If your Pinterest account looks anything like mine, it’s overflowing with blogger recipes that I will never actually attempt. Recipes like Almond Joy overnight oats, one-pan honey garlic chicken and egg roll in a bowl saturate my boards because one time I thought, “hmmmm, I would make that.” And then I absolutely did not. While some Pinterest recipes have made it into my regular rotation of dishes (shout out to Beauty Bites for the Flourless Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins and The Bewitchin’ Kitchen for the Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs), there’s nothing quite like having a massive collection of recipes you’ll likely never cook sitting fancily on your coffee table rather than in your phone. I’m talking about cookbooks. Since we’re all spending much more time at home these days, I thought I’d round up all the cookbooks in my apartment and rank them for you so you can decide which new living room accessory you need next.
#6: DIY Vegan by Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman
DIY Vegan offers over 100 recipes for our plant-based friends out there looking to whip up attainable (and sustainable!) dishes for vegans, vegetarians and those looking to give packaged foods the boot. Axworthy and Pitman serve up bountiful tips on how to make plant-based eating and cooking seem less mysterious and empower readers to create a vegan pantry that works for them.
Which dish I would make if I actually used this cookbook: As someone who eats, on average, two and a half bags of Goldfish crackers per week, I’d have to give the Cheesy Crackers with onion and oregano and try.
#5: 15-Minute Vegan by Katy Beskow
15-Minute Vegan demystifies the art of plant-based food preparation by providing straightforward recipes that can be made without expensive ingredients or tools. With over 100 options for vegan breakfasts, light bites, main dishes and more, anyone can make fast vegan food a reality.
Which dish I would make if I actually used this cookbook: The Pad Thai Jay with lime and sesame is calling my name. Beskow incorporates broccoli and kale in this recipe, and I say the greener, the better.
#4 Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Author and host of The Post Punk Kitchen Isa Chandra Moskowitz brings an innovative and experimental flair to plant-based cooking in Vegan with a Vengeance. In this book, you can find creative and animal-friendly meals inspired by cuisines around the world. I would like to add that Joan Jett endorses this book, giving you all the more reason to add it to your collection.
Which dish I would make if I actually used this cookbook: Now that there’s a slight chill in the air, the Ginger Roasted Winter Vegetables, including parsnips, butternut squash and sweet potatoes, sound like the perfect dish to warm up with.
#3 Frugal Vegan by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee
Are you noticing a trend here? I have to come clean: my sister and roommate (also named Katie) is a vegan and owns 66.7% of the cookbooks in our apartment, so this list skews heavily towards plant-based books. Nevertheless, the books are here, and I will rank them.
Frugal Vegan is a delightfully readable vegan cookbook that will look beautiful sitting in your living room. But don’t let this one collect dust; it has dozens of affordable and approachable plant-based recipes that even I, an avid meat-eater, would excitedly prepare.
Which dish I would make if I actually used this cookbook: Pineapple Fried Rice may sound a little strange, but trust me, the dish looks incredible and the recipe is incredibly simple to follow.
#2 Where Cooking Begins by Carla Lalli Music
This one might actually be a coffee table book because, oh my goodness, is it gorgeous. Lalli Music, of Bon Appetit fame, carefully curates a host of simply stunning dishes in Where Cooking Begins, promising painless recipes and essential tips to help you hone your cooking skills. Our Editor-in-Chief, Gabrielle, gifted this to me for my birthday last year, so it holds a special place in my heart.
The dish I’m working up the confidence to try: Carla made her mom’s Pasta e Fagiole for the first time while she was away at college, so I think it’s something I could tackle with a little bit of dedication and love.
#1 Cravings by Chrissy Tiegen
The internet’s fun mom. By far the most relatable celebrity out there. My namesake (not really, but wouldn’t that be cool?). Chrissy Tiegen: the shining star bringing a spunk to the culinary world. Cravings is my favorite cookbook because it bridges the gap between delectable recipes and limited culinary knowledge. Teigen brings an authentic style rooted in her identity as a home-cook that makes you feel like she enjoyed writing this book as much as you love reading it.
To me, Cravings serves as more than just a cookbook. My roommate, Elise, and I formed a strong bond over this book when we started a blog together where we tried recreating Teigen’s recipes on a college-friendly budget and on an admittedly questionable foundation of cooking skills. Although that blog is now inactive (defunct is probably a better word, honestly), the hours we spent together grocery shopping, in the kitchen or writing at the library created a friendship that will last a lifetime.
The dish I actually make from this cookbook: In a shocking turn of events, I actually use Cravings, even if only for one recipe. Chrissy’s Chipotle-Honey Chicken with Mango-Avocado Salsa is not only insanely simple to make, but also quite possibly the best meal I’ve ever prepared. In fact, it was the first recipe Chrissy ever published on her blog. Full circle moment? I think yes.
There it is. My ranking of every cookbook in my household. I know you were all eagerly awaiting this, so you’re welcome. Taking a look at the wealth of recipes, cooking tips and striking photography in this collection, I think I may have to actually put these to use as something other than decorations. I encourage you to scour your cookbooks, if only just to remind yourself of the possibilities to make great food.