For our August Blogger of the Month, we’ve chosen to feature Annabelle Randles, creator of theflexitarian.co.uk. We love vegetarian and vegan food here at Urban Eat, that’s why we created sandwiches like the Falafel, Lemon and Coriander Houmous Sandwich which won a PETA award in 2015 for ‘The Best Vegan Sandwich’.
Something that is particularly interesting about Annabelle though is that she is what’s called a ‘Flexitarian’ which is a diet very similar to that of a vegetarian, with more flexibility and the occasional allowance of meat, that’s why we wanted to ask her a few questions about her blog and love for food:
1. What inspired you to start your blog?
Around 4 years ago, my husband suggested we become vegetarian. His main motivation was the negative environmental impacts of meat production and overfishing. I felt very daunted at first because until then, meat and fish were a very big part of my diet and I was not sure how I’d do without them. Also I had a misconception about the vegetarian diet which I felt would be very heavy on dairy and cheese.
However then I discovered the flexitarian diet. The appeal of having the flexibility to eat meat without a sense of guilt or failure really appealed to me. This is a much gentler approach and little by little we went from one meat free day a week to only eating meat very occasionally. I wanted to share this experience with others and a blog was the perfect way to do this.
2. Where do you find inspiration for recipes?
I love creating recipes from seasonal ingredients. The weekly vegetable box from my local community farm is a great source of inspiration. Also, I come from a long line of family cooks. Growing up we always ate homemade dishes. To this day my mum loves experimenting with her cooking so I guess it is in my blood. I also take inspiration from my travels.
3. What is your favourite recipe in your blog and why?
I love my Sweet Potato, Spinach & Butter Bean Stew
That is a real comfort food – so tasty and delicious, quick and easy to make, and also very healthy. It’s great for leftovers too!
4. What would be your dream destination regarding food?
I like all cuisines, as well as travelling, so it is hard to choose. Maybe Italy, because Italian cuisine often uses a lot of fresh and seasonal ingredients . . . also India for its delicious vegetarian dishes.
5. What is your most spectacular kitchen fail?
I decided to make fresh ravioli for Christmas Day once. A bit ambitious really, as it was the first time and I had a million other things to do. The filling separated from the casing – It was horrible! In the end we ate the pasta with some tomato sauce but the filling, however, could not be rescued.
6. What’s your favourite part about being a ‘Flexitarian’?
Having a diet that is now 90% plant based (I still eat fish and dairy from time to time) I feel much healthier and my energy levels have increased. At home I eat mostly vegan food and my digestion has greatly improved. Vegetarian cuisine certainly pushes my boundaries and I love experimenting with new recipes. But best of all, I feel that my diet is now in line with the other eco and ethical principles I try to live by.
Also, check out our previous featured bloggers like Wholeheartedly Healthy, Hungry Healthy Happy, SpamellaB, or Food to Glow. Get in touch if you know any other bloggers out there who deserve a mention, simply comment below with your thoughts!