Plant-based eating gone beyond just being a fad. Today, it not only represents a healthier way of living but also promises to be beneficial for the environment. Going vegan is a journey, and cookbooks are a big part of it. Even if you have no intention of ever giving up meat, fish, dairy, or eggs, there’s a strong case for familiarising yourself with some of the best vegan cookbooks out there. To celebrate veganuary, we’ve rounded up a list of the best vegan cookbooks for a meal that will delight everyone’s palate.
Plant-Based India by Dr Sheil Shukla
Dr Shukla pays tribute to his mother and grandmother’s traditional Gujarāti cookery in Plant-Based India. There’s an entire chapter on dal, another on chutneys and raitas, and a refreshingly gentle philosophy about veganism throughout, with over 100 stunning photographed plant-based recipes and tons of health tips from a doctor who shows that food is the best medicine. During his medical training, Dr Shukla discovered the power of plant-based nutrition to prevent and manage chronic illness – and so began his mission to reinvent the classic vegetarian dishes of his heritage. Plant-Based India presents over 100 completely vegan recipes for spiced vegetable dishes, dal, roti, bhat and more. From a comforting Palak Tofu that transcends dairy-based paneer, to vegan naan, festive Navratan Rice, hearty Dal Makhani, and summery Chocolate Chai Mousse with Berries, these are recipes from the heart – filled with nourishing ingredients at their seasonal best.
The Vegan Chinese Kitchen by Hannah Che
Who said you need to give up Chinese if you wish to be vegan? The Vegan Chinese Kitchen by Hannah Che sees the author translate her findings into recipes for “jiā cháng cài”, or home-style dishes. In between instructions for making the likes of Scallion Oil Noodles and Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, she teaches you everything from how to prep chrysanthemum greens to the best way to maintain the perfect patina on a wok.
Asian Green by Ching-He Huang
Ching-He Huang’s Asian Greens is filled with dishes that are quick, simple, and affordable. The recipes nod to a broad variety of Asian cuisines and are built around fresh produce, tofu, seitan, tempeh, and whole grains. The Fast & Furious chapter – with dozens of healthy stir-frys. From Nourishing Soups to Fast & Furious and Warm & Comforting, each chapter features fresh and vibrant vegan dishes that are both nutritious and packed with flavour, including Wok-fried Orange-Soy Sticky Sprouts & Wild Rice Salad, Peking Mushroom Pancakes, Smoked Tofu & Broccoli Korean-style Ram-don, and Chinese Black Bean Seitan Tacos. Ching also shows you how to make your own seitan and tofu as well as sharing expert tips and tricks for successful wok cooking.
Vegan Cakes by Sarah Hardy
Self-taught baker Sarah Hardy’s cakes are beautifully captured on her Instagram page and are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious. Her cookbook, Vegan Cakes, is a brilliant introduction to the world of plant-based sweets. From a Pink Vanilla Dream Cake and Sherry Berry Trifle, to Rose and Ginger Cheesecake and Black Sesame Banana Bread, this book is for the new vegan on the block. The vegan who wants to eat cake, indulge, feast and feel GOOD about it. With delectable step-by-step recipes and enticing photos, along with guidance on vegan icing and decorations, this is the foolproof baking guide to creating decadent treats for every occasion.
Vegan JapanEasy by Tim Anderson
Believe it or not, Japanese cuisine in general is actually quite vegan-friendly, and many dishes can be made vegan with just a simple substitution or two. So channel your love for Japanese food as Tim Anderson breaks down traditional recipes that are already plant-based in Vegan Japaneasy, taking special inspiration from shojin ryori, the cuisine served at Buddhist temples across Japan. Each dish is clean, simple, healthy – and truly elegant. One for vegans and non-vegans alike.From classics like Vegetable Tempura, Onigiri, Mushroom Gyoza and Fried Tofu in Dashi, to clever vegan conversions including Cauliflower Katsu Curry, French Onion Ramen and Sichuan-Style Hot and Numbing Tofu with Ancient Grains, you don’t need to be vegan to enjoy these tasty recipes. Add to that some outrageously good drinks and desserts, like the Watermelon Mojito and Soy Sauce Butterscotch Brownies, and you’ll be spoilt for choice! With ingredients like tangy miso, savoury shiitake mushrooms and zingy ponzu, to name a few, who needs meat?
Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi
When it comes to fancy-looking dishes and deliciousness packed into one, Yotam Ottolenghi is the master. Knowing his way around a vegetable, his cookbook, Flavour, teaches you how to get the most flavour out of any form of produce. Among the standout recipes? Miso butter onions; spicy mushroom lasagne; romano pepper schnitzels; oyster mushroom tacos with all the trimmings. and a mushroom ragu. Yotam has also included suggestions of how to put all these recipes together into cohesive, multi-course meals so you leave your guests delighted.
Here are a few recipes to help you get started on a vegan meal!
Tropical Overnight Oat Pot (Recipe from Asian Green by Ching-He Huang)
4 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
200ml coconut milk
For the topping
3-4 mango slices
2 tbsp finely diced pineapple
1 tbsp golden syrup
Toasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling
ground sunflower seeds or flaxseed, for sprinkling
fresh mint, to garnish
– Pour the oats into a glass jar. Top with the chia seeds and add the coconut milk.
– Stir and place, covered, in the refrigerator.
– The next morning, remove the pot from the refrigerator. Top with fresh mango and pineapple, drizzle over some golden syrup, sprinkle over toasted sesame seeds and your chosen ground seeds, then garnish with mint and serve.
Blanched Lettuce with Ginger Soy Sauce (Recipe from The Vegan Chinese Kitchen by Hannah Che)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp wine
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
– Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice and water. Blanch the lettuce in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, until its leaves, are vibrant green but still crisp. Remove the lettuce and dunk it in ice water to halt the cooking, then drain and shake it as dry as possible. Place the lettuce in a large bowl.
– In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook the ginger briefly until fragrant and golden.
– Add the soy sauce, wine, and sugar, and bring to a
boil, stirring with a spatula until the sugar has dissolved
– Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.
– Scrape the sauce out over the drained lettuce and gently fold to coat the leaves.
– Arrange the lettuce in a pile on a plate and pour on the sauce.
Roasted Aloo Chât (Recipe from Plant-Based India by Dr Sheil Shukla)
450 g potatoes, peeled and cut
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp garam masala
2 tbsp unsweetened plain nondairy yoghurt
2 tbsp Mint Cilantro Chutney
2 tbsp Date Chutney
2 tbsp sev (optional)
2 pinches of chät masala
2 tbsp mint
Other toppings, such as pomegranate arils or finely diced onion, tomatoes, bell peppers
– Preheat the oven to 230°C.
– Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Add the salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
– Drain the potatoes in a colander. Place them onto a large baking sheet and toss with oil until well coated. Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces don’t touch each other.
– Roast the potatoes for about 40 minutes, until browned and crisp, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with garam masala and salt to taste, and toss until the potatoes are evenly seasoned.
– Place the potatoes onto a large serving plate. Top with the yoghurt, chutneys, sev, chät masalã, cilantro, and other toppings as desired. Serve immediately to prevent the potatoes from getting soggy.
*Other vegetables, such as cauliflower, may be used instead of potatoes.
Steamed Aubergines with charred chilli salsa (Recipe from Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi)
1-2 spring onions
1½ tbsp ready-roasted and salted almonds, roughly
1 tbsp coriander leaves
Charred Chilli Salsa
2 large, mild red chillies
140g cherry tomatoes finely chopped
1½ tsp sherry vinegar, plus ½ tsp to serve
Garlic and Ginger oil
40ml olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
For the salsa, place a frying pan on a high heat. Once the pan is very hot, add the chillies and cook for about 10 minutes,
turning a few times until well charred on all sides. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with a saucer and leave to soften for 10
minutes. Deseed one of the chillies (or both, for less heat), then
finely chop them, along with the skin. Place in a bowl with the
tomatoes, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of flaked salt, stir together
and set aside.
For the garlic and ginger oil, put all the ingredients into a
small pan with ½ teaspoon of flaked salt and place on the lowest
heat. Cook very gently for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until the garlic and ginger soften when mashed with the back of
a spoon. Make sure not to heat the oil too much or the garlic will
burn: if the oil does start to bubble, just remove it from the heat
until it cools.
Cut the aubergines into 7cm x2cm batons, then toss them
together with 2 tablespoons of flaked salt in a large bowl.
Transfer to a steaming basket (or colander which can sit over a
lore causenan and set aisde.
Fill a large saucepan with enough water to rise 4cm up the
sides. Bring to the boil on a high heat, then place the steamer (or
colander) in the pan. Cover with the lid or seal well with foil, to
prevent the steam escaping. Reduce the heat to medium and
steam for 20-25 minutes, or until the aubergines are very soft. Pour over the dressing and serve warm.
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