When I decided to go vegan, I wasn’t worried about not purchasing leather shoes or having to check the labels of personal care products. The lifestyle aspects I could handle. I was worried about what I’d eat!
Looking back, I had no idea how broadening the “diet” aspect of veganism would be. I went vegan for ethical reasons, but I've stayed vegan because of the food. Veganism, which narrowed the scope of what I could eat, has actually expanded the range of foods that I do eat. I eat fruits and vegetables that I honestly had no idea existed before I went vegan (I’m looking at you lychee and fiddlehead). And I have an affinity for vegetables, like brussels sprouts, that I always thought I hated. I know how to press tofu, marinate tempeh, and whip up decadent desserts from legumes.
When I first started experimenting with vegan cooking, I stuck to cookbooks, adhering very closely to what was on the page. Eventually, I branched out to the online vegan community, and I found throngs of people equally enthusiastic about inventive plant-based cuisine! Now, I’m a fanatic – addicted to scrolling through gorgeous food photography and searching for new and inspired recipes!
You don't need to be interested in veganism to be excited about all of the plant-based possibilities! If you're interested in a whole new culinary world, one where banana bread calls for even more bananas, here’s where I’d suggest starting:
This is Isa Chandra’s latest cookbook, but if it’s not on the shelf don’t be disappointed. Instead look for Appetite for Reduction or Veganomicon; the two Isa books I deem worthy of purchase. She’s also authored Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It's also worth visiting her blog.
Two quick warnings: Fran Costigan's book is completely drool-inducing and the recipes can be fairly involved.
This book is divided in two sections: one for runners or athletes interested in plant-based fueling and one for vegans interested in running. No matter which you are, you'll delight in Matt Frazier's recipes for natural sports drinks, energy bars, shakes, and one-dish wonders. Matt's blog, which sports the tagline "run on plants," has been a fantastic motivating force for me. Fun fact: he recently did an AMA on Reddit.