THE VEGAN 8 BLOG UPDATE
I have been wrestling with this decision for the past year or so and have finally made one. I’ve been blogging for nearly 9 years (started my first food blog June 2012) and have been running this vegan food blog, The Vegan 8, since October of 2013. I originally created The Vegan 8 because I realized just how many people wanted delicious, but simple and easy recipes that didn’t require a ton of ingredients. I’ve gone over this on my About page. But in short, my concept of 8 ingredients or less recipes (not counting the very basics of salt/pepper/water) began because the recipes that most readers were making were just that, 8 ingredients or less.
I knew that I wanted to reach and help as many people as I could. I knew that my idea was going to help so many, which it has. It has enabled for me to reach hundreds of thousands of people over the years and hear countless testimonies of how my recipes have helped your transition to a vegan lifestyle, get healthier and actually love vegan food.
I’m incredibly grateful to have connected with thousands of you over the years and become friends with several of you. It is a true honor and blessing.
I’ve reached a point now where I feel like my creativity wants to further flourish. A nudging that I can no longer ignore.
My blog has become known as a resource for a few specific niches.
- 8 ingredient concept
- Simple, easy, but incredibly delicious plant-based comfort food
- Oil-free recipes being a big one
- Resource for gluten-free recipes, but them being just as delicious as regular recipes made with traditional flour. This has been one major thing that I’ve heard from thousands-that my gluten-free baked recipes have made you love gluten-free food or helped your kids. Gluten-free baked goods are notoriously known for having awful textures. My years of experience as a baker and commitment to super high standards, has allowed me to create a blog resource for those wanting gluten-free recipes that will wow any eater. I never want people or children to feel like they can’t enjoy a delicious dessert because they cannot have gluten.
- Wholesome plant-based recipes that don’t rely heavily on processed ingredients like fake meats or cheeses. (that you’d buy from the store)
Where I’m at now. I have felt a burning for awhile now to venture out just a bit from my 8 ingredients concept. I receive recipe requests from readers weekly. Some I have to turn down simply because of that. My husband requests recipes as well. Some recipes simply cannot be done at 8 ingredients, without sacrificing my high standards of quality and taste.
For example: Gumbo, Tiramisu, Boston Cream Pie Donuts. These are just examples of requests I’ve received that I have not been able to post due to realizing that they would be impossible to do at 8 ingredients. A true gumbo would need 10-15 ingredients and a Boston cream pie donut has 3 components to it. A Tiramisu is my all-time favorite dessert. That is a multi-layered dessert that would require more than 8.
This doesn’t mean that hundreds of recipes can’t be done at 8, obviously, I’ve been doing it for years, haha. That is the whole reason I started this blog, because I knew I could do it. But this does mean, that certain recipes, cannot. And as I’ve grown over the years as a recipe developer, I want to venture out from time to time.
When I have posted pics of dinners I’ve thrown together, I’ve had requests for the recipe, which I then state it’s more than 8 ingredients, people reply “I don’t care, I want it!” That is a relief to me now.
While I recognize that to many, it was my original 8 ingredient concept that stood out to so many, over the years of building a large reader base, it has been the quality of flavorful recipes that have kept you here. You’ve spread the goodness of your love of my recipes by word of mouth to so many of your friends, family, social media, etc.
So, my plan going forward is to allow myself a little bit extra with some of those recipes that will require a few more, sometimes maybe just 1, maybe 5, who knows, it will depend on the recipe. This way I can share my full creativity with you all. I don’t want to hold back myself any longer.
Plus, one thing that many people have told me over time is that they have followed and made my recipes for a long while and only recently realized the “8” in my blog name meant 8 ingredients and that they were just here for the yummy recipes! Haha.
So, that has made me realize that it is not just my 8 ingredient concept and wholesome ingredients, but the flavors and textures you love about my recipes. Because, let’s be honest, if the recipes were horrible, it wouldn’t matter if they were easy 8 ingredient recipes anyways, right?
Now, please, I don’t want anybody to panic and think going forward that all my recipes are going to be 10-15 ingredients! No, no, no, no. Most will still be 8 ingredients or less, not counting salt/pepper/water, like always! Because honestly I personally get anxiety over recipes with 10-15 ingredients. Too much work. I like simplicity and ease.
BUT, I have always made an exception to make a recipe with a few more if it’s a great recipe I really want to try. But it’s certainly not a daily thing for me, lol.
This would just be a sometime thing, so I am not changing my blog name or any crazy stuff like that.
I just felt that I wanted to share this with you all and get your thoughts. You readers are the most important thing to me when it comes to blogging.
Additionally, in my next book, I have these exact same thoughts. I will not be advertising my next book as “8 ingredient only” recipes. But rather, many 8 ingredients will be but several will not be. It is so unbelievably frustrating to get reviews on Amazon from people who failed to read the multiple places in the book where I noted that my recipes did not include salt/pepper/water in the 8 ingredients, or obviously anything listed as optional, because, well, it’s optional! Some left me awful reviews hurting my overall rating because they didn’t count properly or read. As an author and a person that works very hard and puts my whole soul into my work, it’s incredibly upsetting. I do not want to go through that again with another book.
This small progression of my recipes is simply because of my commitment to not only myself, but also to you because I care so much to give you what you want and ask for. If I didn’t care so much about providing all that I could, I wouldn’t even bother to change anything at all. But I feel sad when I have to turn down a recipe request because it’s not one that could be done at 8 ingredients of high quality.
My recipes will still all be vegan, mostly gluten-free and oil-free, like always. That is not changing. That is who I am and what I love creating. Just some once in a while will have a couple/few of extra ingredients, so I hope you are all okay with that. It will make me happier and feel more free to let my creativity flourish to share with you all. I need to be true to what my heart is tugging at for awhile now.
I feel like change is a must in life if we want to grow, and while this may seem like a small change or a big change to some of you, it has been weighing heavily on my mind since I’ve been writing 8 ingredient only recipes for, well, going into my 8th year now. And they will still almost always have that, but with some extra fancy ones thrown in the mix now!
Love you all so much and thank you for all the support you’ve shown me over the years. I can’t express my gratitude enough.