Over the past couple years, vegan diets have become extremely popular. Whether it is for health or environmental reasons, more and more people are venturing to the plant side.
When I first considered veganism, my first thought was how difficult and time-consuming it would be to find substitutes for my favorite animal-produced foods. Making your own cheese or sauce seems like something that would take hours upon hours and would end in a lackluster product. Plus, trying to be vegan in college seems like it would be extremely restrictive.
After doing a little more digging, I came across two cookbooks that made vegan food look easy and actually super delicious. Taking on a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you can only eat fruits, vegetables, and grains. You can indulge too (hello, Oreos are vegan).
Disclaimer: I am not a vegan by any means, but the diet does intrigue me, and these cookbooks have really helped me find great alternatives to my favorite foods.
Chloe Coscarelli is basically a vegan boss. She made her mark by being the first contestant on Cupcake Wars to win with a vegan cupcake. She then went on to write multiple cookbooks and open up a very successful (meatless) restaurant in New York. Her restaurant, by CHLOE., proved that vegan food could be equal parts healthy and appetizing.
Chloe’s Kitchen is definitely the simpler of the two cookbooks. There are some more obvious recipes like a basic salad and avocado toast (which if you need a recipe for those, you probably shouldn’t be cooking to begin with). But she does a pretty good job with comfort food recipes. Seriously, give me guilt-free mac and cheese and I will be the happiest girl in the world.
Chloe also provides dinner party meal plans and basics that every vegan should have in their pantry. It’s a really good option for those who are considering a plant-based diet.
Best Lookin’ Recipes: Not So Fried Rice, Thai Chickpea Burgers, and Cinnamon Rolls
Do you like to cook vegan food and swear at the same time? Then you go pick yourself up a copy of Thug Kitchen. The cookbook has some bomb recipes that are actually appealing to meat-eaters. The best thing about Thug Kitchen is that you don’t even realize you aren’t using animal products. The book also offers basics, like how to prepare (good tasting) tofu and make a solid quinoa bowl.
Bonus: They have another cookbook that is all party food. So no more cookout FOMO for you vegans.
Best Lookin’ Recipes: Tortilla Soup, Stovetop Herbed Popcorn, and Peanut Butter Banana Nut Muffins
Adopting a completely vegan diet is something that could be daunting for a lot of people, including me. But these two cookbooks are great for beginners and show that you really can have your cherished foods while still sticking to your diet.