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The best books on sustainable cooking

by Genevieve Halbert

published on 3 December 2020

Planet-friendly, low-waste cooking has been high on the agenda for many home cooks this year. It’s also becoming a priority for professional chefs and food writers, with the result that there is now an abundance of excellent, sustainability-focused cookbooks on the market.

If you’re in search of a thoughtful gift for an environmentally aware, food-loving friend or family member, or just looking to make a purchase for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created a list of our favourite sustainable cookbooks, from flexitarian starter packs, to seasonal recipes, to one-pot vegan bibles.

The Farm Table

by Julius Roberts

Chef and first-generation farmer Julius Roberts shows us how to eat with the seasons and celebrate the best of fresh local produce. Expect beautiful photography, mouth-watering dishes, and informative writing about what it’s really like to live off the land.

From the Veg Patch

If you find the idea of living off the land and being less reliant on supermarket supply chains appealing, From the Veg Patch is the book to know. Kitchen gardening expert Kathy Slack shares invaluable growing tips and recipes for 10 common British fruit and vegetables, teaching you to transform your garden into a thriving veg patch and cook varied, satisfying meals with the fruits of your labour.

Mindful Chef: Healthy You, Happy Planet

by Myles Hopper, Giles Humphries

Giles Humphries and Myles Hopper brought healthy, nutritional meals to our doorsteps with the subscription box service Mindful Chef. Now, with their second cookbook, they’re celebrating the best of fresh, local, and seasonal produce with recipes for year-round sustainable cooking.

Eat Green

Melissa Hemsley’s Eat Green is the ultimate handbook for joyful, low-waste flexitarian cooking. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous, you’ll find plenty to love in this practical and beautifully styled book. With over 100 adaptable recipes covering everything from comforting one-pot meals to gorgeous cakes and puddings, as well as countless clever tips for cutting down on food waste, this is an indispensable guide to sustainable, feel-good food.

One Pot Vegan

Roxy Pope and Ben Pook are the dynamic duo behind So Vegan, the wildly popular Instagram account championing easy, fuss-free vegan cooking. They are on a mission, in their words, “to make it easy for everyone to eat more plants so that people and the planet can thrive”. Their latest book, One Pot Vegan, does exactly that with straightforward, flavour-focused one-pot recipes designed to be accessible to veteran vegans and novices alike. 

You Can Cook This!

Max La Manna’s second cookbook is packed with 120 failsafe recipes for low-waste, veg-forward cooking, with everything from one-pot recipes to dinner party inspiration.

Elly Pear’s Green

by Elly Pear

Another of our go-to guides for practical, sustainable, and creative cooking is Elly Pear’s Green. Green is not just a collection of recipes: it’s a framework for getting the most out of your fresh and store cupboard ingredients, so that you eat something nourishing and delicious every day of the week. With advice on batch cooking and super-quick midweek meals, as well as more complex recipes for weekend feasting, Green is destined to become one of the most-thumbed books in any cookbook collection. 

Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats

If you thought plant-based cooking was all salads and nut loafs, Rachel Ama is here to show you the light. Taking inspiration from her Caribbean, West African, and British roots, Rachel creates bold, flavour-packed dishes that are pretty much guaranteed to reinvigorate your palate and thoroughly brighten up your day. With recipes for everything from Peanut Stew to Crispy Jerk Barbecue Tacos, this is the perfect gift for anyone looking to add a little excitement and a whole lot of flavour to their vegan repertoire.

grow cook dye wear

Grow, Cook, Dye, Wear

by Bella Gonshorovitz

Let prize-winning fashion designer and dressmaker, Bella Gonshorovitz guide you towards a more sustainable way of living with this practical, fully illustrated book. In Grow, Cook, Dye, Wear you’ll learn to forage, sow, harvest, and cook your own fruits and vegetables and use your produce to create natural dyes for dressmaking. This is part recipe book, part gardening tips and even includes dressmaking patterns.


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