As the weather cools and farmers’ markets and backyard gardens overflow with the best of the season, new cookbooks – mostly written by authors during the pandemic – are trickling onto store shelves to inspire us to get off Uber Eats and into the kitchen. Here are a few to add to your shelf.
Don’t Worry, Just Cook: Delicious, Timeless Recipes for Comfort and Connection, Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert (Appetite by Random House, $35)
Canadian culinary icon Bonnie Stern and her daughter, Anna Rupert (who grew up spending time in the kitchen with her mom), collaborated on their first cookbook during the pandemic. Don’t Worry, Just Cook is more than just a recipe collection – it’s a book full of stories, advice and short essays that are a joy to read and will make you a more confident cook.
The Vegan Chinese Kitchen, Hannah Che (Appetite by Random House, $40)
Che dives into umami-rich plant-based Chinese cookery, sharing traditions that have been in practice for thousands of years, many originating in Buddhist temple kitchens. This book is full of dishes altered to accommodate plants, like spicy mushroom in dandan noodles, as well as naturally vegan flaky scallion pancakes and flavourful veggie-packed stir-fries.
Canada’s Best New Cookbook, Amy Rosen (IndigoPress, $35)
In partnership with Air Canada EnRoute and Indigo, Destination Canada has released a cookbook celebrating Canada’s diverse culinary scene, with recipes from more than 30 Canada’s Best New Restaurants winners. Multiple contributors (full disclosure: I’m one of them) share stories of each region, highlighting the people, places and culinary traditions that make each part of the country a unique place to visit.
Lunchbox: 75+ Easy and Delicious Recipes for Lunches on the Go, Aviva Wittenberg (Appetite by Random House, $30)
Before the pandemic, the majority of Canadians ate lunch away from home, which meant either picking it up or packing it. Aviva Wittenberg wrote Lunchbox while her family worked and attended school from home, but the focus is on packing lunches to go – it’s a beautiful collection of versatile sandwiches, salads, warm and cold bowls, hand pies and other dishes you may have not considered packable. It’s a must-have to avoid that morning packed lunch panic and make the middle meal of the day something to look forward to.
More Mandy’s, Mandy Wolfe, Rebecca Wolfe and Meredith Erickson (Appetite by Random House, $35)
From the sisters behind the bestselling cookbook Mandy’s Gourmet Salads – and the Montreal salad bars of the same name – comes More Mandy’s. Their second cookbook is full of more salads, more smoothies, more sweet things … those go-to recipes that fuel us every day.
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi (Penguin Random House, $37.50)
The second book in a new series from the team in the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, Extra Good Things focuses on weeknight-friendly dishes and desserts they hope will become part of your regular repertoire. Drawing on pantry staples and building on basics, each recipe is designed to be adaptable, with techniques you can play with to suit personal tastes and the seasons.
Evergreen Kitchen: Weeknight Vegetarian Dinners for Everyone, Bri Beaudoin (Penguin, $38)
Creator of the popular food blog Evergreen Kitchen, Bri Beaudoin has released a collection of over 110 delicious recipes that are well-suited for weeknight dinners, and just happen to be vegetarian. Eighty-six of the recipes are vegan-friendly, and almost all are or can be made gluten-free. With beautiful photography and inspiring yet approachable dishes, it’s the kind of book home cooks find themselves turning to over and over.