Food lovers from professional chefs to aspiring cooks and eating enthusiasts know that vegetarian and vegan dishes can be just as flavorful, satisfying and vibrant as those that incorporate meat—oftentimes even more so. And there are positive consequences for the environment and our bodies when reducing our collective consumption of animal products. But even for accomplished home cooks, a little inspiration from experts goes a long way. Perhaps you’re wondering what to do with the giant turnip that arrived in your farm box, how to convince a family member to eat more leafy greens, or pining for a new way to use a plant-based meat alternative. While we find ourselves revisiting the 1974 classic The Moosewood Cookbook often, these new releases provide even more ideas for those looking to expand their repast repertoire.
East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing
Chef and food writer Meera Sodha collaborated with dozens of East Asian and South East Asian cooks and chefs for her 304-page East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing ($35). Emphasizing uncomplicated dishes, the book takes readers on a virtual tasting through India, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam, and spotlights the flavors and methods that both link the cuisines together and set them apart. With easy-to-find ingredients, the recipes are layered but approachable and include rich dishes like chard, potato and coconut curry; lighter snacks like tangy kimchi pancakes; as well as desserts.
Beloved Israeli-English chef, restaurant-owner and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi teamed up with Ixta Belfrage (who works in the Ottolenghi test kitchen) for this vegetable-centric cookbook. Featuring recipes like tofu meatball korma, sticky rice balls in tamarind rasam broth, swede gnocchi with miso butter and more, Ottolenghi Flavor ($35) focuses on three fundamentals: process, pairing and produce. Perhaps the most important when it comes to vegetarian food, the techniques (from charring to infusing and beyond) explained within the 320-page book help rookies and experts bring out the flavors in their produce. The resulting dishes are satisfying and robust.
Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter
From English cook and food writer Nigel Slater comes Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter ($24), the second of a pair of recipe books based on the seasons. Each dish (all of which are vegetarian) included within the 320 pages promises to be straightforward and with a firm focus on fresh, seasonal produce. With easy-to-find ingredients and minimal steps, these approachable recipes include cabbage with berbere spice and breadcrumbs, fregola with greens and pecorino, and fennel with cream and pine nuts. Most dishes incorporate dairy, however, so vegans might need to get creative when switching out ingredients.
Vegan With Bite
From Australian chef, restaurant-owner and plant-based poster girl Shannon Martinez comes Vegan With Bite ($23), her third cookbook. With approachable recipes for tasty dishes and grocery shopping tips, the book also provides information about products that are believed to be vegan but aren’t—including some surprising ingredients like bread crumbs. Featuring recipes like soufflé pancakes, shakshuka with coriander dumplings, mapo tofu, congee and much more, Vegan With Bite offers plenty for longtime vegans, newcomers and carnivores looking to reduce their meat and dairy consumption.
Eat Plants, Be Happy
Published by Smith Street Books and penned by Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis, Eat Plants, Be Happy: 130 Simple Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes ($28) outlines delicious plant-based dishes with vegetables as their centerpiece. The authors also demonstrate the value of eating plant-based meals—for the human body and the planet, too. Available for pre-order now, the cookbook releases 13 April next year.
Images courtesy of respective publishers, hero image courtesy of Meera Sodha / Flatiron Books