Go vegan with one of these terrific cookbooks
Readings bookseller Ellen Cregan shares some of her favourite cookbooks for going vegan.
For a good cause
Edgar’s Mission is an animal sanctuary that cater to creatures of all sizes, from guinea pigs to regular pigs. At the end of 2017, Cooking With Kindness was released to help raise funds for the organisation. This cookbook brings together dozens of recipes from some of Australia’s favourite vegan restaurants, food trucks and chefs – Smith and Daughters, Woking Amazing and Transformer, to name a few. There is a little bit of everything in this pick, and this, as well as the fact that some of the profits from each sale of the cookbook go towards Edgar’s Mission, makes it ideal for gift-giving.
For everyday cooking
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the queen of vegan cooking, and I am her loyal subject. I’ve never had a single hiccup when making one of her recipes. While she’s published a number of excellent titles over the year, my most-used cookbook of her is Isa Does It. It’s full of recipes that range from super-easy to medium-difficulty, and so works well for for beginner to intermediate cooks. As an added bonus, many of the recipes in this cookbook are designed to create minimal washing up, so it’s also great for those without a dishwasher (or those who hate washing up).
I have taken many friends and family members to vegan eatery Smith & Daughters over the past few years and it never fails to impress. Even those extremely sceptical of vegan food come away reconsidering their stance on plant-based meals. For a similar effect at home, you can use Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens to be Vegan). While there are a couple of recipes in here that make great everyday dinners, I usually save this one for special occasions – parties, birthday dinners, stealth vegan conversions, etc. I particularly love the section on dips and sauces, and there is a very good aioli recipe that is a must-try. This cookbook also has a whole section devoted to cocktails, which is a rare and unexpected treat.
When you’re cooking for the masses
If you have a large group of people to feed, you really can’t go past the Moroccan Soup Bar cookbook. This legendary restaurant has been a Melbourne favourite for years. While the cookbook isn’t entirely vegan, it is fully vegetarian and there are only a few recipes in it that use dairy or eggs. It’s full of tasty dishes that feature legumes, roast veggies and heaps of spice. It’s also a great one to have on hand if you find yourself with a dinner party to host but with access to limited funds – lentils are as delicious as they are cheap.
You’re giving veganism a go
Anna Jones’s cookbooks aren’t actually vegan, but they do have a number of vegan options included in them, and they’re ideal for those who want to try and eat vegan just a few days a week. Jones’s ethos revolves around eating fresh, seasonal food that is simple to prepare, but still has a few elements going on. Anna’s first book, A Modern Way to Eat, is a probably the best one to start with. There is a handy index at the back which lists what recipes in the book can be made vegan, so is also a great one to have on hand if you aren’t vegan, but find yourself cooking for vegans from time to time.
You want healthy recipes
There are a million and one reasons to go vegan. The three most common ones are for the animals, for the environment, and for health reasons. If you’re interested in veganism for the latter, I recommend Kate Bradley’s Kenkō Kitchen. The recipes in this cookbook are refined sugar free, and have a focus on macrobiotics and wholefoods. It’s a great one to have on hand if you are catering for dietary restrictions as there are lots of recipes that avoid fructose, nuts and gluten. Bradley also has another cookbook called Bliss Bites, which is full of raw treats. There’s a particularly excellent recipe for ‘Toblerone’ balls that I’ve made a few times and are always a hit.