Book Review: Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman - Recipes for Single Vegans

by KathleenDuffy

Leah Leneman's book, 'Vegan Cooking for One' provides vegan recipes for each season of the year. It makes healthy vegan cooking for one an easy and inexpensive option.

About twenty years ago Leah Leneman wrote 'The Single Vegan: Simple, convenient and appetizing meals for one'.

For vegans who lived alone, or lived with non-vegans, this little gem took the strain and the boredom out of vegan food preparation, providing delicious ideas for simple, healthy vegan meals for one person. It quickly became a classic.

Now it has been revised and, with a new title, has become an essential item on the single vegan's bookshelf.

Leah Leneman’s updated version of the original is entitled Vegan Cooking for One: Over 150 Simple and Appetizing Meals. It has all the great ideas of the original, but improves on it by offering over seventy new recipes, expanding the range to include global ingredients and taking into account the convenience of the microwave oven.

In addition, since the publication of the first book, vegan ingredients have become much easier to find – so cooking for the single vegan is now easier than ever.

Vegan Cooking for One – How the Book is Organised


Thankfully, Leneman has retained the outstanding features of the first book which made it such a treasure for the single person anxious to ensure a balanced input of vegan nutrition to his or her meals.

  • She provides a list of basic store-cupboard ingredients which will form the foundation of the vegan cooking routine. Once these are in place, the single vegan is given a weekly shopping list which covers all the coming week’s recipes
  • From Monday to Friday an evening meal recipe is given. The lunchtime recipes are excluded because if a person works, then invariable they can nowadays find many restaurants that cater for vegans, or alternatively they can take a packed lunch. For those who don’t work, Leneman suggests the weekend lunch recipes or a daily mixed salad with varying accompaniments.
  • Saturday recipes include lunch but no evening meal, assuming that a break from cooking will be desired and eating out might be an option.
  • Sunday includes lunch, dinner and a dessert.
  • Breakfasts are not included as there is plenty of vegan choice nowadays for this important first meal of the day.

Leneman emphasises that the book does not have to be followed rigidly and recipes can be used randomly as in any average recipe book. Also, although the ingredients are for single vegans, it is easy to multiply the amounts for guests.

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Vegan Cooking for One – Varied Seasonal Recipes


The weekly recipes are divided into their appropriate seasons, to take advantage of the best quality seasonal foods available and also to fit in with how the weather affects one's eating choices and desires.

Spring/summer recipes include:

  •  Italian Pasta Salad
  • Smoked Tofu á la King 
  • Cashew and Vegetable Curry
  • Apricot Brown Betty.

Autumn/Winter recipes include:

  • Aduki Bean and Vegetable Crumble
  • Mediterranean Bean and Tomato Stew 
  • Indian Bread and Potato Cutlets
  • Fudge Custard.

And there's so much more!

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Vegan Cooking for One - A Classic Vegan Cookery Book


Although I am not a vegan, this is one of the few books I use regularly  because it has a structure that I find useful.   I like having a weekly shopping list to go by and also, I spend much less money when I have a shopping list consisting of mainly fresh fruit and vegetables in season.

So it’s great to see this new, updated version of an old favourite from an established pioneer of vegan cooking. It will certainly make life a lot easier for single vegans (and even non-vegans).



Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman (Thorsons, 2000) ISBN: 0-7225-3923-1


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Updated: 07/13/2013, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 05/07/2013

Hello Hollie - Yes - it's one of my favourite recipe books and very easy to adapt to your own needs. I really find it handy and it's my most used book! Glad you like it too.

HollieT on 05/03/2013

I have this book kathleen, I picked it up in a second hand bookshop a few years ago. I have discovered some of my favourite recipes amongst it's pages and would recommend it to anyone!

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