These versatile, veggie-forward recipe collections can help anyone eat more plants.
You can't argue against the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables. Even if you don't entirely cut out animal products, simply cutting back can lead to improvements in heart health, diabetes risk, and energy levels. Swapping in more produce could even lead to weight loss, if you're looking to shed a few pounds.
But, like any meal plan, vegetarian eating can start to feel same-old same-old if you don't have an army of exciting new recipes to try. Thankfully, there are countless vegetarian cookbooks just waiting to be discovered. Here are a few of our favorites.
'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' by Mark Bittman
Bittman's tome to vegetarian eating was considered a breakthrough when it was first published more than 10 years ago. Now, in a 10th anniversary edition, it's more relevant than ever–and more drool-worthy, too, thanks to brand-new color photos.
'Plenty More' by Yotam Ottolenghi
One might have thought it'd be tough to repeat the success of London chef Ottoloenghi's first vegetarian cookbook, Plenty. But this follow-up packs 150 more vegetarian dishes that don't skimp on flavor. Organized by cooking method, omnivores can pick their favorite way to cook produce and explore new possibilities.
'Dirt Candy: A Cookbook' by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey
The first time I had the pleasure of dining at Dirt Candy in New York City, I was blown away by the creativity of the dishes. I'll never forget my first bite of the Broccoli Dogs, broccoli stalks delightfully smoky and satisfying nestled in a hot dog bun. Dirt Candy is where I learned I could actually enjoy beets. Now you don't have to visit the restaurant to push the boundaries of vegetarian eating; sample some of Cohen's inventive recipes at home instead.
'Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian' by Madhur Jaffrey
Here you'll find loads of variations on vegetarian staples like beans and grains and experiments with less familiar ingredients, like green mangoes. Jaffrey's extensive world travels result in more than 650 dishes from around the globe, complete with personal anecdotes and cultural origin stories.
'The Runner's World Vegetarian Cookbook' by Heather Mayer Irvine
This compilation of 150 vegetarian recipes for runners proves that meatless meals can fuel athletes. With a focus on whole foods that boost performance and improve recovery, there's something for everyone here–even dessert.
'The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone' by Deborah Madison
There's a reason there are more than 400,000 copies in print of this classic, originally published in 1997: It's the real deal. Madison won both a James Beard Foundation award and the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award for this collection, which is a comprehensive guide to all things vegetarian featuring more than 1,600 recipes.
'Love Real Food' by Kathryne Taylor
Taylor, of the popular vegetarian food blog Cookie + Kate, shares 100 approachable meatless meals that can be easily modified to also fit gluten-free, dairy-free, and other dietary needs. The focus is on nourishing the body so you feel good–not like you're depriving yourself of something (i.e. meat!).
'The Simply Vegetarian Cookbook' by Susan Pridmore
The "fuss-free" description in the subtitle should be an instant giveaway that this collection makes for a friendly accompaniment in the kitchen. With recipes grouped by ease–think: five ingredients or one pot recipes or ready in 30 minutes or less–you can pick a dish that works for your diet and your timeframe.