Braise by Daniel Boulud is a book anyone who cooks should have, including vegans. Crazy flavor combinations that result in amazingly balanced dishes, inspiration from all over the world, and accessible recipes for every season from one of the best chefs in the world.
To cut straight to it - one of the reasons braising meat works is because of the thickening ability of gelatin, a protein found only in animals. That said, braising also just cooks and tenderizes food, all the while acting as a hot marinade, bringing all the flavors in the pan together. It’s a simple method of searing food in oil, then cooking it in a flavorful liquid. There aren’t many as-is vegan dishes, although the ones that do exist are phenomenal: Mixed greens with rhubarb, leeks, and dill; Leeks, prunes and plums; and Eggplant with white miso, kaffir lime, lemongrass, and ginger. Beyond that, however, a large portion of the meat and fish dishes are relatively easily translatable, and with appropriate substitutions result in perfectly seasoned and balanced meals.
Most of the meats can be straight substituted for good quality tempeh or seitan, although I tend to use a lesser portion of protein than what’s often called for. Some recipes call for ground proteins, which I replace with ground mushrooms or a mix of ground mushrooms and ground seitan. The fish, especially the recipes for cod or other white fish, can be replaced with (preferably home-made) firm tofu. I use a lot of mushrooms to replace either shellfish (like oyster mushrooms or rehydrated shiitakes) or aromatic meats like bacon or prosciutto (like chantarelles or matsutakes fried till they’re crispy). A large portion of the dessert section, mainly different variations on poached fruits, can also easily be made vegan.
Some of my favorites meals from this book have been spiced seitan with (the best I‘ve ever had) couscous and butternut squash, tahini-braised tofu (which I posted about a few weeks back), tempeh with Red miso and watermelon Radish, and layered seitan and root vegetables in a spicy coconut curry. In my opinion, the best thing one can say about a cookbook is that the recipes work, and in this book, even with substitutions, the recipes work.