Remember that feature where I promised to find you five excellent food blogging resources every month? Yeah, that hit the skids alarmingly quickly, like so many other resolutions I’ve made in my life (master Russian, figure out how to knit, learn how to rock blue eyeshadow). We’re reaching the tail end of January, winter’s dark hinterland where so many well-intentioned resolutions to eat less meat and more vegetables fall by the wayside. I’m sure I’m not the only person who, when seeking comfort on a wet wintry night, would rather gnaw on a chicken leg than on a stick of celery, but the fact it’s dark and cold out there means that it’s all the more important you get some vitamins from leafy greens and pulses.
Good Vegetarian (and Vegan) food blogs are a great resource – providing me plenty of ideas on how to cook something comforting, warming and healthy from the various tubers and herbs I find mouldering away at the bottom of my fridge. Here are five that (I think) all carnivores, herbivores and omnivores should have in their Google Reader.
- HERBIVORACIOUS: Possibly the best all-round vegetarian blog on the web, Herbivoracious is a cornucopia of delicious (meat-free) delights. It is full of genuinely unique and delicious dishes, as well as any number of wonderful flavour combinations. If you’re looking for a good place to start, try the quick Chana Masala with Mushrooms, Harissa Potatoes, and the incredibly knowledgeable article on “How to make Tofu really freaking delicious.”
- 101 COOKBOOKS: 101 Cookbooks is a recipe blog written by Californian cookbook author and photographer Heidi Swanson, which focuses primarily on ‘natural whole foods and ingredients.’ If you’re thinking that all sounds incredibly worthy and quinoa-heavy, I’d like to point you towards her Saag Paneer, Black Bean Brownies and Blood Orange Gin Sparkler (perfect for this time of year when blood oranges are in season.) I’m also fond of swooning over her awesomely elegant kitchen – even if I am continually wondering how she manages to keep her marble countertops so unblemished.
- UMAMI GIRL: I discovered Umami Girl via my old stalwart Serious Eats, where she writes a fantastic column full of recipes that handily use up all the strange knobbly leftover things you find at the bottom of your vegetable box. Her actual blog is a delight – beautifully designed and beautifully written. If you’re looking to satisfy your urge for a dish smothered in vegetables, fried crunchy things and cheese, try her Nachos with Cabbage, Beans and Cilantro (Coriander) Sauce, a dish I have been known to make – and eat – with almost indecent haste.
- TINNED TOMATOES: Tinned Tomatoes is one of those blogs that is both useful and utterly lovely. Author Jacqueline Meldrum is a food writer and recipe developer who specialises in vegetarian cooking. You won’t find any exotic, expensive ingredients or overly complicated methods here, but rather family (and budget) friendly recipes that can be thrown together easily after a long day at the office. If you’re looking for a good place to start, her Spicy Tatty Puffs are tantalising slabs of carb-on-carb indulgence.
- POST PUNK KITCHEN: If your only frame of reference when it comes to vegan cooking is meat substitutes and soy milk, then this site will be a revelation. Post-Punk Kitchen is written by ‘vegan with a vengeance’ Isa Chandra Moskowitz and is full of recipes that will please meat-eaters and non meat-eaters alike. Her Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles and Peanut Butter Blondies aren’t just good vegan sweets; they’re all-round good sweet treats.
Think there’s a blog I’ve missed out? Feel free to shout at me in the comments, or just recommend your own favourites. And, if it gets too much to handle, you can always turn to that old stalwart What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner…