Can Cookbooks be Considered Art?

Vegetarian Cookbooks

I ask this question-can cookbooks be considered art?- because a few of my all time favorite cookbooks have such beautiful photography and amazing food creations that I feel they could truly qualify as art.  The four books above are my current favorites for both their delicious vegetarian recipes and tantalizing photographs.

Super Natural Everyday

I just recently added Super Natural Every Day to my collection. Part of my normal cookbook reading process involves  making an index card, listing the title and page of the recipes I am likely to make. So far, I don’t think I’ve excluded any of Heidi Swanson’s delicious recipes from the list.  I could have skipped the whole note taking process and just used the table of contents for future reference!  Her recipes are simple but amazingly fresh and flavorful.  For example, the Hard Cooked Eggs with Dukkah, have a mixture of crushed coriander seeds, hazelnuts and mint.  Who would have thought a simple hardboiled egg could be so deliciously transformed? Yum.

Living Raw Food

Living Raw Food has been on my cookbook shelf for years. Beginning in 2001, I ate nothing but raw foods for eight years and Sarma Melngailis’ colorful recipes continued to keep me expired throughout this time.  Even though I am now eating a traditional vegetarian diet I still reference her book for creative raw recipes to complement our cooked meals. The photographs in this book are incredibly well done. On occasion I will flip through the pages just to get a visual ‘fix’!

Eat Taste Heal

I have always had a great interest in the Ayurvedic lifestyle which includes the practice of eating foods suited to ones individual nature. The intent is to bring balance to the body and mind by following the guidance of this ancient science.  What I like about Eat-Taste-Heal is its ability to share the details of this complex subject in a very user-friendly format.  The recipes range from complicated to super easy and I have yet to try one that isn’t delicious.


Plenty is focused purely on vegetables.  Every amazing recipe created by Yotam Ottolenghi, a  co-owner of four ‘haute-couture-to-go food shops’ in London, is brimming with a variety of colorful vegetables.  Many of these recipes can be served as a main dish due to the addition of cheese, tofu, and beans.  Each time I peruse the pages of this beautiful book I feel the immediate need to head to the local farmers market and load up with the freshest, in-season produce I can find!

What’s your go-to cookbook for inspiration and delicious recipes?




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