If you’re anything like me, the hardest part about permanently committing to a vegetarian lifestyle is giving up favorite foods – American soul food, Caribbean cuisines, and African dishes. Sure, I can load up on collard greens (sans the meat flavoring) and sweet potato souffle, but there are so many other dishes I gave up because I don’t know how to prepare them without using meat.
In my struggle to remain a vegetarian and (once) attempt a vegan diet, I’ve fallen short many times. But recently I found a few great books to help me in my journey. I hope that sharing my finds may help our readers who have similar goals. We hope this list is useful and please don’t be shy about sharing you recommendations or tips with us! It takes a village to raise a vegan/vegetarian 🙂
1) The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy by Aya Ibomu
This book is more than just a cookbook, it’s a lifestyle guide to help new vegans learn where to shop, how to plan meals, understand restaurant menus and simply eat healthy. This is a must-read for those even considering a dietary change.
2) Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry
Soul food doesn’t have to be greasy and loaded with meat. It can be fresh, healthy and also taste amazing. This wonderful cookbook will help you think outside of the box and eat flavorful comfort food without compromising your health and nutrition goals.
3) Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry
Another vegan cookbook by acclaimed Afro-Vegan Bryant Terry. Here you will find recipes from Africa and the Diaspora with a creative and delicious vegan twist. This is a great book to add to your culinary rotation if you’re getting bored with traditional American vegan recipes.
4) Vegetarian Soulfood Cookbook: A Wonderful Medley of Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Recipes Inspired by the Southern Tradition by Dawn Marie Daniels and Imar Hutchins
This cookbook will convince any nonbeliever that you can maintain the same delicious soul food flavors you grew up eating without using meat or unhealthy ingredients. The cheese grits and sweet potatoe pie recipes are my favorite but there are so many recipes here I am itching to try.