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Another one that I've read good reports about (it's in my ever-growing mountain of unread books) is Not On The Label: What Really Goes Into The Food On Your Plate by Felicity Lawrence which apparently has lots of scary facts about packaged and processed food.
I have to be honest here and say that my most used recipe book is not actually a vegetarian one. It's a basic 1000 useful recipes (no touchstone), that I've used to find out how to make white sauce, pancakes, scones and loads of other things - indispensable!
If you are looking more for the nutrition aspect of things, I recommend Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis or Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina depending on which suits you. I have the former and I love it. It is very helpful for those quick questions about nutrition.
If you are looking for a general, "why veganism is good for me, the animals, and the world" type of book, I have heard good things about Vegan: the New Ethics of Eating by Eric Marcus.
I'm sure I will think of more later, but I hope that helps.
My Year of Meat is a novel about two women involved with a TV cookery programme sponsored by the American beef industry. It's a bit preachy in places, but I enjoyed it. I'm amazed only one person on LT has it - it's a really good read.
The vegetarian cookbooks I most use are Cranks Fast Food and The New Tastes of India, both of which have quite a few tasty vegan recipes (and I say that as someone who for whom the words "vegan" and "tasty" don't often go together!).
I'd be interested in other people's recommendations for vegetarian cookbooks. What I like is simple, tasty, well balanced recipes, and what I don't like is ersatz non-vegetarian food (e.g. using soya-cream instead of real cream).
My favourite cookbook (utterly non-vegan I'm afraid) is Appetite by Nigel Slater, which I guess I would call "inspirational". Half of it is about food and cooking generally, and half of it is relatively simple recipes, each followed by half a dozen or so suggestions for varying the recipe. There's lots of digressions and general ramblings about tasty stuff, and the attitude throughout that cooking should be relaxing, enjoyable and intuitive, about eating stuff that you like, not about following complicated recipes or trying to impress other people. It also has loads of mouthwatering photos. I can never pick it up without wanting to cook something, or at least eat something! It would be good if someone could write something vegetarian along those lines.
I used to have a book called The Junk Food Vegetarian which had the right attitude, but I wouldn't recommend it because it was aimed at people who were new to both vegetarianism and cooking (i.e. teenagers).
Akiyama: I like the sound of the Nigel Slater book, I have read Toast: The Story of A Boy's Hunger so I think I would like his approach - I just hope it won't have too much meat etc. in it. I'll take a look at the library. I like reading about food which gives me ideas so that sounds good. And btw, vegan food is tasty!
The other books people recommend sound good too - I think I will keep a look out for the Colin Spencer book in particular and the Eric Marcus one too.
Thanks again, and any more suggestions welcome!
hmm. Maybe not a book, more along the lines of a booklet is Vegan Passport, a booklet translating what you can and can't eat into nearly every language.
Others have already said it, but I too must cast my vote for Fast Food Nation, it is fantastic! Schlosser presents his case in a very calm manner, without seeming too preachy or angry.
I am not a big fan of recipe books either; the Internet has made them rather superfluous, for me at least. I also find that non-vegetarian cookbooks work just fine, as any recipes that sound good can easily be made vegetarian.
I also like books by John A. McDougall. A lot of them do have recipes, but they have a lot of information, too. I especially like The McDougall Program: Twelve Days to Dynamic Health.
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