I’m not what most would call a “healthy” person. For years, I was told that my palate would change as I got older. Well, here we are, and I still can’t eat peas without turning my nose up. Honestly, it’s tough for me to stand a vast number of vegetables. In the last couple of months, I swear it has nothing to do with me gaining weight during the quarantine, I’ve decided to try to eat healthier. Vegetarian cookbooks seemed like a good idea to get me to eat more veggies. As with my other quarantine posts, I’ve included the book’s description under each of the book’s listing.
The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson (Hoopla/Monarch)
“Erin Gleeson made her dream a reality when she left New York City and moved into a tiny cabin in a California forest in order to be closer to nature. The natural beauty of her surroundings and the abundance of local produce serve as the inspiration for The Forest Feast, based on her popular blog. Most of the book’s 100 wholly vegetarian recipes call for only three or four ingredients and require very few steps, resulting in dishes that are fresh, wholesome, delicious, and stunning. Among the delightful recipes are eggplant tacos with brie and cilantro, rosemary shortbread, and blackberry negroni. Vibrant photographs, complemented by Erin’s own fanciful watercolor illustrations and hand lettering, showcase the rustic simplicity of the dishes. Part cookbook, part art book, The Forest Feast will be as comfortable in the kitchen as on the coffee table.”
Umami Bomb by Raquel Pelzel (Hoopla/Monarch)
“Boom! Plant-based eating just got a hit of bold, savory flavor! Umami Bomb brings the deep flavor of umami (the “fifth taste,” along with bitter, sour, sweet, and salty) to vegetarian dishes with cheeses, miso, mushrooms, soy, and more, in 75 creative recipes.”
Feast by Sarah Copeland (Libby/Monarch)
“Vegetables never tasted better than in these richly flavored, satisfying vegetarian meals from Sarah Copeland, whose Newlywed Cookbook has become a trusted resource in the kitchens of thousands of new cooks. In her latest cookbook, Copeland 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. More than 140 recipes cater to cooks of all skill levels and meal occasions of every variety, while more than 60 gorgeous photographs from celebrated photographer Yunhee Kim demonstrate the delectable beauty of these vegetable feasts. Feast is the book that satisfies everyone who wants to expand their repertoire to include more vegetables and grains as well as those transitioning to a vegetarian diet.”
Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy by Damaris Phillips (Hoopla/Monarch)
“Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips’s household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, but can now be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.
The book features Phillips’s most cherished entrees from her childhood made both with and without meat: Chicken Fried Steak becomes Chicken Fried Seitan Steak. Loaded Potato and Bacon Soup is now Loaded Potato and Facon Soup. She gives down-home side dishes a makeover by removing meat, adding international spices, and updating cooking techniques, and offers soul-satisfying, irresistible desserts that triumph over the meat-eater-versus-vegetarian divide, every time. Phillips found a way to make Southern food that everyone can enjoy, wherever they are on their culinary journey.”
Mostly Plants by Tracy Pollan, Dana Pollan, Lori Pollan, and Corky Pollan (Libby/Hoopla/Monarch)
““Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” With these seven words, Michael Pollan—brother of Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan, and son of Corky—started a national conversation about how to eat for optimal health. Over a decade later, the idea of eating mostly plants has become ubiquitous.
But what does choosing “mostly plants” look like in real life? For the Pollans, it means eating more of the things that nourish us, and less of the things that don’t. It means cutting down on the amount of animal protein we consume, rather than eliminating it completely, and focusing on vegetables as the building blocks of our meals.
This approach to eating—also known as a flexitarian lifestyle—allows for flavor and pleasure as well as nutrition and sustainability. In Mostly Plants, readers will find inventive and unexpected ways to focus on cooking with vegetables—dishes such as Ratatouille Gratin with Chicken or Vegetarian Sausage; Crispy Kale and Potato Hash with Fried Eggs; Linguine with Spinach and Golden Garlic Breadcrumbs; and Roasted Tomato Soup with Gruyere Chickpea “Croutons”.
Like any family, the Pollans each have different needs and priorities: two are vegetarian; several are cooking for a crowd every night. In Mostly Plants, readers will find recipes that satisfy all of these dietary needs, and can also be made vegan. And the best part: many of these dishes can be on the table in 35 minutes or less! With skillet-to-oven recipes, sheet pan suppers, one pot meals and more, this is real cooking for real life: meals that are wholesome, flavorful, and mostly plant based.”