6 Plant-Based Cookbooks For Meat-Lovers

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Eat more plants. It’s a message we hear loud and clear, since flexitarian diets have been associated with health benefits such as reduced risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and even weight loss. Unfortunately we don’t often hear how to cook those plants in ways that not only satisfy our hunger but are also enjoyable and tasty.

While it’s great to ask your vegetarian friend for recommendations, his plant-loving palate may not be able to relate to your meat-every-day taste buds. Instead, try these plant-based cookbooks — all recommended by top chefs and cookbook authors. These pros enjoy their meat, too, so you can trust that their choices have approachable recipes from people who know that food needs to taste good.

“Afro-Vegan,” by Bryant Terry

“I love this cookbook because it not only is filled with delicious, healthy vegan recipes, it’s also filled with Bryant’s insightful commentary on the African diaspora’s food histories and relationships with food. You learn so much as you prepare each flavorful meal. Plus each recipe is paired with an awesome song suggestion that matches perfectly and adds some soulful vibes to each cooking session. This book is packed with dope recipes that you’ll enjoy whether you’re a vegan, carnivore or flexitarian like me.”

–Eden Hagos, founder of Black Foodie

“Plenty More,” by Yotam Ottolenghi

“I love every book Ottolenghi has done, but this one is my favorite. The emphasis of plant-based cooking in Middle Eastern cuisine is one of the many reasons I adore it. ‘Plenty More’ serves up fresh, vibrant dishes that draw you in to want to cook these recipes. The fact that they’re plant-based is just a bonus.”

Jake Cohen, culinary content creator

“Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone,” by Deborah Madison

“I grew up Puerto Rican in the South, which meant that vegetables weren’t an important — or delicious — part of my childhood. In both cultures, vegetables are often overcooked and doused with a healthy slathering of pork fat. But my mom didn’t really like meat, so I grew to prefer cleaner, vegetable-forward preparations of traditionally meaty dishes. I was delighted to encounter ‘Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone’ and became immediately entranced by how simple vegetarian dishes with a handful of ingredients could be so incredibly flavorful. I came to appreciate how classic cooking techniques — using flavorful homemade stocks, toasting a roux to just the right color, sautéing onions to perfection — can make any dish truly magical. Today this cookbook is among the oldest, most sauce-splattered cookbooks on my shelf.”

–Von Diaz, writer and author of “Coconuts and Collards

“The First Mess Cookbook,” by Laura Wright

“This has been one of the most innovative books on plant-based diets that I’ve read in a while. Laura is not afraid to experiment with flavor, taste and texture and executes that successfully in her book.”

Nik Sharma, food writer and photographer, columnist at the “San Francisco Chronicle”

“Power Vegetables!” by Lucky Peach/Peter Meehan

“This book highlights pantry-staple condiments, not-so-staple condiments and vegetables that are often overlooked in a lot of cookbooks. It also promotes that there isn’t even one pasta recipe in it, and it’s to prove that vegetables don’t need a vehicle to create a standout dish. It really shows that vegetables are more than capable to stand alone.”

–Ali LaRaia, chef/partner of The Sosta

“The Oh She Glows Cookbook,” by Angela Liddon

“I found this book after following Angela’s blog for a while, and it gave some great introductory recipes for incorporating more plant-based meals into my diet. Being raised in Nebraska as a meat eater, this book really helped me rethink how we can fuel our bodies. I love her walnut-lentil loaf so much, I make a double batch and keep one in the freezer!”

–Angela Garbacz, chef/owner of Goldenrod Pastries

“Cafe Paradiso Seasons: Vegetarian Cooking Season by Season,” by Denis Cotter

“Denis Cotter does a great job of creating easy, delicious and, most importantly, filling dishes that follow seasonal ingredients. I love the variety of cuisines included and the use of fresh sheep and goat milk cheeses.”

–Greg McPhee, executive chef/owner of The Anchorage

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