Do the waiters at your favorite restaurant recognize you? Has the cashier at your go-to takeout spot memorized your order (and your rewards email)? Or perhaps your regular Uber Eats delivery person knows your address by heart? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it could be a sign you’re eating out too much.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with going out to socialize, support local restauranteurs, and enjoy great food. If it makes you happy and you can afford it, you do you. However, for those looking to create some distance between the often expensive and calorically dense world of eating out, these new (mostly) vegan spring cookbooks can help. Whether you’re into comfort food, bowl food, quick weeknight dinners or multi-course masterpieces, there is a plant-based cookbook to inspire you to get back in the kitchen.
1. The Plantpower Way: Italia
Save yourself a trip to Italy. This gorgeous collection covers one hundred and twenty-five classic Italian dishes, with a vegan, health-centered twist. This is the second “plant-powered” cookbook from plant-based power couple, Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. The concept was inspired by their group retreats to Italy, so while some of the ingredients may be innovative, the flavors are authentic and familiar. Must-trys include the Gorgonzola Fig Arugula Pizza, Walnut Porcini Cream Sauce, Mozzarella Balls in Brine, Cannellini Beans with Swiss chard in Pistachio Oil, and Tiramisu. The recipes are accessible to all levels of home cooks, though some require a bit of preparation and time. However, that homemade vegan mozzarella is well worth the patience and effort. This cookbook is available to pre-order for a release date of April 24, 2018.
2. Hot for Food: Vegan Comfort Classics
YouTube sensation, Lauren Toyota, brings her playful yet laid-back culinary style to the page in her first cookbook. The collection, “101 Recipes to Feed Your Face,” offers plant-based dishes to please any palate. Drool-worthy recipes include French Toast Coffee Cake, BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, Real Wonton Soup, and even a veganized Monte Cristo. Plus, the book begins with five different vegan bacon varieties. The recipes vary in difficulty; some can be whipped up on on a weekday, whereas others are better suited for weekends. However, many meals can be thrown together quickly if the components are prepped. Plan a prep day and be sure to make plenty of that nacho cheese sauce so you can enjoy Loaded Fries Supreme whenever the craving strikes.
3. A Couple Cooks: Pretty Simple Cooking
Grab your significant other and spend some quality time with this new vegetarian cookbook. Written by bloggers and husband and wife duo, Sonja & Alex Overhiser, this collection of one hundred recipes will “make you fall in love with real food.” As the title implies recipes are relatively simple and require minimal time and ingredients. From Toasted Oatmeal for breakfast to Grilled Portobello Fajitas for dinner, this book sets out to prove that it doesn’t take much time to create delicious and nourishing meals. However, the authors do include a Special Occasion chapter for those with a bit more time on their hands. In addition to recipes, the book also includes ten life lessons to help readers get comfortable in the kitchen. From “Cook Real Food” to “Yes, You Can,” the Overhisers want everyone to embrace home cooking.
4. Food is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World
Want more out of a cookbook than just recipes? "Food is the Solution" is part cookbook, part textbook. The premise revolves around sustainability and how our food choices affect the environment. It also has an impressive celebrity endorsement; James Cameron wrote the forward, stating, “Almost every major environmental problem could be solved by a global shift toward plant-based eating.” Dozens of other celebrity quotes are dotted throughout the book, from Barack Obama to Bobby Flay. The first quarter of the book lays out a solid foundation for the sustainability issues we face today, and each recipe includes a sustainability fact or quote to emphasize the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. The food is healthy but accessible. Highlights include Apple Cinnamon Pancakes, Buffalo Cauliflower Wraps with Blue Cheese, Seaweed Salad, and Steamed Buns With Tofu and Mushrooms. On the sweet side, there’s Mom’s Noodle Kugel, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Smoky Maple-Pecan Cheesecake.
5. The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals.
Break out your cloche and butcher knife, and get ready to hack into some veggies. Chefs Chad and Derek Sarno co-authored this collection with David Joachim to create one hundred and twenty-nine vegan recipes to get everyone in the kitchen, from novices to professionals. In addition to the recipes, the book is packed with sidebars that offer helpful culinary tips, so readers can learn to brunoise and sear like a master chef. From throw-together weeknight meals to more extravagant dinner party dishes, there is a veggie-centric recipe for every occasion. To start, try the Cacio E Pepe with Lemon Chive Butter and Pink Peppercorns, Smoky Poutine, New England Lobster Roll, and Almond Meringue Cookies. This cookbook is available to pre-order for a release date of May 8, 2018.
6. Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan
Serial entrepreneur, chef, and influencer, Chloe Coscarelli has just debuted her fourth cookbook, Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan. She promises flavor-packed meals to “awaken you very best inner chef and wow your tastebuds with flavors like never before.” Although the recipes are new, Chef Chloe fans will recognize her familiar style of colorful, comforting, and plant-based dishes. Fans of her first restaurant concept, by Chloe, will be thrilled to see a few of those recipes in the book as well, such as her Butternut Mac, Meatball Parm, Guac Burger, and signature Beet Ketchup. Got a sweet tooth? Coscarelli has you covered with page after glossy page of sweet delights, most notably, her Cupcake Wars champion-winning Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes. Most recipes are basic and can be made within an hour.
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