Sala Kannan, vegetable enthusiast and food photographer, shares recipes and tips on her blog, Veggie Belly. The blog consists of a variety of vegetarian recipes inspired by her culture and travels. Kannan is from India, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. With just a passion for food, she started what would become a very successful vegetarian blog.
Follow her on twitter, @veggiebelly
How did you get into blogging? Where did you start?
I was always finding myself writing recipes for people on pieces of paper, or emailing people my recipes. So I figured I should start sharing my recipes in a more organized and fun way through a blog.
What has your career path with blogging been like? What all have you done to get to where you are?
Blogging really isn’t my career. But I got into food photography (free lancing) because of my blog. People saw my photos and contacted me to ask if I will shoot for their restaurant/winery/magazine.
To get to where I am – I blog consistently, give my users useful content and I am involved with the food blogging community by interacting and contributing online.
How long have you been blogging?
About 4 years.
How long have you been a vegetarian?
My whole life. I was raised a vegetarian. My parents even had vegetarian dogs!
How important is being a vegetarian to you? What would you tell someone who was curious about becoming a vegetarian?
It’s important. It’s who I am. For the curious person I’d say there is a great variety of tasty food to eat as a vegetarian. You can be a vegetarian and eat very well. I’d also tell them there is more to vegetarianism than just tofu and fake meats.
How does your own personal culture play into your recipes?
I am from India, where about 40% of the country is vegetarian. So Indian food influences my recipes a lot of the time.
How do you come up with your recipes and how long is the process?
I have a notebook where I write down ideas. I usually start to think about what vegetable or grain I want to use. Then I take it from there. For example, lets say I’m feeling like making a pasta. Its fall right now, so I might add a roasted butternut squash to it. Sage goes well with winter squash, so I might top my pasta with fried sage. Then I might think about how to make the pasta dish extra special. Maybe I’ll add some toasted hazelnuts. There you have it – pasta with roasted butternut squash, fried sage, topped with hazelnuts. 🙂
What do you think makes your blog so successful?
People like my photos and recipes. I think my blog is a place for people to explore and find a big variety of recipes – everything from easy to exotic.
How do you get the word out about your blog? How does Twitter help?
I don’t actually actively spread the word about my blog. I have links on my blog to my Facebook, Twitter, and rss feed. Over time, I’ve had quite a few people follow me. Twitter definitely helps. It helps drive traffic to my site when I’ve posted a new recipe or post. Twitter is also a great tool to connect with like-minded people and discuss our common interests.
How much work do you put into this blog?
Not including the cooking, I spend at least 2 hours per post styling, photographing and writing.
What is the most important/your favorite thing about being a blogger? About being a vegetarian?
The food blogging community is wonderful. It is full of loving, generous people and I’ve met and made great relationships with fellow bloggers. About being a vegetarian – it is the most non-violent way to live. And being a vegetarian also means living in harmony with the earth. I like that.