Here’s a little secret no one wants to admit: Vegan cooking is hard.
It’s difficult to create miraculously delicious meals day after day when you’ve lost two major food groups. Plus, it’s made worse when everyone assumes that since you’re vegan you’re some sort of holier-than-thou guru, eating like three cashew nuts a day.
But fuck that.
Making fulfilling, sustainable vegan meals is actually pretty easy. And it doesn’t require shaved fennel seeds, goji berries, or other ridiculous ingredients.
Here are five books for some good, down to earth vegan food. Because good cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. And neither should vegan cooking.
Eat well my friends….
1. Comfort Eating With Nick Cave: Vegan Recipes To Get Deep Inside of You
By Joshua Ploeg and Automne Zingg
“We all suffer.” A statement that, I’m sure, Nick Cave would agree with.
While we usually associate guilty pleasures with the type of food kept under the dayglo display at McDonalds, there are plenty of better options out there. In Comfort Eating with Nick Cave, the emotionally somber musician inspires some amazing vegan comfort recipes. Try the surprisingly simple Cinnamon rolls for instance, using coconut oil and almond milk.
With these new recipes under your belt, you’re one step closer to embracing your inner Nick Cave: Listening to Tender Play by yourself in the dark as you eat your new delicious treats.
So you wanna kick it up a notch.
Maybe you’re a fan of Emeril’s catchphrase, or you just really like Westworld. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Tex-Mex/ Southern cooking. Travel down to south of the border with Ryan Splint’s cookbook, which covers everything from Vegan Chili, Drop Biscuits, and Vegetable Pot Pie. Included are some wonderfully drawn macabre illustrations, and other original takes on good ole’ southern food.
Go find some tequila and start cookin’: You’re a bandito now.
3. Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan, and Tattooed
By Cecilia Granata
Let’s be honest. Your grandma probably wasn’t vegan. But let’s say she was. And wrote a cookbook. And was also Italian. You’d end up with Cecilia Granata’s Mama Tried, a wonderful cookbook filled with old world recipes made with vegan ingredients.
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t make Tiramisu, Flan Al Cioccolato, Panna Cotta.
With most recipes only a handful of ingredients, and simple instructions, there’s little prep and cook time. Sounds too good to be true? It probably is.
Go get a copy before we sell out.
4. Chocolatology: Chocolate’s Fantastical Lore, Bittersweet History, & Delicious (Vegan) Recipes
By Cat Callaway, Greg Clarke, Darin Wick and Angel York
As many people will tell you, the hardest part about going vegan is the sweets. But you know what is vegan? Chocolate. No, not that crap they put in Nutella, but real unadulterated chocolate.
You’re not the first person to fall in love with chocolate, and Chocolatology covers the history and lore behind the notorious sweet. On your history lesson journey you’ll also learn about its health benefits, sourcing sustainable cacao, and some (vegan) recipes to boot.
Sounds like the perfect after-school special to me.
5. Fire & Ice: Warm, Cool & Spicy Vegan Recipes from Hot & Soul
By Joshua Ploeg.
Who knew someone could be so talented? Joshua Ploeg, an accomplished punk musician in his own right (Behead The Prophet, No Lord Shall Live) also happens to moonlight as a gourmet vegan cook in his free time. Ice and Fire is a wonderful pocket-sized assortment of fusion and eclectic recipes made with easy-to-find ingredients.
Covering everything from garlic linguine and pineapple gazpacho, to Peanut-Bread Tempeh, you certainly won’t find yourself bored with dinner options. (Did we mention there’s plenty of boozy cocktail recipes in here as well!?)
This is for the friend who tells you vegan cooking “can’t be interesting.”
Go prove him wrong.
This post was written by summer intern Drew Matlovsky. Thanks Drew!