My Favourite Veggie Cookbooks

…that feature a lot more than just a stuffed pepper

In a recent ‘What I Eat in a Day’ video I mentioned how Mark and I have both been cutting back on meat. We’re actually been doing it on the down-low for the past year and although it’s for a whole myriad of reasons, it’s helped to cut our food bill down and made us be a little more creative with our meals. Coming from a family of meat eaters (although my Sister has recently gone full veggie and now likes to tell me where does the best tofu, which is just something that I still can’t get my head around), I was always under the illusion that vegetable-centric cooking was just a bit boring. A bit bland, a bit tasteless and basically that meat was a requirement for all meals excluding breakfast. However, since we started our experiment I’ve found the complete opposite to be true. Our cooking has been much more adventurous, we try new things way more often and the end result is just as delicious as it’s meaty counterpart.

Because it’s still new to us, we’re taking directions from elsewhere. Either from friends or my sister giving us recipes and telling us what veggie burger tastes delicious and what ones taste like the sole of an old shoe, or from recipe books. AH COME ON, you know I love a recipe book. A few of you commented under that video asking for my top recommendations, so today I’m sharing the ones that we’ve used most over the past 12 months…

A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones. I first bought this book two years ago and I will admit that it sat a little unloved on our kitchen bookshelves, until a couple of months ago when Mark dusted it off, cracked out a recipe and it was DELICIOUS. Our ears both pricked up and we’ve been making recipes from it since. I’d say that this book really excels itself when it comes to cooking ‘dinner party’ meals for friends and family. That’s what we first turned to it for and it has a great range of recipes that are more show-stopper level than everyday options. However, don’t be put off because we have also found some easier and quicker ones that we make on reg. In fact it deserves a shout out of it’s own; the Dahl with Crispy Sweet Potato (p.128) is the best dahl recipe we’ve tried. FACT. Honestly it’s so good that I’m salivating just thinking about it right now. Other favourites include the Proper Chilli (p.182), the Mint, Pistachio and Courgette Polpette (p.224 – a good dinner with your friends choice) and the Salted Caramel Crack Brownies (p.300 – holy cow).

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz. I love Dana! Her blog is fab! Her Instagram Stories are fab! Her recipes are fab, and this book is no exception. It’s a straight-up vegan cookbook, but it’s easy to switch around ingredients to your own personal preferences and her recipes cover such great basics that I’ve adapted into recipes that I use every single day. It covers all meal times, although her dinners really hit the spot in terms of being filling and feeling like a treat, when actually they’re completely packed with vegetables and seasoning. Highlights include the Beet & Apple Yoghurt Smoothie (p.26), 1-Bowl Zucchini Walnut Muffins (p.51), Peanut Butter Pad Thai (p.195), Hearty Cocoa Black Bean Burgers (p.173 – the best home-made burger recipe I’ve found) and the Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa (p.145).

The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. Any veggie or vegan friend we have, has this book and SWEARS by it. It’s like the original vegan cooking bible as Angela runs a very successful food blog and the raving reviews for her cookbooks are by the bucketload. It’s American and being a fan of the super easy cup measurement system I find it very simple to use, and it’s pretty rare that I come across an ingredient that can’t easily be found in the supermarket. It’s a good one if you want to find alternatives for foods that if you’re vegan you might miss – think creamy sauces, cheesy pasta and burgers – there’s something for everyone in here. We love the Luxurious Tomato-Basil Pasta (p.181), 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta (P. 173 – WE ADORE THIS!) and the Our Favourite Veggie Burger Recipe (p.155), which seems to be a fan favourite.

A Year of Beautiful Eating by Madeleine Shaw. Now I’ve slipped this one in there because it’s not actually a veggie cookbook, but I would say that it’s my favourite cookbook that I own and easily one of our most used. As we still occasionally eat fish at home, there’s still plenty of recipes that we can make and often I find that ones that include meat can easily be adapted. It’s also the only book that I own that makes championing seasonal eating and using fruits and veggies that are currently ripe and plentiful SO EASY. Big thumbs up for the large range of breakfasts, snacks, salads, lunches, sides, dinners and desserts that this book covers. Phew. Our favourites include the Charred Corn & Tomato Pesto Pasta (p.117), Sweetcorn Fritters with Tomato Salsa and Avocado (p.80), Coconut Spiced Prawn Korma (p.187), Baked Sea Bream and Lentil Parcels (p.178) and the Spicy Bean Stew (p.247).

Photos by Emma Croman

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