Below are a list of resources that I've found invaluable in my vegan lifestyle.
Fat Free Vegan
Probably THE best on-line resource anywhere is Susan Voisin’s FatFreeVegan blog. Susan is an absolute WHIZ at creating FANTASTICALLY delicious, no fat, vegan dishes. Some no added fat recipes that I’ve run across taste, well .... low fat. No substance, not filling, etc.
Not Susan’s ... I don’t know how she does it, but the first thing you’ll notice about every one of her recipes is how absolutely FULL and BURSTING with flavor they are. She really has a talent for creating dishes you’ll make over and over again.
Additionally, her photography is drop dead fabulous!!
You can sign up to be emailed each time she has a new post, or sign up via RSS feed. Additionally, her site has an option to create your own RECIPE BOX. Just register (it’s free), and then whenever you find a recipe you like on her site, add it to YOUR RECIPE BOX, and you’ll always have that group of recipes (with links) available.
She posts about once a week or so.
Some of my favorites from her site:
- Vegan Omelette
- Hashbrown Casserole
- Pasta and Vegetables in White Sauce
- Easy Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce
If you love greens, or want to get yourself to eat more greens, DO check out her Wild About Greens. You'll not find a more GORGEOUS cookbook ... this is one that is just fun to READ, even if you never cook from it!! (But it will get you so excited about eating greens you WILL find yourself cooking from it!!)
Nava Atlas also puts out a weekly newsletter; you can sign up for to have recipes delivered to your email address.
Here's a link to pictures on my SmugMug site of some of her recipes that I make all the time.
Bryanna Clark Grogan
Any of Bryanna Clark Grogan's cookbooks will be a wonderful addition to a vegan bookshelf. Bryanna has a gift of creating very unique, utterly tasty, vegan recipes out of all kinds of ingredients. She will introduce you to a wide variety of foods and flavorings.
The cookbooks of hers I use the most are:
- The Fiber for Life Cookbook Her Crispy Whole Grain Waffles recipe is in this book, the only waffle recipe I make these days!
- Nonna's Italian Kitchen is another of Bryanna's cookbooks that I use frequently. Her Stuffed Crepe recipe, found in this book, was one of Vegan.com's Top 10 recipes of 2008. It is a recipe I often use for company.
- 20 Minutes to Dinner: Quick, Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Vegetarian Meals is another of her cookbooks that sees frequent use.
- Authentic Chinese Cuisine: For the Contemporary Kitchen is an amazing cookbook. This cookbook, along with Nonna's, shows the depth of research that Bryanna does with each cookbook. In this cookbook she talks about the regional differences in Chinese cooking, and presents the reader a wonderful variety of Chinese recipes.
Click here to see photos of some of her dishes that I've made.
Bryanna also has a wealth of recipes available on her blog.
Bryanna's website is also a treasure trove of information on all things vegan. She has one of the most complete and thoroughly researched sections on the safety of eating soy anywhere I've seen.
Along with Bryanna, Joanne has some of the best vegan cheese recipes around, including cheese spreads, dips, sauces, and cheesecakes. Her Uncheese Cookbook as well as the newer The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook are frequently referenced books in my kitchen. I've run across various vegan "grilled cheese" recipes, but hers are the ones I use time and time again. Her cheesecakes are the most decadent, wonderful desserts you'll ever find!
For drop-dead-fabulous, calorie laden sweets, look no further than any of Hannah's cookbooks:
- Vegan Desserts: Sumptuous Sweets for Every Season
- Vegan a la Mode: More Than 100 Frozen Treats for Every Day of the Year
- Easy As Vegan Pie: One-of-a-Kind Sweet and Savory Slices
- My Sweet Vegan: Passionate About Dessert
Hannah also has a blog where she posts one or two recipes each week. Most recipes are desserts, but she also features breads, dips, and other dishes occasionally. For all the sweets she creates, it blows me away how skinny she stays!!
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the two Vegan Chefs workshops (Vegetarian Awakening) held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2006 and 2007. Chef Kevin Dunn pulled together a wealth of vegan chefs for 2 day workshops in those two years. Attending Fran's session in 2007 is when I suddenly realized vegan baking is a piece of cake (pun intended) !! I had always used traditional recipes that had dairy milk and eggs in them to make cakes, cookies, etc, using various egg replacers in lieu of the eggs. The results were always quite disappointing in taste.
Fran showed us that you don't need any special ingredients to make fabulous vegan desserts; you just need to start with a VEGAN recipe, rather than trying to adapt a non-vegan one. Her More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts cookbook is a resource I use frequently. Her "signature" Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake (which is in that cookbook) is one I make frequently.
Dr. John McDougall is one of the most inspiring, dynamic folks I've met. As an MD, he is totally committed to the vegan way of eating, but you'll never hear him use that word. He refers to it as plant based way of eating. His goal in life is to show folks that a plant based way of eating is within the reach of everyone. His recipes are quick and easy to make, and utilize (almost exclusively) easy to obtain, regular grocery store items, usually focusing on canned and frozen products. Few of his recipes take more than 30 minutes to make.
As a physician, he is committed to a plant based way of eating, focusing primarily on its health promoting issues. He fervently believes that eating whole plant based foods, with no added oils is the way to avoid (or cure) the chronic health conditions seen in so many people today. As a registered nurse myself, working in a rural area, where animal products make up the base of just about every meal, I see day in and day out the effects of what Dr. McDougall talks about in his monthly newsletters.
His newsletters are free, and available on-line. Each issue has one or two articles written by him, and always ends with 5 or 6 recipes created by his wife Mary. Her recipes have helped me get over my misconception that foods have to have SOME fat in them to taste good. My favorite so far? The Layered Bean and Potato Casserole.
Happy Herbivore Cookbooks
Lindsay Nixon (The "Happy Herbivore") has published several cookbooks. Two that I use regularly are her "Everyday Happy Herbivore" and "The Happy Herbivore Cookbook". Both cookbooks feature easy to fix vegan recipes, that pretty much all use only regular, grocery store type of ingredients. All her recipes have no added fat.
This book very objectively lays out, from a purely human health perspective, why a vegan diet is optimal for human health, with particular emphasis on the damage to health done by cow's milk. The author is a PhD, the son of a dairy farmer. Early in his career he wanted to provide documented research that the health of malnourished children would improve with the addition of meat and milk, and ended up disproving that very theory, finding in his own work that plant protein is what serves the human body best. As he says in the book, explaining why he adopted a vegan diet, "I finally had to start believing my own research."
The most interesting part of the book to me, was the latter section where he documents all the road blocks he ran into once he tried to publicize his research, and share it with the general public.