5 New Vegan Cookbooks That Would Make the Perfect Last-Minute Christmas Gift
6 Mins Read
Oops, you’re too busy finishing off end-of-year work before the holidays, but you forgot to get a Christmas gift for the vegan or culinary enthusiast in your life – we’ve got your back though, with five plant-based cookbooks from 2023 that they’ll likely not already have.
Cookbook research can be as draining as it can be fun. On the one hand, there are so many to choose from and each offers something different. On the other, there are so many to choose from.
But nothing beats flipping through the pages of a cookbook and getting pangs of excitement at each recipe you see, making all that research worth it. And sure, online recipes are a wonderful, super handy resource – but phones don’t smell like books.
Just as there are countless vegan cookbooks, there are countless lists of the best plant-based cookbooks. Even researching these can be overwhelming. And there’s nothing worse than getting someone a book they already have – I should know, it’s happened to me multiple times (both as giver and receiver).
So this Christmas, we decided to focus on cookbooks that the vegan [insert relation here] in your life likely won’t have, as they’ve all been published in 2023. These make the ideal gift for not just people who eat plant-based, but anyone who’s curious about cuisines, culture and cooking. Here are five vegan cookbooks to gift this Christmas.
Fake Meat: Real Food for Vegan Appetites
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Hailing from a punk rock background, Isa Chandra Moskowitz is one of the pioneers of American veganism, and has been plant-based for decades now. She’s also a serial author, with acclaimed titles like Veganomicon and Isa Does It regularly appearing on vegan cookbook lists.
Her 12th (12TH!) cookbook, Fake Meat: Real Food for Vegan Appetites is all about plant-based meat. “Do I miss meat? Not really,” she says. “But here’s what I do miss: Aromas. Experiences. Methods. Traditions.” Published in February, the book is filled with recipes for homemade meat analogues, and dishes that make use of them in splendid fashion.
The best part is versatility – it’s not all seitan, though that is used wonderfully in burgers and steaks. Think tempeh bacon, cauliflower schnitzel, or Buffalo tofu wings. There have been quite a few plant-based meat books, but when Isa does it, you know it’s going to be good.
By Denai Moore
British-Jamaican chef Denai Moore is 2023’s breakout star in the vegan culinary scene, with her acclaimed cookbook Plentiful: Vegan Jamaican Recipes to Repeat representing food deep-rooted in the country’s heritage, but with a modern twist. The author grew up in a household full of fresh produce, and that defines her work, where she attempts to debunk the myth that Jamaican food is meat-heavy.
What follows is a recipe list that will sweep you off your feet, with each one more intriguing and exciting than the last, in relatably named categories like ‘Foods That I Dream About Before Going to Bed’ and ‘Romanticise Cooking for One’. ‘Oxtail’ gravy and roasted garlic-spring onion mash, rice and peas arancini, a green mango som tam, ‘saltfish’, and green plantain, and a hard dough French toast with whipped roasted banana almond butter – it’s a ridiculously creative recipe list that will never bore you.
Anything You Can Cook, I Can Cook Vegan
By Richard Makin
With a striking image of a fried egg on the cover, you’d be forgiven to think that Richard Makin’s Anything You Can Cook, I Can Cook Vegan is not a plant-based cookbook on first glance. Much like Moskowitz’s title focused on meat analogues, this one aims to beat the notion that vegan food is a compromise, highlighting how you can make alternatives to eggs, butter, cheese and, of course, meat.
The photographs in the book are truly a work of art – they’re destined to leave you salivating. Makin – who became popular on the internet as the School Night Vegan – offers over 100 recipes, with a silken-tofu-based fried egg with a carrot yolk, TVP tuna melt, mushroom brisket sandwiches, and tofu egg shakshuka. Everything is gorgeous and inspiring, and it’s truly one of 2023’s best vegan cookbooks.
Abuela’s Plant-Based Kitchen
By Karla Salinari
Health coach Karla Salinari grew up in Miami and Puerto Rico. After being diagnosed with and recovering from cancer twice, she switched to whole-food plant-based eating. Her cookbook, Abuela’s Plant-Based Kitchen, is an ode to Latin American and Caribbean family recipes, paired with personal stories for an even more engaging experience.
These dishes undergo a vegan makeover in Salinari’s cookbook. There are over 75 recipes, including Garbazo guisados (chickpea stew with plantain balls), flan de coco, homemade adobo, Cuban-style picadillo and even condensed cashew milk. Salinari is heavily influenced by her grandparents and mother’s cooking, whom she pays tribute to in her book: “‘Lo hice con todo mi amor’ is what my mom used to say about the meals she cooked for me: ‘I made it with all my love.'”
New Vegan Baking
By Ana Rusu
You didn’t think we’d leave out desserts, did you? Baking gives Ana Rusu – a decade-long vegan behind the cooking blog Herbs & Roots – peace of mind, and her recipes do the same for us. Hailing from Romania, she exudes a lot of her maternal grandmother’s influence in her book, New Vegan Baking, which 60 sweet treats over six chapters: Chocolate & Caramel, Fruit, Citrus, Spice, Coffee, Nuts & Seeds and Booze.
There’s something for everyone here, including a plant-based Boston cream pie, gluten-free upside-down sour cherry cake, pecan and anise biscotti, lemon posset tart with raspberry and whipped cream, poppy seed babka, and pumpkin and bourbon brûlée tart – need I say more?