There are quite a few recipe magazines around, but most are very cluttered and recommend palm-oil-laden food brands, rather than encouraging to cook with local seasonal produce. Chickpea Magazine is an ad-free indie publication from the US, which offers print or digital copies, with each beautiful issue following a theme. Subscribers also receive ‘Patreon-style rewards’ for their support (recipes, mini e-books).
Before cooking, read up on food safety for people & pets (many human foods are unsafe around animal friends). If planting green spaces, learn how to make gardens safe for pets (includes indoor plants to avoid). Avoid facing indoor foliage to gardens, to help stop birds flying into windows.
As the magazine is sent from the US, the editors recommend ordering discount bundles or paired subscriptions to offset custom fees, or download the beautiful digital copies instead. The latest issue Joy, has articles on:
- Cooking your way to a happier week
- Finding joy (and mushrooms) off the beaten path
- How to enjoy a wild picnic
- The joy of cooking without a recipe
- Deciding our last meal (joyful or not?)
- Recipe for an egg-free Vietnamese omelette
- Recipe for a Snickers-inspired candy bar
Each issue of Chickpea magazine is printed on thick matte paper (designed to last years for re-reading or to pass onto others). If you opt for the digital package, the magazine is designed to be easily read on laptops or tablets.
why Chickpea magazine is ad-free
Although there are many good vegan magazines on sale, nearly all (like most magazines) are stuffed with adverts, often for items containing palm oil or wrapped in plastic. Chickpea magazine is different in that it makes its income from direct subscriptions, so remains ad-free. This means that every single page is full of quality articles, recipes or photography. The editors believe that if you have already bought the magazine, it’s madness to then have to ‘pay again’ by looking at ads on every page. In fact, ads can make up over half the content of conventional vegan (and other) magazines. Just like TV stations owned by ads (which influences what news you receive), this magazine can remain fully independent as it’s not in the pocket to any company or sponsor, asking them to feature a specific brand.
Chickpea magazine is also more holistic in its approach to the plant-based lifestyle. It focuses less on ‘the latest vegan flavour launch of plastic-bagged crisp brands) and more on wholefoods recipes, organic simple living and affordable tips from reputable sources. The editors are in a nutshell ‘not trying to sell you something’. You won’t find expensive trends of recommendations to buy expensive juicers or designer vegan shoes – or anything that (vegan or not), falls into the consumerist cycle of insecurity ‘if you can’t afford it’. Any brands recommended are done so due to authentic passion to share – not because of sponsorship.
And unlike most magazines, Chickpea editions are so beautifully written and designed, they are more like ‘mini books’ designed to be shared or stored, to come back to like a favourite book. Or your local library likely will be swooning, if you gift read copies to them! This small indie outfit is run by just three passionate Americans, and a rotating crew of freelancers who contribute quality content. This is what a good magazine should be about. Food for thought for similar vegan publications.
Artists and cooks and writers should be the backbone of a magazine on how to eat well – not created around media-savvy soundbites on ‘the latest supermarket vegan launches’. Even their imagery is from independent artists, rather than stock photography. And you also won’t find paper inserts nor provocative titles, or anything to speed up your brain and make you stressed. This magazine believes that ‘reading should be a source of rest’, to entice you to read, breathe and then cook!
each issue follows a theme
As mentioned above, the latest issue Joy focuses on happiness! Each quarterly issue follows a theme, and you can order back issues or just wait for the next issues for more innovative ideas to inspire. Here are a few more article headings from previous issues, to give a good idea of the kind of content you can be reading, if you subscribe. By the way, shops can also order wholesale (how lovely for indie health stores or gift shops to offer this magazine, over the usual trashy publications sold in newsagents):
- Low-waste living (before it was cool)
- Cast-iron cooking pots 101
- An ingredient spotlight on oats
- Getting to know (and sharpen) your knife
- Protein from (not boring) beans
- Veganising vintage baking recipes
- A full menu for a movie night sleepover
- The renaissance of sourdough bread