Terrific Titles in 2010

November 17th, 2010 · Lisa · book review, Review, vegan mofo · Comments
After fulfilling yesterday’s avocado fan club new members’ quota, I’m ready to move on to another love list. As the “vegan cookbook critic”, I’d like to share some suggestions for terrific titles published in 2010.
I believe that if you get a couple truly fantastic recipes from a new cookbook then it was worth the purchase. The five titles I’ve listed below have more than delivered on that criteria. They have introduced me to new ways of thinking about ingredients, cuisines and techniques.
by Terry Hope Romero
As you probably know from Terry’s previous work (Veganomicon, VCTOTW, VCIYCJ) she’s phenomenal. I had no doubt that her first solo book would be full of incredible recipes but I was surprised that from the pages of Viva Vegan I picked up two new techniques for making old favourites. Terry’s directions for steaming homemade seitan and baking rice in the oven completely changed the way I use these ingredients and I’ve never been more satisfied with the results.
I was a recipe tester for Terry – it was the most amazing (volunteer) job I’ve ever had.
Chocolate Orange Spice Cake with Dulce De Batata from Viva Vegan
Arroz Con Gandules from Viva Vegan
by jae steele
jae’s books always provide so much more than recipes. RFAH is full of information about eating locally and living more sustainably. I had the pleasure of visiting farmers markets and playing in the kitchen with jae as she wrote this book and the process taught me a lot about the versatility of simple ingredients. I now make my own hemp, oat or almond milks at home, whip up flax apple puddings on cool mornings and savour her unbelievable baked beans when nothing else will do.
Apple Flax Pudding from Ripe from Around here
The spread at the Ripe From Around Here book launch
by Ani Phyo
Ani Phyo’s recipes were my first real introduction to ‘raw cuisine’. Her third title provides a comprehensive collection of delicious recipes that can form the foundation of any healthy diet (and taste amazing). I have a number of favourite discoveries in this book but the one I remake most often is her apple or banana crepes. They call for two ingredients and dehydrate quickly. When I’m running low on groceries I can always fill a fruit crepe with some nut butter and banana and call it a meal. Ani imparts many of the dishes in this book with Asian flavours that rival any restaurant option. Sometimes, all it takes is a sprinkle of spice to elevate an entree.
Apple Flax Crepes and Nutella
Chinese Chickenless Salad
by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina
This book left me feeling informed about my health and confident about my food choices. Beyond all of the rich research data, Brenda and Vesanto also supply some truly sensational meals. As I worked my way through every recipe in this book (yup, every single one) I learned a lot about the benefits of soaking nuts, sprouting grains and of course, eating greens.
Thai Salad Roll with Spicy Pecan Spread
sprouted nuts, ground flax and fruit.
by Matthew Kenney
If Becoming Raw is about information, this book is about inspiration. I love looking at the pictures and reading the recipes. It just makes me happy to flip through the pages. Matthew Kenney never ceases to amaze me with his creative use of high-quality ingredients. He has taught me a lot about the incredible possibilities that cashews and coconut bring to the party.
Fruit and Creme filled Banana Crepes

I can’t think of a better gift to give a friend or family member than a book full of delicious, health promoting recipes. What is that adage about teaching a friend to cook (let’s pretend we forget that it is really about fishing)?

With just a few months left in 2010, amazing vegan titles continue to hit the shelves. There are three that I’m particularly excited about:

1. The Vegan Girls’ Guide to Life by Mellisser Elliott
2. Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
3. Raw Food for Everyone by Alissa Cohen

What is your favourite new (to you) vegan cookbook? Any titles you can’t wait to explore?

Although I am a devoted fan of cookbooks – the amazing Vegan MoFo blogroll is so stuffed full of fantastic recipe finds that you may never “need” to buy another book. Keep in mind, you might still “want” to.



  1. Posted November 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Fabulous suggestions, Lisa! I've been living without cookbooks all year long and can't wait to cash in all my visa points for chapter's gift certificates so I can stock up on new titles. I'm especially excited to crack open Viva Vegan and The Vegan Girls' Guide to Life.

  2. Posted November 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I feel very much the same about many of your vegan titles, Lisa (and I'm sure I'd feel 100% the same if I had seen all of them!). Becoming Raw is definitely one I'm thinking about, but I think I need Becoming Vegan first (found a used copy of Becoming Vegetarian a few years ago). I think it's important to make sure I'm getting the whole spectrum of nutrition even though I feel pretty good about the majority of my food 🙂

  3. Posted November 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Gorgeous photos! And thank you for listing some of the new vegan cookbooks that are coming out!!

  4. Posted November 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I'm also so excited about "Appetite" – can't wait!!!
    Can you belive I don't have any of the titles you mentioned? Not one! Something is seriously wrong with me. Maybe Santa will help me out.
    Also, thank you so much for your love the other day- it meant a lot. xoxo

  5. Posted November 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I really want Viva Vegan, because I've heard so many good things about it. And I'm thrilled for Appetite for Reduction, because the author's other books have a lot of soy and this one promises to be more bean-based.

    I have to be honest I was not as thrilled as I thought I'd be with Ani's new book. Mostly for me because I have a version of almost everything in her book already. It can be almost too simple for me at times. I still need to review it more officially, but I hate doing even slightly negative reviews.

    I also want Everyday Raw Desserts. Of course.

  6. Posted November 19, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Great list Lisa! I just got Alissa's Raw for Everyone book from my local library and so far, it's been great! Like the title…it's got the basics like nut milk but it also goes all the way to the restaurant-level gourmet, like smoked papaya and avocado skins (clever recipes!) It seems to have a good mix of low fat and/or low sugar and no-holds-barred gourmet. I'm really enjoying it!

  7. Posted November 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I'm excited about all three of those upcoming books you mentioned!

  8. Posted November 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I agree with you that recipe books and eating out both can provide so much inspiration. Being almost congenitally incapable of following a recipe, though, I don't have many cookbooks at all. These all look like ones I'd love to look through, though. My weird situation is that almost everyone I live around is squarely meat/gluten/potato based, and we like to eat a lot of local foods (in AK read meat and fish), so although I don't eat meat and fish personally, when I'm cooking for a gathering, usually I just make a salad for me and something that pleases the rest for the rest. That said, some of our friends are more open to vegan options, and I'd love the inspiration of some of those books to help wow them.

    thank you!

  9. Posted November 21, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Jill – how is Victoria? You'll love Viva Vegan. I've been giving it as gifts this year because it is fantastic. I can't wait for Melisser's book to arrive.

    a-k – you don't need Becoming Vegan first. The nutritional info in Becoming Raw is helpful regardless of your food choices. They are working on an updated Becoming Vegan now.

  10. Posted November 21, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Shellyfish – is it hard to get North American books in France?

    Bitt – I agree. I don't use Ani's as much as I thought I would but I did learn some new techniques that I've really enjoyed.

    Ela – Have fun playing with new recipes. You deserve more than just salad sometimes.

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