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The vegetarian kitchen should have a complete set of recipes that can be put to use daily. You need easy recipes for lazy nights, nutrient and protein rich recipes for a balanced nutrition, and of course we can’t forget the meat eaters in our lives. Here you will find four cookbooks to meet all of those needs.
The Vegetarian 5-ingredient Gourmet
by Nava Atlas
As the title implies, all recipes in The Vegetarian 5-ingredient Gourmet use only 5 ingredients. This is as simple as it gets!
This book is best suited for…
- new vegetarians.
- busy people that don’t have time to cook elaborate dishes.
- those who simply don’t enjoy cooking.
- and for those nights when you don’t want to cook and you just want to put together a fast meal.
The good stuff 🙂
The writer uses everyday ingredients that you probably already have. Seriously, this is the only cookbook that didn’t intimidate me with the ingredients list. I recognized every single one of them. You’ll be able to find everything at your regular supermarket. No need to shop at a specialty store.
The recipes are very simple, which allows room for improvisation and some creativity in the kitchen. But the author puts some thought into the ingredients so they ‘re actually tasty.
The first recipe I made from this book was a sloppy joes burger with soy crumbles. I looked at the ingredients and I thought: “ummm really, I could’ve come up with this myself, no way this is good.” But I was craving something familiar so I went with it, and I was not disappointed.
The not so good stuff 🙁
No pictures! I love a cookbook with pictures because I like to compare my end result with the professionals. I think that they didn’t bother to include pictures because the recipes really are THAT simple.
A good portion of the recipes call for processed foods like vegan meats, canned beans, and pizza sauce to name a few. This should be expected since the point of this book is fast and easy meals. You can always replace the canned beans with dry beans, and make pizza sauce from scratch, but obviously the prep time will be much longer.
Going Veggie, The 30-Day Guide to Becoming a Healthy Vegetarian
by Trudy Slabosz
That’s my boss right there. She was following me around all day making sure I was getting some work done for you guys 🙂
Going Veggie is literally a vegetarian hand book, as well as a 30-day step by step plan to ween you off meat and adopt a healthy, nutrient rich, vegetarian diet.
This book is best suited for…
- new vegetarians that are interested in adapting a healthy diet.
- on and off vegetarians who need structure in order to make the final transition.
- people with cooking experience and time in their hands to prepare elaborate meals.
The good stuff 🙂
When I buy a cookbook I usually jump straight to the recipes and skip all the information in the front. Not in this case. This book is a treasure trove of education and tips, and it’s all in one compact 6” x 9” handbook. I often find myself referring to this book for information.
The writer is none other than the creator of Veggie num num, Trudy Slabosz. She covers anything and everything that you could possibly think of: how to store foods, what veggies are in season, which vegetables replace which meats, a nutritional guide, how to handle social situations, and of course, a 30-day meal plan.
The meal plan starts with 1-2 vegetarian meals each day aiming for 1-2 meat-free days. By the end of the 30-days hopefully you’ll be having 3 vegetarian meals a day aiming for meat free-everyday. Good luck!
My favorite dish from this cookbook is the Bolognese lasagna. I will post the next time I make it, but let me warn you ahead of time that it will look nothing like the photography. Every single dish is photographed beautifully. They look so delicious you’ll actually be craving these vegetarian dishes.
The not so good stuff 🙁
My only problem is that the recipes are not simple enough. Most people that are transitioning to vegetarianism are looking for simple recipes to take some of the difficulty out of the process. Some recipes that are considered low difficulty have anywhere from 16-20 ingredients, and the prep times for some meals are over an hour. This book is a gem if you can set the time aside and if you’re not intimidated by the lengthy recipes.
The High Protein Vegetarian Cookbook
by Katie Parker with Kristen Smith
What is the first question that people ask you when they find out you’re a vegetarian? “How do you get your protein?” Well, here’s your answer. 76 protein rich recipes.
We vegetarians need to diversify our protein sources. The High Protein Vegetarian Cookbook is the perfect book to help you with this. Each main course in this book has at least 10 grams of protein, and everything else has at least 6 grams.
This is not your typical cookbook that simply takes the meat portion of any meal and replaces it with a frozen fake meat as a source of protein. Instead, every day meals are transformed into a protein power house. Did you ever think you’d get 14.7 grams of protein from pancakes? The Aunt Jemima in my pantry only has 5 grams! What about 16.4 grams of protein from mac and cheese? Bye bye Kraft!
If you read my reviews above, you’d know that I’m a stickler for simplicity. Some recipes are a bit lengthy, and some require a food processor. However, this book is not geared towards new or transitioning vegetarians, or anyone looking for easy recipes. If you want more protein in your diet, then you have to put some work into it.
Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore
by Anna Thomas
Before I start the review let me just say that I haven’t tried any recipes from this book, although they are not overly long or complex. I have it in this list because I love the concept behind it. Eventually I will use it but I’m sort of waiting for a special occasion. I think it would defeat the purpose if I just make the vegan or vegetarian portions. I’ll need a meat eater by my side to help me make, and taste, the meat portions.
If you live in a household with vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters, then you probably make 2-3 separate dishes daily. Or you’re probably making several side dishes that don’t really go together.
Does this sound like you? Then you need Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore. Each recipe starts with a vegetarian or vegan meal. Then you elaborate on that dish by adding meats or fish for the meat eaters in your home.
Goodbye making 3 separate dishes! Essentially you are only making one dish with separate elements that come together into a cohesive meal. This is such a genius idea!
The book is also great for the holidays when your family and friends come visit. Surely not everyone you know is vegetarian or vegan. There’s a whole section dedicated to the holidays and special occasions. It includes a menu for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Easter Brunch.
I feel somewhat attached to this book because it’s everything I want this blog to be. Vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters sitting together in one table without passing judgment. How refreshing!
Surely there are other great vegetarian cookbooks out there! Which books helped you out during the transition? Which books do you use regularly?
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