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Tell VT: Best Book for a Vegetarian Newbie?


Tell VT: What’s the first book you’d recommend to a friend going vegetarian and why?

Share your answer below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times magazine.

July/August 2012

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I am a transitioning vegetarian, single and living in a southern college town. I love VT magazine articles, but have a hard time cooking just for myself. Freezing foods, not sure of yet. Can you help with some recipes for single tight-budgeted, international-loving single veggie newbie? Thanks.

Enya Coleman - 2016-03-12 19:16:29

The China Study.

Margret Cooper - 2014-10-26 20:38:34

I had been eating less and less meat over time. Last November I threw out all our meat one night and the next morning I was a vegetarian. I since subscribed to VT in Dec. and purchased and/or received as Christmas gifts (from my meat eating family)Vegetarian cookbooks. Mu absolute favorite is the Vegetarian Bible. It has so much information on nutrition and essentials which are so important to ensuring protein and vitamin needs are met. I would welcome more info on food storage..hint hint.

Victoria Connor - 2014-02-02 14:06:40

Gourmet Grains: Main Dishes Made of Nature by Candia Lea Cole has been a staple in my cupboard for 20 years. Candia will step into your heart and hearth by explaining the origin of the grains and easy delicious recipes from all over the world. It's a book that is excellent for beginners and veterans alike.

NJG - 2013-11-17 17:55:43

Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman because it's food you are familiar with and going vegetarian doesn't have to mean salad all day! This book contains over 500 recipes from the healthiest cuisine. I've not made all 500 yet, but in the many many I have tried, not one failed me. I cannot say that about any other cookbook - and I have a lot of them. My family isn't vegetarian but I'm the cook and many times they don't even know that it is a meatless meal. The Pasta e Fagiole in this book beats any meat version I've tried.

Alison - 2013-04-22 21:06:38

vegetarian cooking for everyone by deborah madison. It is my favorite cookbook. It's a straightforward cookbook as opposed to a lets take everything meat based and convert it to vegetarian book. Also has many culinary lessons in it.Some people have mentioned crestent dragonwagon's book, i have it and it's not for me. It really depends on your cooking style and what you prefer. I prefer, simple,fresh, non-confusing,affordable , from scratch, and clearly defined recipies not requiring the whole refrigerator's condiment section and lots of extra steps. Happy Cooking future vegetarians.:-) Oh and for indian food julie sahni's classic indian vegeterian and grain cooking and lord krishna's cuisine by yamuna devi. Good luck.:-)

Abigail McElroy - 2013-02-06 16:52:23

I teach vegetarian cooking, and recommend Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian to all my students. It's very clearly written, the dishes are all accessible, and he gives lots of variations.

Lisa Porntoff - 2012-10-10 16:57:04

For a beginner: How It All Vegan, Garden of Vegan, and La Dolce Vegan all have quick, easy-to follow recipes without too many out-of-the ordinary ingedients. My very first vegetarian cookbook was The Moosewood Cookbook, gifted to me at age 14 by my very progressive next door neighbor. It was a little complicated for a total cooking novice, but I still have a few favorites from that book.

Allison - 2012-09-29 06:42:25

Best book on health and plant-based diet:"The China Study" by Dr. Colin Campbell. Best book on animal rts: "Dominion" by Matthew Scully. "It is not just the killing---------"

Pat Volk - 2012-09-20 00:47:21

I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian but I have always been interested in swirving into veganism, I just didn't know where to begin. "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz serves as a platform for vegetarians and vegans alike, and makes adjusting to vegan simple. Though this cookbook is not strictly vegetarian, the recipes can easily adapted to any diet. Not only are her recipes easy to follow, witty, and scrumptious, but the cookbook also serves as an exciting and humorous read.

Krista Gray - 2012-09-19 13:08:41

When I decided to become a vegan at the age of 12, my parents didn't have a clue how to cook for me. I got tired of living off salads and side dishes at our family meals and had to learn to cook for myself. For my birthday they gave me a copy of How It All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Bernard, a cookbook that started its life as a zine by a couple of vegan punk rocker self-taught home cooks, and this book changed my life. It's more than just a cookbook - it's more like veganism 101, offering an introduction into the vegan philosophy, survival tips for new vegans, an index of substitutes that can be used to customize or veganize recipes, insight into living a cruelty-free lifestyle, and even a few useful DIY craft ideas. The approach is super accessible, the writing and presentation are sassy and fun, and the recipes are diverse, tasty, simple, and easy enough for a 12-year-old to make. I taught myself to cook from this cookbook, and I'm still using it now, 14 years later.

Carrie Davies - 2012-09-19 03:57:28

Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragoneagon is the first vegetarian cookbook I bought. This book is exceptionally well written with familiar and not so familiar dishes. My family has loved everything I have made out of this cookbook.

Jan Carron - 2012-09-19 02:56:53

Vegetarian Delights of Indian Cuisine: Published by the Hindu Temple of Rochester, NY. This book is great because the recipes are simple and incorporates vegetables native to N.America into Traditional Indian cuisine.

Radhika - 2012-09-19 02:56:28

My favorite is The New Laurel's Kitchen cookbook. There must be new editions by now but the authors are Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal. I have used it so often that the spine is held together by tape. Lots of recipes, and dialogue about them. I love it and refer to it a lot.

Karen Dubrinsky - 2012-09-19 01:26:22

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. 'nuf said.

JMM - 2012-09-19 01:03:37