Choosing this year’s list of my most-anticipated vegan cookbooks was a monumental task. Never before have I seen such a stellar lineup of culinary tomes, so many of which are deliciously innovative, gorgeously photographed, and impeccably produced. And let’s not forget the recipes. From cherry-basil bruschetta and sweet potato latkes to chocolate-peppermint lava cakes and tiramisu ice cream sandwiches, vegan cuisine has never looked better. So here they are, my top 15 picks for my most-anticipated cookbooks of 2014 …
Chef-activist and acclaimed cookbook author Bryant Terry will surely dazzle cooks everywhere with his April release of Afro-Vegan, a collection of 100 African-, Caribbean-, and Southern-inspired recipes from Spinach-Peanut Sauce and Za’atar Roasted Red Potatoes to Berbere-Spiced Black-Eyed Pea Sliders and Cocoa Spice Cake. An outspoken advocate for access to healthy food across all socioeconomic levels, Terry’s approach to cooking is authentic, soulful, and wise—and if you’re a music lover, you’ll love his suggested soundtrack for every recipe.
The Blender Girl
Who knew that all you need to eat a healthy vegan diet is a blender and this new cookbook? Tess Masters, aka “The Blender Girl”, shows us how it’s done with her 100+ smoothie, soup, snack, meal, and dessert recipes that, yes, can all be prepared in a blender. Think Spicy Chickpea Burgers, Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff, Mint Chip Ice Cream, and Flourless Triple-Pecan Mousse Pie. As a die-hard Vitamix user, I can’t wait to get blending.
Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking
From the creator of blog sensation, Fork and Beans, comes this soon-to-be baking bible full of delicious baked goods like Fig Newtons, Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake, and even fun bonuses like homemade food colorings and sugar glitter. If you’ve spent any time on Cara Reed’s popular blog, you know you’re in for a real treat—and with all photos shot by fellow cookbook authoress, Celine Steen, this is a must-have tome to add to your collection this August.
The HappyCow Cookbook
From the beloved online vegetarian restaurant finder comes this collection of recipes from the top-rated vegan restaurants around the globe. Let the world of dining come to your kitchen with favorites like Pumpkin Noodle Salad from London’s 222 Veggie Vegan, Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms with Apple-Cinnamon Sauce from New York City’s Hangawi, Kimchi Nori Maki Roll’s from Los Angeles’ Real Food Daily, and Apple Pie Crumble à la Mode from Fort Lauderdale’s Sublime. And with a foreword by actress Emily Deschanel, this June cookbook will delight jetsetters and armchair travellers alike.
Mayim’s Vegan Table
Actress Mayim Bialik’s February release of Mayim’s Vegan Table was everything I expected and more: the PhD and mom is providing affordable, family-tested vegan recipes to parents everywhere who want to put healthy food on the table each night. Full of nutrition tips and practical advice, Bialik’s comfort-food-style recipes include everything from build-your-own tacos and mac ‘n’ cheese to Jewish favorites like matzoh ball soup and potato latkes.
The Oh She Glows Cookbook
From superstar blogger to cookbook author comes the highly anticipated Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. Officially debuting this week, this treasure trove of 100+ healthy vegan recipes will definitely help you get your glow on—from the Summertime Cherry-Basil Bruschetta and Creamy Avocado-Potato Salad to the Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew and Double-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake. Angela’s honest and accessible approach to food has influenced readers around the world to eat more plant-based food, and there is no question this book will do the same.
This April, I can’t wait to soak in the gorgeously produced Organic Avenue cookbook from New York City’s wildly popular juice bar of the same name. But calling it a cookbook is a vast understatement, as this 368-page hardcover tome promises to be an inspirational vegan lifestyle manifesto. Penned by Organic Avenue’s creator, Denise Mari, and filled with dozens of beautiful, full-color photographs, included are never-before-published recipes for everything from juices and soups to entrées and desserts.
To many, the title of this book may seem like an oxymoron, but Paleo vegan is a growing food trend—and why not? We know plant-based protein is far more nourishing (and ethical) than animal protein, so I am delighted to see this cookbook coming out later this month. Written by veteran authors Ellen Jaffe Jones (Eat Vegan on $4 a Day) and Alan Roettinger (Extraordinary Vegan), the duo showcase healthy and nutrient-packed vegan dishes like Oyster Mushroom and Baby Bok Choy Curry, Roasted Pumpkin Dip, and Dandelion Salad with Beets. Bring it on.
Rawsome Vegan Baking
Another blogger is making it big with a cookbook, and it can be yours this very week. Emily Von Euw, creator of the stunning blog This Rawsome Vegan Life, is filling 224 pages with luscious recipes like Peppermint Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes, S’mores Cupcakes, and Super Sexy Cacao Cashew Cupcakes. Raw desserts have never looked so good, and readers will drool over the photographs included with every recipe.
From one of the most popular vegan cookbook authors of our time comes a collection of perfectly tuned recipes that’s long overdue. Inside Terry Hope Romero’s Salad Samurai is 100 entrée-worthy salads that, as the book’s subtitle suggests, you don’t have to be vegan to love. A long-time VegNews columnist, I have no doubt Romero will hit it out of the park with such creations as a roasted shiitake butternut salad, a deconstructed quiche salad, and an East-West roasted corn salad. With a launch date of June 10, I know what I’ll be making this summer.
Thrive Energy Cookbook
Former Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier is nothing short of a phenomenon. Not only did he show the world that professional athletes can excel on a vegan diet, he is the creator of the Vega line of plant-based nutrition products. When thumbing through his brand-new Thrive Energy Cookbook (Brazier’s fourth book), I was astounded by the quality of his 150 whole-food recipes—which include a delightful chia seed blueberry pudding, a sumptuous yellow peanut curry rice bowl, and a mouthwatering strawberry-goji berry dark chocolate cheesecake. I want it all.
Vegan Finger Foods
Small plates are all the rage these days, and I am thrilled to finally have a go-to cookbook for entertaining guests or just creating a light meal for myself. Coming out this May, powerhouse writer pair Celine Steen and Tasamin Noyes (Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! and Whole Grain Vegan Baking) have done it again with what promises to be a fun book filled with finger foods to delight your family, friends, or co-workers.
Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe
This September, the masterminds behind New York City’s Candle Cafe will forever change vegan holiday cuisine. In a breathtaking, 224-page hardcover release, Candle co-owner Joy Pierson and long-time chefs Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda will elevate festive meat-free fare with recipes like Sweet Potato Latkes with Almond Crème Fraiche (Passover) and Pumpkin Seed Crusted Tempeh with Oven Roasted Ginger-Maple Sweet Potatoes (Thanksgiving). With the team’s Candle 79 Cookbook taking home our 2011 Veggie Award for Cookbook of the Year, I know my holiday menu will be filled with many recipes from this new volume.
Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches
The cover alone of this June-launch cookbook makes me melt. Kris Holechek Peters’ irresistible collection of vegan cookies and ice creams will guarantee a very sweet summer, and I am already dusting off my ice cream maker. How does a tiramisu ice cream sandwich (espresso-soaked cookies with creamy frozen vanilla custard) or carrot cake ice cream sandwich (carrot cake cookies with ginger spice ice cream) sound? Yeah, summer can’t get here fast enough.
Tacos seem so simple, don’t they? Not when you get a celebrated vegan chef on the job. Culinary pro Jason Wyrick takes tacos to a new level with twists on the tortillas, the fillings, the sauces, and the condiments. Turn your kitchen into a taqueria with such creations as Smoked Mushroom Tacos with Whole Roasted Jalapenos and Lime, Tacos Mole with Seared Zucchini and Pepitas, and even Cinnamon Tortilla Tacos with Agave Crema. Si, por favor.
There are literally hundreds of vegan cookbooks being published in 2014, so narrowing my list down to 15 was no easy feat. The following five runner-ups could have all easily made the final cut: The China Study All-Star Collection, Plant Power, Rawlicious at Home, Vegan al Fresco, and Vegan Ice Cream. Bravo to all of the incredible cookbook authors who have forever changed the face of vegan food.
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