Favorite Books

I have an embarrassingly large number of cookbooks. In fact, I've run out of space for them. Over the last few years, I've given away a couple scores of them in order to make room, but one can barely tell that any of them are gone.

If you are a new vegetarian (or someone wanting to try more vegetarian recipes), these are a few books I would recommend. I'm not getting any kickbacks so these are reviews you can trust! :-)

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
This is a great all-around cookbook with lots of info about ingredients and techniques. There is a recipe in here for almost pretty much any veg you might find at the supermarket, and I've never had any of these recipes go wrong on me.

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen (shown left) and Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein
It seems to me that most vegan cookbooks incorporate a lot of seitan, tempeh, tofu, and other ingredients most people have never heard of -- let alone tried. That's fine with me because I happen to like those things. However, depending on where you live, they can be hard to get. And if you're not used to those ingredients, you may not be comfortable using them. These books do not do that.

Many countries that observe Lent already have a vast number of vegan dishes. Donna Klein draws on these traditions for these two cookbooks. As a result, the recipes have readily recognizable and easily obtained ingredients. I think this is fantastic for people who just want to experiment with more vegetarian dishes without venturing too far out into the unknown.

The Book of Bread by Judith and Evan Jones.
OK, this is not a vegetarian cookbook, per se. However, by default, many bread recipes are vegetarian.

I do love baking bread, though, and I have a number of cookbooks all about starters and fermentation and theory. Happily, this book avoids most of that. It's all about the recipes, which are excellent.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
I have a few of Moskowitz's and Romero's cookbooks, and I enjoy reading them as much as I do cooking from them. These girls are sassy and funny.

They may be cholesterol-free, but I wouldn't say they're super-healthful. (There's lots of sugar and fat and white flour to go around.) But they are super-tasty, and my non-vegan friends love them as much as I do. Everything in moderation, right?

Vice Cream by Jeff Rodgers
I'm going to be honest and tell you that I think a lot of soy-based frozen desserts are just that. They're frozen. They're dessert. They're NOT ice cream.

I've only tried  a few recipes from this book, but so far, I'm loving it. The use of cashew milk and other nut milks really give "vice cream" a velvety mouth-feel like ice cream. So yummy.
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