My favorite story of starting out with this vegan thing is my chef husband coming home from work, taking a look at the kitchen island just loaded with stuff and saying ‘Well, you GOT me! I have no clue what we are having for dinner tonight. I had so many items, sacks, cans, bottles and spices up on top of that counter you see there, that you could not see the counter.
I was completely deer in headlights. As my training with Hippocrates progressed, things got much easier but at the beginning, I was challenged. I had been vegetarian before, but losing cheese made things hard for me. What do I fix that my meat and dairy dining chef husband will find appealing? At the beginning, I would spend 4 hours just figuring out what to make. My complete meltdown over this, was actually the start of this blog. I had been laid off work so I had time to both study all day and look online for the best tools to incorporate this lifestyle. The thought was on things that made it easier so that when I returned to full-time work again, I could still maintain a mostly raw vegan plant-based lifestyle with the least drama. I have posts on best tools, blenders, mixers, juicers (see categories) But today we will focus on some fabulous cookbooks that saved my vegan arse. 🙂
The stores and many restaurants are getting far more vegan-friendly than ever before, with people understanding what vegan means and creating vegan products that are healthy and quick. A lot of this lifestyle simply gets down to planning ahead. And while shopping has gotten much easier, there will still be soaking of beans, or sprouts, growing wheatgrass etc. Firstly, honor who you are, your lifestyle, but don’t be afraid to branch out a bit. while single, I watched this old film with Jack Lemmon in it called How To Murder Your Wife. I KNEW that was how I wanted to live and eventually met and married a chef. He is not my ‘man’ who keeps house etc but the food!!! I cooked something perhaps 5 times a year. So I am not a culinary expert or one who is great in the kitchen. Therefore, if I can do this, I KNOW that you can too! So honor yourself and your interests and time constraints, but also try to be open to making some pantry items, especially the nut-milks because they are oh so easy and much fresher with all their vitamins and natural enzymes having not been pasteurized (cold or hot still affects the food). And on this note I want to point out that you really want to make small batches of stuff. We really forget that while Pasteurization kills off the natural goodness of food, the enzymes and vitamins, it also has a benefit of a far longer shelf life. Your nut milk will last about 7 days tops. It will get sour and you’ll be tossing it out. For my home, that means I make 2 cups of nut milk for the week. It is really easy to make so it isn’t much drama to get a handful of nuts out to soak for a few hours or overnight and then process them (see my nut milk recipe). You will feel truly great about knowing your foods you prep yourself will have all of their natural vitamins and enzymes.
My Go To Cookbooks!
I have incorporated links into the book titles for shopping ease and also, as an affiliate for Amazon, I earn a tiny commission for any referrals so I appreciate your support. You don’t pay any different price, I just get a small reward for turning you on to some groovy stuff.
Firstly I love my butter and cheese. Really not much of a milk person but do like a bit in my tea and sometimes a recipe calls for it. Yoghurt is in a few of the recipes and in my smoothies I make so I decided to get Miyoko Schinner’s The Homemade Vegan Pantry, the Art of Making Your Own Staples so that I could prep my favourite things fresh at home. Some of these items you can find at Whole Foods or other natural grocers nearby, but the more you plan ahead, the more control you will have over flavor and quality of ingredients but also the less stressed you will be trying to find something in a store because you will own the power to make it at home.
Oh this lady is funny! Ann Hodgman’s Vegan Food For The Rest Of Us is just great! She had me at Vodka Tomatoes. I am always in search of cocktail snacks beyond hummus and organic chips. Now I am inspired!
Vegan For Everybody has mac and cheese made with a cashew base, but I also enjoy their tortilla soup and so easy to make!
Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon – I am probably dating myself here, but I have the original Betty book from my mother, from the 50’s. So naturally, I snapped this puppy up when I saw it because that old book has been a great staple.
THUG Kitchen – You have to have a tolerance for a wee bit of potty mouth, but if you do, this book is a laugh riot as you are meal planning or in the throes of mixing, prepping and cooking.
Live Raw by chef Mimi Kirk who is 75. Don’t think I really need to say anything else here.
Hippocrates is not big on sugar. Sugar is an AVOID. That stated everyone has their treats or path on this thing called vegan. And I just had to try the cashew cheesecake…Raw Cake cookbook, What’s not to love?