The Best Cookbook in the World – Even for Carnivores

by Allen Gil March 25, 2015

The Best Cookbook in the World – Even for Carnivores

Photo Credit:

You know how some people say one should never stray from the registry when purchasing a gift? When I got married six years ago, a friend did, and I’ve been grateful to her ever since.


She bought us the cookbook Veganomicon as our wedding present, which has turned out to be quite possibly the most consistently awesome cookbook I own — and I’m kind of a cookbook hoarder. The book features 250+ vegan recipes – nearly all of which have had even my beef-loving husband salivating.

Why the high praise?

1. It’s inspired

There are a few flaws I consistently see in veggie/vegan cookbooks:
    1. They state the obvious, giving us recipes we clearly could have come up with on our own (Sorry, but I don’t need a cookbook to tell me to put tomatoes on pasta).

    1. They’re for rabbits, forcing the user to subsist on bland veggies day after day.

  1. They give us the same recipes as in regular cookbooks, just relying on the same old substitutes – e.g. making desserts with applesauce and avocado instead of cream and eggs. A useful concept, but not necessarily one that requires a new cookbook.

Veganomicon’s recipes are a breath of fresh air in this world. They feature dishes like Jamaican Yuca Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato, Kidney Beans, and Plaintains; Southwestern Corn Pudding; Cauliflower and Mushroom Potpie with Black Olive Crust; and Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca (featured below).



2. It’s unintimidating

For the hardcore vegan crowd, yes, there are recipes with seitan, tempeh, and other ingredients unfamiliar to those residing outside of Berkeley, California. For the rest of us, there are recipes that use more recognizable and easily available ingredients. And when a recipe calls for unusual ingredients, the authors will often suggest a substitute or grant their permission to leave the ingredient out. They meet the reader where they’re at, focusing on ease and user-friendliness.

3. It’s fun

Veganomicon is whimsical. Recipes often start with humorous vignettes. There are menus called the “Vegan Ghost of Julia Child Menu” and the “Fancy Schmancy Menu.”



4. It’s worldly

You will find yourself sampling cuisine from nearly every corner of the earth – Indian, Greek, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and of course, American. This, in my mind, is one of the single best things to recommend a vegan or vegetarian diet.

It forces creativity, since one can’t fall back on steak-and-potatoes fare. The authors go a step further and provide menus based around a specific nationality or event — the Mediterranean Comfort Menu, the Down-Home Gourmet Menu, etc.

5. It’s insanely delicious, duh



The proof is in the [soy milk] pudding. Nearly every recipe has been a slam dunk in our household, with favorites including:

  • Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spiced Pita Crisps
  • Fresh Dill Basmati Rice with Chard and Chickpeas
  • Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Walnut Cookies
Whether you’re a veggie, vegan, or just an enjoyer of delicious food, do yourself a favor and get a copy of this bad boy. You won’t regret it.

Allen Gil
Allen Gil


Leave a comment