Cookbook Review: Food52's New Vegan Cookbook

We can't wait to cook from Food52's new vegan cookbook

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"We were wary of vegan cooking until not too long ago," explain Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, food writers and the masterminds behind website Food52, in the foreword to the just-released Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen. We know how they feel.

Vegan cooking has a bad rap among many omnivores who cringe at the idea of swapping meat for TVP or nut butters for traditional butter. But cookbook author Gena Hamshaw takes vegan cooking in another direction: a full-on celebration of vegetables and grains that are naturally vegan, mixing in a just a bit of tofu, tempeh and nut milks when necessary.

Hamshaw has been developing recipes like these for several years, authoring Food52's popular The New Veganism column. Drawing on favorites from the column and introducing new offerings, the book includes recipes like simple crispy kale chips; a hearty sweet potato and peanut stew with kale; spiced cauliflower and oyster mushroom tacos; and soothing coconut quinoa porridge with cinnamon, toasted almonds and dates that we can't wait to wake up to this winter.

Though the beautiful, soft-light photos and straightforward recipes work for all cooks, Hamshaw offers hints for those trying veganism on for size. Her recipes are sprinkled with helpful advice that she calls her Vegan 101 intro course, like how to cook millet and dried beans, put a spin on crispy chickpeas and how to choose "the right tofu for the job." A small section in the back even breaks down how to make nut and oat milks, and dairy-free cheese (it's not as scary as it seems, promise).

Hamshaw signs off her note to readers in the tome: "I hope the book will enrich your meatless repertoire and spark—or rekindle—a love affair with vegetables." With fall produce just hitting the greenmarkets, the timing couldn't be better. See you in the kitchen.