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April 16, 2020

Give Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking a Try

By: Ally Muterspaw

With so many of us spending more time at home, now is a great time to try out some new vegetarian and vegan recipes! Whether you already enjoy vegetarian and vegan cooking or if you’re simply looking for a way to get more plants into your diet, vegetarian and vegan cooking can be fun to experiment with and quick to make. In the following cookbooks, you’ll find quick and easy meals for one and for families and recipes that take thirty minutes or less. I’ve selected cookbooks representing different facets of vegetarian and vegan cooking so you have a wide variety from which to choose. What’s really great is that each of the cookbooks below can be found on Hoopla. They’re all at your fingertips! (Tip: Log in to Hoopla now so you can follow the links.)

Who isn’t in the mood for Mexican food? Since you’re reading this, I bet you are! Decolonize Your Diet by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel provides plant-based recipes that reflect Mesoamerican cuisine. Not only do Calvo and Rueda Esquibel talk about pantry staples along with cooking and roasting techniques, but they also provide insight into the history of what many people consider “traditional” Mexican food. Some of their recipe categories are ensaladas (snacks), tacos, tlacoyos, tamales, and postres y dulces (sweet snacks and desserts).

The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson is a vibrant book that contains around 100 vegetarian recipes. This is a great book for hunkering down at home because most of the recipes in the book are minimalist: They only require a few ingredients! Do you hate trying new recipes when you’re unsure how they’re supposed to look? You won’t have that problem with this cookbook: All of the recipes are pictured to help the visual learner! Some of the included recipes are carrot and zucchini pasta and rosemary shortbread.

One Pan, Two PlatesFor those of you cooking dinner for two, One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers by Carla Snyder is what you’re looking for. It’s a collection of recipes that are quick and easy weeknight meals for two. This cookbook has six different sections of food groups, including two sections on pastas and pizzas! Margherita pizza and tomato bisque are two of the recipes you can look forward to trying!

Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s I Can Cook Vegan cookbook is a great collection of recipes for beginner and advanced vegan cooks alike. The cookbook has categories for easy side dishes as well as sweet vegan treats! If you’re looking to experiment with vegan (or vegetarian) “meats,” you’ll find those recipes here using tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

Vegan Richa's Indian KitchenAre you looking for breads and grain-oriented recipes? Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen by Richa Hingle has numerous Indian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts. Hingle breaks down the different aspects of Indian cooking by going over Indian spices, soaking times for legumes, and a handy grocery list. Curries, one-pot meals, and an assortment of teas are some of the recipes you’ll discover.

Dinner's in the OvenIf you need to feed a family or want some leftovers, then Vegetarian Dinner’s in the Oven by Rukmini Iyer is a useful cookbook. The recipes are grouped by the length of preparation time. Some recipes take thirty minutes or less, some an hour, and others are slow cooker recipes. Iyer also includes some “DIY Infographics” that show spices, marinades, and other ingredients that are compatible with various foods.

The best way to get started is to get started! If you’re not sure which cookbook to choose, pick one at random and see where it takes you!