A few readers of our book, Think Like a Vegan, sent us messages asking about vegan cookbooks and vegan food blogs to help them learn about vegan food. I’ve gotten this request frequently over the years and I’ve written a few of these lists. It’s time to pull them together properly.
The following are basic vegan tips, the vegan cookbooks and vegan food blogs I use most often.
What should we be eating?
Anything we want!
If you want to easily learn about nutrition, one of the most helpful apps is The Daily Dozen by Dr Greger. The app groups foods and suggests portions of each one we should be striving to eat each day. Hitting the “daily dozen” is optimal, but getting as many of foods listed is the goal.
I don’t always eat like this. Most of the time I don’t. I did learn alot from it. It helps us visualise what a healthy, balanced meal looks like and, more importantly, what an uncomplicated meal looks like. We don’t always need complicated things. A few vegetables raw, steamed or blanched, some beans or tofu, maybe some grain thing and a nice dressing. Done.
And we don’t need to go out and spend loads of money on special or unfamiliar ingredients we might not use. Veganise what you’re already familiar with. Start with what you know. You don’t need to come up with all new dishes, unless you want to. And we do need to keep some staples in the cupboards – whatever they may be whether fresh, dried, frozen or canned – all those things are valid and nutritional – so we can make food for ourselves.
As you start being vegan, keep it simple and keep focused on the ethics. You’ll give yourself the best chance to be vegan and influence others by your example.
Dr Greger’s website https://nutritionfacts.org is a brilliant resource of evidence-based nutrition advice.
Other sources of excellent nutrition advice:
- Ginny Messina
- the Vegan RD
- Plant Based Health Professionals
- Plant Based Health Online
- Drs Shireen and Zahra Kassam’s excellent book Eating Plant-Based: Scientific Answers to Your Nutrition Questions.
Remember! Take your vitamin B-12.
I’m not a huge buyer of cookbooks. I tend to make things up as I go.
My cookbooks need to be unfussy and practical. Along with my vegan cookbooks, I have a number of classic non-vegan Italian cookbooks. I use those recipes to learn about flavour, texture and new dishes. I modify recipes I like to be suitable for vegans. Or I veganise Italian dishes I’ve known my whole life. You’ll find many of those in this blog.
Bryanna Clark Grogan’s cookbooks are terrific. A friend recommended them to me. I have the Italian one, Nonna’s Italian Kitchen. Grogan explains cooking processes and a bit of culture too. And she gets things right.
I once heard a podcaster say “everyone knows Italian food,” dismissing the cuisine as something not worthy of exploration. Those statements were a gross oversimplification and a misunderstanding of a country made up of 20 regions, aka mini-countries with their own culture, language and traditions.
The Lotus and the Artichoke series of cookbooks is also very good. The recipes in these books are inspired by Justin’s travels all over the world. I have a few of his books and the recipes work and they’re tasty.
Teff Love by Kitty Bern, is a very good vegan Ethiopian cookbook.
And if you’re a fan of pressure cooking, then Vegan Under Pressure is a must-have.
Vegan food blogs & ebooks
For Thai food and even to learn some great cooking techniques, Kip Dorrell of Messy Vegan Cook is an endless source of information and recipes. Kip spends countless hours studying Thai food, culture and language and creating and testing recipes. Her commitment to her craft and in-depth of knowledge about food is parallel to that of any professional chef or professional food writer.
The Sexy Vegan (and his booklet press, 99 Cent Publishing, which is now out of print, unfortunately) is a great resource. I came across Brian’s work through his Legit Neapolitan Pizza booklet. His recipe and instruction for the dough is legit and that’s alot coming from me, a Neapolitan. Whenever I make pizza, which is pretty much once a week, I use that recipe.
I use an Instant Pot, which is a digital pressure cooker. The charts in the book, Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow are excellent. And it’s a great recipe book too. Very practical and no nonsense.
For Ethiopian food, check out the blog, spice mixes and e-cookbooks by Aamarech, the Ethiopian Foodie – both Vol 1 and Vol 2 are superb.
Of course, Tomi of Vegan Nigerian, already mentioned above.
Other vegan food blogs I like
And there are many other blogs I follow and like. These are some others I consult regularly too.
There are so many resources available to learn about and cook great vegan food. I hope this compendium is a helpful start. And this list doesn’t include my favourite Instagram accounts. As I said, there are soooo many resources. It can be overwhelming, but it’s also pretty wonderful.