While we all still have them sitting on a shelf in our kitchens, a cookbook is quite dated in modern society and people are using online forums in their place to look out for their next culinary creation.
We all know about the health benefits of being vegetarian, but with vegetarian cooking being a somewhat small discipline, it isn't always easy to find easy vegetarian recipes, or they are given only a very small section. Plus, some sites have vegetarian recipes on them but don't label them in a way that they can be accessed easily.
Nowadays, social media and blogging is taking over in the business industry, and many sharp-minded individuals have recognised this trend and decided to use it to their advantage. By mixing their love of food with entertaining and interesting social media posts, these five UK bloggers have secured their place in the world of food blogging, a 21st century phenomenon.
And if you know much about technology, you will know that being a blogger is the career to be in in these modern times!
My Top Five
The Veg Space
When you arrive at The Veg Space's website, it is clear from the offset that this professional blog is clean and clear and loved by its owner.
Kate Ford, a Hertfordshire-based vegetarian of more than 20 years, set up the site and has contributed in making it a varied, interesting and exciting blog for meat-free eaters. It was awarded best veggie blog by Vegetarian Living.
Kate of The Veg Space prides herself on providing a modern forum for vegans and vegetarians to go and find ideas for meals, whilst also getting acquainted with one another and discussing their passion for eating, cooking and reading about veggie food.
Funnily enough, the blog became a place for vegans during the month of January 2016, or should I say Veganuary 2016. Prior to that, the recipes were a mixture of vegetarian or vegan so, as a veggie, you will still benefit from reading historical posts on food.
Things you can find on the blog are information about Kate herself, book reviews, product tastings as well as numerous vegan and vegetarian recipes and advice, indexed for ease of access. She also includes a section on what essential items to keep in a vegan pantry or store cupboard, as well as details on how she can be reached for business connection purposes.
Slightly less formal than the previous blog on my top 5 selection, Naturally Ella has a much more earthy, rustic feel which welcomes vegetable lovers immediately. You can tell just from scrolling down the images of her recipes that she puts her heart and soul into her cooking.
Erin grew up on a diet of processed and fatty foods and was overweight as a child, a story that is all too familiar in a world where fast food is so accessible.
After her father suffered a heart attack at a young age, Erin (whose initials spell out her pseudonym Ella), embarked on a mission to eat healthily and brought out a blog dedicated to refreshing vegetarian cooking. She is a self-confessed foodie who believes that food holds immense power and that change starts at home.
A bit like diary entries, the blog is personal but not preachy in any way. Erin seems like the kind of person that is liked by all and her website offers the same heartwarming vibe.
Highlights are her Cumin braised carrots and chickpeas, Spiced black bean, grilled avocado and goat cheese tacos and her sexy cabbage (I will leave that one up to you to find out more about!).
Naturally Ella is not only a place to go and find recipes, it is also an invitation to be a part of a supportive community. Erin encourages her readers to mention her in their social media posts, to tag her in pictures of their culinary creations and offers personal advice on how she chose to diet sensibly and introduce a good exercise regime in order to lose her weight healthily.
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The Scottish Vegetarian, as she’s known in her native country, offers some great sweet vegetarian recipes suitable for children and adults alike. She also plays on Scottish and British traditions with vegetable haggis and pies.
So why the name, Tinned Tomatoes? Jacqueline Meldrum, the owner of the blog, was raised on meals built around tinned tomatoes and chose to use this as her starting point, in a bid to remind herself and others to be more creative with their cooking methods and ingredients.
Jacqueline has been a vegetarian for 25 years but, with a vegan husband, has become more drawn to the vegan ideology in recent years. She provides a mixture of both types of recipes on her blog, and indicates where necessary which are vegan.
In addition to her successful blog, she writes for various cooking magazines such as Veg on Wheels, Vegan Life, Readers Digest and BabyCentre, of which the latter two are online. Her achievements don't end there though - she has been selected to create recipes for Great British Chefs as well as supermarkets like Waitrose, Iceland and Tesco.
While Fearne’s recently dabbled in publishing cookbooks, she cannot be described as a food blogger per se. That said, I am including her in this list because, as one of her followers on Instagram, I am a real champion of her wonderful, family-driven cooking recipes which are often meat-free.
Just check out her Tofu and red pepper spicy balls she posted earlier this month! Or her Carrot and white miso soup with cumin quinoa… Go visit her page or, even better, buy one of her cookbooks.
Fearne has been in the limelight for several years now but it was only in her current role as a wife and mother that she found a deep passion for healthy eating.
She taught herself to cook with the help of none other than TV food goddess Nigella. She became much more aware of how food affected her energy levels while she was pregnant with her first child and then turned her back on refined sugar and began cooking healthy meals, sometimes with her two children too.
What I like about her food-related social media posts is that she proves that it is possible to cook vegan or vegetarian heartwarming meals for a family of four or five that everyone will enjoy (Fearne herself is a pescetarian). There is nothing worse than having to cook a few different dishes every night to please everyone, and she champions cobbling together what is in the fridge or cupboard to bake yummy meals for all.
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Amuse Your Bouche: Simple Vegetarian Recipes
This blog, created by Becca, is a great place to go for vegetarians starting out on their journey, or for those who like the vegetarian ideology but are too busy to spend time cooking healthy meals.
Becca, like many others, doesn't like to be in the kitchen all evening prepping food so she endeavoured to create and share recipes that are super quick and easy to make. This means that you can spend more time enjoying your food rather than making it because, let's face it, not all foodies get excited about the actual baking part.
The recipes included on the blog are creative and inspiring. Take, for example, her Wild rice and kale salad with smoky sweet potatoes or her Creamed kale with chickpeas. These are cooking methods that you wouldn't think to use had you not realised they were so simple!
With a huge range of recipes to choose from, you just need to visit her blog and browse until you find one or two that you want to experiment with. In addition to the blog, she has a Twitter account so you can give her a shout out when you nail one of her recipes!
More On Vegetarian Recipes
Whilst the above bloggers will definitely have a recipe for you try out first, you can also go on the hunt for satisfying recipes for veggies yourself by looking for more food bloggers or just by doing a simply Internet search for free, meat-free recipes.
Some ideas that might give you inspiration are: stir fried noodles with tofu in a peanut sauce, macaroni and cheese with a spinach salad on the side, portobello mushroom wellington with roasted cauliflower and sprouts, goat cheese and caramelized onion quiche with Mediterranean roasted vegetables, Mexican bean chili with tortilla crisps and an avocado salad, sweet potato frittata with kale and asparagus, cheesy cannelloni with a tomato salad, onion tart with carrot salad, curried potato curry with pickled chutney, grilled bean burger with a sweetcorn and carrot salad topped with a balsamic vinaigrette, pumpkin soup with bread to dip in, feta stuffed pepper with spiced couscous, black bean burritos with wild rice, mushroom and parmesan arancini (risotto balls) coated in fried garlicky bread crumbs...
Or, if you prefer fast and easy recipes, then you could try things like avocado on toast, hummus with sliced peppers and pitta bread, tomato, onion and pesto bruschetta, vegetarian lasagna, pasta with a creamy sharp cheddar sauce, spinach and ricotta tortellini or other simple pasta recipes. You see, your healthy dinner doesn't have to be boring!
If you fancy trying your hand at creating your own fragrant and mouth watering meat-free dishes but are stuck for ideas to base your meal around, then you might like to search meal ideas based around these key yet less mainstream vegetarian products that are great to cook with: quinoa, lentils, polenta, arugula, acorn squash, seitan, artichoke, orzo, gnudi, tempeh, farro salad, bok choy, yukon gold potatoes, okra and cremini mushrooms.
You can find many more free recipes online, including vegetarian breakfast recipes, side dishes, puddings and, of course, more vegetarian dinner recipes.
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If you enjoy reading about or baking vegetarian food, then why not take a look at the blogs in this section, which include: The History Of Vegetarianism