No, I’m not vegetarian or vegan, but I really do appreciate good recipes in these categories. Plus I like to be able to cook appropriately for friends who are visiting who might fall into either category. (I seriously don’t mind food challenges where someone comes to visit with an allergy or sensitivity or philosophical or a religious – ie kosher, reason… but PLEASE be courteous and let me or any host you visit, know in advance!)
When I moved, I did downsize my cookbook collection. I think only two vegetarian/vegan books got sent to the local cookbook exchange.
Nava Atlas – American Harvest: Regional Recipes for the Vegetarian Kitchen. 1987. Quite the good variety of recipes to try.
Debra Abraham-Klein – Silk Road Vegetarian: Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Recipes for the Mindful Cook. 2014. For me, it is wisest to choose vegetarian and vegan foods from cultures that have eaten these items over generations.
David Hirsch – The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden: Creative Gardening for the Adventurous Cook. 1992. I had actually bought the first Moosewood cookbook back in the day, but it was printed in a horrendous-to-read script, so I donated it to the Litchfield Farmer’s Market book exchange when I was prepping to move. No regrets. BUT…. I am much happier to be able to read the regular typeface in this book! Definitely some great (and creative) recipes here.
Madhur Jaffrey – World Vegetarian: More than 650 Meatless Recipes from around the Globe. 1999. Not as good as I’d hoped. It is definitely worth being on your cook book shelf especially considering the number of recipes, but I get the feeling she’s cutting corners on ingredients. At least for those recipes I’ve worked on. I’m sorry because I really do love that intro book to Indian cuisine she wrote back in the 70s. I cooked the heck out of that one!
The Moosewood Collective – Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, Flavorful Recipes for Healthy Meals. 1996. Although I’ll note fats can indeed be healthy, this book does contain a LOT of great and tasty vegetarian and vegan foods. This restaurant has had some time in beginning to up the ante on vegetarian foods in the Western world.
Junko Lampert – The Tofu Cookbook: Recipes for Traditional and Modern Cooking. 1983. I bought this shortly after making vegetarian friends a few decades ago, and wanting to make tofu taste much better than I could at that point in my own kitchen. It’s okay plus enough of a plus that I didn’t downsize this cookbook when I moved. Nothing extremely great, but some good basics available here.
Tommy McDonald – Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share & Savor. 2017. Some pretty cool vegan choices in here, and I don’t get the sense the author wants to make everything “taste” like meat. Many enticing photos, too.
Mindy Toomay and Susann Geiskopf-Hadler – The Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes. 1992. Personally, always leery when I see “the BEST” recipes or anything else claiming to be “best”. They’re okay. They may have been “best” back in 1992, dunno. Still, worth a few ideas.
As you can probably guess, I lean heavily onto “Old World” recipes developed over time by folks who always had a strong tradition of vegetarian foods. I also avoid cookbooks that need to rant at me about veganism or some such. My personal viewpoint is that meats can be healthy – and like most anything else, extremes can be more harmful than moderation. I also acknowledge that many modern food items – deli meats, TVP, etc. – really don’t have much place in a good and nutritious food plan. Also that many of us in North America eat far too much meat overall. As I’ve noticed in other posts, I’m not really concerned about making vegetarian or vegan foods taste like the things they are replacing – especially considering the ingredients being used to accomplish such goals. The books above almost entirely avoid such recipes. That being said I do respect those folks who won’t eat meat for the reasons of animal welfare – which for my part is why I am trying to move to a locavore non-factory-farmed set of solutions. (This might not be “good enough” for some, but I’ve never been very good at a “black or white” mindset.)