It can be daunting to know where to start when you’re first trying out vegan meals. That’s why we’ve curated this list of our favourite vegan books for beginners. We’re always on the lookout for good vegan cookbooks, that's why we decided to write a blog of the Top 10 vegan cookbooks for beginners. However, we couldn’t keep the list so short, so here are our favourite 21 books! Random number, we know...
We’ve curated a list of vegan books that cover everything you need to begin your plant-based journey. From BBQ to Victoria sponge, you won’t miss a thing!
If you’re just beginning your transition to a plant-based diet, you may be struggling with the process. There’s certainly a lot to get your head around, and we know that it can be tricky (we’ve been there!). But we can honestly say that you can make any of your favourite meals plant-based! It just takes a little bit of know-how.
Before you dig in, rest assured that these vegan books are not just for newbies. They’re for anyone who wants to eat delicious vegan food! Even seasoned vegans will find something they like in this diverse array of recipes and cuisines...
Vegan World Foods Books
Winner of the PETA award for Vegan Cookbook of the year, this incredible book got our tastebuds tingling and longing for a trip to Asia. The book boasts a vast array of delicious vegan food, spicing up fresh vegetables with incredible flavours.
We love this cookbook because the recipes are like a mini travel diary, with anecdotes from the author’s family holidays to Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia.
Street food is a central part of life in Asia, and we’re thrilled to be able to draw on this incredible resource for inspiration!
You were probably expecting at least one Thai vegan book for beginners, weren’t you? So we’re kicking off with our favourite Thai recipe book. It features classic Thai recipes, such as tom yum noodle soup, congee with shiitake mushrooms, stir-fried aubergine with roasted chilli paste, and butternut red curry. We love how authentic the flavours are and have made a load of recipes from this one! Plus, it’s written by the founder of Rosa’s Thai Cafe, an amazing chain of authentic Thai restaurants in London, who serve the best Thai food outside of Thailand.
As a heads up, although this book is full of vegan recipes, there are a handful of dishes that use egg and dairy, but mostly, they’re vegan recipes. Get in touch if you’d like to learn about how we adapt them to be vegan friendly!
As you probably know, Asian food influences a lot of our cooking. We just can’t get enough of the bold spices and fresh flavours.
This next cookbook is fantastic for beginners. It offers a range of delicious Indian dishes which will introduce you to some new spices, and encourage you to add protein to your meals in the forms of pulses and legumes.
The introductory section describes the spices and equipment you’ll need to make many fantastic Indian meals, which we found very useful.
We recommend this book if you’re looking for authentic Indian flavours.
The most appealing thing about this vegan book for beginners is that it is so diverse. We love to use food as a way to explore different cuisines, and this book offers a wide variety of cultures and flavours.
It fantastically combines our love for travel and vegan food! Another great thing about it is that it contains a tool kit and knife skills section to help develop your kitchen expertise; it shares some amazing insider chef tips!
Plus, this book was written and self-published by our good friend and fabulous chef, Erin Baker of The Natural Cookery School. We couldn’t recommend it more!
Vegan Baking Books
One of the hardest things to work out when starting a vegan lifestyle is baking, or it may seem that way at first. But fear not, it isn’t as scary as it looks! There are so many plant-based substitutions that you can use to make perfect, fluffy, light and delicious cakes. Did you know that you can create “egg” from flax seeds? Or that there are so many vegan chocolate alternatives out there, it’s hard to choose which one to buy?
Honestly, we cannot get enough of these cakes, they are incredible and have even converted some of our non-vegan friends! Although the Ms Cupcake shop in London has now shut down, it’s fantastic to be able to recreate these bakes at home. Honestly, in a blind taste test, it would be hard to guess these cakes were vegan! We swear by Ms Cupcake.
Did you know that the water in tins of chickpeas is actually a magical liquid? That funny bean juice that you usually throw away is really useful!
We were astonished when we first found out that chickpea water is a substitute for egg whites. But now, we’ve used it to make lemon meringue pie, macarons, Yorkshire puddings and much more!
This vegan book for beginners explores the magic of chickpea water and its many uses in cooking and baking. We bet you thought you couldn’t make a vegan meringue, well you can! As well as, crepes, marshmallows and ice cream.
Additionally, what we love about this book is that it includes recipes for the chickpeas too, and it’s not just a load of hummus.
Meat & Dairy Substitutes
Before we went vegan, Dan absolutely loved dairy milk – he even used to drink it straight from the bottle! And then there’s all the other dairy items – delicious Greek yoghurt with granola and fruit, salted butter slathered on crumpets – the list goes on and on. However, never fear!
Anything you can make, we can make vegan! That’s why this cookbook is so great. It helps you switch from dairy to non-dairy counterparts. Which is often something people find the hardest in the switch, making this vegan book for beginners a must-read!
It’s possible to make non-dairy butter, milk, cheese and cream, using a variety of plant-based ingredients. The recipes in this book are extra creamy and delicious and by far the best alternatives we’ve found.
You may have heard of seitan and want to know what the hell it is (excuse the pun!). It is far from satanic; we think it is one of the most heavenly meat alternatives in terms of texture and flavour. However, it can take some practice to get it just right, but this book is the perfect starting point for understanding how to make great seitan. It has been invaluable for Dan, who is our resident seitan king!
Lots of people who turn vegan or vegetarian don’t dislike the flavour or texture of meat, but rather do it for ethical, environmental and health reasons. This book explores new and exciting ways to recreate the texture, flavour and appearance of meats. It even discusses different techniques for creating certain textures with seitan.
Once you’ve read this book, you’ll soon be creating delicious vegan chicken, beef, pork and seafood dishes.
We recommend the vegan pepperoni recipe, which goes well on vegan pizza.
It’s a common myth that vegan food is too time-consuming and complicated, but this book dispels that! It focuses on simple, affordable and speedy on-the-go meals. So, if you’re looking for plant-based snacks and sandwiches to take to work or fill lunch boxes, this is the perfect book. It even tells you how long you need to prepare and cook each recipe!
We recommend the spicy tomato tartare on crunchy ciabatta!
If you can’t get enough of on-the-go vegan recipes, look no further! It can be hard to maintain a plant-based lifestyle when you’re on-the-go, especially as fast food and takeaways are often meat and dairy-based, even though there are more and more options available every day.
This cookbook is another fantastic read for beginners – especially if you want meals that you can prep in advance, make quickly and take with you on the go. Not only that, but they’re also delicious, nourishing and look as great as they taste too! Also, we love the ‘Vegan Eating Made Easy’ section, which gives handy tips on pantry essentials and equipment.
Well, given the title, this book is pretty key to any lifestyle. Titled, The How Not To Die Cookbook, this is a pivotal read. It is a beautifully written, educational book based on nutritional sciences, that offers recipes and guides aimed to prevent ill-health.
Now, you might think “well I’ve lived this long”, but this book will help you explore new food types to help prevent diseases and improve health and wellbeing. We recommend it to anyone who feels they’ve lost their bounce. It is reinvigorating, and a great way to do better for yourself and the planet, plus, Dan’s Mum swears by it.
While this book isn’t just for vegans, fermented foods have significant health benefits, and we have enjoyed reading it. This one’s for all you wannabe food-geeks out there, who want to get experimental in the kitchen. This book introduces beginners to a whole new perspective on flavours and the health benefits of fermented foods.
We love turning our kitchen into a plant-based, food-lab everyone once in a while. While this may sound all scientific and a bit intimidating, don’t worry. This book gives beginners lots of confidence and knowledge to enjoy fermenting, pickling, drying and anything else you fancy. Plus, it’s fun!
If there’s one thing that people often miss when it comes to starting a vegan lifestyle, it’s takeaways. With more and more restaurants offering great takeaway options, it’s a lot easier than it used to be to order in a vegan takeaway.
However, if you’re looking for a healthier homemade version, or you just want to save some money, we’ve found the best vegan “fakeaway” cookbook for you. Think of jackfruit doner kebabs, speedy satay stir-fry and aubergine jalfrezi – mouthwatering!
We think this is a great vegan book for beginners because it has a wide variety of cuisines and simple ingredients. Great for anyone looking to kick start their vegan cooking or to tackle those takeaway cravings.
It’s a common misconception that vegan food has to be fussy, expensive and complicated. Like any style of cooking, it can be all of these things, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of the best vegan food we make is entirely fuss-free!
Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to live off of kale and cashews or spend your money on hard-to-find ingredients.
If you fancy cheesy nachos, pizza, burritos and chocolate cake, then check out this vegan book for beginners. It’s comfort food at its best! Plus, it's written by one of our favourite vegan bloggers, Sam Turnbull, author of It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken.
Pizza is surprisingly easy to make vegan, which is why this is an excellent vegan book for beginners! It makes it possible to enjoy a proper, authentic tasting pizza at home.
Purezza was founded in Brighton in 2015 and was the first vegan pizzeria in the UK. They've won multiple awards including National Pizza of the Year 2018 (UK), and an award at the World Pizza Championships in Italy!
They aimed to create delicious plant-based alternatives that were superior to the traditional Italian menus. We are so happy to be able to make delicious vegan pizzas at home, and we can’t stop eating them!
The next book has been a real inspiration for our food at Vegan Punks. It contains a plethora of awesome and inventive recipes by one of our favourite vegan bloggers.
From indulgent chocolate cherry espresso pots to mouth-watering spicy Indian crepes, it covers all the classics and more.
Vegan recipes don’t have to be dull and healthy. This book is all about the pleasure of bold, satisfying flavours. We recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Niki in a 1:1 photography workshop, and we can confirm she is so, so lovely and an expert in her field. We highly recommend this book.
Mildreds Vegan Cookbook is so full of fantastic flavour combinations, anything from everyday meals to feasts for special occasions. There are several Mildreds restaurants in London, which is another draw to this book - for us.
Another thing we love about this book is the BBQ food. It might feel too hard to replace the classic British BBQ, but this book makes it easy!. We particularly love the Memphis Bourbon Barbecue Skewers and Rainbow Root Slaw with Orange. Although, if BBQ isn’t your thing, it offers many other recipes too!
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Wait, scramble that! This vegan book for beginners is the ultimate guide to plant-based breakfast and brunch!
The things you usually see at brunch are far from plant-based, such as bacon and egg sandwiches, omelettes, eggs benedict, and the classic Full-English. But this vegan book for beginners will introduce you to a new brunch – vegan style!
Picture tofu omelettes, breakfast flapjacks and homemade vegan sausages - brunch never looked so good. It’s probably our favourite meal of the day, well, the morning at least...
Banging Books for Badass Cooks
Last but not least and finishing in true Vegan Punk style, these are our three favourite punk vegan books for beginners.
Vegan cooking doesn’t need to be boring, and this book proves it! We love this vegan book because the recipes are pretty simple and taste fantastic. It was one of the first vegan books we ever tried out, and it didn’t disappoint.
This book is all about punchy flavours, including BBQ bean burritos, Grilled peach salsa and Peanut butter and banana muffins! Being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t be a badass cook.
Thug Kitchen 101 gives you over 100 recipes that are quick, easy and downright delicious. Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on protein, and this book will tell you why!
These recipes are accessible and will give you a solid start to a healthier plant-based diet.
From the ex-presenter of the TV show, Dirty Sanchez, and the new (long-overdue) BBC vegan cookery show, Matt Pritchard brings you more banging, meat-free meals. Matt shows us just how easy and cheap it can be to go vegan.
It has plenty of cracking plant-based meals, such as Crispy bang-bang tofu, Peanut and chill stir fry and creamy peppercorn and mushroom pie. Lots to try!
Have we missed any vegan books for beginners?
So, there you have it – our top 21 vegan books for beginners! These books are proof that being vegan doesn’t mean eating rabbit food.
We hope that our vegan books for beginners will set you on the right path. Please do reach out to us if you have any recipe questions, going vegan queries or any other suggestions.
Let us know in the comments below which books you have tried. Are there any other books you’d like to see on the list?
Thank you for reading – happy eating!
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