“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” – Mark Twain
BOOKS! If there is anyone out there that doesn’t get excited at the mere thought of a good book, whose limbs don’t start to get jumpy at the thought of entering a book shop feeling like they are inches away from discovering buried treasure, they are no friend of mine.
I usually have a sampling of books going all at once. Topics range from health, to personal wellness, to fiction, to art. I also read cookbooks front-to-back like novels, so let’s toss those in as well.
Today I just wanted to give you a sampling of some new books focusing on vegan cooking or health. Let’s start the party!
American Vegan Kitchen: Delicious Comfort Food from Blue Plate Specials to Homestyle Favorites by Tamasin Noyes $18.95 Okay, you know the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? I LOVE that show, despite the fact that I wouldn’t eat 98% of the food mentioned. There is something so homespun and personal about hearing the stories of happy people, across the country, making a living cooking something special for the people in their community. (Am I getting sappy?) DON’T DESPAIR, READER – this book is like your paperback equivalent of that show! It has over 200 vegan recipes from diners and cafes across the country, including cajun pot pie, yankee cornbread, and spicy balsamic maple “wings”. Um…. seconds, please.
Moosewood Restaurant Farm Fresh Meals Deck: 50 Delicious Recipes for Every Season by Moosewood Collective $14.99 How cute and efficient are these decks of recipe cards!? Organized by season, these cards are great to take with you to Farmer’s Markets (!!!! almost that time of year!!!!) to figure out how to cook the produce you’re thinking of buying! This past fall I finally had the pleasure of eating at the legendary Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY and can attest that the food they serve is every bit as good as all of the recipes I have tried over the years. Three cheers for Moosewood!
How It All Vegan!: Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet by Tanya Barnard, Sarah Kramer $22.95 I absolutely had to include this (tenth anniversary, updated edition!) book, and not just because it’s so cute and retro-kitschy, though that helps. This was one of the first vegan cookbooks I ever saw or used. I recall gathering in the kitchen of a large group of friends, everyone all tattooed and sporting home haircuts, the air smelling like nutritional yeast and garlic, cooking up recipes from this book and then sharing them together. Sarah Kramer has since gone on to remain very active in vegan cooking and various art projects, and has multiple cookbooks, and even (so neat!) a calendar! But this should be a staple in any and every kitchen. You can likely find the older edition used for very little money. If you asked me what book you should get to start your vegan cookbook collection, THIS would be my first choice.
That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth $16.95 This is a beautifully illustrated childrens book depicts the cruelty of factory farming in an approachable, kid-friendly way without sugar coating the truth. While the book does mention things like battery cages and slaughter, it is done to inform, not frighten. This book also brings in topics like environmentalism, and animals used for clothes or entertainment. Ending positively, it makes a veg child feel good about allowing animals to live happy and free!
This Crazy Vegan Life: A Prescription for an Endangered Species by Christina Pirello $18.95 Christina is a respected vegan cookbook author, as well as host of her own cooking show on PBS (lucky duck!). This book is a narrative about vegan fitness, lifestyle and world-view, containing personal anecdotes from Christina’s life and broader vegan insights and cultural implications. It also has a lot of nutritional information, including a 28-day fitness plan, and 100 healthy recipes.
What are some of your favorite books and cookbooks?