chef section at the end.)


The recipes are wide-ranging and include shiitake and toasted hazelnut paté; black bean and mango soup; crispy orange-ginger tofu with broccoli; and sweet potato gnocchi. Desserts include lemon mousse; beet and chocolate cake; raspberry pie; panna cotta with caramel sauce; raw lime cheesecake; chocolate-mint macarons (that use aquafaba); and baked papaya with coconut cream.

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

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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