I’ve flirted with a number of different magazines since the demise of the BBC Vegetarian magazine many years ago. At first I used to buy occasional episodes of general food magazines like Delicious, Fresh and Olive, but when I became vegan that was a bit of a waste of money. I still used to get the Christmas and Summer BBC specials but they’re full of recipes I recognise from years ago. I tried a year subscription to the online version of VegNews and while I loved the recipes it’s too American and full of products I can’t get and I hate a few of the columns. I jumped for joy when Cook Vegetarian came out and subscribed for a year but soon became disillusioned with its worship of TV non vegetarian chefs, obvious recipe product placements, inconsistent labelling of vegan recipes and just general shoddiness. I think in one year I maybe made 3 things from it.
Vegetarian Living was recommended to me by a friend but I struggled to find it in any shops locally. Curiosity got the better of me so I decided to take out a years subscription without even having seen it. I’m on my 4th issue now and I haven’t regretted it yet. It isn’t a vegan magazine but there’s a high proportion of vegan recipes and lots of vegan tips scattered about. My main criticism of it is that the tips are a bit samey – use vegan cheese, use vegan sour cream – I’d rather see some interesting nut, tofu or nutrtional yeast based substitutions – but I think that’ll come. There’s a clear index with vegan recipes clearly labelled. The chefs featured are interesting – for example, there’s an interview and recipes from Isa this month. It isn’t condescending and although there’s a healthy scattering of reviews of vegetarian beauty products and environmental issues, its focus is definitely food. There are good restaurant and product reviews, a page of cooking for children (though not dumbed down) and giveaways and special offers. And yes, there are lots of recipes I plan to try.
I’m desperately hoping it keeps up the high standards it has set itself so far and doesn’t run out of ideas because I think I’ve finally found a magazine where I can stop flirting and snuggle up.