Almost 10 years ago, I decided to try a vegan lifestyle right in the middle of a Thanksgiving dinner. At this particular gathering, the cook had recently gone vegetarian, so most of the food was a mix of vegetables and grains.
At one point, I looked down at my plate, a gorgeous color palette of plant-based nourishment, and I immediately knew I wanted to nourish myself that way for the rest of my life.
As I leaned further into a fully plant-based diet, I noticed that I felt more energetic; I was finally getting some restful sleep and, unbelievably, my entire outlook on life changed. My relationship with those important to me became richer and fuller because of the everyday gratitude that veganism had brought into my life.
It felt like a sense of true alignment had been finally achieved. This lifestyle bridged my love for the planet and all of its creatures and my need for true self-care, and it helped me discover my passion for cooking and nourishment.
After attending culinary school and working in a variety of restaurants, I knew that I wanted to share what I had learned to help people make the transition to being plant based. My friend, knowing that I also enjoyed photography as a hobby, casually suggested that I should start a cooking blog, just to see how it went.*
A few years later, I continue to share seasonal and beautiful vegan recipes on my blog, The First Mess, which eventually turned into a cookbook of the same name. A lot of vegans cook from my site, but so many omnivores go 100 percent plant based a few times a week because of my recipes. That kind of small change, the kind that shifts people’s perceptions and helps them to live better, is what inspires me to keep going.
Try out these delicious plant-based recipes—the first three excerpted from my book The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons, and the last two original alive-exclusive recipes just for you.
*Spoiler: it went great! To learn what it’s like to run a food blog for a living, check out our Q&A with Laura here.
Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright