While there must be an infinite number of ways to harness the power of Google to find the best plant-based recipe books out there, a simple search for the “top plant-based recipe books” for 2018 and 2019 returns a list of 18 publications, each featuring between 1 and 18 recipe books. Quite a list!
What Is a Plant-Based Diet?
Before we dive into these search results, let’s first find the answer to the question: “What is a plant-based diet?” Many attempts have been made to define this clearly. Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN at Harvard Medical School best describes it as focused “on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.” Bear in mind that the vegan recipe books reviewed for this article all offer outstanding plant-based recipes. However, being vegan, some of them might include items not typically found in a plant-based diet like sugar and other refined products that no longer resemble their original plant form.
And the Results Are In!In the quest to come up with the list of six plant-based recipe books, each book had to meet the following criteria:
- Be available on Amazon
- Awarded least 4.5 stars in the reviews
- Reviewed by at least 200 customers
- The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot: 80 Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes That You Can Make in Half the Time (2017 – 208 reviews)
- Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed (2014 – 254 reviews)
- Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes (2016 – 509 reviews)
- Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week (2013 – 825 reviews)
- The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out (2014 – 1,874 reviews)
- Forks Over Knives―The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year (2012 – 2,251 reviews)
Del Sroufe, the man behind some of the mouthwatering meals in the landmark documentary of the same name, proves that the Forks Over Knives philosophy is not about what you can’t eat, but what you can. Chef Del and his collaborators transform wholesome fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes into hundreds of recipes—classic and unexpected, globally and seasonally inspired. Every meal of the day is covered, all throughout the year.
Now, you could be impulsive and order all six books at the same time from Amazon and have them delivered in a matter of days. This collection would cost you between $60 and $90, depending on whether you got the Kindle, softcover, or hardcover versions, or even used copies. However, the sense of being overwhelmed and thinking “Where do I start” would be a huge negative factor of doing it this way. You could instead start at the bottom of the list with the popular classic, Forks Over Knives, and its more than 300 plant-based recipes. However, the Best Reviews Guide suggests that Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking (#3 above) represents a “Best Value,” so this might be the place to start. While you are on this journey, don’t forget to also look our recipe books available from Hallelujah Diet. They are full of plant-based recipes that you will not find in any other of the books highlighted in this article. With your first book, you have made a great start on this journey, and with all the newfound options you are discovering, are well positioned to keep building and expanding not only that wonderful recipe book collection but also your healthy way of life!