Becoming vegan (or simply incorporating more vegan meals into your family's repertoire) is easier than ever. There are literally hundreds of awesome vegan and vegan-friendly cookbooks on the market these days, with more being published due to a rise in popularity of diets that are free of animal products. Of course, for busy families on the go, it isn't enough to have vegan recipes -- they have to be kid-friendly, easy to prepare, and nutritious. The following 5 vegan cookbooks are very well-tested. I can honestly say that although I have close to 70 cookbooks, these 5 are used the most by far. Read on for 5 vegan cookbooks that are as family-friendly as they are delicious. And be sure to leave a comment with your personal picks for favorite vegan cookbook!
Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet is a cookbook and more. Filled with vegan lifestyle advice and lots of nutritional information, The Kind Diet provides a solid base for parents considering making the switch to veganism. And the recipes are awesome. We make several of them, including her rustic pasta, vegetable couscous, and peanut butter cups, on a regular basis. The food is approachable and most of it is kid-friendly (even the arame turnovers are a great and tasty intro to using sea vegetables!). Her website, The Kind Life, also has great posts as well as reader forums and virtual chat sessions on topics ranging from vegan pregnancy to cute and occasionally controversial videos of Alicia’s adorable vegan son.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are worshipped in the vegan food world for their culinary prowess, and with good reason: they create recipes from a broad variety of cultures. These creative recipes include tempeh sushi, potato and kale enchiladas, and the elusive vegan lemon bar. Moskowitz and Romero also include handy tips for prepping and substituting ingredients and their recipes include symbols denoting whether a recipe is gluten-free, how long it takes, etc (all useful info for busy vegan parents who don’t have all day to cook!). Moskowitz’s other books such as Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Brunch are also must-haves.
I had to include this cookbook because my family loves baking and making treats together (and a delicious vegan treat will wow any diner who thinks vegan food consists of just kale and tofu). This cookbook includes 150 recipes, many of which you can easily make with your kids. And despite the book being a dessert cookbook, there are a variety of healthier treats such as corn muffins and date bars and plenty of recipes for baking novices such as zucchini bread and chocolate chip cookies.
This book is not strictly vegan, but the majority of the recipes are, and the vegetarian recipes can generally be easily modified to be vegan friendly. On top of that, it is hands-down the best veggie cookbook I own. I’ve had it over 10 years, and it is falling apart from being so well-used and well-loved. The book is divided into well-planned chapters such as soups, salads, pasta dishes, and vegetarian protein sources, and further subdivided according to seasonal ingredients. The recipes are not fussy or overly time-consuming. They use healthy, whole-foods based ingredients, and they don’t rely on the common vegan cookbook downfall of using lots of highly processed vegan substitutes. I have used the vanilla cake recipe for every one of my kids’ birthday parties, and the broccoli mushroom soup is a family favorite.
The sheer number of recipes in this tome guarantees there is something in here for every vegan-leaning family. I also like this cookbook because it takes international recipes and simplifies them. What these versions may lack in authenticity, they make up for in familiarity of ingredients (ie: you don’t have to search for them in specialty stores) and taste. You get your bang for your buck from purchasing the cookbook with offerings such as vegetable spring rolls, cajun-style collards, butternut squash and wild mushroom lasagna, and spiced pumpkin smoothie.