The best books about vegetarian cuisine

4 authors have picked their favorite books about vegetarian cuisine and why they recommend each book.

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Love Real Food

By Kathryne Taylor,

Book cover of Love Real Food: More Than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body

Kathryne is behind the vegetarian food blog, Cookie + Kate, and this cookbook includes favorite recipes such as Southwestern Roasted Veggie Salad, Lentil Soup, Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili, and homemade granola. I love that she incorporates roasted vegetables into so many salads and other dishes. It's my favorite way to prepare vegetables. Lots of photos throughout, which is a feature I appreciate in any cookbook.


Who am I?

I’m a cookbook and children's book author and co-owner of Brown-Bag Publishers, a small independent publishing company since 2007. I love good food, and I have a passion for creating (and using!) recipes that are easy and result in delicious, healthy meals that appeal to the whole family. I’m the author of the bestselling Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's which was the first in the popular 10-book Trader Joe's cookbook series. I live in a small surf town in California with my husband and four kids.


I wrote...

Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

By Deana Gunn,

Book cover of Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

What is my book about?

The newest Trader Joe's cookbook presents a collection of vegetarian recipes so good they'll unleash your inner animal. Vegetarian cooking has never been easier or more satisfying, thanks to the ingredients from our favorite grocer, Trader Joe's. The recipes in this vegetarian collection are gathered from our popular Cooking with Trader Joe's cookbooks and from our blog, with new recipes created especially for the vegetarian Trader Joe's shopper. Whether you're looking for inspiring new dishes for your vegetarian diet or creative ways to incorporate more veggies and plant-powered foods into your omnivore diet, look no further.

Yoga Kitchen

By Rachael Guidry, Faith Stone,

Book cover of Yoga Kitchen: The New Shoshoni Cookbook: More Recipes from the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat

The recipes in this book are so good because they were created by cooks who always go about their work with a smile. Cooking with Shakti changes everything, and is the divine ingredient in each meal. The authors treat foods as divine substances because they contain the essence of life. Your cooking will never be the same again after reading this book and approaching each meal with consciousness. The recipes are easy to follow, well laid out, and taste fabulous! No matter how often I declutter my massive recipe-book collection, this one always remains as a faithful culinary companion and inspiration.


Who am I?

Veronika Sophia Robinson has eaten a plant-based diet for forty-eight years and knows what healthy and delicious vegan and vegetarian food should taste like. She has had extensive experience in cooking for others whether around her kitchen table or in a yurt with no electricity feeding up to fifty families for five days (for many years). The Mystic Cookfire is a tome of over 400 pages. It is an expression of her deep love and respect for food, conscious cookery, and intentional eating. Her second recipe book Love From My Kitchen is a collection of vegan, gluten-free recipes based on the four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. She’s delighted that her granddaughter is a fourth-generation vegetarian.


I wrote...

The Mystic Cookfire: The Sacred Art of Creating Food to Nurture Friends and Family

By Veronika Sophia Robinson,

Book cover of The Mystic Cookfire: The Sacred Art of Creating Food to Nurture Friends and Family

What is my book about?

The Mystic Cookfire is an abundant and inspiring celebration and collection of vegetarian favourites suitable for friends and family. From sweet and sour aubergines to cauliflower biryani; French lentil tart to polenta pizza; dandelion and cinnamon fritters to marmalade gingerbread, these mouthwatering recipes will leave you asking for more. Beautifully illustrated, with room for notes, this treasure of easy-to-prepare meals offers more than 280 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and picnics. Learn to make tasty dips, dressings, breads, salads, soups, and more. The Mystic Cookfire is a celebration of one of mankind’s most honoured and revered pleasures. More than just a recipe book, it takes the reader on a journey through food consciousness.

Forks Over Knives

By Gene Stone,

Book cover of Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health

Forks Over Knives describes how changing your diet (forks) can be used to good effect to improve health, therefore, avoid the need for surgery (knives). This is a book about the most important advice on healthy eating – guess what? eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. It is full of inspiring success stories of people who have taken charge of their diet and transformed their health, as well as useful recipes. The author advocates entirely plant-based, and although there is a healthy way to eat animal products, the foundational diet for everyone needs to be mostly plants, and most definitely whole foods, meaning not processed or industrially produced.

Who am I?

I am a naturopathic therapist, teacher, and writer working mainly with plant medicine since 1989. For decades, I’ve been teaching many aspects of natural healing and have written 5 books, published in 6 languages, on various aspects of my work. One of my favourite books is DEEPLY HOLISTIC, a Guide to Intuitive Self-Care, a synthesis of much of the advice I’ve given clients over my 30 years of practice.


I wrote...

Deeply Holistic: A Guide to Intuitive Self-Care--Know Your Body, Live Consciously, and Nurture Your Spirit

By Pip Waller,

Book cover of Deeply Holistic: A Guide to Intuitive Self-Care--Know Your Body, Live Consciously, and Nurture Your Spirit

What is my book about?

Natural medicine outcomes depend partly on helping people create a lifestyle which acts as the foundation for good health. Deeply Holistic is a smorgasbord of suggestions that you can help yourself to, to help yourself move more towards your optimum possible level of health, presented in the format of relevance to the various body systems.

Good eating is an essential foundational building block to feeling well. But what to eat, in the modern climate of often conflicting and contradictory advice? As I discuss in Deeply Holistic, there is no real one size fits all approach to diet, hence the emphasis on ‘intuitive’ self-care – increasing your ability to tune in and listen to what your body is asking for.k

Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book

By Jane Grigson,

Book cover of Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book

I have all of Jane Grigson’s books and to me each one is special. Jane was a personal friend and while she lived in the UK and I lived in the US we often spent hours on the telephone discussing the finer points of pawpaws or persimmons.  We also shared the same birthday. Jane discovered she had cancer and decided to meet it head-on by shifting to a plant-based diet. That is her overarching philosophy, and it pervades her books. And while her books reflect that personal journey toward healing, they are also useful because like me she was an epicure with hoe, her food writing was not an abstraction, she wrote from hands-on experience. 


Who am I?

I have published 21 books, with three more on the way, and many deal with my kitchen garden at Roughwood and the massive seed collection started by my grandfather in 1932. Many of my books have won awards and several of them, especially Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, have become “breakthrough” texts in that they have shifted the conversation in a new direction. In short, I have helped make mainstream heritage fruits and vegetables, and my books are intended to help my readers enrich their lives by giving them meaning and context. It’s a story about learning to live well from simple basics: about discovering the gold in your own backyard. 


I wrote...

Flavors from the Garden: Heirloom Vegetable Recipes from Roughwood

By William Woys Weaver,

Book cover of Flavors from the Garden: Heirloom Vegetable Recipes from Roughwood

What is my book about?

This unique cookbook is woven together in a series of personal essays dealing with harvesting season by season, even gardening under the snow. The recipes focus on rare and unusual food plants like New Guinea Basil or Spaghetti Peppers in the Roughwood Seed Collection. Seeds are available from the Roughwood Center (a non-profit) otherwise I suggest working substitutes. This cutting-edge guide to eating well introduces American readers to many new flavor sensations, like Japanese Chrysanthemum Melons, Paraguayan flour corn, sorghum chapatis, and even pickled dahlias. The book is illustrated with award-winning photography all taken in natural light at Roughwood with garden-fresh ingredients.  

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

By Mark Bittman,

Book cover of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

This cookbook by Mark Bittman re-energized the vegetarian movement over a decade ago (and was updated on its 10th anniversary). Think of it as the “Joy of Cooking” for vegetarians, covering all foods and techniques from A-Z. The recipes are straightforwad and approachable, making them perfect for beginner cooks as well as experienced home cooks. Favorites are Vegetarian Pho, Paella with Tomatoes and Eggs, and Curried Potatoes.


Who am I?

I’m a cookbook and children's book author and co-owner of Brown-Bag Publishers, a small independent publishing company since 2007. I love good food, and I have a passion for creating (and using!) recipes that are easy and result in delicious, healthy meals that appeal to the whole family. I’m the author of the bestselling Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's which was the first in the popular 10-book Trader Joe's cookbook series. I live in a small surf town in California with my husband and four kids.


I wrote...

Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

By Deana Gunn,

Book cover of Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

What is my book about?

The newest Trader Joe's cookbook presents a collection of vegetarian recipes so good they'll unleash your inner animal. Vegetarian cooking has never been easier or more satisfying, thanks to the ingredients from our favorite grocer, Trader Joe's. The recipes in this vegetarian collection are gathered from our popular Cooking with Trader Joe's cookbooks and from our blog, with new recipes created especially for the vegetarian Trader Joe's shopper. Whether you're looking for inspiring new dishes for your vegetarian diet or creative ways to incorporate more veggies and plant-powered foods into your omnivore diet, look no further.

Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking

By Dana Shultz,

Book cover of Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

I’ve been a fan of the Minimalist Baker’s website for some time, and I have made many of the recipes again and again, including Golden Milk Macaroons, 5-Ingredient Granola Bars, and Sweet Potato Enchiladas. While I’m not a vegan (and neither is the author), I do like expanding my list of go-to plant-based recipes. I love that this cookbook has simple ingredient lists and beautiful photos throughout.


Who am I?

I’m a cookbook and children's book author and co-owner of Brown-Bag Publishers, a small independent publishing company since 2007. I love good food, and I have a passion for creating (and using!) recipes that are easy and result in delicious, healthy meals that appeal to the whole family. I’m the author of the bestselling Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's which was the first in the popular 10-book Trader Joe's cookbook series. I live in a small surf town in California with my husband and four kids.


I wrote...

Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

By Deana Gunn,

Book cover of Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

What is my book about?

The newest Trader Joe's cookbook presents a collection of vegetarian recipes so good they'll unleash your inner animal. Vegetarian cooking has never been easier or more satisfying, thanks to the ingredients from our favorite grocer, Trader Joe's. The recipes in this vegetarian collection are gathered from our popular Cooking with Trader Joe's cookbooks and from our blog, with new recipes created especially for the vegetarian Trader Joe's shopper. Whether you're looking for inspiring new dishes for your vegetarian diet or creative ways to incorporate more veggies and plant-powered foods into your omnivore diet, look no further.

Plenty

By Yotam Ottolenghi,

Book cover of Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi

If you are an experienced cook and looking for new and interesting ways to expand your vegetable horizons and use of ethnic ingredients, try this cookbook by London chef Ottolenghi (he’s not a vegetarian, but a master of preparing vegetables). Recipes have a Mediterranean influence and include dishes like Spicy Moroccan Salad, Sweet Potato Cakes, and Black Pepper Tofu. This book might be for you if you shop at farmers markets (think chard, leeks, pulses, greens) and are comfortable with Mediterranean spices.


Who am I?

I’m a cookbook and children's book author and co-owner of Brown-Bag Publishers, a small independent publishing company since 2007. I love good food, and I have a passion for creating (and using!) recipes that are easy and result in delicious, healthy meals that appeal to the whole family. I’m the author of the bestselling Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's which was the first in the popular 10-book Trader Joe's cookbook series. I live in a small surf town in California with my husband and four kids.


I wrote...

Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

By Deana Gunn,

Book cover of Vegetarian Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook

What is my book about?

The newest Trader Joe's cookbook presents a collection of vegetarian recipes so good they'll unleash your inner animal. Vegetarian cooking has never been easier or more satisfying, thanks to the ingredients from our favorite grocer, Trader Joe's. The recipes in this vegetarian collection are gathered from our popular Cooking with Trader Joe's cookbooks and from our blog, with new recipes created especially for the vegetarian Trader Joe's shopper. Whether you're looking for inspiring new dishes for your vegetarian diet or creative ways to incorporate more veggies and plant-powered foods into your omnivore diet, look no further.

Dakshin

By Chandra Padmanabhan,

Book cover of Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India

This is a glossy cookbook published first in India and then in 1994 by an Australian division of Harper Collins. I’ve made many, many recipes in this book and it’s opened my eyes to the meat-free, texturally complex cuisine of South India. The careful but dynamic mix of ingredients such as mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried coconut, dal, and cumin seeds used in tempering dishes brings the food to life. I recommend this book to the curious and adventuresome home cook who enjoys shopping at Indian markets. The recipes are solid and for the most part easy once you become familiar with its cuisine and techniques.


Who am I?

Thirty-two years ago, I got my start as a chef by cooking in a shoebox cafe in Boston that played with curious Asian ingredients. Ten years later, after using lots of Asian cookbooks, I was incorporating Thai and Vietnamese cooking into my menus at the restaurant I was running. A few years after that, I opened and ran a Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge (unfortunately, after major success, it burned down after a year). After this, the tourism board of Malaysia sent me on a four-week trip to write about the street food for FoodArts magazine. It is these experiences that greatly influenced my interest in Southeast Asian cooking.


I wrote...

Vegetarian Planet

By Didi Emmons,

Book cover of Vegetarian Planet

What is my book about?

All the best flavors from all the Earth come to life in a soulful celebration of tasty and inventive food. From Didi Emmons, a terrific young cook who combines a passion for culinary adventure with a love for the honest pleasures of home cooking, these 350 recipes - with more than 150 main dishes - spell an end to boring and bland meatless meals. Full of farm-fresh produce ripe for the eating, hearty grains that warm the soul, and a whole world of new spices and flavors, they promise boundless pleasures for the everyday table.

Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

By Moosewood Collective,

Book cover of Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

This big compendium of recipes is comprised of ethnic, vegetarian meals the Moosewood staff makes on their day off. If you’re craving Chinese or Russian, this is your motherlode. You may have to tinker with the recipes that have too many carbohydrates (use rice instead of noodles) or skip them altogether, but you’ll find gems you keep going back to. (Mine has bookmarks for Cheese and Nut Dessert Balls from India and Moroccan Stew.)


Who am I?

I love to cook and it’s difficult to find something beyond chicken and salad when you’re trying to lose weight.  Over the years I’ve assembled a cookbook library that covers many topics (interested in how the Georgians ate green beans? I can help you out!), many of them as off-topic from weight-loss as my cookie cookbook collection. But I still return to what I call “abstinent” favorites, simply because they are so tasty.


I wrote...

Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

By Frances Kuffel,

Book cover of Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

What is my book about?

An intimate and darkly comic memoir of a woman who does a 180 with her body.

When she was in her early forties, Frances Kuffel lost half her body weight. In Passing for Thin, Frances describes with unflinching honesty and a wickedly dark sense of humor her first fumbling introductions to her newly slender body, shining a light on the shared human experience of feeling uncomfortable in one’s own skin. She gradually moves from observer to player—enjoying for the first time flirting, exercising, and shopping–as she explores the terrain on the “Planet of Thin.” As Frances gradually comes to know—and love—the stranger in the mirror, she learns that her body does not define her, but enables her to become the woman she’s always wanted to be.

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

By Deborah Madison,

Book cover of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

When I was a young cook, I picked up my copy of this opus from a neighbor’s stoop sale, and it immediately became one of my most valued possessions. I’d go to the farmer’s market, buy a vegetable I didn’t recognize, and then back at home consult this, my vegetable bible, for how I should cook it. It has never steered me wrong and 20 years later, I still find new things to learn from it and am always in awe of Deborah Madison’s prescient wisdom on the subject of how to thoughtfully shop, cook, eat, and live. It’s warmly written and exhaustive in its scope – as much of a reference as it is a practical cookbook for regular use. 


Who am I?

I’ve been writing vegetarian cookbooks for almost 15 years, and have had many different jobs in the world of food – cooking in restaurants, running a small food business, working food photography shoots, and much more. While in my day-to-day eating, I go on and off following a strict plant-based diet, it’s long been my default style of eating because I find it to be so healthy, affordable, and fun! I’m never not excited and inspired by the abundance and diversity of vegetables and the incredible techniques and dishes that cuisines around the world have done with them. 


I wrote...

Snacks for Dinner: Small Bites, Full Plates, Can't Lose

By Lukas Volger,

Book cover of Snacks for Dinner: Small Bites, Full Plates, Can't Lose

What is my book about?

In Snacks for Dinner, Lukas Volger transforms carefree noshing into nourishing meals with recipes to inspire your own make-from-scratch snack spreads that are not only quick to make, but also deeply satisfying. The perfect snack-y dinner revolves around traits – Crispy-Crunchy, Tangy-Juicy,  Scooped and Smeared, Centerpiece-ish, Small but Mighty Spoon Salads & Soup Shots, Sturdy Support (Crackers, Breads, & Chips), and Sips and Sweets – components that can be mixed and matched to create a palate-pleasing meal. With Volger’s simple, wholesome, recipes and pairing guidance, snacks for dinner is no longer shameful—but a healthy, fun, and respectable choice. 

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