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looking for AWESOME cookbooks for an almost vegan?!

Ok, so I asked for advice about cookie cookbooks but never got an answer..hopefully I hear back from y'all about this!

I'm still a vegetarian (2 years this month!), but plan on transitioning to vegan when we get back to the US in about 4 months. In the meantime, I'm trying to make vegan meals to the best of my ability, but it's hard because we have a limited selection out here.

I'm trying to buy some cookbooks though. I just got "Happy Herbivore" & "Vegan Comfort Food" in the mail...and I'm waiting for "Quick Fix Vegetarian" & "The Vegetarian Family Cookbook" I've been looking on Amazon, and have literally about 30 books on my wish list and I'm trying to figure out what to buy.

Basically I like pictures (or one that has a website or flickr group that has pictures online like 500 Vegan Recipes does). I like simple foods that my omni friends, family, and preschooler will gladly eat.

Books that I think I'm really interested in:

Vegan Cookie Connoisseur
Joy of Vegan Baking
500 Vegan Recipes
Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan
Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
The Indian Slow Cooker
Supermarket Vegan
Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian
The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East
Vegan Italiano
Japanese Cooking
Crazy Sexy Diet
Color Me Vegan
Veganomicon

Wow, ok that's a lot!! I figure I'd list them though, because I assume some of you have many of those and can tell me which you like better or the good & bad of them. (I know that many of those have threads on here, and I've looked over some..but they all seem good - so maybe one is better?)

So, if you could only pick like 3 of them..what would you choose?

To pick 3 out of that list I'd choose:

Veganomicon (b/c it's my favorite. It's not as simple as some of those others, but it's a great one to have)
Supermarket vegan (lots of simple ingredients/recipes)
Joy of Vegan baking is good if you want a baking book with variety; fairly simple

I don't really recommend 500 VR because it is so vast and no pictures. It does have some solid recipes, but also has a lot of faux meats, and other type things.
I don't have any of the other books.

I don't remember your cookie book thread, but I recommend Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

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I have Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian.  It does have some good recipes, but a lot of them are really heavy on the dairy (cheese in particular), so it might not be so helpful if you want to eat more vegan foods.  Although if you can find vegan substitutes you like, it's worth a try.  The recipes are not too exotic and kid-friendly, so that's a plus.  There is a wild rice soup recipe from that book that's really good - but I think it uses milk and quite a bit of butter.  I haven't tried veganizing it.

One that's not on your list is "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker" - every recipe I've made from the book so far has been great.  Even though it says "vegetarian," most recipes are vegan, and vegan subs are listed for the recipes that use dairy (usually just soymilk instead of milk).

Veganomicon is a great one to have.  There is such a variety of recipes, and almost all of them I've made so far have been great.

If you can, I'd recommend trying out books from the library first.  You can often find a couple recipes from a cookbook on the internet, too--check the author's website, or just try Google.

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Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and Veganomicon are my favorite and most-used vegan cookbooks. I highly recommend them both!

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It depends on what you like to eat!

I like Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen as well as Supermarket Vegan so far. I am not a vegan but I don't feel like anything is missing when I eat these recipes. I also like Vegan Planet.

None of these have photos. However, the recipes are fairly simple.

My personal favourites right now are ExtraVeganZa (some photos, mostly fresh produce in recipes, it also has a lot of baking stuff if you want it - I have focused on the appetizers and soups) as well as Radiant Health, Inner Wealth (some photos, but a bit more complex recipes - but they ALL appeal to me!).

Oh, another book I love is Moosewood Cooking for Health. It is a vegetarian cookbook, but a lot of the recipes are vegan. No photos, though.

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Thanks everyone, I did have Vegan Planet & Fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker but sold them because nothing in either one every really sounded good to me.

The cheese is definitely the thing keeping me from being vegan (I know, it's everybody's excuse) but when I get back to the US and can buy soy cheese, then I can solve that problem! Until then I just try to limit it. I don't mind cookbooks that are somewhat reliant on faux animal products, that's mostly because my husband & daughter are still omni (though they eat veg at home because I refuse to cook meat or eggs).

I wish I could check them out from the library, but I live at a US base in Japan...so we just have little libraries and nobody really cares much about veg*ns out here. Though I think I will go later today and check out the largest of our small libraries, to see if they have anything.

Also one more thing to point out, maybe. I really like when cookbooks tell you good sides to go with the food, or even have menus (but with easy food!) I really like how Vegan comfort food is set up, with the menus listed in the front and then right on each recipe it tells you which menu its from so you can go back & see what other recipes go with it.

I wouldn't usually consider 500 Vegan Recipes because of the no pictures thing (maybe that was a huge turn off for Vegan Planet) but here's the flickr link in case anybody hasn't seen it - http://www.flickr.com/groups/500veganrecipes/pool/

Hmmm, I'll go check out the library and see if they have anything!

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Yeah, our library didn't have any except vegan cookbooks, except for Vegan Express by Nava Atlas.

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You might check if you can get books by inter-library loan.  It might not be so easy being in Japan, but it's worth asking since you have such a long list of cookbooks you're interested in.

Some of the recipes I like from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, with a couple of links to recipes:
Sloppy lentils (a delicious alternative to sloppy joes) - Recipe here
Farmhouse Fricassee (a hearty stew with veggies and tempeh or seitan)
Almost Irish Stew (white beans and potatoes) - Recipe here
3-bean Chili with Chive Flecked Cornmeal Dumplings - Recipe here
Slow-fashioned pot pie - I usually make this with biscuits on the side rather than the biscuit topping in the recipe because it freezes better that way

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If you don't mind getting your photos online, you might actually like vegan/vegetarian food blogs.

Some of my favourites include:

http://tastespace.wordpress.com/
http://juliasvegankitchen.blogspot.com/
http://www.101cookbooks.com/
http://www.theppk.com/blog/
http://ohsheglows.com

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On your list I have the following and would recommend them.  "Eat, Drink and be Vegan", "Veganomicon", and "Color Me Vegan".  Very excellent books. 

One not on your list that I like a lot is "1000 Vegan Recipes" by Robin Robertson.  Lots and lots and lots of good recipoes that are relatively easy to make.

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Not on your list, but one of my favorites (and I've made ALOT of things out of it!) is Radiant Health, Inner Wealth by Tess Challis.  There are also menu suggestions in the back which is very helpful.  I do have the Supermarket Vegan one but haven't really made anything out of it yet!

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