I started buying veggie cookbooks when I became vegetarian 7 years ago and began cooking every day. It helped me get inspiration and now those books are truly my best meal plan companion. As much as I love coming up with my own new recipe ideas, I love that I can rely on these books to help me prepare for the week ahead.
When you’re vegetarian or vegan, it kinda forces you to be more experimental & creative in the kitchen. Over the last 7 years, these books have led me to discover spices & dishes I‘d never heard of that are now staples in my kitchen. If you fancy some super tasty veggie home-cooked dinners, here are some of my faves veggie cookbooks!
FAMILY – Hetty McKinnon
I’ve had this book since it came out last spring and it has been a great resource for spring & summer. We made the Cantaloupe, Halloumi & quick-pickled Shallot Salad so many times last summer I can’t even remember. The pairing of cantaloupe with salty halloumi and pickled shallots is just divine. It will definitely be a summer classic in our house.
The Grilled Corn Salad with Sesame Crusted Avocado, Couscous & Lime Crema has also been rotating non-stop; it’s filling, satisfying & ready in no-time.
There are also chapters with soups and great bakes; think comforting winter food such as the Eggplant Parmigiana, Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese, Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Tortilla Chips, Coconut Soup with Asian Greens & Rice Noodles and many, many more! I could list the whole book if I don’t stop myself.
A dessert chapter is also included at the end of the book. The Lime Pie with Anzac Biscuit Crust and Orange & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake are real crowd pleasers.
More than just for the delicious recipes, I love how intimate this books feels; Hetty shares family stories & recipes along with some guests throughout the book. Hetty uses food to build connections with people. As she perfectly says in her introduction, “The family table represents a constantly evolving edible history, where nostalgia interlaces with family tradition, identity and culture, and where small moments grow into lasting memories.”
Greenfeast (autumn, winter) – Nigel Slater
Noam got this book as a gift at Christmas and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve already tried a few recipes from the book since then and we’ve loved every single one of them. So far we’ve made the Miso Brussels Sprouts with Brown Rice, the Sweet and sticky Squash with Parsley Drop Scones, Naan Pizza and the Za’atar Pumpkin with Couscous & Date Syrup Sauce; all easy, quick and truly delicious.
I love how the book is small and is focused on a particular time of year. Winter is typically the season where I always get too lazy to cook anything at night; it gets cold & dark super early and I always feel unmotivated. Owning cookbooks has really been helping me out, as well as having a routine and flexible meal planning. These days I’ve been cooking most evenings and I’m always happy to do so. I haven’t ordered take-out in so long and when I think back to how many times I ordered take-out on winter nights last year, it’s frightening. Regaining joy in the kitchen has been wonderful and I probably owe it to these wonderful cookbooks.
Plenty More – Yotam Ottolenghi
If you don’t own an Ottolenghi cookbook, who are you?
I only own the vegetarian & dessert ones. Plenty More is one of the former, and is divided into sections depending on how the food is cooked: steamed, grilled, roasted, baked, mashed, fried etc.
Ottolenghi has become such a household name that it’s kind of cliche to say it, but his books really have something for everyone. This would make a great gift for vegetarian fans of Yotam but it has such a great variety of dishes that even non-vegetarians who are simply looking for some veggie inspiration will find something inside.
We absolutely loved the Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini & Cumin, but ate it on its own and I think that next time I would like to pair it with the Mixed Veggies and Yogurt with Green Chile Oil as I think they would perfectly work together.
The Spicy Scrambled Eggs are always on our radar when we feel lazy and tempted to order as it’s ready in no time. We would serve it with some toast and maybe a salad on the side and dinner would be done.
I’ve made the Sweet and Sour Leeks with Goat’s Cheese & Currants many times, for ourselves but also for guests and it was always a hit. It’s a nice easy side dish you can add to any meal.
A Modern Way to Eat – Anna Jones
I first discovered Anna Jones through her Guardian weekly column and had been trying her recipes for some time before getting her book. It’s a good book to flick through when you’re having guests over for dinner or brunch and need some easy and fast recipes.
We’ve made the Butternut Squash & Kale Tart a couple of times and have enjoyed it every time. We sometimes sub the original veggies in the recipe for what we have or can find more easily, like spinach instead of kale, but it still works just as well.
The Salted Caramel Crack Brownies are a real crowd pleaser, if you ever need to bring something to a gathering or if you just want to bake for someone this would be the perfect treat.
The Dosa Spiced Potato Cakes with quick Cucumber Pickle is excellent for a light dinner or a nice lunch at home on the weekend.