These are some of my favorite go-to resources for vegan living, ethics, health, and cooking. I am not qualified to give out medical or dietary advice; rather, these are resources I’ve found to be useful and leave them here for you to take up if they are useful for you, too. Enjoy! And do let me know if you have any questions!
Pantry Basics: Grains & Legumes- Guide to cooking and eating whole grains and dried beans and lentils.
Pantry Basics: Egg Substitutes- Quick guide to replacing eggs in various kinds of recipes–baking and otherwise.
I’m a real book-worm, so I love having books on hand for quick, easy reference. I also like that I can pencil notes in the margins and that well-used books start to fall open to my favorite recipes or passages. There’s something great about the little food stains that get on a cookbook, or on pages of a book you’re reading while eating. It kind of marks the moments in time when you’ve enjoyed that book. Some of my favorites:
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero- These are hands-down some of the best cupcakes I’ve had (vegan or not). In addition to the standard cupcakes you’d expect, there are lots of other fun and creative cupcake recipes. My favorites: The ‘Carrot Cake Cupcakes’ with ‘Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting’ made in a triple batch and baked as a layer cake. The ‘Gingerbread Cupcakes’ are also sublime.
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero- These scrumptious cookies are always big hits when I make them. My personal favorite: the ‘Chocolate Crinkle Cookies’. Yum!
The Vegan Table, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau- One of my go-to recipe books when I need ideas for dinner. Fresh, healthy recipes with the nutrition facts included. Organized in such a way that you can cook seasonally and/or for various kinds of occasions. Love the ‘Muhammara’ and the ‘Red Lentil Artichoke Stew’.
Vegan Fire & Spice, Robin Robertson- A great book for us spicy food lovers. Organized by world region and country. The ‘Tuscan White Bean Soup’ is wonderful and simple.
Vegetables Every Day, Jack Bishop- While not an exclusively vegan cookbook, this book is great for learning how to choose, prepare and cook a large variety of vegetables (and the recipes that aren’t vegan are easily veganized). Good if you’re in a rut and want to expand your vegetable horizons. I can thank Jack Bishop for teaching me how to cook chayote.
The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstone- A great resource for becoming vegan, in various stages (more below). I haven’t made a recipe from this book that I didn’t like. The cauliflower steaks are a gift from the gods.
Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book, Jennifer Katzinger- My sister-in-law is allergic to gluten (and a great many other things), and this cookbook (with the exception of a few recipes containing xantham gum) is full of things she can eat! Lots of recipes with alternative sweeteners, too, which I love. She uses honey in some recipes, but it can be easily subbed.
Vegan Lifestyle/ Health Books:
Becoming Vegan, Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina- A priceless resource for understanding vegan nutritional information and reasons why veganism is a good choice (from children to adults, for women and men). A great go-to guide for protein charts, iron and calcium charts that help to inform you about being as healthy as possible eating a vegan diet and it should help to make sure you are lacking any essential nutrients.
The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstone- A great introductory resource for anyone interested in veganism. Has some basic information on ethical, environmental, and health reasons for going vegan. Divided into 3 categories of increasingly health eating- flirts, vegan, and superheroes. This books answers a lot of basic questions in an accessible format.
Crazy Sexy Diet, Kris Carr- Kris Carr is an inspiration, a cancer survivor who really took charge of reclaiming her health and her body in the face of a pretty dismal diagnosis. This is obviously great for anyone who has a serious illness they’re dealing with, but also for those who are not and who just want to reconnect with (or meet for the first time) their healthiest selves! Her ‘green juice’ is an everyday (or almost everyday) staple in our house.
The Balanced Plate, Renee Loux- Everything from ‘green’ living tips for homemade eco-friendly housecleaning solutions, to recipes, to information about the effects of the modern food system on our health and environment. Includes honey in some recipes, but otherwise mostly vegan, I think.
Living Among Meat Eaters: A Vegetarian’s Survival Handbook, Carol J. Adams.- This book is an amazing guide to navigating social relationships and social situations where veganism/vegetarianism inevitably causes tension. As I was getting frustrated with the same conversations over and over in my life as I was making this transition, this book was an invaluable resource that promotes patience, better communication strategies and effective tips for moving forward with the people we love, know, and work with.
Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer- A beautifully written account of Safran-Foer’s journey to find out whether he could ethically justify eating meat when he finds out his wife has a baby on the way. A fairly unflinching report on the current status of the meat industry in the U.S. An excellent and accessible book if you’re looking to help inform someone of the current state of farmed animals.
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson- This book is breathtaking and heartbreaking (but in a kind of good way). Documents the emotional and intellectual lives of farmed animals. It is difficult not to think differently about the animals we eat when you read this book.
Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, Jason Hribal- What’s in this book is mind-opening in an important way. Hribal argues that animal attacks and escapes should be seen, not as isolated incidents or accidents, but as individual acts of resistance which, when looked at collectively, form a widespread movement of resistance against human oppressors. Really good and thought-provoking ideas.
The Ethics of What We Eat, Peter Singer & Jim Mason- This book is another great one that reveals the current state of the U.S. meat and dairy industries. Following various scales of production (e.g. industrial, organic, etc.), this book is a great resource for understanding why veganism is the more ethical choice.
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair- When you read this classic, originally written in 1906, you’ll understand why it was so impactful in getting the public’s attention about the meat-packing industry. Following the story of a Lithuanian immigrant in the Chicago stockyards, this book is engrossing and eyeopening–partly because it is not so far from the reality of today’s immigrant work in the meat-packing industry.
The Lives of Animals, JM Coetzee- This book is half fictional account of aging novelist, Elizabeth Costello, who is an outspoken vegetarian talking about animal rights. The other half is non-fiction commentaries on the novel. An interesting book about the alienation between meat eaters and vegetarians, and the endless debate between the two.