My Favorite Real Food Blogs

Posted on August 21, 2010


I became vegan because I was interested in having a positive influence on paradigms of consumption and production with both my purchasing power and my (written and verbal) voice.  Initially, I was definitely one of those transition vegans. I had grown up a lacto-vegetarian, but I still thought vegan food consisted largely of soymilk and boca burgers as staples.  I had Morningstar sausages and soymilk in my breakfasts, Tofurkey in my lunches, and rubbery soy cheese with dinners.  I didn’t realize (doh!) that inherently vegan food is inherently better (duh!).  That is to say, injera and lentils, or idlis with sambar, or guacamole salads are much better than any meat and dairy substitutes out there.  I grew up in a South Indian household with delicious food, plain and simple.  I knew how to cook, so I started branching out with these skills to other types of cuisine, now all vegan.  I transitioned pretty quickly to these tastier foods, both raw and cooked.  I like carrot juice and kimchee-kale salads  and raw granola fine, but I also like my  kichadis and quinoa with sweet potatoes.  Oh, and I love avocados.  I shall turn green one day.

So I suppose I would now identify as a “whole foods vegan.” And it means I make a lot of my own foods from scratch. I squeeze my own nut milks, churn my own coconut butters, dehydrate my own energy bars, and ferment my own sauerkrauts.   (Try it, it’s fun).  I don’t turn down a cracker or vegan truffle when it’s offered—I just like making my own.  I have more control over the quality and sustainable sourcing of the ingredients.

Right now, I read a lot of food blogs.  I read a lot of blogs in general but many of them have recipes and most of those are vegan.  But the ones closest to my heart are those that emphasize simplicity and quality.  They are not all vegan, but they are all extremely veganizable and vegan-positive.  The recipes they contain may be simple, but they are tasty.  I like making complicated things on occasion too, but often a meal of quinoa, avocado, and umeboshi plums is unbeatable.  I read vegan blogs that have lots of faux-meat and faux-dairy dishes and ingredients.   Vegan Dad is a fun example, as is What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway.  The five represented here, though, are the blogs that most closely resemble my own food philosophy and preferences.

In no particular order (depends on what I’m in the mood for):

  1. Choosing Raw: A blog written by editor and vegan nutritionist Gena Hamshaw in New York City, Choosing Raw emphasizes a combination of raw and cooked plant-based foods, simple but exquisite flavors, and completely doable recipes.  And she wrote a post about feminism and veganism.  I love.
  2. Kristen’s Raw: No, not every blog on this list is going to have the word “raw” in it.  Kristen’s recipes are really simple.  She makes a lot of smoothies, crackers, and interesting salads with simple tools and ingredients.  I use her blog as a sort of basic recipe catalog.  She hasn’t let me down yet.  And I learn about fun new foods from her site all the time, including coconut vinegar and sunflower lecithin.
  3. 101 Cookbooks: If you’re a foodie and you haven’t read this blog, shame on you, seriously.  Heidi is a marvelous cook, writer, and photographer.  Her recipes aren’t all vegan, but I’ve adapted them easily enough (coconut milk for cream, coconut oil for butter, etc), and every time I see a new recipe on her site I have an instant craving for whatever she’s prepared.  She makes a lot of simple grain salads, lentil soups, and interesting vegetable preparations–all staples for me.
  4. Affairs of Living: Now Kim has a lot more restrictions on her diet than most anyone I know (gluten free, casein free, sugar free, and the list goes on), but all her vegan recipes (and most of her recipes are indeed vegan) are truly beautiful.  Hers was one of the first blogs to introduce me to pickling vegetables and making other fermented foods.  If you haven’t had homemade sauerkraut yet, you’re missing out.  Go buy a jar and some cabbage and make some.  I suggest as soon as possible.
  5. Jugalbandi: Gotta have Indian food on here, obviously.  This isn’t a traditional Indian food blog by any means.  True, there’s the requisite dal makhani and idli recipe, but this couple, Jay and Bee, emphasize whole grains, mostly vegan preparations, and minimally processed versions of many kinds of recipes, Indian or not.  They also have pretty pictures of the parks they visit :).

I’m sure there are many other great real food bloggers out there, but at the moment blog-surfing already takes up too much of my life.  Any more and I won’t have time to actually make these foods.  So I stick to a few favorites for my fundamental recipes, and branch out as necessary for special occasions.

Posted in: Vegan