Green Kings & Queens: The Best Plant-Based Instagram Accounts
Spring is a time of renewal—cleaning up and clearing out the old, and welcoming in fresh ideas, new perspectives and revamped habits. As EC’s resident vegan gal (plant-based, depending on your standards or definition of the sensitive v-word), I think spring is a great time to start incorporating more plants into your meal plan! In fact, I first went vegan (four years ago!) in the month of May—just in time for farmers market season! I was never much of a cook, but going vegan overnight hastened my need to learn. I leaned heavily on free online resources for inspiration (and still do!). Today I’m sharing a handful of my favorite plant-based Instagram accounts with you. Happy spring!
Created by food photographer, home cook and now cookbook author Timothy Pakron, the Mississippi Vegan brand celebrates plant-based southern cooking. Pakron often features his own homegrown herbs, hand-foraged mushrooms, and traditional southern produce like squash blossoms, okra and green beans. His vegan take on soul classics like jambalaya, mac and cheese, and Hoppin’ John Stew have all the heart (and heat!) of the originals.
Avant garde, he is! Gaz Oakley, who hails from the U.K., started working full-time in restaurant and hotel kitchens at 16, where he learned top-chef techniques and developed his cosmopolitan flavor profile. Now, he’s a plant-based chef, creating recipe content on Instagram, Youtube and his own cookbook series. His dishes range from British classics to Middle Eastern street food to island favorites. Also? Obsessed with his lush food photography and videography, thanks to his plant-filled studio kitchen.
Canadian blogger Erin Ireland went from food reporter to bakery founder (To Die For Fine Foods), restaurant reviewer and vegan thought leader, all thanks to her awesome Insta account. Ireland always seems like the first to try and review new vegan cheezes, sauces, “meats” and more. She’s an innovative home cook, too, always sharing lunch and dinner recipes in her story (with all the ingredients, measurements and techniques right there!). Ireland’s recipes are family-friendly, health-conscious (but not too healthy) and totally *to die for.*
Let’s give it up for a hometown hero! Chicago Diner has been crafting delish vegetarian and vegan food for locals for over 30 years! “Meat free since ‘83,” in their own words. In a city known for its meaty eats, Chicago Diner has found surprising success. Their dishes celebrate some of the city’s classics, such as pierogis, corned beef sandwiches (hello, expertly-prepared seitan!) and brunch staples. The Chicago Diner Insta showcases seasonal items, alerts us to special deals and gives us an excuse to go out to eat.
As the bio says, “10 ingredients, 1 bowl, or 30 minutes or less.” The brainchild of Dana Schultz, Minimalist Baker is actually not a specifically vegan recipe blog, nor does it subscribe to any sort of dietary label. But, most of the recipes do happen to fall under the “plant-based” umbrella, and even those that don’t are easily made vegan. I love Minimalist Baker for the simplicity of ingredients and preparation, as well as for the basic cooking and baking tips. MB has lots of advice re: baking replacements like flax eggs, dairy-free buttercream frosting and more.
Like Minimalist Baker, Healthyish is *not* entirely vegan, and isn’t even quite as close to a plant-based Instagram account as MB. But. As an offshoot of Bon Appétit mag (one of my great loves these days), it’s chock full of “healthyish” recipe ideas—with beautiful BA photography—and it’s absolutely inspiring. Though, Healthyish does sprinkle in plant-based recipes, like this drool-worthy Spring Minestrone. And the non-vegan recipes are often super easily veganized, like this Turmeric Yogurt Dip—just swap out the Greek yogurt for your non-dairy yogurt of choice!