There are so many cookbooks out there that it can be difficult to find ones that really offer what you’re looking for, whether it’s easy dinner party meals, vegan desserts, good ideas to take for lunch, or elaborate birthday cake recipes. It’s also sometimes challenging to find recipes presented in an easy-to-follow format. This list contains some great, unique cookbooks, complete with easily understandable recipes and fun anecdotes from the authors. Happy cooking!
Salad Samurai: In this collection of over 100 ideas for unique, hearty and flavorful salads, even the most avid salad-creators among us will find ingredient combinations that they hadn’t thought of before. Also included are dozens of ideas for easy-to-make dressings that go with a wide variety of the salads in the book.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: This laugh-out-loud cookbook is by Jennifer Reese, whose popular cost-benefit experiments are a favorite of her foodie following. She admits that there’s plenty of products that you should buy at the store, and not waste time and money trying to make from scratch. All the recipes in this book are rated for “hassle” and “cost-effectiveness” and are laid out accompanied by anecdotes from Reese’s own kitchen.
Thug Kitchen: This fantastic vegetarian cookbook comes from the wildly popular Thug Kitchen website, which inspires people to take charge of their plates and cook some real food. This book has great tips for how to cook on a budget and experiment on your own with the recipes given. Thug Kitchen’s official cookbook really is, as the back cover says, “an invitation to everyone who wants to do better to elevate their kitchen game.”
Budget Bytes is the perfect cookbook for anyone on a budget! Author Beth Moncel was inspired to create the Budget Bytes blog when she graduated from college during the recession and found herself with very little money… but still wanting to eat healthy. This cookbook version has over 100 easy, delicious recipes that chefs of all levels—and their pocketbooks –will appreciate!
Vegan Eats World: One of the world’s premier vegan chefs, Terry Hope Romero, has collaborated with others on this gem of a cookbook to supply readers with recipes for international vegan dishes of all types. Her adaptations on world favorites to make them vegan are unique and delicious.
The Kinfolk Table is an absolutely stunning cookbook and lifestyle book compiled by the creators of the quarterly journal Kinfolk. With profiles of everyday people from around the world and of how they cook, eat and live, The Kinfolk Table is much more than just a collection of recipes: it is really a piece of art.
Heritage: Chef Sean Brock presents readers with this gorgeous collection of Southern-inspired recipes. He grew up in Appalachia and now lives in Charleston, and both of his Southern homes are reflected in his fantastic recipes. He neatly combines comfort food (easy to make and eat at home) with higher-end dishes (that require more time, effort and presentation), for a book that has something for everyone.
Ripe: This delightful recipe book is organized by colors of fruits and vegetables. Beautiful photographs of the fruits and veggies are followed by recipes and ideas for ways to use each one, from the obvious to the unusual, and each piece of produce is accompanied by a funny blurb from author Cheryl Rule.
The Good Neighbor Cookbook has fabulous ideas for what dishes to bring to any social gathering, from book clubs, to neighborhood potlucks, to recuperating friends or family members. The recipes are easy, and unique enough to be appreciated by everyone!
Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Figuring out what to pack for lunch isn’t just a problem for kids. I’ve definitely struggled keeping my midday meal diverse and healthy over the years. Beating the Lunch Box Blues has tons of great ideas for ways to freshen up your lunch, often with things that one would already have around the house! The format is mostly photos with tips and ideas, rather than specific recipes (although there are some of those, too). A great resource for revamping your lunch, and your day!
Want more user-friendly, interesting cookbooks? Check out this list for more ideas for the kitchen!