The Simply Vegan Cookbook: Recipe + Review

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The Simply Vegan Cookbook - easy simple vegan recipes for beginners

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It’s not often that I come across a recipe book that’s perfect for vegan travelers. A book that’s full of simple vegan recipes that don’t call for any hard-to-find ingredients or fancy equipment.

You know, the kind of simple vegan recipes that can be whipped up in an AirBnB or a hostel kitchen. But if anyone was going to write such a book, it would be Dustin Harder, a.k.a. the Vegan Roadie. And now he has!

The Simply Vegan Cookbook - easy simple vegan recipes for beginners

Dustin let me have a sneak peek at his soon-to-be-released book, The Simply Vegan Cookbook. After flipping through it I thought, “these easy simple vegan recipes are perfect for cooking on the road!”

Which should come as no surprise, given that Dustin has travelled over 110,000 miles — and visited every grocery store along the way — to find out which vegan foods are (and are not) accessible.

As Food Network host Melissa D’Arabian says in the foreword to the book, “Dustin’s experience cooking on the road has translated into an ability to create dishes that don’t involve a lot of, well, dishes”.

If you’re not familiar with Dustin yet, well, let me introduce you. He’s the host and creator of the vegan culinary travel show, The Vegan Roadie, which you can watch for free on YouTube!

The first two seasons of The Vegan Roadie focus on North America, while the third and final season for YouTube is soon to be released and will offer up an unprecedented look at plant-based eats in … wait for it … Italy!

Dustin Harder in Italy - easy simple vegan recipes for beginners

Dustin enjoying an espresso in Florence

Yep, Dustin is a man after my own heart. Not only does he love travel and vegan food, but he’s also a huge Italophile like me.

Dustin kindly gave me permission to share with you one of his simple vegan recipes. It was hard to choose just one, but my sweet tooth took over and settled on Dustin’s soft-batch chocolate chip cookie recipe, because cookies. Here it is!

Servings: Makes 32 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Allergen info: Nut-free and soy-free (and of course egg-free and dairy-free, because they're vegan!)

The unbaked chocolate-chip-cookie dough is just as delicious as the cookies themselves!

And since this recipe is egg-free, you can eat the raw cookie dough without any worries.

I do hope some of this recipe makes it into your oven, though, so you can enjoy the soft, chewy goodness of these cookies. The result is worth resisting the raw-cookie-dough temptation.

Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies - easy simple vegan recipes for beginners
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar
  • ½ ​cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups vegan chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cane sugar, cornstarch, baking soda and salt until well combined. Add the canola oil, applesauce and vanilla. Mix until a thick dough forms. Fold in the chocolate chips until they're evenly dispersed.
  • Form balls with 1 heaping tablespoon of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart and sprinkle the tops with salt. If you're more familiar with the metric system, 2 inches is about 5 centimeters. Here's a handy converter for converting between inches and centimeters.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and the centers appear to be set, with the edges just starting to brown. Repeat until all the dough is baked.
  • Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.

Tip: I know it's hard, but try to let these cookies cool for at least 10 minutes before digging in. They set nicely in that time. 

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The Simply Vegan Cookbook by Dustin Harder - Book Review, Recipe and Giveaway!

Dustin Harder is giving away a copy of The Simply Vegan Cookbook to one lucky Nomadic Vegan reader.

Enter below for your chance to win, and be sure to watch your inbox for the lucky link that you can share to triple your chances of winning. Good luck!

This giveaway can also be entered via various giveaway directories on the web, including I Love Giveaways and Contest & Sweepstakes. As seen on!

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About Wendy Werneth

Intrepid traveler, vegan foodie and animal lover. I uncover vegan treasures all around the world, so you can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere.


  1. Food cooked above 250 degrees develops acrylamide, a known carcinogen. As a cancer survivor, I have no interest in recipes which ignore this fact. “The major food sources of acrylamide are French fries and potato chips; crackers, bread, and cookies; breakfast cereals; canned black olives; prune juice; and coffee.
    “The National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens considers acrylamide to be reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamide in drinking water.”

    The European Food Safety Authority reports: “On 4 June 2015, EFSA published its first full risk assessment of acrylamide in food. Experts from EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) reconfirmed previous evaluations that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups.

    Evidence from animal studies shows that acrylamide and its metabolite glycidamide are genotoxic and carcinogenic: they damage DNA and cause cancer. ”

    For that reason, I am not entering the contest to win a free cookbook that includes a method that produces cancer.

    • Hi Dale,
      Thanks for your comment. I of course understand that you want to do everything you can to avoid exposure to carcinogens, given your medical history. So if for you that means never eating cookies, bread, olives, potato chips, etc., more power to you. For anyone else reading this who is worried that they can never eat cookies again, I would just like to point out that, as you noted, the evidence that acrylamide is a carcinogen is based on studies on non-human animals. Studies on humans have yet to find any such correlation. Studies on non-human animals are often very poor indicators of how the same substance will affect humans, which is just one of the many reasons that I am against animal testing. For anyone who wants to research this further, this info from the American Cancer Society might be a good place to start:

  2. Thank you, Wendy, for your reasoned response to Dale. Just about everything can kill us, but a world without cookies is not one worth living in. I have to wonder how healthy it is for someone to spend their time perusing the internet posting warnings on cookie recipes. Go out and enjoy life, Dale!
    I’ll be making these little gems soon.

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