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Cookbooks Read Better Paired With Kitchenware

By Greg Gonzales

Plant-based cuisine, whether vegetarian or vegan or otherwise herbivorous, is gaining popularity. More than 1.525 billion vegetarians live in the world, and 10 million vegans live in the U.S. That’s in line with GlobalData’s “Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017” report, which says the number of vegans in the U.S. has increased from 1 percent to 6 percent of U.S. consumers, since 2014. Guiding these increases are trends like ethical eating, clean eating and sustainable sourcing of food products. On trend, publishers have unveiled plenty of cookbooks filled with plant-based recipes this year, all of which could extend sales when paired with the right kitchen tools.

The blogger behind the whole plant-based foods blog, “The First Mess,” has released her first cookbook under the same name. Home cooks crack open “The First Mess” to discover Wright’s easy-to-make seasonal vegan recipes, but they stick around for her enchanting stories and photos. Her heirloom-quality recipes showcase the best each season has to offer, and make plant-based diets more accessible. The 125 recipes have suggestions for every meal, and a hefty desserts section. “The First Mess” is available from Avery Publishing for $30 in hardcover. Extend this sale with the J.A. Henckels International Statement Knife, great for cutting all those vegetables, available for $14.99.

According to Sam Turnbull, author of “Fuss-Free Vegan,” being vegan doesn’t have to mean living off kale and quinoa, or overspending on ingredients. It certainly doesn’t mean limitations, and this cookbook aims to prove it. Innovative recipes put cheesy nachos, pizza, hearty burritos and even crème brûlée within reach for vegan cooks. The book does away with the fluff and trouble associated with plant-based cooking and keeps it simple, with Sam’s enthusiastic voice cheering readers on through every step. Get this in paperback starting October 17 for $29.95. Since pizza gets some love in this book, the Cuisinart Alfrescamoré Pizza Grilling Stone makes a good pairing, available from Cuisinart for $19.99.

“Salad For President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists,” goes further than listing step-by-step recipes. Author Julia Sherman reimagines the salad into a daily indulgence, along with cocktails and soups, with a vegetable-obsessed perspective. This compendium of savory recipes will tempt readers in search of diverse offerings from light to hearty: Collard chiffonade salad with roasted garlic dressing and crouton crumble, heirloom tomatoes with crunchy polenta croutons and bean sprouts with miso-kimchi dressing. These recipes are not exclusively vegetarian, but they’re vegetable-forward and focus on the use of high-quality ingredients. The book includes interviews with creative professionals, and insider tips on growing a garden of salad herbs and greens. Available from Abrams Books in hardcover for $35. With salad at the forefront of the book, gift-givers may want to pair this one with a reliable salad tool. The Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner is available for $29.99.

Chef Joshua McFadden employed what some call his “vegetable whispering” skills for his cookbook, “Six Seasons.” He channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons. Each chapter begins with recipes that feature raw vegetables at the start of their season; as weeks progress, McFadden turns up the heat to grilling and steaming, then sautés, pan roasts, braises and stews. These recipes come from years of work in New York City restaurants, and managing the Four Season Farm in coastal Maine. Published by Artisan, this book is available at for $35. When cooking their way through the book, recipients will need something to help keep these recipes as fresh as they were after prep. Pair this book with Lekue‘s Suction Lids, that do away with plastic wrap and foil, for $8–$20.

Vegans needn’t be intimidated by the idea of making cheese — dairy-free cheese is simple and straightforward in “Vegan Cheese,” which lists clean, basic ingredients for use. Lifestyle expert Jules Aron shares tricks for making cheese sauces, cheese you can slice and grate, or spreadable options like French brie — using homemade nut milks, vegetables, carrageenan, nutritional yeast and agar-agar. The book also arms readers with tips for building cheese plates and drink pairings, preparing them to present their creations in an unforgettable way. Aron is a holistic health and wellness coach, and green lifestyle expert. This is her newest book, and “Vegan Cheese” is available in hardcover from Countryman Press for $24.95. Shoppers will want to help their loved ones present these novel, dairy-free cheeses. Pair with the Toscana Brie-Acacia Cheese Board Set, at $22.95 suggested retail price.

Moosewood Restaurant Table has been publishing cookbooks since 1977, and the 14th edition is filled with more than 250 never-before-published recipes. With the natural foods restaurant in its fifth decade, Moosewood chefs are still faithful to farm-to-table philosophy, and the book takes on less common fruits and vegetables, like Romanesco broccoli and watermelon radishes, and grains like freekeh and millet. The results of these unusual combos include two-potato tomato curry, cashew-crusted chickpea burgers, butternut latkes and Jamaican jerk tempeh patties. Of course, it’s not complete without desserts like Turkish coffee brownies, orange pistachio cornmeal cake or cherry tomato upside down cake. The book is available September 26 for $35 from St. Martin’s Press. To help them get cooking on a safe and solid surface, shoppers might stop to pick up Lodge‘s 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, available for $39.50.

Plant-based eating can seem unattainable, but “Frugal Vegan” helps readers live a healthy lifestyle and eat better without breaking the bank with 99 recipes to prove it’s possible. Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee teaches you how to avoid overpriced perishables while enjoying nutritious, exciting foods. Think pineapple scones, biscuits and gravy, backyard BBQ bowls and crunchy Thai salad, beer-battered avocado, black bean tacos, mushroom stroganoff and chickpea curry. Published by Page Street Publishing, “Frugal Vegan” is available for $29.99. Prep time will be much shorter for that beer-battered avocado if this book is paired with the Crisp Avocado tool, available for $14.99.

Twin sisters Sandra and Susan Sellani want you to have your pasta and eat it, too. Their book, “The 40-Year-Old Vegan,” outlines a 52-week plan to transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Sandra, a West Coast vegan, and Susan, an East Coast omnivore, collaborated to pen a rational approach to going vegan over 40. The sisters say it’s about feeling good in the second half of life, with recipes for lentil shepherd’s pie, manicotti florentine with cashew ricotta, zucchini noodles with lemon walnut pesto and jackfruit chili. For animal lovers, 10 percent of the author’s proceeds go to support Mercy for Animals. Available in hardcover for $24.99 from Skyhorse Publishing. Along with this book, the Utensil Caddy by Kuhn Rikon will get home cooks started, for $30.

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