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Whether hosting a vegan for the holidays, trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, or just v-curious, it can be daunting to know where to start when cooking vegan meals. Simpler than most people think, the most difficult part of being vegan is the questions people ask; “What do you eat? Don’t you miss meat?” No darling, I miss the rainforest.
Ease into eating vegan by making the same foods you’d usually eat but swap out meat for lentils, mushrooms, tofu, or other plant-based substitutes. If you need some more inspiration (or just guidance on how to get started with a plant-based lifestyle), there are many wonderfully diverse vegan cookbooks available—many of which are by top NYC chefs who have mastered the art of vegan cooking. Scroll through below to check out some popular picks just ahead of Veganuary.
Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes
Famed NYC (and Omaha) restaurateur Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Brooklyn roots and Jewish heritage shine through in her cookbook, Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week. Babushka Borscht, Chicky Tuna Salad sandwiches, and Tofu-mushroom Stroganoff will bring a little NYC Jewish deli-style food to your home, sans animal parts–but my lazy self cheers the amazingly easy aspect of these recipes.
“Lauren and Jason Frank 2012”
Street Vegan: Recipes and Dispatches from The Cinnamon Snail
Though closed now, the bustling midtown Manhattan Pennsy Food Hall once housed vegan favorite, the Cinnamon Snail. Fret not–chef Adam Sobel’s recipes can be found in his cookbook, the Street Vegan. Receiving accolades from other top NYC chefs, recipes include Jalapeño Corn Chowdah and Vanilla Bourbon Crème Brulée Donuts, but the Brown Sugar-Bourbon Glazed Seitan recipe is probably worth buying the book alone.
The Korean Vegan Cookbook
New York Times best-selling author and James Beard winner Joanne Molinaro’s drool-inducing Instagram and TikTok have millions of followers for good reason; besides creating brilliant recipes, her voice is engaging and warm. Joanne’s cookbook The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma’s Kitchen challenge perceptions of traditional Korean food. Find recipes like Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake and Gamja Guk, a potato-and-leek soup.
Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful
Inspired by the documentary, What the Health, another New York Times bestselling author, Tabitha Brown gave the vegan 30-day challenge a try. She never looked back, and her first vegan cookbook Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations is joyfully family-friendly. Tabitha’s healthy, plant-based takes on classics like pot roast and crab cakes will be enjoyed by all.
Eat Plants, B*tch: 91 Vegan Recipes
Black-owned, Georgia-based Slutty Vegan restaurants have finally opened in NYC and I can not wait to make the pilgrimage. Until then, I’ll enjoy founder Pinky Cole’s recipes at home with her cookbook, Eat Plants, B*tch: 91 Vegan Recipes That Will Blow Your Meat-Loving Mind. With recipes like Cauliflower Po’Boys and Backyard Quesadillas, this one is for late-night junk food lovers (so, everyone). Even Oprah’s a fan.
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