Honestly, most people know how to make meat taste pretty good—it’s the vegetables that give us a hard time. I hated vegetables up until my early adulthood when I learned that the world of vegetable cookery included more than boiling.
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
This book is essentially an encyclopedia of vegetarian cooking (for those who grew up reading encyclopedias). If you are looking for one book that covers almost everything vegetarian, this is probably my favorite. I recommend it to almost all of my patients.
The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley
I randomly saw this book in a small bookstore in Hyde Park. I flipped through the first couple of pages and quickly realized it was a must buy. The book highlights classic cook techniques and applies them to simple, plant- based dishes. This book inspired some of the recipes on my site
Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry
If I had to make a list of young people who inspire me, Bryant Terry would be on there without any hesitation. His book takes a plant-based twist on familiar soul food dishes. Besides having soulful recipes, the book also highlights soulful songs to go along with each recipe. The song playlist for each recipe blew my mind (boom!). For me, as a former DJ and a person with family roots in the deep south, this book and several of his other books are personal favorites.
Super natural every day by Heidi Swanson
Heidi Swanson has had one of the most successful food blogs on the internet for years. The premise of her blog, 101 Cookbooks, is that she essentially started cooking the recipes in all of the cookbooks she collected over the years. When I first read about her, I looked at my bookshelf and saw a ridiculous amount of cookbooks. I saw all those books and thought I should try to do the same thing. I’ve made several recipes from her book. These recipes are virtually perfect for trying to eat healthy.
The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
One of the dietitians I work with bought me this book as a gift. I frequently visit Atlanta so I know of Hugh Acheson from the Georgia food scene. I’ve also seen him on top chef. I’ve bought books from celebrity chefs and have been underwhelmed. This book is a treasure chest of creative ideas for approaching veggies. The recipes strike a balance between elegant and rustic. It’s some weird combination of simple, fancy, and farm-to-table. If you want to step up your vegetable game, this is a must have.
Engine 2 Cookbook by Rip Esselstyn
Rip Esselstyn is a firefighter and the son of notable plant-based diet advocate, Dr. Caldwell Esselsyn. His book is a great jumpstart for the looking to adopt more of a vegetarian diet. The book’s meal plan makes it a standout selection.
Forks Over Knives The Cookbook by Del Sroufe
Forks Over Knives is the quintessential documentary promoting whole food plant-based diets. The cookbook is just as powerful. When a family member of mine had a mild heart attack, I recommended that he watch the movie and consider more of a whole foods plant based diet. I gave him this book to help him get started.
The Whole 30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig
The Whole 30 Cookbook is more than just a a book, it is a way of life. The book is 30 day blueprint for avoiding processed foods and eating only whole foods (not the store). It is perfect for flexitarians and omnivores. It is more than a collection of recipes. It gives strategies for eating out, shopping, and stocking your kitchen.
The Biggest Loser Cookbook by Devin Alexander
The Biggest Loser Cookbook is the brainchild of Chef Devin Alexander and the experts from the hit TV show of the same name. The book features quick and simple recipes that helped the contestants on the show lose weight.