Today I'm supposed to write/talk about what cookbook(s) inspired me most. Seriously? This is like Sophie's Choice! I have so many cookbooks. Not all of them are vegan. You know for a long time I've taken to picking up cookbooks at thrifts that I think have great potential to veganize the recipes. I also have scored some amazing all vegan cookbooks at thrifts for pennies. A few that come right to mind are Nava Atlas' book Vegan Holiday Kitchen, The Vegan Lunchbox Around the World, another copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (which I gave away to someone looking for it), and even The Garden of Vegan. Total scores!
While we were in Utah, we went to a thrift shop (of course) in search of cookbooks (of course) and I walked out with another Moosewood cookbook that I didn't have, as well as an all vegan cookbook, total spent $1.50.
When we arrived here, I came armed with a binder of recipes that were written exclusively for me by a professional chef. It's called a 10 day cycle menu. The teacher/chef taught me all the recipes as part of my training. I still use those core recipes, but other than that binder the only other books I had were my mom's typed out tiny recipe collection (still missing since Irma), and the Betty Crocker cookbook. Ok, maybe there were 1 or 2 other books tossed in there, but nothing else comes to mind at present. Flash forward, I now have over 200 cookbooks plus 3 large binders crammed full of my own recipes. It's not elitist trust me. These books are research for me, entertainment, and beneficial to my own business. Most have come from thrifting. I think of all the authors, I love Isa the best, at least I seem to reach for her books the most. Last year for this topic I spoke about the Vegan Black Metal Chef's "The Seitanic Spellbook." I still recommend that book for sure. Now with the solidification of the Internet as a large part of so many of our lives, it's just too easy to go on line, pick keywords and poof up pops 20,000 recipes for a donut right?
Before I get to the books I feature, I do want to say I love the Vegan 8 blog and facebook page, and It Doesn't Take Like Chicken gets high marks from me as well. When someone is a new(er) vegan, I like to recommend Chloe Coscarelli's books because they have basic easy to find ingredients, contain photos of the food, and I've never ever found a typo in any of the recipes I've used (and yes, I've used her books often as well, especially her first one Chloe's Kitchen).
Now, I've rambled so here's the deal. Here are 2 books that most kitchens would benefit from, and certainly my own kitchen really benefits from having on site.
|Wait, what? These aren't cookbooks so what gives?|
The book on the right is one I used to keep in my massage studio when I first picked it up. This way I could look up ingredients if people had skin allergies or were taking certain things that maybe I didn't know about. A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients lost its place in my studio years ago, and migrated to the kitchen. It's gotten quite a workout through the years, trust me. This is an older version, I'm certain there are updates. For someone like me who has seen so many people through the years with so many sensitives and outright allergies, this book is mandatory. Some of you may be shocked at how many "cosmetic" additives and ingredients are actually used in food (another reason to stick as much as possible with real food, not processed). I would also suggest any home that has children should have a copy of this book. The one on the left is self-explanatory. For all the cooking and baking I do, and all the knowledge I've acquired with this work I do, I still reach for that substitutions book a fair amount of time. I find it's really beneficial for me living here because at times we are just so darn limited in what's available in the stores (especially now in the off season).
Both of these books are not cookbooks, but short of someone living the raw lifestyle I cannot think of anyone else who's kitchen likely wouldn't benefit from one or both of these.
Tomorrow I'm coming at you with a video. Brace yourself!
Vegan love, as always.