Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Recommends







Don't forget: the books mentioned below are available at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code "tablehopper" at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

I'm not a vegan. I'm not even a vegetarian. I read the pork report in tablehopper with relish. But I really respect and admire vegetarians and vegans, and wish I had the time/fortitude/creativity/resolve to cook and eat that way. But I lean towards the lazy American who loves bacon and burgers and cheese and eggs.

Still, like the tablehopper herself, I go on occasional health benders. And in trying to raise three-year-old twins (one of whom is a voluntary vegetarian), I do my best to provide them with healthy and sustainable food (i.e. vegetarian) as best I can. They, of course, do not always cooperate, and I do think they'd die without dairy products.

Which is a long way of saying, here are three new cookbooks for vegans. And for non-vegans that want to mix it up a little. Let's go from north to south.

Devra Gartenstein owns and runs the Patty Pan Grill, a vegetarian-vegan restaurant and take-out counter in Seattle. Her new book, The Accidental Vegan, focuses on recipes with basic ingredients, quick instructions, and maximum flavor. Think Spanakopita (with tofu instead of cheese) or Yam and Chard Curry. 180 recipes from apps to desserts.

Isa Chandra Mokowitz is the author of Veganomicon, the best-selling vegan book at Green Apple for a few years now. She lives in Portland, OR. Her newest book, Vegan Brunch, is obviously a little more specific. I admit that I'm skeptical of the pancakes and waffles, but the homemade vegan sausages sound promising, as do zucchini spelt muffins.

Vegan Soul Kitchen is by Oakland "eco-chef" Bryant Terry. The subtitle says it all: "fresh, healthy, and creative African-American Cuisine." Like Black-Eyed Pea Fritters or BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches with Carrot-Cayenne Coleslaw. A pretty straightforward recipe book for vegans with a soul twist, including a "soundtrack" suggestion for each dish.

Don't want to take my word for it? How about Alice Waters's word: "Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege. This book is full of easy, tasty, seasonal recipes that also happen to be vegan and affordable!"

So try something vegan. And enjoy the cooking and eating in good conscience. Any of these books will inspire you.