Vegan Cookbook Review: Cooking Vegan + 3 Vegan Recipes

cooking vegan cover

The publishers of Cooking Vegan were kind enough to send me a review copy and said that we could share a few recipes with you guys!

If you’ve been thinking about giving a vegan diet a try but weren’t sure where to start, Cooking Vegan is an excellent intro book to try. Dietician Vesanto Melina teamed up with chef Joseph Forest to compile an excellent vegan starter guide. Not only does this book include simple, delicious vegan recipes, but the whole first section gives you a feel for the basics of vegan nutrition, vegan cooking, and even provides sample menus to help you start eating vegan.

The nutritional information is very detailed and includes info for both children and adults. There are even some recommendations for vegan athletes! If you’re worried that vegan food is all about special ingredients that are hard to find, don’t fret! The chapter on vegan ingredients covers the whats and hows of vegan staple foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, vegan milks, thickeners, and even sweeteners.

cooking vegan mushroom burger

The following recipes are from the book Cooking Vegan, and we’re sharing them here with permission from the publishers.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Chickpea Topping


  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup dried sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water for 15 minutes, drained, and chopped
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole wheat buns (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Remove and chop the mushroom stems. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the gills from the mushroom caps.
  3. Put the oil, tamari, and vinegar in a small bowl and stir until combined. Put the mushroom stems in a medium bowl. Put the mushroom caps on a baking pan, top-side down, and drizzle with the oil mixture.
  4. Put the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until pulverized but not smooth. Add to the mushroom stems and stir until combined. Add the zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, optional walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, basil, and salt and stir until well combined. Pack each mushroom cap with one-quarter of the chickpea mixture. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms and filling are heated through.

Note: If you serve the stuffed mushrooms on a bun, possible condiments and garnishes include mustard (Dijon, grainy, or prepared yellow mustard), vegan mayonnaise, a lettuce leaf, and sliced cucumber, pickle, red onion, and tomato.

Baked Yams with Lemon and Green Chiles


  • 2.5 pounds peeled yams, cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 4 yams)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds, or 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the yams, oil, coriander seeds, and salt in a medium bowl and toss until the yams are coated. Transfer to a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until the yams are tender when pierced with a knife. Check the yams frequently near the end of the baking time to avoid burning. Return the yams to the bowl and add the lemon juice, chiles, and zest. Toss gently until well combined.

Creamy Rice Pudding


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white arborio rice or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or other sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or ground nutmeg

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the water and rice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook or 15 to 20 minutes if using white arborio rice or 45 minutes if using brown rice, or until all the water has been absorbed.
  3. Transfer to a 6-cup baking pan. Add the nondairy milk, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cloves and stir until well combined. Bake for about 30 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Variation: Instead of baking Creamy Rice Pudding in the oven, put the cooked rice, nondairy milk, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cloves in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Written by Becky Striepe

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