I last wrote about new books in July, but my mailbox is once again overflowing with new vegetarian titles.

Earlier this year, Elissa Altman, an editor-at-large for publishing house Rodale, talked with trade magazine Publishers Weekly about the current “rise in vegan and vegetarian-interest cookbooks.” She predicts we’ll soon see more vegetable-centric books marketed to cooks of all stripes, not just vegetarians.

You’ll notice we’re already seeing more narrowly focused vegetarian cookbooks and books built around a single ingredient. Vegan books continue to dominate the vegetarian cookbook category.

Here’s a look at the latest titles ready to rev up our vegetarian culinary pursuits.

“But I Could Never Go Vegan: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner”

By Kristy Turner

Price: $23.95

Recipes: Vegan with gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free noted

Photos: Full-color throughout

Written by the Keepin’ It Kind blogger (who used to utter the title phrase frequently until she proved herself wrong), the book offers a chatty guide to the wide world of vegan cooking. Turner includes a number of helpful tips and charts in the beginning, covering such vegan necessities as how to make cashew cream and how to cook grains.

The book aims to show that vegan cooking is accessible, interesting and, above-all, delicious, with playful chapter titles such as “I’d Miss Pizza,” “Vegan Cooking Is Too Hard” and “Wait, Is Chocolate Vegan?” Meanwhile, the recipes cover all the basics (tempeh “bacon,” burritos, onion rings, burgers and pizza), but also offer more adventurous fare, such as Thai seitan satay with spicy peanut dipping sauce, parmesan-crusted avocado and kale Florentine with smoked paprika hollandaise and Salisbury seitan phyllo pouches with rosemary mashed potatoes.

With a closing chapter that explores how to make your own nondairy ice cream, this book covers all the vegan bases.

“Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat”

By Gena Hamshaw

Price: $19.99

Recipes: Vegan with an emphasis on raw

Photos: Full-color throughout

Blogger and nutritionist Hamshaw pulls together 125 of her mostly raw but also cooked vegan recipes that will guide raw-interested readers away from the world of detox diets and juice fasts and toward healthful, hearty food. The book is loaded with answers to common questions, myth-busting information about raw foods and details about ingredients and kitchen tools.

After covering some staples (cashew cheese, hemp milk, zucchini pasta, roasted chickpeas and kale chips), Hemshaw ranks her recipes from level 1 to 3, progressing from familiar and mostly cooked to more exotic and mostly raw. At level 1, we get sweet potato and black bean enchiladas and chickpea tofu tahini scramble (both cooked). But by level 3, the all-raw recipes include raw banana breakfast wraps, dilly raw vegan sunflower “tuna” salad and unfried vegetable rice with scallions and ginger.

She doesn’t skimp on dessert, with both raw blueberry cheesecake and no-bake tartlets with raw vegan chocolate ganache filling on the menu.

“The Complete Coconut Cookbook: 200 Gluten-Free, Grain-Free and Nut-Free Vegan Recipes Using Coconut Flour, Oil, Sugar and More”

By Camilla V. Saulsbury

Price: $24.95

Recipes: Nut-free, grain-free vegan

Photos: Three sections of full-color photos

Brimming with health benefits, coconuts are currently enjoying a much-deserved upswing in popularity. This book shows how to take advantage of the increased availability of coconut ingredients, such as oil, water, flour and sugar.

All the recipes are gluten and nut free, but Saulsbury still serves up tortillas, focaccia, pancakes, scones and even doughnuts. Equally impressive is the range of recipes. Familiar dishes get reinvented with coconut (coconut Waldorf salad; crispy coconut french fries; coconut “bacon”) while others use coconut to more original ends (red curry tempeh with pineapple; down island potato salad; smoked paprika pumpkin soup).

It all adds up to many new ways to enjoy this tropical food powerhouse.

“Going Vegan: The Complete Guide to Making a Healthy Transition to a Plant-Based Lifestyle”

By Joni Marie Newman and Gerrie Lynn Adams

Price: $24.99

Recipes: Vegan with gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, oil-free, sugar-free and salt-free noted

Photos: Full-color throughout

Written for new vegans and those thinking of making the plunge, this book first presents the health, environmental, ethical and economic reasons for plant-based eating, then serves up more than 60 recipes.

Vegans for health (Adams) and moral reasons (Newman), the pair offer up recipes for many vegan basics, such as waffles, smoky tempeh strips, veggie chili, potato salad, sloppy Joes and tacos. Plus they offer a few twists on old veggie standbys, such as falafel logs with cucumber relish and traditional beef-style simmered seitan loaf. There’s also a recipe for Italian “sausages.” Sweet eats include amaretto cupcakes, no-bake thumbprint cookies and pineapple, mango, coconut and chia seed pudding.

“Honestly Healthy for Life: Eating the Alkaline Way Every Day”

By Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson

Price: $29.95

Recipes: Vegetarian with vegan noted

Photos: Full-color with most recipes

Written by the owners of the U.K. vegetarian home meal delivery company Honestly Healthy, this book dives into the thinking behind “eating predominantly alkaline foods” – which include leafy greens, quinoa, chia, buckwheat, lentils and garlic. The more than 100 recipes also occasionally call for small amounts of eggs, grains (except wheat) and goat’s milk.

Dishes include asparagus frittata, Bircher muesli, Sav’s nut roast, vegetable crumble in a creamy thyme sauce, masala roasted root vegetables, mince meat pies and melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts. The book ends with a selection of herbal teas and hangover cures, because the authors advocate balance, saying “you should be able to have a little of what you love.”

“OATrageous Oatmeals: Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes from This Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain”

By Kathy Hester

Price: $19.99

Recipes: Vegan, with soy-free and gluten-free recipes noted

Photos: Full-color throughout

This is the kind of book that makes you want to spend the next month eating nothing but oats. After reading it, I know it would be possible. “OATrageous Oatmeals” starts with recipes for a handful of staples, such as creamy cashew-oat cream cheese and DIY oat cheese powder, and ends with recipes for things like oat-based dog biscuits and bath scrubs. In between, Hester brings oats into every meal, season and, seemingly, style of cuisine.

Breakfast starts with lemon raspberry “cheesecake” oatmeal, caramel delight oatmeal, bourbon-scented pecan granola and blackberry mojito overnight refrigerator oats. For later in the day, the book serves up Creole red beans quinoa oat groats, oat-bury steaks, tempeh oat Brussels sprout scramble and cauliflower oat pizza crust. The dessert section does include the requisite cookies and crumbles, but also offers recipes for turtle oat truffles and shortbread.

“Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals”

By Dina Cheney

Price: $19.95

Recipes: Vegetarian with vegan recipes noted

Photos: Full-color throughout

A growing rarity in today’s cookbook market, this book dishes up 85 vegetarian recipes that don’t shy away from eggs, cheese or butter. A recipe developer for Fine Cooking and the author of three other cookbooks, chef Cheney’s expertise shows in her preparation tips sprinkled throughout the text.

Her recipes are familiar and approachable. Breakfast choices include scrambled eggs with chives and mushroom-maple bundles or roasted two-potato hash with poached eggs. Lunch keeps things light with recipes for banh mi sandwiches with tempeh; egg salad tartines with fresh radish, basil and watercress; and zucchini fritters with fresh mint and pecorino. Dinner closes the book with offerings that include beet Wellington with Pinot Noir sauce; Mexican shepherd’s pie with black beans and yams; and four-cheese mac and cheese with smoked paprika and garlic-thyme breadcrumbs.

“Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes”

By Nava Atlas

Price: $29.99

Recipes: Vegan

Photos: Full-color throughout

The author of 10 vegetarian cookbooks (the first published in 1984), Atlas’ latest work is a comprehensive guide to cooking and eating vegan. First she offers a number of insightful tips and strategies for busy people looking to eat vegan food (such as “Top Ten Make-Aheads to Get You Through the Week” and “Five Easy Ways to Eat More Leafy Greens”). As a busy mom herself, Atlas aims for “familiar-sounding names and easy techniques,” rather than special occasion, restaurant-style recipes.

The result is flexible, fast meals with numerous substitution suggestions, such as tofu and veggie scramble (with 10 variations), Thai-flavored salad wraps (with a five-part guide to salad wrap variations) and sizzling fajitas (with three variations). Other recipes include quick quinoa paella, barbecue-flavored chickpea sandwiches and spicy eggplant in garlic sauce. It’s a fresh approach to eating vegetables in a flash.

“Superfoods for Life, Cacao”

By Matt Ruscigno, M.P.H., R.D., with Joshua Ploeg

Price: $18.99

Recipes: Vegan

Photos: Full-color throughout

Part of the “Superfoods for Life” series, this edition will please chocolate-lovers, but it’s really geared to cooks looking to up the amount of phytochemicals and antioxidants in their meals. The authors claim that of all the so-called superfoods, cacao is the easiest to incorporate into a wide-range of dishes. As chef Ploeg writes: “It works wonders in unexpected places and combines with old partners in new and innovative ways.”

Yes, there are mole, chocolate pudding and pain au chocolat among the 75 recipes. The surprises come with dishes such as green beans amandine with dark chocolate, triple chocolate bruschetta and cocoa Buffalo tempura vegetables. There’s even a savory pizza recipe that calls for adding cocoa powder to the dough and the sauce and then dropping slices of dark chocolate over the veggies. Who knew superfood could be so decadant?

“Vegan Casseroles: Pasta Bakes, Gratins, Pot Pies, and More”

By Julie Hasson

Price: $20

Recipes: Vegan with gluten-free noted

Photos: Full-color throughout

Americans have a love-hate relationship with casseroles: We love the memories they conjure of home and family but we hate the greasy gravy, the multiple sticks of butter and the canned ingredients. Hasson wants us to fall in love again. The author of eight cookbooks who recently launched a line of gluten-free, vegan baking mixes called Julie’s Original, Hasson seeks to give this ultimate comfort food a make-over. She does it by mostly sticking to scratch cooking (a few recipes call for things like tater tots and vegan cheese shreds) while keeping prep times to a minimum.

Of course she serves up recipes for green bean casserole, mac and cheese and zucchini basil lasagna. But she surprises with recipes such as baked sweet potato and apple casserole, olive and sun-dried tomato quiche with hash brown crust and aloo gobi. Desserts include baked coconut rice pudding and blueberry peach skillet pie.

The secret to a health-conscious casserole, Hasson tells us, lies in the sauce. She dishes out a full chapter on sauces.

Avery Yale Kamila is a freelance food writer who lives in Portland, Maine. She can be reached at:

[email protected]

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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