Take Ten April 2020: Rebecca

An avid home cook and baker, Rebecca has dreams of opening her very own vegan bakery. Until then, she’ll hone her skills by sharing her creations with friends and family. (Cinnamon rolls are her favorite.) A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rebecca moved to the Triangle in June 2012.

Eat for the Planet by Zacharias & Gene Stone (Abrams $19.99). One of the most common questions for vegan and plant-based eaters is, “Why?” While we all have unique answers to that question, this book helps explain the environmental impact of how we currently sourced much of our food as well as some easy steps to start eating more plants.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper $16.99). This might just be the book that set me on the course of my love for cooking. As beautifully written as you’d expect from any of Kingsolver’s other books, I loved following along with her family’s adventure in eating locally for a year. Must-try recipe: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

One Part Plant: A Simple Plan for Eating Real, One Meal at a Time by Jessica Murnane (Harper $28.99). I love this cookbook’s gentle approach to encouraging people to eat more plants. As someone who uses a plant-based diet to manage her endometriosis symptoms, I like that the recipes are free of common allergens and inflammatory foods (e.g., soy and gluten). Must-try recipe: Easy Spicy Miso Soup (also try adding ramen or kelp noodles)

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon (Avery $25). When I first decided to go vegan about seven years ago, Angela’s recipes were the first that I tried—and they continue to be staples in my diet. Another great cookbook for those with food sensitivities looking for whole food, plant-based options. Must-try recipes: Enlightened Miso Power Bowl & 15-minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons by Laura Wright (Avery $30). Laura’s approach to plant-based cooking is simple yet elegant. I often use her recipes for special holiday meals with my omnivore family. Must-try recipes: Weeknight Root Vegetable Dal & Fudgy Nut & Seed Butter Brownies

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Little Brown $32). It was hard for me to pick a favorite of Isa’s many cookbooks, but I love that this one is organized by holiday—even if I rarely restrict these recipes to their designated days. Must-try recipes: Challah & Curried Candied Yams

The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples by Miyoko Schinner (Ten Speed Press $22.99). Miyoko’s name might already be familiar to you—she makes some of the most delicious vegan cheeses and butters on the market today—and this cookbook tells you how. Excellent for home cooks wanting to get back to basics with recipes for making your own tofu, pasta, condiments and more. Must try recipe: Glorious Butterless Butter

Yumuniverse Pantry to Plate: Improvise Meals You Love—from What you Have! —Plant-packed, Gluten-Free, Your Way! by Heather Crosby (The Experiment $24.95). The subtitle of this book will tell you why it is a favorite—Heather gives you the guidelines for recipe building, with some base recipes to get you started if you’re not so comfortable coloring outside the lines in the kitchen. Must-try recipe: Fire-Breathin’ Fermented Veggies

Mississippi Vegan: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Boy’s Heart by Timothy Pakron (Avery $35). This cookbook is so photographically beautiful that I want to have it on display in my kitchen all the time. Although most of these recipes are not intended for quick weeknight meals, the depth of flavor that Timothy has built into them is worth the extra effort and ingredients. Must-try recipe: PLTs (potato “bacon,” lettuce & tomato sandwiches)

Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat with 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar by Amy Chaplin (Artisan $40). This is a how-to guide to cooking almost everything as much as it is a cookbook. My copy is permanently creased to open to the “bean cooking times” but I also adore her meal plan guides. Must-try recipes: Chickpea Pâté & Seeded Whole-Grain Crackers

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