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The best vegan cookbook

If you don't have much time to cook on an average day, look for vegan cookbooks focused on quick meals (usually 20 to 30 minutes or less).
If you don't have much time to cook on an average day, look for vegan cookbooks focused on quick meals (usually 20 to 30 minutes or less).(BestReviews)

If you're interested in going vegan or eating more plant-based food but aren't sure where to start, a good vegan cookbook is extremely helpful. Of course, vegan cookbooks aren't just for the vegan-curious. Those who've eschewed animal products for decades may still want meal inspiration or to learn new recipes to add to their repertoire.

Read on to learn more about vegan cookbooks and to see our top recommendations. Our favorite vegan cookbook is The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon, which contains a huge range of dishes primarily centered on fresh, wholesome ingredients.

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Considerations when choosing vegan cookbooks

Cookbook types

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It's important to choose the right cookbook to meet your cooking needs. For instance, if you're completely new to vegan cooking, a general cookbook with all kinds of recipes, from basic to elaborate, might be best. More experienced vegan cooks, on the other hand, may prefer a more focused cookbook to hone their skills in a particular area, such as desserts or brunch foods. Below are the main types of vegan cookbooks you'll find on the market:

General cookbooks contain a range of recipes for breakfasts, starters, mains, sides, and desserts. These are often fairly basic or familiar recipes with a vegan twist, such as pasta or noodle dishes, veggie burgers, soups, and stews.

Focused cookbooks feature recipes that concentrate on one specific meal of the day (such as breakfast or brunch cookbooks) or a type of food (such as taco cookbooks or pizza cookbooks).

Regional cookbooks contain a wide variety of dishes for different meals and courses, like general cookbooks, but only include foods from a particular country or region. Popular options include Latin American, Italian, and Indian vegan cookbooks.

Dietary restrictions

Of course, all vegan cookbooks are already free from recipes that include dairy, eggs, meat, and honey, but some vegan cookbooks adhere to other dietary restrictions, too. For instance, you can buy gluten-free vegan cookbooks or whole food plant-based (WFPB) vegan cookbooks, which only feature recipes centered around whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Veganism is primarily an ethical dietary choice; further dietary restrictions aren't necessary (except in the case of allergies or other health conditions) and can even lead to unhealthy eating patterns, so we'd urge you to consider whether you truly need any further restrictions to your diet.

Features

Laminated pages: Although uncommon, you can find some vegan cookbooks with laminated pages to protect them from spills. These are generally spiral bound.

Photos: Most new vegan cookbooks have photos for the majority of recipes but older cookbooks or those published by a small press may have few photos or even none at all.

Price

The majority of paperback vegan cookbooks cost between $10 and $20. Hardback cookbooks are more expensive -- usually between $20 and $40.

FAQ

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Q. Can I learn to cook from a vegan cookbook?

A. If you're a complete cooking newbie, don't fear. A simple vegan cookbook is a great place to start -- following the recipes will teach you some transferable cooking basics that will stand you in good stead. Some vegan cookbooks also contain sections on cookery basics, such as the difference between chopping, dicing, and mincing; how to cook grains; and what to stock your pantry with.

Q. Will I need unusual ingredients to cook vegan?

A. Absolutely not. We can't deny some vegan cookbooks contain esoteric ingredients that many people won't have heard of, but plenty of vegan cookbooks keep it simple, using only ingredients you could find in an average supermarket.

Vegan cookbooks we recommend

Our take: A great option for new vegans or those who want to expand their go-to recipes.

What we like: Contains more than 100 breakfast, soup, starter, main, side, and dessert recipes. Large full-page photos. Primarily uses fresh ingredients in recipes.

What we dislike: If you already have lots of vegan recipe books or are an experienced vegan cook, you may not find many new or inspiring dishes in this book.

Our take: This WFPB cookbook is great for people who are going vegan for health reasons or want to add more veg and whole grain-heavy recipes into the rotation.

What we like: More than 300 recipes for all meals. Recipe contributions from renowned vegan chefs. Easy-to-follow recipe directions.

What we dislike: Some dishes a little bland. All recipes oil-free (though you can add oil where necessary).

Our take: This book focuses on quick and easy recipes that pack a flavorful punch, though the "Sunday Night Suppers" section features more elaborate recipes.

What we like: An excellent range of recipes that are well-tested and reliable. Easy-to-find ingredients. Excellent full-page food photography.

What we dislike: While it looks good, the color combinations and font make a handful of recipes hard to read.

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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