Food Post Lifestyle Post

My Cook Book Collection

Confession: I have a bookcase over flowing with cookbooks…

I have always loved cookery books. I will often happily browse through my collection, just looking at the photos and imagining what creations I could make. I relish any opportunity to get all of my favourite books out and plan a meal, whether I get around to making the meal or not!

Sometimes I wonder do I love cookbooks, more than I love cooking!?

I can’t resist those glossy pages of professionally-photographed food… the possibilities are endless, and the food always looks so delicious! These days we get recipes from a myriad of different sources, not just cookery books, but magazines, TV shows, the internet- on blogs, websites and social media channels, like Instagram.  But, our cookbooks are still irresistible…

My collection has evolved, as I have! Some are very well loved (you can tell by the crinkled and sauce-splattered pages) and others have barely been opened… From meat recipe books, to vegetarian and now to vegan- they all sit on my bookcase, waiting.

My vegan book collection is my newest and so it is the smallest… but it’s still mighty!

My Top Three Vegan Cookbooks

Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook

The Plant-Based book by Ella Woodward was the fastest selling vegan cookbook of all time. This book should be on everyone’s bookshelf- not only is it inspiring for new vegans, but also those just wanting to eat more plant-based foods. It is full of beautiful meals that are easy to make. The more challenging recipes are so clearly written too- it is a great place to start flexing your cooking and baking muscles.

Vegan On The Go

This book was a gift from a good friend and as a new vegan, it has been really inspiring and helpful. It is full of easy and affordable vegan lunch and dinner ideas- which has been brilliant for me and my Husband as we often eat at work.  It is an accessible and un-intimidating book, so absolutely perfect for baby vegans or anyone who wants to inject more veg into their lives!

Thug Kitchen

I love Thug Kitchen’s bad language and blunt attitude towards being a vegan and following a plant-based diet. It is not for the faint hearted, or if you are easily offended by rude language but it is all done with good humour and it is very funny. The food photography is amazing and most of the recipes are either twists on classic foods or more casual street-foods. Either way, it is brimming with delicious choices!

Bianca Zapatka

I must mention, newly discovered but fast becoming my ‘go to’ for food inspiration- blogger, Bianca Zapatka! I found Bianca on Instagram and was so inspired by her food. Her photos are always beautiful, and she seems to have endless ideas for meals. Check out her website, I am sure you will want to jump straight in the kitchen- just like me!

With all this inspiration and more confidence in my new vegan diet, I am feeling more determined than ever to get in the kitchen and start creating and trying out new recipes! My first task was to sort through my cookbooks. Like so many people over the years my collection has grown and grown, yet I feel like I only use a handful. A clear out was in order…

How to refine your cookbook collection:

If like me you have an ever-growing cookbook collection with old books and books that have become irrelevant due to changes in diet or tastes, perhaps it’s time to minimize and refine your collection. If the very idea of donating or re-gifting old cookbooks is too much to bare, here are my top five tips, to help you edit your collection!

This is my edited collection!
  • Your diet has changed.

If you have books in which many of the recipes include a key ingredient that’s no longer in your diet, such as meat, fish, dairy, gluten- it is time to move on. Amazingly, I still had meat cookery books on my bookshelf which cannot have been opened in years! I did keep a lot of my vegetarian books, as so many recipes can be tweaked to suit a vegan diet.

  • No photos!

I mean, whatever is the point of a recipe book with no photos… any books without photos will be the first to get the chop in my house!

  • The rich cookbook, you simply cannot afford…

I am certainly guilty of this one… you fall in love with a restaurant and leave with the cookbook… the one recipe you attempted- ended up costing a fortune! Some recipes are made, simply to be cooked FOR you!

  • Unopened in years …

The book that may have been a favourite you have just outgrown, or it may have sat unopened on your book shelf pretty much since the day you bought or received it- either way… time to move on!

  • Technical Difficulties.

Books that are pitched to ‘at home cooks’ with a lot of skill and recipes that require expensive and extravagant cooking gear that you have no intention of ever owning… it maybe time to ditch the book!

And with that in mind, my small but mighty Vegan Cookbook collection may well be all I need….

(Although, I am pretty sure that won’t stop me buying more! shhhhh)

love Em-Gem xxx

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