Favorite CookbooksHappily, a new generation of plant-based writers have revolutionized the tastes of vegetables, fruits, beans, grains and herbs, using ingredients easily found in most grocery stores. No longer do plant-eaters have to limit their choices to rice and steamed vegetables!

Most of the authors listed alphabetically below have published multiple cookbooks and maintain web site(s) they use to try out new recipes. We provide some hints based on our experiences – but you should prepare to be amazed at the world of delicious, healthful, satisfying, plant-based food!


Nava Atlas

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Roasted Vegetable Salad

Nava Atlas is from the Hudson Valley and her books are filled with lush photographs, simple recipes, and clear instructions. Each book includes a detailed introduction about ingredients. Note: she uses vegetable oil in her recipes, which is easily substituted with vegetable broth for the health-conscious. Her books are available on Amazon.

Her books include:

  • Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes, September 2014. 
  • The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet: 250 Simple Recipes and Dozens of Healthy Menus for Eating Well Every Day. June 2001. 
  • The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. February 2004. 
  • Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions. November 2011. 
  • Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. January 2009. 
  • Wild About Greens: 125 Delectable Vegan Recipes for Kale, Collards, Arugula, Bok Choy, and other Leafy Veggies Everyone Loves

Ann and Jane Esselstyn

Ann Esselstyn’s Fig and Arugula Salad

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s wife (Ann) and daughter (Jane) provide plant-perfect recipes with no added vegetable oil in their The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook: Over 125 Delicious, Life-Changing, Plant-Based Recipes. September 2014. Available on Amazon.

You can watch Ann Esselstyn and her funny, no-pretension approach to cooking here (as well as get some simple ideas for eating plant-perfect).

Adhering to Dr. Esselstyn’s guidelines for the dietary treatment of heart disease, these recipes are simple to make with common ingredients, including life-saving greens. Try the Eat Loaf (page 184), Mommy’s Mushroom Gravy (page 116) and even the Kale Cake (page 257) for some tasty eating.

A few of our volunteers have been vegan for years, but they report after switching to the Esselstyn approach, they lost weight, felt more energetic, and had a great sense of well-being. It works!

Image courtesy of Ann Esselstyn.

Rip Esselstyn

E2 Wild Rice Tacos
Engine 2 Wild Rice Tacos

Triathlete and firefighter Rip Esselstyn (son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn) has made it cool to be plant-strong with his Engine 2 books. You can also find Engine 2 products at Whole Foods if you don’t want to cook. Rip tells compelling stories of changing the health of his fellow firefighters in Austin, Texas by switching them to plant-strong diets. These are the books we recommend to athletes who worry about protein (you don’t have to worry about protein on a plant-strong diet). We also love “Rip’s Big Bowl” in The Engine 2 Diet, made of a mixture of cold cereals – it is our go-to dish when we are really hungry and need something quick. Most of the recipes are by Ann and Jane Esselstyn, with some help from other friends. Rip wrote the first half of his books, explaining the rationale and history of the Engine 2 Diets.

You can also find Rip online at  or read his books below. Available on Amazon

  • The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weights, Save Your Health, December 2016.
  • The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds. February 2009. 
  • My Beef With Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet. May 2013. 

Image courtesy of Engine2.

Angela Liddon

Oatmeal power bowl
Oh She Glows Power Oatmeal Bowl

Angela Liddon has one of the most popular vegan blogs on the web. Her cookbook includes beautiful pictures and delicious recipes, including her famous Glow Bars. Once you make your own bars, we challenge you to ever be satisfied with processed bars from the grocery store. Although she uses vegetable oil in her recipes, it is easy to substitute vegetable broth for the oil if you are going for the optimal, healthful diet.

Her cookbook are available on Amazon:

  • Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-based Recipes, September 2016. 
  • The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out. March 2014. 

You can follow Angela on her web site at . Long-time followers have been entranced by her blogging about her first pregnancy and excited by the news that she is writing a second cookbook to be published in 2016.

Image courtesy of Oh She Glows.

Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Isa’s books are the funniest cookbooks around and her recipes are delicious. For example, in Isa Does It, she describes “A chunky, solid wooden cutting board. One that takes muscle to pick up. One that could knock out a burglar. A wooden cutting board that means business.” Each recipe comes with a delightful description and running commentary on how to perform different cooking techniques. Her food is the best – richly flavorful and satisfying (although, again, we substitute vegetable broth for the olive oil to good effect).

Her roots are from Brooklyn (where she talks about “my people.”) and her early cookbooks reflect her Post Punk preferences, her tattoos, and her cooking for local soup kitchens. For us middle-class, middle-aged vegans, this was a bit of a surprise. However, the fun of her cookbooks and the results of her recipes soon won us over. You can visit her web site at The Post Punk Kitchen. It is filled with fun and new recipes.

Her cookbooks are available on Amazon: 

  • Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. December 2010.  These are recipes for weight loss (and little added olive oil or fats).
  • Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week. October 2013. . This is a great, general use cookbook with plenty of pictures and an amazing introduction (including “Vegan Butchery” where you learn to cut tofu, seitan, and tempeh). We love the “bowls” or simple one-bowl meals that are wonderfully flavorful.
  • Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For—From Asparagus Omelets to Pumpkin Pancakes. May 2009. Sometimes, we plant-eaters want to enjoy a good brunch or even breakfast food for supper. This book has all the favorites in cruelty-free versions: omelets, waffles, pancakes, etc.
  • Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats. November 2009.  Cruelty-free and delicious (with too much sugar and vegetable oil to be considered healthful), this sets the standard for wonderful cookies if your emphasis is more on the ethics of eating than the health reasons for becoming vegan.
  • Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule. October 2006. We defy you to make these cupcakes, serve them to guests, and have anyone guess that they are cruelty-free. Again, these are for special treats, not everyday consumption if your goal is to eat healthfully.
  • Vegan Pie in the Sky: 75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers, and More. October 2011. Sometimes, no other thing works to show your caring than a great piece of pie. This book shows that even plant-eaters can enjoy pie in line with their commitment to plant-based eating.
  • Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Animal Free Recipes That Rock. October 2005. This gem is from Isa’s more blatant post punk rock days; it is filled with humor and wonderful recipes – not many pictures, but all the recipes are great.
  • Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. November 2007. This is the “Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook” of the vegan world – the go to place to find out most of what you want to know for standard, plant-based recipes.

Image courtesy of The Post Punk Kitchen.

Lindsay Nixon

Black bean soup
Lindsay’s Black Bean and Salsa Soup

Happy Herbivore author Lindsay Nixon has a series of cookbooks where the recipes are quick and easy, oil-free, use common ingredients, and have many recipes for 1 – 2 people. Lindsay makes use of shortcuts (for example, the recipes usually use garlic powder and onion flakes rather than peeling and cutting garlic and/or onions). If you are looking for streamlined, healthful, cruelty-free recipes, you can’t go wrong with any of Lindsay’s books.

You can visit Lindsay’s web site at where she blogs, publishes new recipes, and even has a subscription meal planning and grocery list area. In addition to cookbooks listed below, Lindsay has also written about Minimalism (decreasing the amount of things and clutter in your life which addresses the health of our planet) and other guides to healthful living. Her books are available on Amazon. 

  • Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. December 2011. 
  • Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World. December 2012. 
  • Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for your Healthiest Celebrations and Special Occasions. November 2014.
  • Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great. December 2013. 

Image courtesy of Happy Herbivore.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Colleen's cupcakes
Colleen’s cupcakes

Colleen is a blogger, podcaster, speaker, and cookbook author who communicates compassionately about the ethical issues surrounding eating animals and their secretions. She provides practical advice for living in line with your own values of kindness and compassion and she addresses some of the thorny issues surrounding being in the vegan minority. You can find her online at and on Facebook at .

Her cookbooks include many photos and go-to recipes (although she does cook with oil – we simply substitute vegetable broth for the oil). Books are available on Amazon and include:

  • Color Me Vegan: Maximize Your Nutrient Intake and Optimize Your Health by Eating Antioxidant-Rick, Fiber-Packed, Color-Intense Meals that Taste Great. November 2010. 
  • The 30-Day Vegan Challenge (New Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately. December 2014.
  • The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets. October 2007. 
  • The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasions. June 2009. 
  • Vegan’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately. April 2013