Finding a natural solution
Veganism is bigger now than ever. With many upset over the controversial practices in factory farms, as well as general shifts in lifestyle choices, people are switching to plant-based diets by the numbers. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group's 2011 Poll, 2.5 percent of the United States is vegan.
While the benefits of veganism are significant, making the dietary shift is daunting for most people. However, since over eight million Americans are vegan, there are excellent resources available. Some of the handiest resources are vegan-focused food blogs. With relatable personal stories, helpful tips, and arsenals of easy recipes, here are some of the most inspirational and useful vegan blogs on the Internet today.
Photo by Flickr/SweetonVeg
1. Post Punk Kitchen
Post Punk Kitchen began as a self-produced T.V. show. Although only six shows ever aired, PPK creator, Isa Chandra Moskowitz now blogs about her vegan recipes. She has a quirky voice and tons of drool-worthy recipes. The blog is laid out quite well with user-friendly recipe categories, main ingredients, and even links to helpful vegan websites.
Isa's recipes are easy-to-follow and would likely make any meat-eater salivate. Creations like Breakfast nachos made with a cashew cheese sauce and avocado salsa show off her ability to turn a traditionally meat and cheese-laden dish vegan. Another recipe that'd satisfy a new vegan is her Buffalo Chickpea Pitas with Ranch.
Whether you're into Thai, Italian, Mexican, or American cuisine, Isa has tons of delicious recipes that you'll want to make. There's also a forum on her site too, where fellow vegans share stories on making the lifestyle change, creating recipes, and learning about new trends in the vegan world.
2. Happy Herbivore
The Happy Herbivore is especially valuable for new vegans since its creator shares her journey to becoming vegan and provides amazing additional resources like weekly meal plans and an extensive vegan Q&A fact sheet. From locating hard-to-find vegan ingredients to properly saving leftovers, Lindsay answers over 100 questions that any new vegan will have.
Lindsay isn't only concerned with eating vegan, though. She's focused on maintaining a low-fat diet too. All of her recipes are made without oil and added fats and she strives to cook with low salt content too. With low-fat vegan recipes like Cajun Chickpea Cakes, Black Bean Brownies, and Butternut Squash Soup, she provides endless ideas on simple, good-for-you vegan food.
3. The Vegan Woman
The Vegan Woman (TVW) is an all-inclusive website for recipes, gardening practices, vegan-designed gym work-outs, and even vegan-approved hygiene routines. The site truly encompasses every aspect of the lifestyle. As a new vegan, this should be your go-to guide for just about everything vegan.
The site is aesthetically appealing too. You won't have any trouble finding the tips and tools you need since it's divided up with categories like "Vegan Family," Vegan Gal," "Home and Gardening," "Food and Recipes," and "Mind and Body." With articles on everything from picking the right toothpaste to cooking vegan for your newborn, you'll find a wealth of vegan information.
Similar to TVW, Vice is another awesome site with a library of articles for vegans. Like TVW, Vice CEO Shane Smith ensures that every article on the "Munchies" section is relevant to its readers. A great example is this article about vegetarian children.
4. The Vegan Stoner
The Vegan Stoner is a uniquely funny blog for vegans. It's the blog you should turn to when everything else seems just too serious. Recipes are at the forefront and come in a fun, easy-to-read format. Under every recipe you'll spot one beautifully composed close-up of the dish and then, you'll spot what makes the blog unique. There are children's book-style cartoon pictures of every ingredient you'll need for each recipe.
While the blog has lots of character, it's also quite practical for the new vegan. The recipes are simple. You won't have to know much about cooking to prepare dishes like Pineapple Pizza, Bell Pepper Gnocchi, and Coconut Pot Pie. Every recipe has less than 10 ingredients and less than 10 steps. The last step is always, "Munch." Simply put, the blog is easy, friendly, and downright irresistible.
5. Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Fat Free Vegan Kitchen comes to you with a delightful index of appetizers, condiments, desserts, sandwiches, breads, and so much more. Author Susan Voison has been vegan for over 10 years so needless to say, she really knows her stuff. However, with that said, her blog features a number of simple recipes for the brand-new vegan.
Susan offers great "replacement" recipes for those non-vegan foods you'll probably still crave. Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce, Vegan Mushroom Gravy, Bean Breakfast Sausage Patties, and Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake are just some of the delicious creations you can find on her blog.
Fat Free Vegan Kitchen offers readers a "Recipe Box," which allows one to register with the blog and add their favorite recipes to the box so that they're always easy to find. Susan also includes how-to tips for the transitioning vegans like how to store food and how to make homemade tofu.
6. C'est La Vegan
Owned by a professional baker and bakery owner, C'est La Vegan is a delightful sweet ending to any "Best of" blog list. Kim shares incredibly decadent desserts in the form of cake, candy, cookies, and truffles. While she includes many savory creations on her blog, the dessert recipes definitely steal the show.
Kim is relatable for new vegans because she's honest about her recipe mistakes. She always explains how she'd do the recipe differently. She also borrows recipe ideas from other sources and clearly explains how she's modified them for vegan consumption. Her videos are worth watching too. She is thorough and explains ingredient choices in terms of nutrition, price, and simplicity.
Maybe you're going vegan for health reasons or perhaps, you've had enough with the meat industry. Regardless of your motivation, you're certainly going to feel better. Yet, going vegan isn't a cakewalk. It takes self-control, patience, and knowledge to transition. Luckily, these blogs and many more will help you along the way.
Miles Young is a freelance writer, designer and outdoorsman. He’s worked as a roof contractor and part-time engine mechanic. He spends his free time fishing and tinkering in his garage. You can follow him on Twitter @MrMilesYoung.