Did you ever do a thing that you were scared of doing, but really wanted to? Then when it went well, you were like, “Well, that went great. Better leave it at that before I fall on my face.”?
That was me for the last few weeks. Whoops.
After my first post I held my breath as I awaited responses from friends and family (and complete strangers – so cool!). You’re all so supportive and the absolute best, so thank you! It meant the world to me! It’s great to be able to put my weird little thoughts down here and feel okay with being me. Doesn’t make it any less scary. But whatevs. I’ll deal.
I thought by this time I’d have like 10 recipes all written down and photographed and would be like BOOM HERE YOU GO, WORLD. Then I realized that I’m delusional and also a noob. I love experimenting with making my own recipes and re-creating ones that I’ve made before, but I am ridiculously awful at writing them down as I go, let alone taking photos. We’ll have to go and change that. (Which, spoiler alert. I am posting an ACTUAL recipe this week. Not just me babbling on and on again. Woohoo!)
I’ve had a lot of questions since I started this blog about where I go for plant-based recipes when I’m not creating ones of my own. I totally get it. I went into the sea of Pinterest and Google and waded through so many recipes and blogs that it made my head spin. I wished that I had come across a “these are the best ones!” post, but never did. Isn’t my life so hard? Facepalm.
SO – I’ve compiled a list of ten people that have inspired me. Some have amazing cookbooks, apps, YouTube channels, rad blogs and… all have killer recipes. If you are needing a little inspiration, go check them out!
- Minimalist Baker
Dana is hands down my absolute favourite food blogger ever. I have tried so many of her recipes in her cookbook and on her blog, and I can honestly say that there isn’t one that I haven’t loved. She makes it easy in that all of her recipes require 10 ingredients or less, one bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. Most of her recipes are gluten-free too! And she’s funny. And loves Jesus. She’s rad. I recently made two of her most recent recipes (the carrot cake and the cashew icing) for a co-worker’s birthday, and my mainly-omnivorous officemates ate it right up! I always make her coconut bacon bits so that we always have “bacon” on hand (the dream life). She has a cookbook, an e-cookbook, a blog and a YouTube channel so there are lots of avenues to try out her stuff!
- Erin Ireland
This lady inspired me from the get-go. When I was first cutting back on animal products for allergy reasons and was feeling uninspired and a little lost, I started following her on Instagram for some inspiration and encouragement. Erin proves that living life plant-based is vibrant, meaningful and wonderful – as proven by her powerful voice, completely vegan pregnancy, awesome bakery business, and plant-based food blog. I wanna be her when I grow up. Wait. I’m like, grown up. Okay, when I’m a REAL grown up then! Anyway, I make the Homemade Almond Milk on her site about every week or so. She’s right – it’s WAY better than store-bought!
- Oh She Glows
You’ve probably already heard of this one! Angela has two cookbooks, a blog and an app – all of which are very popular! And for good reason – her recipes are really yummy! I always have her version of sour cream on hand, as it’s one of Thomas’ favourites! In the autumn and winter I always love to put that “sour cream” on her beet cabbage soup with a bit of chopped dill sprinkled on top (just like in the photo on her site). So delicious.
- The First Mess
Laura is so creative. I just love her recipes, how she makes things seasonal and her aesthetic. Her cookbook and blog are as beautiful as they are functional. The Instant Almond Milk recipe is ingenious and delicious! She’s Canadian to boot!
- Zero Waste Chef
I came across this blog via Instagram and I just love that she is so committed to zero waste! It’s inspiring and has made me think more about the things I choose at the store, what I carry them home with and how I prepare and package things when I get home. Super sweet.
I just got Heather’s cookbook recently, and I actually haven’t tried any of the recipes quite yet! Her cookbooks and blog are plant-based and gluten-free (she says allergy free as well – wooooo!) which is so perfect for my lifestyle. I’ve looked through it and it is really thoughtfully written, has a lot of great information in it and has some really awesome recipes! I can feel her passion through her writing and beautiful photos, and it makes me want to jump up and start cooking too!
- This Rawsome Vegan Life
I love to eat things raw whenever possible, because nutrients. Haha! I love that Emily is so connected to the planet – she truly cares about all beings and this earth we live on. She’s super real about her opinions and mental health too! And she’s from BC! I have one of her cookbooks, but definitely want the baking one as well. Love that she has gluten-free recipes! (Even the baking cookbook is gluten-free!)
- My New Roots
Sarah has two cookbooks, wellness retreats and an Apple app! She’s really gifted at explaining how to make things really well, and that’s proven through her blog and books! She’s certified as a Holistic Nutritionist and a Nutritional Practitioner, so that’s pretty cool. Her recipes aren’t necessarily vegan or gluten-free (most are vegetarian), but I’ve found them to be whole-food-centric and easily adaptable if you wanna use the ol’ noggin. Her Garlic Cloud Soup takes like 40 garlic cloves to make, but is really good and good for you if you’re feeling something coming on. You know, like sickness. Or vampires. Or someone you don’t like. Whatever.
- Chocolate Covered Katie
Katie makes vegan baking look like a cakewalk. Badum, chhhhh. (YAY A PUN AGAIN SAID EVERYONE EVER.) Anyway, she has two cookbooks and a blog – and the healthiest baking I’ve ever seen! Brownies made out of black beans, cookie dough made out of chickpeas, the list goes on! So much gluten-free too! So, if you wanna eat cake for breakfast… it might just be okay. I won’t. I don’t like cake. But I’m weird. Don’t hate me.
- Raw Vegan Not Gross
I love how Laura loves talking about food AND mental health. She’s really rad. And her Insta stories are pretty hilarious too, for reals. The way that her recipe page is layed out on her blog is pretty creative! I definitely want her cookbook, as I’m sure that it is pretty great!
Here are a few tips before you dive in to all the planty-goodness!
1) Don’t assume that you will have everything on hand to make the recipes. I made this mistake. Living a normal animal product based diet means that you might not have things like cashews, almond butter, nutritional yeast, chia, flax and other things that may be needed for these recipes already in your cupboard. I remember being frustrated at the beginning that I couldn’t just up and cook any meal that I wanted without making a trip to the store (insert eyeroll here at this first world problem), since my staple pantry didn’t yet include the things it does now.
2) You can go cold turkey if you want, but a gradual change to living more or entirely plant-based seemed to be easier. At least for us. We changed over the period of a year and we found that some of the benefits were that we didn’t really go through a detox period, we could use up or give away any food that didn’t fit in anymore and that it just overall seemed easier on our brains to make a slow transition in terms of cravings and changing our mindsets.
3) The best tip of all that I can give kinda builds on the last point: you have to change your mindset. Maybe my brain is just one that is more stuck in its ways than yours may be, but I had a hard time with looking down at the plate and not seeing meat on it. It felt incomplete. Also, anything that I made that was a sort of “dupe” (like coconut bacon or cashew sour cream) was hard for me, because as it seemed similar, it wasn’t the same so it seemed disappointing. I had to realize that pig meat isn’t the same as coconut meat, and that that was okay. Not only okay – but better. Once you can get that through to yourself it will be smooth sailing from there!
Do you have any favourite plant based cookbooks or blogs?
Let me know in the comments below!