Favorite Vegan/vegetarian cookbook?? and info on switching over to vegetarian?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our family has tried 2 other times to make the total switch to vegetarianism with plans to go completely vegan. But we always fall off the wagon. And I think it is due to lack of knowledge and support.

So if you could suggest any blogs, websites or books that would help make the transition easier. Also I am looking for your favorite cookbook recommendations. I am looking at having dh get Veganomicon on his way home tonight since it looks like a favorite around here!
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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Veganmicon is good. i also highly recommend "Passionate Vegetarian" by crescent dragonwagon. It is not a vegan book, but she almost always gives vegan options. So many good recipes and basic stuff, too. Its also very informative. I learned a lot about vegetarianism and nutrition from this book.
Good Luck!

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Laurel's Kitchen is an old book but it is full of ideas on how to make good old fashioned veggie food. It also has a lot of nutritional info as well. I love it. Make sure you get the full book. You can also buy a version that only has the recipes and not all the info. There is also a book called Becoming Vegetarian. I would recommend trying to get it from the library before you invest in it yourself.

My favorite cookbooks are the Moosewood Books and Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I use it a lot. Vegweb.com has some great recipes.

Take it slow and easy. Don't beat yourself up if you mess up on something. Some people slowly cut down on their meat meals and add more and more veggie meals to their weekly menu. Others just go cold tofurky and stop eating meat all at once. Ive tried going vegan and I just have a hard time giving up the cheese. Being the only veg in my family. Eating cheese gives me a lot more variety in the meals my family will eat without complaining.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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Raising Vegetarian Children is a great book. It's plant-based (vegan). We love it...it has recipes but also talks about nutrition, which I found helpful.

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Old 12-31-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I love Veganomicon and any of Joanne Stepaniak's cookbooks. These all have great, simple recipes.

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Old 12-31-2008, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the input!

Dh is going to pick up Veganomicon and Vegan Lunchbox on his way home from work because I really want those two and our library doesn't have them. I really want to read Becoming Vegetarian but that book isn't at our library either. I might pick that one up at a later date.

I also have a list going of veggie cookbooks to get out of the library so when dh gets home this afternoon we can run down and get them. I am hoping to have a two week menu ready by the weekend so we can go grocery shopping.

We are all or nothing kind of people... So I guess it will be cold tofurky for us!
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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I also really like the series of books with "How It All Vegan" and "The Garden of Vegan" and "La Dolce Vegan" -- they're by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer, and while they do rely heavily on some faux milks and faux dairy products, I think they're a really accessible, easy set of cookbooks for the transition. Almost no recipes even take up a full page of the book -- generally easy to find ingredients, familiar flavors, etc.

I actually only own "The Garden of Vegan," but I make several of the recipes from there over and over still after owning it for years. In fact, I just made the hot artichoke dip for our Hannukah party. I bought "La Dolce Vegan" for my mom, and she loves it.

I like Veganomicon, but I do think that for someone just starting out, it can be intimidating. I would almost try Vegan With a Vengeance, by the same authors, first, since it's just a bit simpler. Just my two cents.

Also, I cannot recommend www.vegweb.com highly enough! It is a vegan recipe web site, and you can create your own recipe box from which it will generate a grocery list for you -- and you can edit the list to remove the items you already have, etc. -- it's just a wonderful resource. I use it all the time -- it is my go-to resource if I want to make something for which I don't have a recipe, or when I get a vegetable from our farm box in the summer and don't know what to do with it. You can search by category of recipe, ingredient, keyword, etc. Just wonderful!

Good luck!!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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I agree - Veganomicom might be intimidating for a newbie. The book I used when we started out was the Vegetarian Family by Nava Atlas. She has options for vegan cooking. The meals are fairly simple to make. She came out with a new cookbook last winter -Vegan Express which aren't too difficult for a newbie. The recipes take around 30 minutes to make. I can't say I love every recipe in her books, but they made the switch easier and now I'm cooking from Veganomicom.
Best wishes.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Vegan with a Vengeance and Veganomicon are my 2 faves, followed by Vegan Cupcakes take over the world.

Other books that I have and use often are:

Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook (Written by an MDC mama!)
Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Also, I cannot recommend www.vegweb.com highly enough! It is a vegan recipe web site, and you can create your own recipe box from which it will generate a grocery list for you -- and you can edit the list to remove the items you already have, etc. -- it's just a wonderful resource. I use it all the time -- it is my go-to resource if I want to make something for which I don't have a recipe, or when I get a vegetable from our farm box in the summer and don't know what to do with it. You can search by category of recipe, ingredient, keyword, etc. Just wonderful!

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:56 AM
 
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i agree with pp about veganomicon. we save it for the weekend or fancy dinner. too complicated for those who just need to get fed.

most often i go with vegan planet.... love it use it at least once a week but sometimes add cheese.

and quick vegetarian pleasures..

if i have ingrediants i can go to these books and find a recipe that i can make wtih readily available ingrediants (sometimes already in my own kitchen) that can be on the table in an hour or less preferably. since when cooking with a toddler, everything takes twice as long anyway.

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Old 01-01-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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I like VV and her other books, but they don't seem healthy to me in most cases. I do especially like the tofu dill salad and DH LOVES her carrot cupcakes.

I think the easiest is Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. They are all basic, common recipes. I also really like Fuhrman's recipes in the back of ETL. His Anti-Cancer soup is one of my favorites. I want to get his newer cookbooks, but haven't wanted to send the money.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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You can check out my blog (in sig) if you're looking for kids food ideas.
But I would recommend going to the library and checking out a pile of cookbooks before spending the money on any. Get a sense of what types of veg foods your family enjoys first.

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Old 01-01-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Laurel's Kitchen is an old book but it is full of ideas on how to make good old fashioned veggie food. It also has a lot of nutritional info as well. I love it. Make sure you get the full book. You can also buy a version that only has the recipes and not all the info. There is also a book called Becoming Vegetarian. I would recommend trying to get it from the library before you invest in it yourself.

My favorite cookbooks are the Moosewood Books and Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I use it a lot. Vegweb.com has some great recipes.
Everything she just said.

Also, Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian".
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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VeganF's siggy blog is AWESOME!!! You should check it out and bookmark it, as she updates fairly regularly.

I like V'com, also Debbie Madison has a Joy of Cooking type book called Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone that is really straight up and easy.

For me, making really tasty food that contains all the right nutrients is challenging, but tbh that is not to say that I was doing that WITH meat before going veg. So thinking that because the meat is there it's healthier somehow...well, it's not. Remember to get legumes in every day, use lentils as a filler for stuff like lasagne, in wild rice, and as a thickener in soups/stews, instead of trying to figure out ways to make a straight up lentil dish taste delicious (hard). Red lentils are easier to cook (faster, softer) than the brown/green ones, but they are all great for you.

There doesn't seem to be a real replacement for the texture and taste (fatty) of meat. I have really struggled with this. My 'cheats' are all about texture. Best options for me are crunchy (like raw carrots and dip, or popcorn, or crispy apples with honey) or thick - like a layered pasta dish or a five layer dip with tortilla chips. Thick soups with a potato base is a good option too, and I like to use the fakin bacon bits or smoke flavor in pea soup with veggies.

Good luck! And remember, there's a stickie up top on this board for great cookbooks.

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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i agree with pp about veganomicon. we save it for the weekend or fancy dinner. too complicated for those who just need to get fed.
Totally agree with this - Veganomicon is delicious but the recipes always seem overly complicated and take way too long.

For simple, delicious everyday meals, my favorite cookbook authors are Robin Robertson and Nava Atlas.

Vegetarian Express - Nava Atlas (out of print) but it totally taught me how to cook quick veggie meals. Her new one Vegan Express is also good. I also often use her Vegetarian 6-Ingredient Gourmet and Vagetarian Family cookbooks.

Vegan Planet - Robin Robertson. I also highly recommend her books Quick-Fix Vegetarian, Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes, and Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow-Cooker.

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Old 01-01-2009, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again!

So I didn't get Vegonomicon. Instead I just bought Vegan Lunchbox which I have actually been eyeing for over a year.

Instead I went to the Library and picked up some books. My favorite so far was Vegan Planet and The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook. I have actually gotten the most recipes out of the second one. I will probably hunt that book down to buy because it seemed pretty valuable in it's info.

Tomorrow I am going to peruse Vegetarian Cooking for everyone.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:14 AM
 
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Instead I went to the Library and picked up some books. My favorite so far was Vegan Planet and The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook. I have actually gotten the most recipes out of the second one. I will probably hunt that book down to buy because it seemed pretty valuable in it's info.
The woman that wrote the Veg. Mother's Cookbook is on MDC... her name is Cathe. If you look up her name, I think in her siggy she has a link for a clearance copy of the cookbook

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Old 01-02-2009, 03:12 AM
 
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Vegan with a Vengeance was my first one. I do not like the Sarah Kramer books at all. Really, though, I get more inspiration from cooking blogs and forums than my 90+ cookbooks.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Michelle - you have that many cookbooks?!? Holy mole!!! Do they come w/dewey decimals on the spine? That's amazing!

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Old 01-02-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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The woman that wrote the Veg. Mother's Cookbook is on MDC... her name is Cathe. If you look up her name, I think in her siggy she has a link for a clearance copy of the cookbook
And she has a great blog too!!

I also have more than 100 cookbooks, yet I hardly look at them anymore (well, aside from VCTOTW ...I'm not a great baker aside from muffins).

The WingItVegan blog is awesome, and has gobs of links to other vegan blogs.

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Old 01-02-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Michelle - you have that many cookbooks?!? Holy mole!!! Do they come w/dewey decimals on the spine? That's amazing!
Last time I counted I had 92, plus several boxes of vegetarian cooking magazines. I've gotten rid of some since I counted, but I've also bought several new ones, so I'm somewhere around 90 or 100. It's not as many as you'd think, it's two shelves on a 30" wide bookcase. I do try and keep a list of what I have that is listed in Google Books so that I can Google Search most of the indexes.

I also copy recipes that I've made and liked a couple of times into a notebook.

The books I reach for the most are VWAV, V'Con, Moosewood, VCTOTW, and Passionate Vegetarian.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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I am not much of a cookbook person but I do have a book called Crank's Bible by Nadine Abensur and I love it. It's got all the good mediteranean stuff and very good information about a lot of things. It also does not rely on meat "substitutes" or tofu and such. I guess it is for people like me who are not vegetarians for strictly health reasons and love to indulge on heavier meals than other vegetarian cookbooks have. Anyhow my point is that it could perhaps be a good introduction for newly vegetarians.

As a general rule, I avoid anything American when it comes to recipes. Margarine is just not food and certainly cannot replace olive oil.

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Old 01-05-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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So I didn't get Vegonomicon. Instead I just bought Vegan Lunchbox which I have actually been eyeing for over a year.
Honestly, you're not missing much. I've found most of her recipes to be really complicated and a PITA to make. I love the Moosewood Cookbook, but it's not vegan.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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I really like The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. It has lots of practical ideas and yummy easy recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Also, for every recipe she describes ways to serve it for the picky eater (if that's a problem) and ways to make it a meal. Oh yeah and most recipes are actually vegan.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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i use navas book all the time!!!!i have a lot of cookbooks but that one is practical, easy, and the recipes always come out.: i have taped the binding it has been used that much.

Mama to three hilarious kiddos- Dylan 10, Edison 7, Violet 3. Partner to my sweet man since 2/2/02- mostly just doing.

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Old 01-10-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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Hey everyone -- how nice to hear my book mentioned.

I love Vegan Lunchbox, Laurel's Kitchen and all of Nava Atlas's books . . . .

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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For a quick weeknight meal, I like PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook. Lots of vegan options in there, as well. It does use a lot of convenience (canned or prepackaged) food to cut down on prep time, and I know some people aren't into that.
I also love Vegan with a Vengance.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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My two favorite vegan cookbooks are The Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond and Vive le Vegan! by Dreena Burton. My husband was a heavy meat eater and has been nearly converted thanks to recipes from The Peaceful Palate. He now requests vegan meals and has fun making vegan desserts.

For some less time consuming meals, Vive le Vegan! is written by a mom for moms. Dreena Burton wrote that book after discovering the time constraints of motherhood--and the recipes are simply delicious. She has a blog: http://vivelevegan.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:57 AM
 
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Honestly, you're not missing much. I've found most of her recipes to be really complicated and a PITA to make. I love the Moosewood Cookbook, but it's not vegan.
There are a lot of Isa's recipes that I look at the ingredients list for a framework and completely ignore the directions because there are 75 unnecessary steps. For example, Pasta Della California. My version: Cook the pasta, adding broccoli to the water in the last 2 minutes. Drain and return to pot, crush 2 cloves of garlic into the pasta, add the arugula, stir, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes while you chop avocado and slice bread or something, stir in olive oil(and not as much as she says to use), lemon/lime juice, and pepper to taste, stir in the avocado and serve. Comes together in less than 20 minutes.

Her way has you sauteeing the arugula and the avocado and stuff and there's broth in there that I don't see the point of when arugula wilts nicely from the heat of the pasta. It dirties a whole second pan, and makes no sense.
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