But if you’re looking for inspiration in your home kitchen, there are two recently published cookbooks that can help.
Vegan Beans from Around the World by Kelsey Kinser seeks to put a little oomph on your plate if, like me, you have a tendency to serve plain beans. Among the 100 recipes, there are main dishes that include Ful Medames, a Middle Eastern recipe for fava beans; a cassoulet; peas-and-rice (though I use pigeon peas when I make this dish, instead of their suggested kidney or red beans); and Jamaican Peanut Porridge. The recipes for side dishes from around the globe could serve as a base for a more exciting vegetable plate or accompany your favorite meat dish.
There are also recipes for soup and salads, and of course, no bean book would be complete without some recipes for sweets, too. Beans are common ingredients in sweets throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and a few choice recipes, such as red bean ice cream and chickpea cupcakes are included. Each recipe is accompanied by helpful information about the beans, the inspiration and origin of the recipe, and suggestions for companion dishes and serving. Along with recipes, there are some bean basics, such as choosing canned versus dried and pre-preparation of beans for recipes.
Another book that will help take your home vegan cooking to the next level is Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen by Joni Marie Newman. Not content to rely on the dishes of just one country, Newman presents recipes that combine flavors and styles of two or three different countries or cultures.
The book has 125 recipes and in addition to sauces and condiments, there are small bites and starters, soups and salads, main dishes, sides and snacks, beverages, and desserts. Most recipes have gorgeous photos that will have you drooling, too. There’s also has a pantry guide for stocking the basics before starting.
There is a handy label for each recipe indicating whether it’s quick and easy, low-fat, gluten-free, soy-free, and/or nut-free. Newman previously published the book, The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions, so there are a number of really cool surprises such as a vegan tres leches and the aforementioned mac-and-cheese that show that vegan food can be decadent and still be dairy-free.