This October, along with squashes of all colors, pumpkin-flavored everything, and beautiful crisp weather, marks my tenth month living the vegan lifestyle. In that time, I’ve gotten through six college courses, completed a six-month nine-to-five internship, started a blog, and moved into a new apartment. To put it lightly, all the time in the world is never enough for me, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Food made in a rush simply doesn’t taste as good, and flavor inspiration is hard to come by with my mind on my homework.
Luckily, I can always find a limitless bounty of ideas online. It seems that vegan food is on the rise, and one can now find a category for plant-based recipes even on sites as mainstream as Martha Stewart or Cooking.com. The real gems, however, are the vegan cooking blogs. Because the writers are generally cooking the food they share online for themselves and their families, the recipes, whether for comfort food or avant-garde apps, are, very simply, good. These bloggers’ enthusiasm for their food shows through; just have a look at some of the saliva-inciting photography.
Whenever I’m undecided on how to use an ingredient, pressed for time and out of ideas, or looking for a new spin on an old favorite, my go-to blogs are even ahead of Google on my browser’s queue. The blog platform allows a level of interaction that cookbooks and larger food websites lack. Comments are encouraged, appreciated, and promptly replied to. Questions are addressed, kudos are given, and the overall feeling is one of community, mutual learning, and a love of great food.
If you’re a new vegan, or a vegan living the fast life, do yourself a favor and put down that package of Oreos. I’ve compiled a list of my seven favorite blogs for your browsing pleasure. These websites can answer your questions, help you plan meals, get your cooking cogs whirring, and, most importantly, take some of the weight off your shoulders. Because although I hate to parrot a common observation, let’s face it: being a vegan ain’t always easy.
For Inspiration: Oh She Glows
Angela Liddon’s Canadian-based vegan cooking, dining, and feel-good inspirational blog, with its enormous collection of creative recipes and how-to guides, can keep you occupied for hours. Oh She Glows takes the emphasis off of the sometimes tired aspects of veganism, such as politics and weight loss, and instead gives the talking points to our most basic needs: health, fitness, self-esteem, and amazing food.
October Highlight: Try Angela’s Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘N Cheeze Sauce over pasta (pictured above). You’ll be licking the bowl clean.
For Easy Comfort Food: The Vegan Stoner
The Vegan Stoner, created by the ridiculously talented design duo of Sarah Conrique and Graham I. Hayes, is a treat for the eyes as well as the stomach. This blog operates under the attractive idea that vegan cooking doesn’t always have to include a 50-line ingredient list. The recipes are so fast and easy that every ingredient gets its own adorable illustration in each little recipe box. You’ll come for the cartoons but stay for some truly inspired food.
October Highlight: Throw together the intriguing Cranberry Salsa in three minutes, using only seven ingredients. Bam.
For Good, Honest Eats: Vegan Yack Attack
Jackie (nickname Yack Attack) has created something quite special with this super healthy, super creative treasure trove of vegan recipes ranging from the supremely easy to the intimidating. The photography is bright and drool-worthy, everything is prepared from scratch, and with recipes like Chocolate Sriracha ice cream, it’s all about flavor. Whether you pick out a quick fix or spend hours laboring over the stove, it’s gonna be good.
October Highlight: If you’re feeling brave, try this aromatic Sweet Potato Hash with Chipotle Seitan Sausage.
For Everything Under the Sun: The Post Punk Kitchen
Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero pack a lot of variety into their spunky, Brooklyn-based blog-slash-instructional video operation. This website’s got quirky wit, creative yet doable recipes, and I have yet to type in a search query with a return of zero results. If you’re planning a multi-course vegan meal and want flavor impact without going over-the-top, then look no further.
October Highlight: PPK’s Chai Spice Snickerdoodles are a great fall treat and can probably be made on the fly; no trip to the grocery necessary.
For the Calorie Conscious: The Happy Herbivore
Lindsay Nixon’s blog is great for fledgling vegans and those looking to shed a few pounds doing so. Her recipes are minimalistic and either low-fat or non-fat, but don’t be fooled by the calorie count: her food still packs an impressive flavor punch. The Happy Herbivore is also a great source for vegan news, and puts a lot of focus on the plant-based movement and how you can get the word out. Look out for Happy Herbivore cookbooks, too!
October Highlight: Lindsay’s Soft Molasses Cookies are to die for. With such a low calorie count, save these for day when you know you won’t be able to just eat one.
For a Lazy Sunday: Have Cake, Will Travel
Forget the recipes, you should visit this site just for the photography. Celine Steen has created a masterfully designed site that’s simply a pleasure to patronize. Her impressive recipe list is mostly sweets, breads, and breakfasts, and her emphasis is clearly on doing things right. Save this one for the weekend, when you have time to both browse her beautiful photos and test drive a recipe.
October Highlight: Try the Cinnamon Brioche and French Toast. I don’t think you need any persuading.
For Impressing a Crowd: Vegan Yum Yum
Lolo’s photos and recipes are not overly complex, but always deliver the wow factor that you may want to have when serving non-vegans. With recipes such as Chickpea Radish Hors d’Oeuvres and Mini Coconut Blood Orange Bundt Cakes, this website focuses on cooking for the elegant multitudes.
October Highlight: Curried Chips with Lemon Sunflower Spread give a new vibrancy to the old chips-n-dip routine.