web analytics

Top Vegan Cookbooks

Cafe Gratitude introduced me to great vegan cooking – and great vegan cookbooks

One of my favorite restaurants used to be Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley. They were 100% vegan, and had an abundance of delicious foods from salads to desserts to salads to imaginative entrees.

Sadly, they had to leave Berkeley, but there is still a Cafe Gratitude in Santa Monica and Santa Cruz.

I am not a vegan, although I am leaning more and more to a plant-based diet.

There are just so many advantages, and so many delicious alternatives. Vegans and vegetarians have opened up to a plethora of delicious plant based foods, and fascinating ethnic varieties that we would have never been aware of.

I also believe that you do not have to be 100% vegan to reap the benefits: in fact there was a scandal when the owners of the Cafe Gratitude slaughtered a beef for their own consumption. I believe that there is a lot to be learned from plant based diets, whether you decide to go totally vegan or not. And so I think the owners of Cafe Gratitude are innocent.

I have accumulated some of the best vegan cookbooks around.

Veganism Has Many, Many Health Advantages

There are so many advantages to veganism.

If you become vegan you will add more fiber to your diet.

Your plate will be bubbling with minerals and vitamins.

Not to say anything about all the toxicity you will be avoiding.

And if you can make some delicious meals – so much more the better!

Cafe Gratitude Key Lime Pie

Vegan Dessert? Why Not!

We will start with a delicious dish – the Cafe’s Delicious version of Key Lime Pie aka “I am Awakening” from the Cafe Gratitude site.

I always believe in eating dessert first anyway!

You will notice several differences between this pie and a traditional Key Lime Pie. First of all the crust is not baked, and it is not gluten or even wheat based. Instead it is made of yummy ingredients like pecans, date paste and lucuma a healthy substance to impart creaminess and sweetness without sugar.

The filling of the pie itself is continues with many of the same ingredients that you would expect with a traditional key lime pies like Key Lime juice of course, but the substance of the pie will be made of coconut milk and coconut nectar, as well as a creative use of avocados.

The whipped “cream” has never seen a cow made of soaked cashews and coconut milk. Instead of an oven, you will use your refrigerator – the crust, filling and whipped cashew cream is chilled – and then topped with another layer of “meringue” made of soy lecithin and coconut oil.

The use of coconut oil and avocados may be alarming, but actually we have learned that these fatty foods are good for us – they supply needed nutrients and are much less fattening than sugar and processed foods.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 30-45 minutes

Total Time: around 3 hours including chilling time

Serves: 1 torte, 12 servings


1 cup pecans
2 oz date paste
1/8 cup lucuma powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup lime juice
Three -quarters cup coconut nectar
One -half cup coconut milk
12.5 oz avocado
2 teaspoon vanilla
One -quarter teaspoon salt
Whipped Cream
Blend well until smooth:
2 cups soaked cashews
3 cups Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Coconut Nectar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Add: after chilling
3 teaspoon Lecithin
3/4 cup unscented coconut oil

To make the crust for the pie, combine the first ingredients, except vanilla, and process until evenly broken down. Add vanilla and process until mixed. Press into the bottom of a well oiled spring-form pan.
Pour whipped cream over the cake layer and set in the fridge/ freezer. This whipped cream is very light and soft and will require 2 hours to fully set.
After they are set – add the lecithin.
Set in the fridge or freezer until solid. Frost with 2 cups of meringue.
Decorate with fresh lime.
Note: Check avocados for any brown spots. Do not use any brown avocado meat as this negatively affects the taste of the filling.

“I am Grateful Vegan Cookbooks”

Mostly Raw, All Delicious

I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe GratitudeI Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe GratitudeSweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw DessertsSweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw DessertsSacred Commerce: Business as a Path of AwakeningSacred Commerce: Business as a Path of Awakening

Although it might take a little getting used to, the recipes from the Cafe Gratitude Cookbook will permanently disabuse you of any idea that health foods are bland or not exciting. This is a totally vegan and mostly raw restaurant that is truly unusual. I believe that when it started it was completely raw, although I have noticed that a few exceptions like cooked rice and beans. But one thing is for sure: you will always find delicious food made in some ways that you have not expected. For instance, nuts and seeds will be ground and made into beautiful “milk” and delicious desserts will never have a speck of sugar. My favorite dish there is the original gratitude bowl: a simple dish of black beans, rice and quinoa mixed with raw kale and topped with a delicious tahini and garlic sauce. For many years that was a special dish that could be had for a donation instead of a fixed price – anything from one dollar to seven dollars. My son lived off of those Cafe Gratitude bowls in High School! I also often ate their ginger energy bars as I went through the grueling experience of chemotherapy.

There are several Cafe Gratitudes scattered throughout California. Unfortunately the Berkeley restaurant I used to frequent had to close, but there is one still in Santa Cruz close by and some in Southern California.

Besides the great food, I love to go to Cafe Gratitude because of the wonderful atmosphere. It is beautiful inside and out and just inspiring. I remember visiting one winter and realizing how nice and toasty it was there: the waiter described the environmentally sensitive way that the restaurant had been made and how often in the winter they pay almost no utility bills. All the dishes have self affirming titles like ” I am Generous” or “I am Happy.” When you come to your table you will find cards with little scenes on them to remind us of how wondrous our lives really are. Perfect for Thanksgiving is a card with a scene of a homeless couple in a downpour – huddled under a door with a look of deep gratitude on their face. A trip to Cafe Gratitude is truly special and making the foods in your own home is too.

This beautiful food is filling but not over filling. I have found some of these recipes easy to make, once you get used to the different ingredients. Bring health and gratitude into your life – with this lovely cookbook.

Here are some other great options for raw cooking. I can wholeheartedly recommend the dessert cookbook because I LOVE the desserts at Cafe Gratitude – and I own that cookbook. Desserts are particularly important to me because I am dedicated to going sugar-free.

I chose to feature the second cookbook because it focused on the practical aspects of raw food cooking and it offers a nice blend of healthy cooked recipes as well.

By the way, Cafe Gratitude does use cooked foods as well as raw. For instance in the traditional “Gratitude Bowl” raw kale was chopped up very fine and it was mixed with either/or brown rice and quinoa. Then the whole dish was covered in a delicious garlic, and cashew sauce.

A Buddha Bowl? The Next Cafe Gratitude Bowl?

Cafe Gratitude used to give a “Gratitude Bowl” to any customer for a donation of one – eight dollars.

I am still looking for a recipe for the original Gratitude bowl that we love, and that my son lived on during the early days of his college. We actually got the recipe once – it is not in the book – but we lost it! The secret for that dish is in the sauce, which is a yummy blend of tahini and garlic – I hope to get the details again.

In the meanwhile, this vegan Buddha Bowl sounds delicious.

More Highly recommended Easy Vegan Cookbooks

Delicious, and Nutritious Food

But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It's Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for DinnerBut I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for DinnerMinimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious RecipesMinimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious RecipesThe Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook: 125 Freezer-Friendly RecipesThe Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook: 125 Freezer-Friendly Recipes10 MINUTE VEGAN RECIPES: The Busy Beginners' Diet ( Healthy Weight Loss) (10 Minute Chef Series)10 MINUTE VEGAN RECIPES: The Busy Beginners’ Diet ( Healthy Weight Loss) (10 Minute Chef Series)Raw Food Art: Four Seasons of Plant-Powered GoodnessRaw Food Art: Four Seasons of Plant-Powered GoodnessFor the Love of Food and Yoga: A Celebration of Mindful Eating and BeingFor the Love of Food and Yoga: A Celebration of Mindful Eating and BeingWritten In Our Hearts: Vegetarian CookbookWritten In Our Hearts: Vegetarian Cookbook

Vegan Food Isn’t Just have to Be Straw and Oats!

It is a big misunderstanding that vegan food is not tasty.

Some of the most delicious food in the world is vegan.

Vegan food is represented in all ethnic groups. All countries of the world have vegan cuisine.

If you have not tried it – you should.

Cafe Gratitude is a delicious restaurant – but you may not live in Santa Monica or Santa Cruz.

So why not try cooking your own usually some of the delicious vegan cookbooks I have shown you?

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Amazon Disclosure & FTC Statement

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

FTC Statement Disclosure: This is a professional review blog which gets compensated for the products reviewed by the companies who produce them.

Meet The Author


Gypzeerose - aka Rose Jones - is a Mom, nerdy, fun loving traveller through life, currently living in the East Bay in the San Francisco Area.

She loves to write and blog, and has aspirations towards fiction.

She can be found ferociously packing boxes and packages as an eBay seller at http://stores.ebay.com/Gypzeeroses-Bargains-and-Treasures

In her spare time she is a nurse. :)

Allsunsets Print on Demand Commercial Use Graphics

Grow Your Business



Support Our Website Sponsors