By Elizabeth Brion
When I went vegan in 1988, there were, as far as I could tell, only two vegan cookbooks in existence. I probably made every recipe in them at least a few dozen times. Thankfully, things are very different today. It's nearly impossible to keep up with the hundreds and hundreds of vegan cookbooks that have been released over the last decade or so. To help you narrow down which you should buy, here's a list of 2020 vegan cookbooks that we're most looking forward to. Whether you're looking to stop supporting the horrific treatment of sensitive and intelligent animals in animal agriculture, start helping to preserve what remains of our natural environment, or improve your own health (or hey, why not all three?), these cookbooks will help make it simple—and delicious—to do so.
BOSH!: Healthy Vegan
BOSH! is the biggest and fastest-growing plant-based food channel on the web, reaching more than 25 million people—and in this case, 25 million people definitely aren't wrong. Henry Firth and Ian Theasby reliably come up with crave-worthy, imaginative recipes that are easy and fun to follow. This is their third cookbook, which will be focused on healthier fare, and it hits stores on January 28.
Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes
A new cookbook from James Beard Award–winning chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry is always excellent news, and when it's his first in nearly six years, it's a save-the-date occasion (February 11, for the record). Terry's recipes are healthy, innovative, and intensely flavorful. A few I'm looking forward to are Barbecued Carrots with Slow-Cooked White Beans, Citrus & Garlic-Herb-Braised Fennel, and Caramelized Leek & Seared Mushroom Toast.
Eat for the Planet Cookbook
This follow-up to the eye-opening 2018 book Eat for the Planet contains animal- and planet-friendly recipes from a host of top vegan chefs, restaurants, and companies—even a few from our PETA coworkers! If you're not familiar with the devastating effect of animal agriculture on our planet, this book will bring you up to speed and show you how to counter it without sacrificing flavor.
So Vegan in 5 Ingredients
A number of books have focused on vegan recipes with five or fewer ingredients, but this one by Roxy Pope and Ben Pook caught my attention when I saw a recipe for five-ingredient, from-scratch ravioli. I know, right? Other intriguing options include Rich Ragu, Super Squash Sheet Pan Bake, and Grilled Cinnamon Plums.
Southern Vegan: Delicious Down-Home Recipes for Your Plant-Based Diet
A totally objective fact: Vegan comfort food based on traditions of the American South is the best thing in the world. Thanks to Lauren Hartmann—the creator of the Rabbit and Wolves website—even if you're not lucky enough to live near a restaurant specializing in this cuisine, you can now make beignets, chicken biscuits, pot pies, jalapeño hushpuppies, and Mississippi mud cheesecake without harming any animals.
Love Is Served: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes From Southern California
Although it started out in San Francisco, Café Gratitude is probably the most Southern California restaurant in Southern California: All of its dish names are positive self-affirmations. It's a cute gimmick that's backed up with seriously legit food. Now you can serve its most beloved recipes—including "I Am Warm-Hearted" (grilled polenta with mushroom ragout), "I Am Gracious" (sundried tomato pesto grain salad), and "I Am Passionate" (black lava cake)—in your own home. Whether you require your family to say, "Could you please pass the 'I Am Fearless'?" is totally up to you.
Gluten-Free, Vegan Cooking in Your Instant Pot: 65 Delicious Whole Food Recipes for a Plant-Based Diet
Kathy Hester is the author of a number of specialized vegan cookbooks. Her books on recipes for air fryers and slow cookers are well-worn favorites at my house, and if you're one of the many people who have simplified their cooking routines with an Instant Pot, I'm sure this book will be similarly indispensable for you. The vegan, gluten-free recipes range from Chickpeas and Dumplings and Veggie Hunter's Lentil Quinoa Stew to from-scratch yogurt and sliceable cheese and Almond Berry Cake.
Wait, That’s Vegan?!: Plant-Based Meatballs, Burgers, Steaks and Other Dishes You Thought You’d Never Eat Again!
Full disclosure: I was drawn to this book because the first part of the title is something people say to me all the time. This cookbook from first-time author and plant-based nutritionist Lisa Dawn Angerame focuses on delicious vegan versions of familiar dishes such as meatballs, burgers, pasta with Bolognese sauce, and egg salad. It's a great option for new and aspiring vegans who are worried that they'll have to eat strange new food—or for experienced vegans who still sometimes crave the flavors of their childhood.
Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant-Based Meal Prep: Weekly Meal Plans and Recipes to Streamline Your Vegan Lifestyle
Cookbooks often say that they're designed for busy people, but I've never been more confident that's actually true than when I read that Jackie Sobon's upcoming one includes the category "Car Breakfasts." In addition to recipes, the book contains shopping lists, checklists, and a step-by-step guide for making prep day as efficient as possible. In short, I really need this book. Maybe you do, too.
Reposted with permission from PETA.
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The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.