The book stands out, quite literally, among other vegan cookbooks because it's incredibly vibrant—just look at that cover! The pages within are peppered with similarly colorful photos, illustrations, and stories. Jessica brings a sense of whimsy and joy to her cooking, and our readers picked up on that. One community member said the book is "clever, colorful, delicious, straightforward, and inclusive." Another commented that "all the little details show how much love was put in making the book."
"Jessica knows exactly how to blend easy vegan cooking with her beautiful rustic style, which makes me want to race to the kitchen and try all her recipes." —Dana Roberts
"A beautifully photographed curation of accessible, delicious vegan food that is so well-written, you feel like Jessica is speaking to you." —Andrew Ketteridge
"I am not a great cook, but this book makes cooking vegan food easy and affordable." —Alaska Richter
"Creative, fun cookbook with down to earth language and without the wordy embellishments and cliches of a traditional cookbook." —Gemma
What really resonated with our reviewers is that this book is certainly not just for vegans—in fact, it's a great entry point for people learning to cook. Dana Roberts thinks "this book is for anyone really! Ideally you'd have some confidence with a knife as there's a ton of chopping involved, but the recipes are very clear and even a beginner could wow a dinner party easily."
Andrew was surprised at how much information the author got "into a book that is so small in format. It's small but powerful!" And Lucy found the balance of aspiration and realism just right for cooks of all levels: "The photography makes the food look so fancy, but the ingredients are so easily available."
Many readers were surprised at how much they learned about baking—and without eggs or dairy! Dana Roberts was so excited to tell us about the black bean brownies: "So healthy, but so ridiculously decadent. Like Jess wrote, it's basically as healthy as a big banana, date, and cacao smoothie for breakfast, plus there's an added tin of black beans." And Alaska Richter says "you must make all the cakes."
Holy Shit Cake was one of the best recipe titles we've seen in a long time. The headnote says it's what people usually say after their first bite of this cake, and the title definitely made us want to make it!
Readers said the book reminded them of The Oh She Glows Cookbook, Deliciously Ella, Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking, and Chickpea Magazine. Andrew offered that the book reminds him of a puppy—"A playful puppy. If the puppy were vegan."
We also asked folks what the book's spirit vegetable would be, which happens to give you a good sense of the book:
Sweet potato "because it is full of flavor and easy to add to any meal. With all the different sections of the book, there's a recipe for any mood or occasion." (Dana Roberts)
Watermelon: "Looks nice from the outside, delicious and fun on the inside." (Andrew Ketteridge)
Pomegranate "because it is colorful and sweet." (Lucy)
- Avocado, "because it's the bomb." (Alaska Richter)
2017's roster of Piglet Community Picks were chosen by an open call to our community; the reviews you see here are from some of the folks who voted these books into the tournament. To see other Piglet Community Picks reviews, head here.
Vegan Goodness is available wherever books are sold.
The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).Order now