I’ve been dabbling in veganism for the past six years and through that time these five cookbooks have served me well, not just because of the excellent (and easy) recipes they hold, but also because they’re good to read. In these pages, the authors share their journeys to a cruelty-free diet, plus plenty of advice on why and how to maintain it.
Katy Gillett is Weekend editor at The National
Keep it Vegan by Aine Carlin (2014)
This book should probably be called "Keep it Simple", because that's what the recipes are: very, very simple. If you are on the lookout for an entry-level cookbook that offers step-by-step plant-based recipes that are in no way intimidating, then this is it. The dishes Carlin has included in the book use as few ingredients as possible, but get the maximum flavour out of them. Her chana masala is a favourite of mine.
Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (2013)
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is known as the "grande dame of vegan cookbooks". She's a well-known American author and former host of a cooking show called Post Punk Kitchen. While she's written multiple books, this is my favourite as there's a good mix of really easy but also more fancy weeknight dinner options; all are creative and full of flavour. Try the tofu-mushroom stroganoff – you won't regret it.
Bosh!: Simple Recipes, Amazing Food by Henry David Firth and Ian Theasby (2013)
Think of the Bosh! boys as the Jamie Olivers of the vegan world and you’ll get a better idea of what this book is all about. When it came out in the UK last year it became the country's best-selling cookbook of all time, surpassing the likes of Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson. There’s a reason for that: the authors have made vegan food like dinners British grandmothers used to make. The recipes are accessible, easy and tasty. Enough said.
Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savouring the Planet by Terry Hope Romero (2012)
Cuisine from Turkey, Afghanistan, Korea, Jamaica, Belgium, Sri Lanka, and many more nations, is represented in this cookbook by American author Terry Hope Romero. Again, Romero has penned numerous award-winning cookbooks, but, as someone who’s lived overseas all my life, I appreciate how multi-cultural her selection is. Some recipes are admittedly a bit complicated, but the final result is worth the time and effort.
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook by Thug Kitchen, LLC (2014)
Not only is the writing in this book comedy gold, but the recipes are also very healthy and yet extremely flavourful. This book offers a no-holds-barred, suffer-no-fools-gladly perspective on the diet, where excuses are not tolerated, especially when it comes to using fresh ingredients and making things from scratch. Don’t have a blender? Grab a fork. Don’t have a masher? Bash it with your hands. (You get the picture.) Note: do not get this if you're opposed to profanity.