I’ve been asked what my favourite cookbooks are a few times the last few weeks, which has prompted me to spontaneously write this post.
Ever since I was a little girl when I used to fawn over my mother’s vintage copy of HER mother’s The American Woman’s Cook Book circa the 1940s, I have loved being inspired by the pages on cooking books.
In fact, I am a self-confessed cookbook addict. I have an entire bookshelf which is dedicated to my cookbook collection. It includes about 50% raw food books, 30% vegan/plant-based books and 20% vegetarian books.
The things is, even with all those cookbooks, there are only 6 which I regularly use. As in, ones that make it into the kitchen, get opened on the kitchen bench and from which the recipes from the pages are brought to life with my own adaptations.
The rest of my collection will get flcked through for inspiration and occasionally I will make a recipe or two, but the ones I am listing here are the cookbooks I regularly refer to. You will likely open one of these books at my place and find the pages a bit soiled with food splatters and sticky fingerprints- just the way a well-loved cookbook should be, really.
Isa Does it by Isa Chandra Moskowitz I have only had this cookbook for maybe 4 months, but since I got my hands on it, I have pretty much used it on a daily basis. It actually never leaves the kitchen! I love it because it has been edsigned for the busy person in mind. Most of the recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook and they use straightforward ingredients that you you usually woudl have in the fridge and pantry.
The recipes are creative and varied and super tasty. There are beautifully styled pictures that accompany most of the recipes and it really is like a vegan’s bible. I’ve got a few of Isa’s cookbooks but this is hands-down the best.
Clean Start by Terry Walters was one of the first plant-based cookbooks that I bought. After eating almost entirely raw for over 12 months, I decided I wanted to start experimenting with more cooked vegan foods again, and this is the book that inspired me.
Broken down into seasons (which don’t really apply here in Indonesia!) it has simple recipes that use seasonal ingredients. The pictures are great and I’ve made many a dish from this book’s pages. Terry Walters also has another book called Clean Food which is also great, with even more recipes, but it lacks the pictures which I find really helpful.
Ani’s Raw Food Essentials by Ani Phyo who is a great inspiration to me, is one of the first raw food books that I purchased when I became a raw foodie. If Isa’s book is the bible for vegans, then this is the raw food equivalent. This book covers all the basics you really need to get started on a raw food diet that is varied and tasty.
It isn’t as pretty as some of her other uncook boks, in that there are not many pictures and they are all black and white, but the recipes and information are perfect for anyone starting out on raw. I still refer to this book, especially for some of the dehydrator recipes or when I need a boost of raw inspiration.
Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan has practical and delicious vegan recipes centred around macrobiotic principles. The book is really colourful with inspiring pictures and a huge range of plant based recipes that are really healthy as well as easy to make. I find that this book demystifies the idea of following a plant based lifestyle and shows us that it is do-able and delicious to be a healthy vegan.
Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley is a book that I often recommend to people who attend my Uncooking 101 classes. Amber presents a huge variety of raw food recipes for all the meal types. But what I love is that she provides substitutions for many of the ingredients in all the recipes. This is great for people who are new to raw and aren’t really sure why different ingredienst are used and how they can be swapped for other ones in case you don’t have something more unusual on hand. She also offers cooked options for many of the recipes, which can be good for people with fussy eating kids or partners who are not so into raw. Amber’s raw dessert book is also fantastic!
Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon is my newest cookbook acquisition but has fast become a favourite of mine. I have followed Angela’s website Oh She Glows for many years for inspiration and it is great to have her cookbook now out to refer to. Simple, tasty and healthy vegan wholefoods recipes are exactly what I love and I was so happy to find that a picture accompanies every recipe in this book. My husband has loved all the dinners I’ve made from these recipes so far, which in my mind, makes it a winner!
- I’d love to hear what your favourite plant-based cookbooks are- please share in the comments!