Amanda Cohen does not play by the rules. Since opening her restaurant in the East Village in 2008, she has been waging war on the “eat your vegetables” mind-set. While all her dishes are vegetarian (and nearly all can be made vegan on request), Ms. Cohen isn’t necessarily out to save a small planet or prevent heart disease. Her goals are possibly more subversive, and she achieves them with vegetable cookery that is original, clever, visually arresting and, above all, a lot of fun. The same you can say for her comic cookbook Dirt Candy, published with an assist from her writer husband, Grady Hendrix , which eschews wide-angle food porn for comic-book illustrations by Ryan Dunlavey . Dirt Candy shares the secrets to making her flavorful dishes – from indulgent Stone-Ground Grits with Pickled Shiitakes and Tempura Poached Egg, to hearty Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce, to playfully addictive Popcorn Pudding with Caramel Popcorn. It also details Amanda’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its currently being one of the hardest-to-get reservations in New York City – all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel. Both a great read and a source of kitchen inspiration, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to push the boundaries of vegetable cooking.