Below are a list of resources
that I've found invaluable
in my vegan lifestyle.
UPDATE as of 6/6/09 - Check out this interesting article from Foreign Policy.com on why, due to cost and environmental issues, meat consumption may eventually become a rarity.
Bryanna Clark Grogan
Any of Bryanna Clark Grogan's cookbooks will be a wonderful addition to a vegan bookshelf. Bryanna has a gift of creating very unique, utterly tasty, vegan recipes out of all kinds of ingredients. She will introduce you to a wide variety of foods and flavorings.
The one of hers I use the most is The Fiber for Life Cookbook. Her Crispy Whole Grain Waffles recipe is in this book, the only waffle recipe I make these days!
Nonna's Italian Kitchen is another of Bryanna's cookbooks that I use frequently. Her Stuffed Crepe recipe, found in this book, was one of Vegan.com's Top 10 recipes of 2008. It is a recipe I often use for company.
20 Minutes to Dinner: Quick, Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Vegetarian Meals is another of her cookbooks that sees frequent use.
Authentic Chinese Cuisine: For the Contemporary Kitchen is an amazing cookbook. This cookbook, along with Nonna's, shows the depth of research that Bryanna does with each cookbook. In this cookbook she talks about the regional differences in Chinese cooking, and presents the reader a wonderful variety of Chinese recipes.
Bryanna also has a wealth of recipes available on her website and her blog. One of the links on her website is to her Vegan Feast Newsletter, a quarterly newsletter she published for almost 5 years. Each newsletter has 60-70 pages of the most creative recipes imaginable. She is gradually formatting each issue into PDF format, and selling each for $5.00. Trust me, it will be the best five bucks you'll spend ... you'll end up with a treasure trove of the most creative recipes to try. While she was publishing this newsletter, I subscribed annually to it. I have all her issues, and there are still TONS and TONS of recipes I have yet to try.
One of the many foods Bryanna has shared in her Vegan Feast issues, are numerous vegan cheeses --- really TASTY creations that will make it so that you never again have to use any of those mediocre (at best) store bought vegan cheeses.
Bryanna's website is also a treasure trove of information on all things vegan. She has one of the most complete and thoroughly researched sections on the safety of eating soy anywhere I've seen.
Along with Bryanna, Joanne has some of the best vegan cheese recipes around, including cheese spreads, dips, sauces, and cheesecakes. Her Uncheese Cookbook is a frequently referenced book in my kitchen. I've run across various vegan "grilled cheese" recipes, but hers is the one I use time and time again. Her cheesecakes are the most decadent, wonderful desserts you'll ever find!
For drop-dead-fabulous, calorie laden sweets, look no further than Hannah's My Sweet Vegan cookbook. When I want to WOW guests, THIS is the book I use.
Hannah also has a blog where she posts one or two recipes each week. Most recipes are desserts, but she also features breads, dips, and other dishes occasionally. For all the sweets she creates, it blows me away how skinny she stays!!
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the two Vegan Chefs workshops (Vegetarian Awakening) held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2006 and 2007. Chef Kevin Dunn pulled together a wealth of vegan chefs for 2 day workshops in those two years. Attending Fran's session in 2007 is when I suddenly realized vegan baking is a piece of cake (pun intended) !! I had always used traditional recipes that had dairy milk and eggs in them to make cakes, cookies, etc, using various egg replacers in lieu of the eggs. The results were always quite disappointing in taste.
Fran showed us that you don't need any special ingredients to make fabulous vegan desserts; you just need to start with a VEGAN recipe, rather than trying to adapt a non-vegan one. Her More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts cookbook is a resource I use frequently. Her "signature" Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake is one I make frequently.
Dr. John McDougall is one of the most inspiring, dynamic folks I've met. As an MD, he is totally committed to the vegan way of eating, but you'll never hear him use that word. He refers to it as plant based way of eating. His goal in life is to show folks that a plant based way of eating is within the reach of everyone. His recipes are quick and easy to make, and utilize (almost exclusively) easy to obtain, regular grocery store items, usually focusing on canned and frozen products. Few of his recipes take more than 30 minutes to make.
As a physician, he is committed to a plant based way of eating, focusing primarily on its health promoting issues. He fervently believes that eating whole plant based foods, with no added oils is the way to avoid (or cure) the chronic health conditions seen in so many people today. As a registered nurse myself, working in a rural area, where animal products make up the base of just about every meal, I see day in and day out the effects of what Dr. McDougall talks about in his monthly newsletters.
His newsletters are free, and available on-line. Each issue has one or two articles written by him, and always ends with 5 or 6 recipes created by his wife Mary. Her recipes have helped me get over my misconception that foods have to have SOME fat in them to taste good. My favorite so far? The Layered Bean and Potato Casserole.
This is a vegan blog featuring no added fat, whole food vegan recipes. Along with Dr. McDougall, Lindsay, the blog's author is making me realize fat free recipes taste GREAT. Along with her blog, she also has 4 e-cookbooks for sale for $5.00 each, that have additional great tasting, no added fat, whole food vegan recipes. Her most recent e-cookbook: Backyard Vegan, has a recipe for Cheesy Quesadillas that is worth the five bucks all by itself!
Fat Free Vegan
Susan Voisin is another incredibly creative cook who publishes a never ending supply of fat free/low fat vegan recipes on her blog. My favorite? Her Vegan Omelette!
This book very objectively lays out, from a purely human health perspective, why a vegan diet is optimal for human health, with particular emphasis on the damage to health done by cow's milk. The author is a PhD, the son of a dairy farmer. Early in his career he wanted to provide documented research that the health of malnourished children would improve with the addition of meat and milk, and ended up disproving that very theory, finding in his own work that plant protein is what serves the human body best. As he says in the book, explaining why he adopted a vegan diet, "I finally had to start believing my own research."
The most interesting part of the book to me, was the latter section where he documents all the road blocks he ran into once he tried to publicize his research, and share it with the general public.
back to top