Vegetarian Cookbooks for a Meat-Free Holiday
I’m just going to say the thing that a lot of vegetarians and not-too-meat-friendly folks are not supposed to say: it’s hard to feel creative in the kitchen sometimes. But there’s hope even during the holidays, and it comes in the form of some beautiful cookbooks.
Sarah Copeland’s Feast is full of so many inventive vegetarian recipes (over 140 concoctions!) and is a good starting place for those looking to stray away from meat. Feast showcases a global range of flavors, from the peppery cuisine of her Hungarian, vegetarian husband to the bibimbap she fell in love with in New York’s Koreatown. There are filling, flavorful salads to pull together but I find myself going back to this cookbook time and time again for the polenta recipes. When I’m in need of some comfort food and temperatures have dropped (hello mid-November), it’s polenta to the rescue! The Polenta Winter Salad with Poached Egg and Blue Cheese, pictured below, has always hit the spot.
Straight from the Earth is a recent favorite in my vegetarian cookbook collection and focuses on plant-based recipes. Written by Myra and Marea Goodman of Earthbound Farms, this book is full of all-vegan recipes! Vegan recipes have a reputation of being cumbersome and difficult to pull together into a meal. But the folks from Earthbound Farms created fun and smart recipes like Cabbage and Carrot Crunch Salad or Summer Pesto Pizza. What I found to be a helpful feature in this book are cooking charts for most-used vegan ingredients like beans, nuts, soy, and more. Also, just look at these Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes. Yep, those are vegan pancakes you’re feasting your eyes on.
The healthy recipes in 50 Best Plants on the Planet by Cathy Thomas always charm, delight, and intrigue me. This book breaks down the nutrition information of each ingredient, which is brilliant for the health-conscious vegetarian. Did you know that blackberries boost memory? Or that certain chili peppers contain antimicrobial agents that fight off bacteria? Or that watermelon is rich in Vitamin A? In addition to the nutritional information, there are all kind of helpful hints on how to store your produce and the ever-elusive tips on exactly when to buy produce. I’m all about healthy recipes that taste as delicious as unhealthy recipes, and these pieces of Mozzarella-Stuffed Chard taste just like everyone’s favorite, mozzarella sticks! That’s right, these are healthy mozzarella sticks.
Now that you have my list, let’s hear about your favorite vegetarian cookbooks in the comments below!
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