My Top 12 Go-To Cookbooks

top 12 cookbooks

I’m asked for cookbook recommendations all the time so I thought I would finally put pen to paper and make a list of my favorites. Believe me, I could list 25 more but I wanted to choose ones that I use on a most regular basis and thought would be most helpful in your kitchens.


1. Oh She Glows: Over a Hundred Vegan Recipes to Glow From the Inside Out, Angela Liddon

This is the cookbook I recommend most to clients even if they aren’t vegan. Her recipes are healthy, uncomplicated, and most importantly, full of flavor. This is a perfect cookbook to have on your shelf if you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into you and your family’s diet. Her soups and sweets (which, are mostly gluten-free) are my favorite. Great for families with picky kids.

2. World Food Café, Chris and Carolyn Caldicott

This book comes from husband and wife team, Chris and Carolyn Caldicott who owned a restaurant of the same name in London. Chris is a photographer and Carolyn the chef and together, they traveled the world gathering delicious vegetarian recipes including stories of the villages of where they came from. The recipes from Morocco and India are my favorites – filled with aromatic herbs and spices giving these mostly vegan recipes deep, complex flavor. Great for those who love international flavors.

3. Afro Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors, Bryant Terry

Afro Vegan is the fourth of Bryant Terry’s cookbooks and my favorite. As an educator and food activist creating healthy, just, and sustainable food systems, he is one of my biggest inspirations. He is also an amazing chef who has found a way to take Southern Soul Food and make it not only healthy – but delicious! The tofu curry with mustard greens and the all greens spring slaw are just a couple of my go-to recipes from this cookbook. Another one filled with beautiful, international flavors.

4. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison

This is one of the best resources to have on hand for all your cooking needs. It’s basically an encylopedia for vegetarian cooking. From stocks to sauces, tons of salds and sides, basic to more complicated cooking techniques, it’s got everything you need to teach yourself how to cook delicious veggie food.

5. Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen, Merida Anderson

This cookbook by Merida Anderson is incredibly inspiring. She is a true artist and you can feel her passion in all her recipes. Most have several components so this in not a middle of the week kind of cookbook. It’s best to pull it out when you want to impress your friends and show them how elegant vegan food can be. I think I’ve made her butternut squash & apple soup with chipotle apple reduction and coconut sour cream at least 20 times. It is soooo good. And it will make you want to go out and buy an ice cream maker too. For those who want to get a little fancy in the kitchen.

6. Gluten Free & Vegan Bread: Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home, Jennifer Katzinger

If you are gluten-free and missing delicious, real-tasting bread, you must get this book. Any time I make one of these loaves from baguettes to boules to flatbreads, no one can believe how delicious they are. The loaves are hearty, dense and will satisfy and bread lovers palette. If you or anyone in your family has gluten and/or dairy allergies, this book is for you.

7. Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book

This book was my first introduction to vegan/gluten-free baking and I’ve never turned back. I’m not much of a sweet tooth (bread is my real love) but I came to really appreciate the art of baking while in culinary school. I wanted to learn how to bake more healthfully using gluten free flours, unrefined sweeteners and no dairy and this was the perfect book. With so many kids having gluten and dairy allergies these days, this is an incredible resource.

8. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

This was one of my first vegan cookbooks and I love it. It’s incredibly comprehensive and a great resource. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who wants to transition to a more plant-based diet and wants recipes that feel accessible with plenty of comfort food.

9. Pure Vegan: 70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living, Joseph Shuldiner

The recipes in this book are beautiful, sophisticated and downright delicious. You’ll want to make them for every dinner party you have. He even includes cocktails!

10. Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature’s Most Amazing Foods

You’ve heard of superfoods, maybe even use them in your smoothies or taken them as supplements. In this book, you’ll learn to use them as integral part of each dish. Ingredients can be on the pricey side and aren’t necessarily easy to find (Whole Foods and Amazon are good sources) but if you want to experiment with new and interesting ingredients that are also nutrient-dense, this is worth trying out. My favorites are the kale & black-eyed pea stew with the wakame (seaweed), her green goddess dressing made with chlorella (helps to negate the affects of chemotherapy and radiation) and her simple spinach salad with mulberry-mustard dressing.

11. Wild About Greens: 125 Delectable Vegan Recipes for Kale, Collards, Arugula, Bok Choy and other Leafy Veggies Everyone Loves, Nava Atlas

Want to eat more dark green leafy vegetables but have no idea what to do with them? Or tired of making them the same way over and over again? Then get this book. You’ll find inspiration for salads, sautés, soups, stews, smoothies and more. Never get bored with your greens again!

12. Love Soup, Anna Thomas

Soups and stews are probably my favorite dishes to make. They feel so incredibly warm and nourishing on a deeply soulful level. I love this book because it really relies on seasonal ingredients and you can easily adjust them over time to suit your palate, if need be. There are also wonderful recipes for salads, breads, spreads and sauces. Her harissa recipe is ridiculously delicious and complex in flavor, I love making the walnut bread (always a hit!) and my Mom loves it when I make the springtime mushroom barley soups.

Do you guys have your favorite go-tos? Would love to hear what they are and why you love them. Put comments below!



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *