Vegetarian Cookbooks

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Looking for a great vegetarian cookbook

June 2010

i'm trying to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into our meals. so far, my 3 and 5 year olds love cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce. I make it low-fat but my husband and I are not too keen on this heavy and rich dinner. I'd love to get my hands on some really great and not too complex veg cookbooks! My ideal vegetarian dinners tend to be Indian - with good spices and legume. I'd like to learn to cook with less cheese/oils too. All the recs I saw in the archives are a bit dated. Are there any great cookbooks that you would recommend? trying one meal at a time

There are a lot of great vegetarian cookbooks out there. For easy weekday meals, we love Simple Suppers; for Indian food we love Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East. My favorite cooking blog is Smitten Kitchen, a great place to get ideas. Kevin

Good for you for incorporating more vegetarian meals! One of my favorite cookbooks is the Vegan Planet (Robin Robertson), which has a lot of simple, tasty recipes. A little more complicated but also delicious are recipes from Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily Cookbook. Also love Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar (Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero). Indian choices are always good and there are tons of great Indian restaurants in the area. Also check out Nature's Express, the new vegan 'fast food' restaurant on upper Solano near Peet's. Good luck! happy vegan

I've made many recipes from the Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas, and most have been hits -- tasty, varied, easy to prepare, and kid-friendly. The ones that use dairy are not heavy with cheese, and there are vegan options for almost all recipes. Her site is We also find recipes we like in the Vegetarian TImes magazine. They have lots of recipes on, but not the most recent. Another excellent source of family-friendly recipes is The Teen's Vegetarian Cookbook by Judy Krizmanic. Enjoy!

I am sorry I did not see the original post but I have been using my Laurel's Kitchen cookbook since college. It is pretty thrashed but I still use it all the time. Most of my favorite dishes are from Laurel's Kitchen - great soups, lentil loaf, banana bread. The food is not especially fancy but delicious, easy to make, and healthy.

My new favorite is Supermarket Vegan. The last issue of Vegetarian Times had a few of the recipes. I made a curry dish, a pasta dish, and cobbler. They all were great and I bought the whole book. I think the 'supermarket' partof the title refers to the ingredients being easily avaliable.

Both books give nutritional information, which I appreciate. Long -term Veg

Our family likes the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, ISN-13 978- 0671679927 I also subscribe to the Savvy Vegetarian e-newsletter and they have wonderful recipes: Marjie

Want references for vegetarian kids

Feb 2009

I'm interested in moving our family's diet towards less meat and a more vegetarian diet, for nutritional and financial reasons. Can people recommend good books or websites that help with vegetarian recipes and nutrition for kids? On a really specific note, my three year old daughter is one of those picky eaters who tends to reject food that's mixed up (she won't even touch sandwiches), so a book that's mostly yummy casseroles probably won't work. I'm really familiar with the 'multiple exposure' idea for new foods and am patiently working on mixed foods, but it's going to take a while . I also like 'cutesy' kids foods, so a book with fun food pictures or green fields of kale would be right up my alley. thanks, Laura

I really like The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. Many recipes are very basic, and then she includes notes on how to ''Embellish It'' for grownups and more adventuresome eaters, and how to make it simpler ''For Picky Eaters''. Makes it easy to feed a family using one basic recipe. Tamara

We eat several vegetarian meals per week, also for health and finances and also because I am often too lazy to wash a pan that has been used for cooking meat. Anyway, kids who won't usually eat mixed foods often will if they mix it themselves on their terms. For example, we have ''make your own rice bowl,'' ''make your own burrito,'' and ''top your own pasta'' fairly often, all of which work well with vegetarian components. -- low stress cooking mom

Quick and easy vegetarian cookbook?

March 2005

Can anyone recommend a great vegetarian cookbook that would be useful in getting my family to eat more fruit, veggies and soy products? Ideally the recipes would be tasty AND quick. Thanks! Hungry for veggies

I cook a lot and have been a vegetarian for many years. Two of the quickest and easiest books I've come across are written by Jeanne Lemlin. The first is Simple Vegetarian Pleasures and the second is Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. The recipes are indeed quick and simple, and delicious! I have a few of her other books as well. Another book I've used when in a hurry is The 15-Minute Gourmet: Vegetarian, written by Paulette Mitchell. Good luck! anon

My absolute favorite easy vegetarian cookbook is the Garden of Vegan. The recipies are simple and quick. The ingredients are available at most stores. It is so easy that many recipes even work for a college dorm room with a microwave and hotplate. Also, Millennium's first cookbook is good, but can be a little complicated. But some of the recipes in there are to die for. Online, there are so many places for vegetarian and vegan recipes too. are a couple of them. al30sh

I have recently discovered a fabulous vegetarian cookbook. Every recipe I have made has been a hit with my non-vegetarian husband! They are easy and have simple ingredients put together in interesting ways. It is called 1,001 Low-fat Vegetarian recipes by Sue Spitler Diana

I highly recommend the ''Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home.'' There are many Moosewood cookbooks so make sure to get the Cooks At Home one. They are all easy, nutritious, kid-friendly meals. Some of our favorites are Winter Vegetable Stew, Curried Chickpeas and Tofu, and Red/Gold/Black & Green Chili. I hate to cook anything complicated and these are easy (aside from lots of vegetable chopping) but at the same time tasty and interesting. Vegetarian Mama

Here's the name of a vegetarian cookbook I've been using for a few years: ''Better Homes and Gardens Vegetarian Recipes: Cooking For Today.'' Nancy

There are already good recommendations on the BPN website, but one book that's not mentioned, and that I like a lot, is 'The Accidental Vegan' by Devra Gartenstein. It's got lots of very easy and tasty recipes. So far, everything I've tried has been good. IC

Jeanne Lemlin has a series of vegetarian cookbooks - Vegetarian Pleasures, Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, and Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. All are just amazing cookbooks - I use them almost every day and have given them frequently as gifts. The recipes are simple, well written, and always reliable. Lemlin makes good use of vegetarian ingredients, like beans, tofu, and tempeh, but the recipes for baked goods and desserts are also wonderful. Lemlin presents a well balanced diet of natural foods, where the occasional slice of chocolate cake is okay. The dishes are not always low-fat or vegan, but that probably increases the odds that kids will enjoy them. Kristen

One of my favorite cookbooks is ''Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home''. Many of the recipes are very simple and are ones that I use again and again. I can't wait to see what other suggestions you get - I am on the prowl for good, easy to use cookbooks myself. Nanu

Great Vegetarian Cookbook?

Jan 2000

Does anyone have a recommendation for a great vegetarian cookbook? I'm looking for easy, simple, lowfat, delicious recipes, using minimal milk, cheese and eggs. And I'm especially interested in ways to use greens (collard, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, etc.). Thanks. Susan

My all-time favorite cookbook is Laurel's Kitchen (and the New Laurel's Kitchen). While many of the recipes include dairy and eggs, many do not, and many (or most?) of the recipes are low in fat (though if you're not eating, meat, dairy, eggs and junk food you may need to make an effort to eat enough fat!). For a non-dairy and egg cookbook, I also like The Book of Whole Meals, by Anne-Marie Colbin. This cookbook has some interesting ideas for cooking greens. And on the subject of greens, we often sautee chopped fresh greens (kale, collards, etc.) with garlic, olive oil, herbs and other veggies (sweet bell and hot peppers, mushrooms, etc.) and serve them over or tossed with pasta (and lots of parmesan). Happy cooking and eating!

Moosewood LowFat Cookbook It's great and all the things you asked for!

I just have to add, since no one did, that Maddhur Jaffrey's cookbooks are excellent. She has one called Asian Vegetarian and a new one, that I haven't tried, called World Vegetarian cooking. There are a lot of wonderful vegetarian recipes and even whole vegetarian cuisines out there that are easy to make with ingredients that can be purchased at the Berkeley Bowl and any of the small ethnic markets in the east bay. Bon Appetit!

The first book I recommend these days is Deborah Madison's The Savory Way. It's full of delicious, straightforward, relatively simple recipes which do not rely too heavily on dairy. Her recent-ish follow-up, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, is much larger and fairly expensive but similarly useful, and both books are pretty good on using greens. I am also a pretty big fan of the cookbooks put out by Moosewood Restaurant, including Moosewood Cooks at Home and a newer one, called something like Moosewood's Daily Specials. And Mollie Katzen's books are pretty good, too, although they just don't really stack up against Deborah Madison, IMHO.

I'm very fond of the Moosewood Restaurant's Low Fat Favorites. It's emphasis is on low fat cooking which some of the other Moosewood's are not. There are a ton of high fiber low fat vegi recipes that are not annoying to make. I like also Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, although the recipes can be higher fat, I can usually adjust for lower fat. I found the 1001 Lowfat Vegi recipes far less successful since they seem to want a lot of fake ingredients which I think just don't taste good. Green's cookbook has good recipes but halfway through some of the recipes you figure out that you are making homemade tortillas and as delicious as they are, it's not worth the time in my opinion... And they are often fairly high fat.

I've been eyeing the Millenium Cookbook which actually would be good, since the restaurant is so great, but might include a lot of not readily available ingredients and difficult techniques.

Any of the Moosewood cookbooks are excellent. The first cookbook now includes more lowfat options and is still easy to use (no mortar and pestle stuff). My favorite is probably Sundays at Moosewood, which is all different ethnic foods, including several Asian countries represented (for greens recipes). Moosewood fits the bill best for what you are asking for.

Feeding the Whole Family is a great vegetarian cookbook with good ideas for making food appealing to children, packing lunchboxes, etc. It's by Cynthia Lair; there's a website for ordering called

I have a ton of vegetarian cookbooks, and here are some of my favorites: Vegetarian Planet, Didi Emmons; The Millennium Cookbook, Eric Tucker (one of the fancier ones); Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison (has complicated AND simple); Eat More Weigh Less, Dean Ornish; Verdura, Viana La Place (not veg specifically,but mostly); Vegetable Heaven, Mollie Katzen; Recipes for an Ecological Kitchen, Lorna Sass. Also, I would recommend either subscribing to Vegetarian Times, or getting any of their recipe compendium books. They tend to be nice and simple.

Deborah Madison's books are great. The Savory Way is a little shmancier than Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but they are both wonderful.