Plant Power | New Plant-Based Cookbooks

Calling all vegetarians and veggie lovers; the inspiration you have been looking for might be found in these new cookbooks out in May.

Calling all vegetarians and veggie lovers; the inspiration you have been looking for might be found in these new cookbooks.

McKinnon, Hetty Lui. Tenderheart: A Cookbook About Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds. Knopf. May 2023. 528p. ISBN 9780593534861. $40. COOKING

McKinnon (To Asia, with Love) returns with a cookbook that is deeply personal and uniquely vegetarian. Organized by the star vegetable, recipes are easily homed in on based on season or garden glut. Layouts include small keys that identify specific diets like gluten-free and vegan, with substitutions and vegetable swaps that make recipes versatile. A variety of flavors can be found throughout the distinctive dishes, such as fennel and black pepper ice cream and Broccoli Forest Loaf, which are equally whimsical and comforting. McKinnon’s voice is very friendly and will be familiar to fans of her writing as she invites readers on her journey to explore ingredients and raise up vegetables. The delightful photography showcases the beautiful produce and fare. Not surprisingly but still impressively, McKinnon was also the book’s photographer. Home cooks will love the versatility and innovation she delivers, whether they are vegetarians or not, while readers will revel in the sweetness and beauty of her story. VERDICT Calling all vegetarians and veggie lovers; this is the inspiration you have been looking for.—Sarah Tansley

Palmer, Sharon. The Plant-Powered Plan To Beat Diabetes: A Guide for Prevention and Management. Union Square. (Plant-Based Wellness). May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781454945109. pap. $24.99. COOKING

Palmer, MSFS, RDN (California Vegan), aims to help those who currently have type 1 or 2 diabetes, are at risk for developing diabetes, or are struggling with pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes. The book begins with over 60 pages of information about diabetes, along with research and information about going vegan. This information is basic yet wide-ranging and informative for diabetics, their families, friends, or hosts looking to understand and support them with knowledge and food. Also included are helpful charts, information on what supplements might be needed on a vegan diet, the many names and forms of sugar, discussion of the many health benefits of this diet, and a list of pantry staples. Recipes include breakfast, appetizers, soups and stews, salads, bowls, sandwiches and tacos, main dishes, sides, dressings and sauces, and desserts. Most dishes will require a shopping trip unless one is already widely equipped. However, some recipes are made with pantry staples and thus ideal for the stymied host. Recipes also include tips for gluten-free alterations. VERDICT A must-buy for library cookbook collections.—Sarah Sieg

Segnit, Niki. The Flavor Thesaurus: More Flavors; Plant-Led Pairings, Recipes, and Ideas for Cooks. Bloomsbury. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781639731138. $32. COOKING

Fans of Segnit’s original The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes, and Ideas for the Creative Cook will be thrilled with her follow-up, which is less of a cookbook and more of a reference guide to enlivening one’s palate. Ingredients are divided into categories such as “cruciferous,” “nutty milk,” and “sweet woody,” and then they are paired with a tasty companion. The entries vary in length, but Segnit describes in a paragraph or two why these pairs work together and provides plenty of recipe inspiration. Perfect for opening the pantry, digging out an ingredient that needs to be consumed or is taking up space, and putting it to use. Like any good reference book, a thorough index provides easy navigation. Segnit’s prose will be familiar to fans as she reminisces about meals, ingredients, and cooking techniques, all with her signature humor. Recommend to those who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and looking behind the scenes of cookery, along with fans who are looking for the next installment of flavor pairings. VERDICT Food lovers will enjoy Segnit’s meander through food memories, recipes, and advice, along with all the practical uses for this flavor reference guide.—Sarah Tansley

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