Cookbook & Book Reviews

It was a day of books in the mail earlier this week.

I received these two books from Book Pubco

First up, The 4-Ingredient Vegan

A great book because it only uses four ingredients in most of the recipes.

You know I am a sucker for one-pot meals and fast, easy, uncomplicated recipes.  I have a post dedicated to my one-pot meals and recipes.

This would be a great book for someone who is either a novice cook and needs help pairing common ingredients to make sauces, entrees, or easy desserts, or for anyone who wants to keep ingredient lists short but still enjoy tasty vegan food.

Next up, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness by Robert Cheeke

A wonderful book and I have wanted a copy of it for quite some time!

This says it all:

“Renown for his passion, dedication and determination, Robert Cheeke has inspired athletes, trainers and anyone interested in a strong, healthy body. He has been at the forefront in ushering in a different way to fuel and nourish bodybuilders in an industry riddled with animal-derived body-enhancing supplements. Being one of the most prominent figures in vegan bodybuilding, his advice on diet, training, and other facets of the lifestyle make this book a fantastic resource for beginners and experienced athletes alike.”

These pictures of Robert should inspire anyone and illustrate that you can have mass, i.e. not look like a string-bean, and thrive on a vegan diet.  

When I did my fitness competition and was new to lifting and training, I read everything I could by Robert Cheeke on the internet.  His insights were invaluable in helping me stay true to my plant-based dietary convictions.  And I placed second in my first show.

And he covers one of my favorite topics in the book:

I covered it too.  My Protein FAQs Post is chock full of my ideas about protein, where to get vegan protein, and meal ideas.

Thanks, Book Pub Co for the books!

I have previously reviewed many cookbooks and books in many other posts:

Another Book PubCo Review Here

A Book PubCo review Here

Other Vegan Cookbooks Here

Ani’s latest book Here

Matthew Kenney’s books Here

Melisser Elliott’s book Here

Go Diary Free.  Such a great book and reference!

My Sweet Vegan here

The Thrive Diet Here

Natural Vegan Kitchen Here

And a Massive Cookbook Review Here

Massive Cookbook Review Here

Food Styling & Food Photography Books

Food Styling, i.e. The Bible of everything you’d ever want to know about food styling

Food Styling For Photographers

Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday

An amazing cookbook with both outstanding recipes and photography.

On A Stick! by Matt Amermendariz

All recipes and food in the book is on a stick from pizza and tofu on a stick to caramel popcorn and desserts on a stick.  Matt is amazing and I attended a Real Food Styling & Photography Workshop with him that changed my life!

Helene Dujardin’s Plate to Pixel

If you are only going to buy one book, period, on food styling and photography, and on photography in general, THIS is the book to buy.  See my review.  5 stars, amazing, the best.

The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando as reviewed here

The book contains recipes for 50 popular cookies.  Although it’s always possible to Google for recipes, read blogs and find recipes, use the online recipe websites, or use your Grandmother’s top secret recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, it’s nice to have 50 popular yet diverse recipes all in one book.

Momofuku Milk Bar

This is a mind-blowing dessert cookbook that is not for the faint of heart; either in tasetbuds or ability to devote oneself to time in the kitchen to create masterful desserts. Complete review in this post. I highly recommend this book.

The book contains recipes for 50 popular cookies.  Although it’s always possible to Google for recipes, read blogs and find recipes, use the online recipe websites, or use your Grandmother’s top secret recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, it’s nice to have 50 popular yet diverse recipes all in one book.

So yes, I have quite a few books.  More books than time.  And more books than appetite unless I want to adopt a football team. But it’s fun to read, learn, and be inspired!

1. What are your favorite cookbook(s) of all time? Rattle off a few titles that come to mind.   Any genre, not just food/cooking. Any cookbooks you’re dying to own?

What books do you get the most use out of or refer back to time and time again?

I always refer back to Ani Phyo’s books for real-life, practical “I will probably make this or can actually see myself making this” type inspiration.  (Book review here).

And I refer back to Matthew Kenney or Sarma’s books for “I will likely never make this but it’s fun to dream and be impressed” type inspiration. (Book reviews here).

I believe that most all books have some hidden gem in them, and something that is useful, thought-provoking, and inspiring.  That’s why I love books.


60 Responses to “Cookbook & Book Reviews”

  1. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn — February 18, 2011 at 3:20 am (#

    Dagggg girl, you are loaded with cookbooks! Slash I definitely need to invest in some raw ones, stat! I love that Skylah gets free books, when I was little reading picture books with my parents was one of my favorite activities!

    My favorite books of all time are DEFINITELY any and all of Nicholas Sparks’ books, and the Da Vinci Code. I am a sucker for romance and crazy mystery-type novels:)

  2. CathyK — February 18, 2011 at 3:27 am (#

    “…unless i want to adopt a football team.” – averie, you never fail to make me smile. thanks for the positive start to my day!!!
    i LOVE collecting books. have tons of cookbooks. matters not that i rarely use them. i think i *need* that 4 ingredient vegan cookbook – that would be right up my alley!
    also love my collection of knitting books. and there’s about 100 fiction books i’d love to read…*sigh* if there was 36 hours to every day, we’d be set right?!

  3. Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews — February 18, 2011 at 3:41 am (#

    I got an email to review those same books! The 4 ingredient vegan looks great.

  4. lindsay — February 18, 2011 at 3:48 am (#

    I’d love to read all those books. I’ve heard great things about Vegan Bodybuilding. I am just so intrigued by that. Love hearing how they approached their training regimen, ya know?
    Nice collection!

  5. Sarah (Flavoropolis) — February 18, 2011 at 3:54 am (#

    Not long ago I would have said my favorite cookbook was Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. In fact, I still think it is one of the best cookbooks ever, but I’m trying to eat fewer cupcakes these days :)
    I love The Conscious Cook personally, and How it All Vegan was a huge help for me when I was a new vegan as a teenager. And I own Everyday Raw and really enjoy the recipes in it, I’ve made a few and they’re been great, especially the chili. My only beef with it is the title – it implies that the recipes would be simple, but instead they are mostly complex and require days of dehydration in multiple steps. Still, if you go through the work the results are delicious.

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — February 18, 2011 at 4:02 am (#

      you are so right…they are anything BUT simple or “everyday”…i remember writing jokingly in a post that his everyday’s and my days are clearly very different…soaking, dehydrating for days, ummm no, not my “everyday” at all! That’s why they are fun to be inspired by but clearly not something i’d ever dream of doing…all those steps…no way! Glad you concur b/c i thought it was just me who was overwhelmed by all that :)

  6. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine — February 18, 2011 at 4:10 am (#

    Fave books: Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, all the Harry Potters, the Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty (sound teenybopperish but are anything but), East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and Les Liasons Dangereuses by de Laclos, and my entire Titanic book collection. Wide variety there, haha. I used to read WAY more than I do now…

    I always find myself going back to Eat, Drink and Be Vegan for everything. I’ve never had a flop using a recipe from that book, and everything is relatively simple to make. My copy is covered in food- I just love it so much!

  7. dragonmamma/naomi — February 18, 2011 at 4:24 am (#

    Since discovering all of the food blogs out there, I’ve been slowly getting RID of my cookbooks. The only “must keeps” have great photos or artwork. My favorite to keep because of the art is Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook:–Vegetarian-Cooking/dp/0394748670/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1298031640&sr=8-6
    The interior art with all the veggie/bean borders has often inspired me to rearrange my kitchen cupboards in a more aesthetically pleasing manner.

  8. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — February 18, 2011 at 4:27 am (#

    I wish I got free cookbooks! The only free books I get are nerdy composition and teaching books, ha! :-)

  9. Jess@HealthyExposures — February 18, 2011 at 4:33 am (#

    I am a cookbook fiend!! It’s becoming a bit of a habit, buying a new one every couple of weeks! Luckily I could think of worse things to e addicted to, right? I love reading reviews from people I can trust, too – saves the (huge) disappointment of buying a book that doesn’t live up to expectations.
    Lately I LOVE Appetite for Reduction, but also refer to Veganomicon and Eat, Drink and Be Vegan pretty commonly.
    Much like you, I’ve found myself with far more cookbooks than I have time and appetite for, but just reading through them is a good learning experience!

  10. Kristina @ Life as Kristina — February 18, 2011 at 4:34 am (#

    Great reviews-i’m always looking for new cookbooks to try out:) Ani’s is a fav!

  11. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — February 18, 2011 at 4:48 am (#

    I love Go Dairy Free for reference! I don’t use cookbooks as much as I read them like novels. I guess they are kind of like textbooks for me. I love Jamie Oliver’s books. They are the most beautiful cookbooks I have ever seen.

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — February 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm (#

      Yes, I have Alisa’s book and I am going to update this post here in minute…will put that one on there with a link as well as the Thrive Diet. I forgot a couple good ones!

  12. lauren @ spiced plate — February 18, 2011 at 5:05 am (#

    Oh my! books make me so happy. I love going to the local bookstore and plopping myself in a cozy chair with a pile of books on food, or magazines. My husband and I did this yesterday — it was nice to get lost in the pages!

    One book that I use as a reference time and time again is Eat, Taste, Heal, a cookbook/ayurvedic guide. I totally recommend it. I’ve also been really into Crazy Sexy Diet — it outlines cleansing pricipals that I learned last summer during my intense ayurvedic cleanse.

    100 Years of Solitude is my all-time favorite,though. I love magical realism.

  13. Heather (Where's the Beach) — February 18, 2011 at 5:13 am (#

    First off – going to readily admit being jealous of your cookbook collection. I am a bookaholic and love collecting books. Thanks for the review of the bodybuilding book by the way. Definitely something I’d be interested in. I have a very long wish list right now….

  14. Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — February 18, 2011 at 5:21 am (#

    Look at those muscle men! Will you do another show someday?

  15. nysoonergirl — February 18, 2011 at 5:33 am (#

    Fave books: Mother Earth, Father Sky and The Stand.

    My grandmother got me a GF, DF cookbook called Cooking for Isaiah. I keep opening it to try it, but everything just seems so darn complicated. I found that it’s easier to modify the regular recipes in my standard Betty Crocker cookbook than to tackle Isaiah’s. But when I really want something easy, I come here! :)

  16. Gina — February 18, 2011 at 6:02 am (#

    I’m dying to read Ani’s. Everytime I got to the library to check it out, it already is!

    I think one of my favorite cookbooks to date is either the Vegan Table or The Kind Diet.

  17. Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete — February 18, 2011 at 6:07 am (#

    I am super jealous of your cookbook collection! I especially love cookbooks that are 4-5 ingredients per recipe. I don’t think you need a million ingredients to make meals taste good (which is why I like your simple recipes, they taste great but aren’t a ton of hassle!)

    Any cookbooks I”m dying to own? I’m not sure — usually I find recipes online.

    Favorite books: Me Talk Pretty One Day, The Secret, The Magic of Thinking Big, The Five Love Languages (Those are books I have read multiple times and love!)

  18. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — February 18, 2011 at 6:16 am (#

    Those books look awesome!! I love children’s books, they’re so fun and comforting to look at the cute illustrations.

    That vegan bodybuilding book looks wonderful. I, too, believe that you can thrive on a plant-based diet. People like you, Averie, are proof of that!! :D

    As far as fiction goes I like the Twilight saga, LOL. Only half-kidding. :shock: Robinson Crusoe is one of my favorites, as is the Great Gatsby, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Nonfiction, I’d have to say The Blue Zones is my favorite in the past year or so.

  19. PB&Jenny — February 18, 2011 at 6:21 am (#

    that is quite the collection you’ve racked up for yourself! Next week I’m actually going to (try) following a more holistic diet (less processed foods. bahhh) and am looking for a good cookbook to help me out. Your suggestions are very helpful :)

    though I’m an English major, I’m not much of a reader. When I was younger though I used to love the Lemony Snicket “series of unfortunate events” books. Looking back now I realize how depressing those were. Hmph.

    Happy Friday lovely!!!

  20. Lisa — February 18, 2011 at 6:27 am (#

    Maybe you should get an unpaid “intern” and have them organize all of your recipes into a cookbook on…..then you could add your cookbook to the list!
    The reason I say get an intern……the right one could benefit from the experience, and it sounds like you don’t have time!
    I love cookbooks…and books in general. But I’m too busy right now to read much for fun. I am in the middle of Shaman, Healer, Sage…and it’s a real thought provoking look at how we do/can approach our health/healing. A little bit of the psychic stuff mixed in…and that always hooks me :)
    Happy Friday!

  21. Laury @thefitnessdish — February 18, 2011 at 6:59 am (#

    I just got color me vegan over Christmas! I love Ani’s books. I try to refer to them a lot. I own SO many cookbooks…but not as many as you haha. I am trying to figure out what to do with ALL my books when the baby comes. I have like 2 huge book cases worth and a 950 sq ft condo! Yikes!

    I have to look into that childrens book. My husband is Jewish, so Ella will be half. Is Skylar half Jewish too???

  22. Sarah @ OneLoveSarah — February 18, 2011 at 8:08 am (#

    You have the cookbook collection I dream of! Have fun reading your new books!

  23. Katie — February 18, 2011 at 8:09 am (#

    I want both those cookbooks. I find that I have a ton of cookbooks, but I rarely use them. More as inspiration/looking at the photos. That’s why I have to have pictures in mine!

    I love reading, but that shouldn’t surprise you. I have 3 books to pick up at the library today. :) Maybe I’ll see if they have either of these there too.

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — February 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm (#

      yes and unfort many of the books I have reviewed on the blog are very weak/light on pictures. Compared to blogs, books have so few! We get spoiled reading blogs :)

  24. Nichole (Flirting with Food, Fitness & Fashion) — February 18, 2011 at 8:15 am (#

    One of my favorite all time books is Dr Joel Furman’s Eat to Live – one of the main reasons I became vegetarian as well as Skinny Bitch :)

    I refer back to The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone often & there are a lot of books I would love to own, including Peas and Thank you :)

  25. Christin@purplebirdblog — February 18, 2011 at 8:53 am (#

    I peruse a lot of recipes online, but I would love to get my hands on some good cookbooks! One of my favorite books of all time is “The Thief of Always” by Clive Barker. Not epically long like some of his stuff, and just a good read.

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  30. Mindy — February 18, 2011 at 10:50 am (#

    There are several books coming out this spring that I am very excited about. Ani’s new Asian Fusion book (I love Ani’s books too), Mimi Kirk’s (sexiest vegan over 50) first recipe book. Sometime this year Matthew Kenney has a book coming out that is titled something like Everyday Raw Express (no young coconuts and no dehydrating). I think his recipes are exciting, but most more complicated than I want to fool with, so I’m really going to be interested to see what he has up his sleeve in this one.

  31. Melissa — February 18, 2011 at 10:58 am (#

    I love the idea of a cookbook with simple minimum ingredient recipes!!

  32. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats — February 18, 2011 at 11:31 am (#

    I am obsessed with cookbooks. I love that you receive so many of them :)

    Currently my absolute favorites-refer-to-them-all-the-time are: both of the Spunky Coconut cookbooks, Go Dairy Free, Veganomicon, Appetite for Reduction, Fire and Spice, 660 Curries, Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook, the Almond Flour cookbook, and the Gluten-Free Vegan. That said, there are so many more cookbooks I love like Vegan Yum Yum, Vegan with a Vengeance, the Urban Vegan, Clean Food and Nigella Lawson’s books.

  33. Naomi(onefitfoodie) — February 18, 2011 at 11:34 am (#

    the shabbat box!! hhahaha love it!! my favorite childhood book was goodnight moon! or there was this other one I cant remember teh naem but in the book they always repeated “ill love you forever, ill love you for always, forever and always my baby you’ll be” and my mom to this day, still says that to me :)

    Books have such staying power and are such powerful tools when kids are young! i loved reading!

  34. Ela — February 18, 2011 at 11:44 am (#

    ’And more books than appetite unless I want to adopt a football team.’ this is so funny!

    What a great list of books. I’m loving Sweet Gratitude for looking and ideas, and I agree about Matthew and Sarma’s big fat books that are so photo rich.

    I love David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (awesome novel), The Time-Traveler’s Wife, the Everyday Raw/Everyday Desserts books, many many books of poetry–The lives of the heart, Slow fire, several ‘best of’ collections of my favorite poets…

  35. bitt — February 18, 2011 at 11:58 am (#

    Those look like great books. I understand you are pressed for time but I think it would be awesome if you read and did a really through review on the Bodybuilding book. Since you did some bodybuilding and all. I’d love to know how his advice measures up with your experience.

  36. Christine (The Raw Project) — February 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm (#

    Interesting on the 4 Ingredient book, I need to check that out. And just wow on the body-building book!

    1. Currently all of Ani’s books and Kristen Suzanne’s hemp book. But my faves are always changing.
    2. More vegan cookbooks, I have mostly raw vegan, but would like a decent book for cooked vegan recipes.
    3. Ani’s books too, some of my favorite recipes are in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.

  37. Baking 'n' Books — February 18, 2011 at 7:12 pm (#

    How is the 4-ingredient one? Is it mostly stuff you would know anyways?

    …when’s yours coming out? :)

  38. Jolene ( — February 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm (#

    I love “Natural Cures they Don’t Want you to Know About” and “The Know it All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World”. I also love “The Outsiders”.

  39. Mindy — February 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm (#

    Hey Averie, I bet you will really like this article on MMA athletes going veg. :

  40. KJ — February 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm (#

    Hey Averie!

    If you could choose only 4, what would be your FAVORITE cookbooks?

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