Friday, 8 June 2012

Vegan Cookbooks

By Cameron, London Vegan Pledge Buddy 2009, 2010, 2011; now mentor for the Vegan Easy Challenge back home in Australia. 

There are so many great vegan cookbooks coming out these days it is hard to keep up. I wanted to talk about two of the best vegan cookbook authors who have so far published 17 wonderful cookbooks between them.

Robin Robertson has written 9 cookbooks and counting. Amongst these is my favourite cookbook, Vegan Planet. Inside are 400 recipes grouped into various categories like desserts, sweets, salads, baked goods, pastas, etc. 

I have much prettier cookbooks and others with both really complicated recipes for gourmands and really simple intro to cooking ones. The reason Vegan Planet is my favourite is because the recipes are in that great middle ground; they are interesting without requiring a whole day dedicated to preparing them. And the best testament to a cookbook is that many of the recipes are ones I cook again and again in my daily life. Here is a quick list of some that have a place in my regular repertoire:

~ Indonesian Inspired Tempeh Stew
~ Roasted Root Vegetable Chilli
~ African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew 
~ Spiced Banana Pancakes. 

Vegan Planet is also the cookbook that I first used to make a pizza base, and sushi, so it has a special place in my taste buds.

The second is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, perhaps the most famous vegan cookbook author in the world. I first became exposed to her through the great show Post Punk Kitchen. Isa, along with her sometime co-author Terry Hope Romero, has authored 8 iconic cookbooks. I was lucky enough to have her first Vegan with a Vengeance given to me, which she followed up with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which may very well have started the whole vegan cupcake revolution. 

Isa's latest cookbook, Veganimicon, is one of the must-have books for vegan cooks, offering a compendium of interesting and healthy recipes, with helpful 'icons' to help quickly identify whether the recipes are soy-free / gluten-free / ready in under 45 mins, etc. It also includes friendly tips about 'stocking the Veganomicon pantry', kitchen equipment and other handy things like 'how to cook a grain'. 
This book is the source of another of my favourite dishes: Braised Seitan with Brussels, Kale and sun-dried tomatoes, as well as a fabulous tofu ricotta recipe, which goes beautifully in the Lasagne Marinara with Spinach.

So there you go, grab Veganomicon and Vegan Planet (or Robin Robertson's latest cookbook with 1000 recipes in it) and you'll have a world of delicious food at your fingertips that should keep you and your lucky dinner guests well catered-for for years to come.

You can read more by Cameron on his website at

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