Michael Pollan sums up how we should eat in the simplest possible way, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Those are wise words to live by. It doesn’t mean you can’t take a ridiculous burger to the face every now and then, but in between it’s probably best to eat some real, unprocessed, plant-based foods.
These days, it’s easy to find a wicked vegetarian or vegan meal at a restaurant. But if you don’t have the cash, you have to rely on your own kitchen, pantry, and skills to make something awesome. The good news is that it’s a great time to be a vegetarian or vegan cook. The culture is moving away from the over-processed and suspect faux meats of Morningstar Farms and the seitans of the world. What we’re seeing now are whole plant-based dishes and plant forward dishes with wide-ranging influences.
I run a kitchen. Four out of seven days that kitchen is vegetarian. The rest of the time we’re eating organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free animal proteins along with the veggies and grains. Call it flexitarian. Call it omnivorous. Labels don’t matter when the food is awesome for you. So let’s leave the judgement at the door and enjoy this list of essential vegetarian and vegan cookbooks that every cook ought to own.