The Veggie Table: Favorite Vegetarian Cookbooks

Registered dietitian Janel Ovrut shares her picks for top vegetarian cookbooks.
By: Janel Ovrut Funk
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While I typically pull most of my recipe inspiration from vegetarian food blogs or websites, sometimes I like to curl up on the couch with a hot mug of tea and thumb through my collection of cookbooks to menu plan for the week ahead. Here are the top three vegetarian cookbooks in my collection:

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

I’ve been a fan of Mark Bittman ever since I read his book, Food Matters, and started following his blog posts on the New York Times Blog. He has a witty, easy-to-like writing style that I knew I’d enjoy in his cookbooks as well. I couldn’t wait to dive into How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food. Bittman’s cookbook speaks to not only vegetarians, but omnivores as well. He states in his introduction that his goal isn’t to convert readers to vegetarianism but to, “Increase the proportion of non-meat items in your diet,” by making vegetarian items more appealing. His recipe I can’t get enough of? The chocolate pudding made with tofu and a kick of spice from chili powder. It’s decadent with a protein boost!

Vegan Brunch

Isa Chandra is one of my all time favorite vegan bloggers. I have no idea how she does it, but she manages to come up with vegan recipes that are even better than their meat or dairy containing counterparts. Because I find it hard to come up with creative dairy and egg-free breakfast ideas, I purchased Isa’s Vegan Brunch and immediately dog-eared about half of the recipes. Her brunch recipes are great for any meal of the day, especially if you love breakfast for dinner. My all-time favorite is the recipe for Tomato Rosemary Scones, which are even better than traditional butter-heavy ones.

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

When I first went on a veg diet, my sister got me a copy of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. While the book size is overwhelming, the recipes are not. The simple ingredients come together to create complex-seeming dishes with fresh flavors.Madison uses easy-to-find ingredients and has recipes that range from simple to more advanced, meaning you will be able to use this book throughout your entire vegetarian cooking journey. I love how much information is jam-packed into this cookbook, from the little sidebars explaining a handful of ways to best cook tempeh, to ingredient swap options.

TELL US: What is your favorite vegetarian cookbook?

Janel Ovrut Funk, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Eat Well with Janel, and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel.  Catch up on her previous posts here.

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