If you’re on the ball this year, you might already have presents purchased for all your loved ones. But if you’re like the majority of people I know, you’ve neglected to cross everyone off your list no matter how earnest your pre-season intentions may have been. Never fear—cookbooks to the rescue! You’ll find something on this list for every cook, baker, or foodie you know, and there’s still plenty of time to grab these before the month – and the holidays – come to an end.
Vegan Food Gifts: More Than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and Other Edible Gifts Everyone Will Love
by Joni Marie Newman
I’m starting out with what may be my favorite item on this list (though, truth be told, it’s impossible to choose). This book will help you create handmade food-related gifts for anyone and everyone in your life, and it’s both insanely creative and breathtaking in its scope. I’ll let my endorsement (which you can find on page 1) speak for itself: “Thanks to Vegan Food Gifts, even those of us without a crafty bone in our body now have a treasure trove of easy peasy handmade recipes at our fingertips. She’s thought of everything: scrumptious sweets, snacks, sips, soups, spices, sauces, and even spirits! With clear instructions, gorgeous food photos, packaging ideas galore, and tons of helpful tips and tricks, Joni has your gift-giving needs covered from every angle.” I know that just about anyone in my circle would love to be gifted with Espresso Chocolate Chip Loaves, Saltine Butter Toffee, Instant Macaroni and Cheese Mix (!), or Classic Lime Margarita Mix. This book is where I got the idea for the Xmas gifts I already gave to to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law: a “pasta night” kit containing a package of whole-grain pasta, a jar of homemade and home-canned marinara sauce, and a little shaker bottle of homemade raw vegan “parmesan cheese” sprinkles. I felt like a holiday hero, thanks in no small part to Joni and Vegan Food Gifts.
High Protein Vegan: Hearty Whole Foods Meals, Raw Desserts, and More
by Hilda Jorgensen
Many of you may already be fans of Hilda’s blog, Triumph of the Lentil, and her first cookbook of the same name, which is packed with soy-free, whole-foods vegan recipes. (Have you seen her soy-free tofu recipe?!) Hilda may have outdone herself with her second cookbook, though: High Protein Vegan features over 100 recipes (and 90+ color photos) of nutritious, tasty, and filling legume-based meals and desserts, all high in plant-based protein. Every recipe has a soy-free variation if applicable, and many have gluten-free, nut-free, nightshade-free, and allium-free options. (A chef who provides numerous substitution options with each recipe is a woman after my own heart!) I cannot wait to make Hilda’s Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea and Cauliflower Fritters, Grain-Free Pad Thai, Turkish Flatbreads with Spicy Tomato and Bean Topping, and raw Caramel Slice. Even if you don’t “need” extra protein in your diet, these recipes will help you create filling, appealing, and health-promoting meals for yourself and your family.
The Lotus and the Artichoke: Vegan Recipes from World Adventures
by Justin P. Moore
I’ve been a fan of Justin’s eponymous website for some time now; I was drawn there by his flair for international food (he’s a world traveler and American expat living in Berlin) and his knack for veganizing both popular and more obscure dishes from around the world. Justin’s new cookbook, The Lotus and the Artichoke – which is being officially released TODAY – contains over 100 recipes (and 80+ full-color photos) inspired by his culinary insights and experiences gathered from countless homes, kitchens, cafés, restaurants, markets, and street food carts around the world. In this cookbook, you’ll discover delicious Indo-Chinese dishes, incredible Indian feasts, Chinese and Southeast Asian treats and wonders, and Italian, French, German, and other exciting European vegan variations and converted classics. You’ll find super tasty African medleys from the North, West, and East, all-American go-to greats and family favorites, seductive sweets from around the globe, and a variety of super-charged salads. You can travel around the world without leaving your kitchen thanks to The Lotus and the Artichoke.
Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year’s Day by Zel Allen
Yes, there are numerous holiday-centric cookbooks out there, but busy party-throwers don’t often have time to mess with elaborate recipes or multi-step meals. Zel’s new book presents recipes that will wow your guests but won’t leave you exhausted. Brilliantly blending innovation with tradition, Zel’s holiday dishes are simple enough for novice cooks but impressive enough to satisfy bona fide foodies. Though it’s billed as featuring recipes fit for every holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, I can tell I’ll get use out of Vegan for the Holidays all year long. Right now, the Pistachio-Edamame Salad (with persimmons, mmm!), Chestnut-Smothered Brussels Sprouts, Savory Chickpea Yule Log, Sicilian Chili Two Ways, Brandied Holiday Nog, and Apricot Hazelnut Date Sticky Pie are calling my name.
Cookin’ Crunk: Eatin’ Vegan in the Dirty South
by Bianca Phillips
Miss Vegan Crunk herself is a personal friend of mine. We met at last year’s Vida Vegan Con, and have been trying to find a way to hang out again ever since! She’s smart, sassy, and seriously Southern. (I have witnessed her fill a coffee mug with gravy and bring it back to her table, folks. At breakfast.) Anyway, her first cookbook, Cookin’ Crunk, came out recently, and even though I myself am not so into comfort food, Bianca puts a hip new spin on it that makes even me want to say “Let’s eat, y’all!” She’s famous for her Deviled Tofu Bites, but I’ve been drooling over her Creole Steamed Sausages, Jalapeño-Lime Watermelon Salad, Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy (!), Tempeh Gumbo, and Curried Sweet Tater Fries. This book is perfect for the soul food lover in your life.
Raw Chocolate Dream
by Heather Pace
Heather is a vegan dessert diva with several ebooks already under her belt, but this new one may just take the [chocolate] cake! With Heather’s guidance, you can master the basics of raw chocolate-making and churn out treat after delicious treat. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow, her gorgeous photos depict every recipe in the book, and her helpful tips and tricks along the way will help you troubleshoot and perfect all your homemade chocolate goodies. I am really jazzed to try Heather’s Coconut Almond Cake Pops, Caramel Peanut Chocolate Bars, White Chocolate Coconut Truffles, Cookies ‘n Cream Bars, Maca Blondie Balls, and so many more that I can’t even list them all without my head spinning. I have never been any less than blown away by Heather’s recipes, and these are no exception. Not only can you give this book as a gift, but you can also get it for yourself and use it to make homemade chocolate gifts for your loved ones this year. Yum!
Bravo!: Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen
by Ramses Bravo, the head chef at True North Health Center in Northern California
I’ve heard tell that Chef Bravo’s ultra-healthy dishes are ultra-tasty, but since I’ve never visited the True North Health Center, I had no way of knowing…until now. Thanks to this new book, I can explore his health-promoting dishes in the comfort of my own kitchen Since all the recipes are SOS-free (sugar-, oil-, and salt-free), they’re also suitable for anyone following a nutrient-dense diet such as Eat To Live. Dishes like Red Lentil Loaf with Bell Pepper Coulis, Baked Plantains with Coconut-Vanilla Granola, Kabocha Squash and Yellow Curry Soup, and Forbidden Rice and Garbanzo Patties with Tomatillo Salsa almost sound too tasty to be true! The book even contains two weeks’ worth of meal plans using Chef Bravo’s recipes.
Smoothies & Juices For Newbies
by Robyn Law
Anyone who’s into raw food and is internet-savvy is surely familiar with Robyn’s blog, Girl On Raw, and the fun and friendly way she makes raw food easy and accessible. In her new ebook, Smoothies & Juices For Newbies, Robyn not only provides over 40 recipes for healthful smoothies and juices, she also gives you dozens of pages of informational material, such as how to lose (or gain) weight with raw juices and smoothies, how to properly wash produce, and what types of equipment she recommends. I’m dying to try her Banana Chai Smoothie and King Kale Juice first! Robyn’s book is perfect for anyone who wants to sip their way to better health.
Vegan à la Mode: More Than 100 Frozen Treats for Every Day of the Year
by Hannah Kaminsky
Never fear, Southern hemisphere friends—I haven’t neglected you! While we Northerners are shivering away, I know you’re down there making your way into summer. “Duchess of dessert” Hannah Kaminsky‘s latest tome came out a few months ago, but her frozen treats are delicious no matter what time of year you consume them. Vegan à la Mode turns ice-cream-making into a science AND an art, and Hannah’s rigorously-tested recipes will shine in any kitchen. Who could say no to French Toast Ice Cream, Buttery Popcorn Ice Cream, German Chocolate Ice Cream, or Marzipan Madness Ice Cream? Not me, that’s for sure!
BEST FOR: Raw food newbies OR veterans, folks who want to enjoy raw food even in colder months, and/or anyone who wants to keep nutrient-rich fresh produce in their diet all winter long
Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make
by yours truly, Amber Shea Crawley
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention my own cookbook! Since I include cooking/baking/warming instructions with every recipe where applicable, the meals, snacks, sides, and desserts in Practically Raw are just as enjoyable in the winter as in the summer. Make my Christmas Cheese Ball for your next holiday party, bake my Rosemary-Garlic Bread in the oven, warm up my Cream of Mushroom Soup on the stovetop, cook up my Mushroom-Nut Burgers for an easy weeknight meal, or enjoy my Cinnamon Crumble Coffee Cakes warm from the oven. Likewise, if you prefer to use a dehydrator, you can do that as well! There are no rules in raw, I say, so I make sure you can make my recipes as raw or cooked as you like.
Happy holidays, everyone!
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