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Although almost all recipe websites these days have some kind of vegetarian section, VegWeb is one of the only ones dedicated to vegetarian cuisine and stands out in this field. Get past the slightly budget web design and you will find an archive bigger than many regular recipe websites with additional features to match.
To begin with, we were certainly impressed with VegWeb’s 15,000 recipes. However, what is really important is the quality and accessibility of the said recipes. VegWeb gets off to quite a bad start in this respect; with a rather basic search engine it can be difficult to narrow down your search. For example, a simple search of “carrots” brought up 58 pages of results. VegWeb’s categories are, however, much better organized; along with the new and popular recipes sections, this is the best way to browse the VegWeb archives. Despite this, without pictures or descriptions to accompany the recipes until you actually click on them, it is still hard to actually pick a recipe out of nothing more than pages of text. Overall, we felt VegWeb’s search and cataloguing left a lot to be desired.
However, please don’t let this put you off completely. The recipes we did find were pretty good and, as mentioned previously, there are a hell of a lot of them. Furthermore, VegWeb boast similar features to many of its more “up market” competitors including; a recipe book, a grocery list, a meal planner, recipe share options, comments, and photos. A small amount of time spent searching in VegWeb can uncover some real gems.
In a similar way to the rest of the website, VegWeb’s community features are excellent although quite poorly presented. The discussion forum is one of the liveliest we have encountered and you are also able to create a profile, send private messages and get involved in chat rooms.
We especially liked VegWeb’s additional lifestyle features such as vegetarian lifestyle articles and non-food recipes. Vegetarianism is more than just a diet choice and hence, extras such as articles on animal activism and recipes for vegetarian shampoo make an excellent addition. You will also find information on diet, childcare, where to buy the best veggie / vegan produce and much more.
Overall, VegWeb certainly boasts great content but unfortunately, it is presented poorly and is difficult to navigate. Without a formal cooking guide or how-to section, beginners may feel rather lost as to how to follow the recipes, especially when a lot of veggie and vegan food is not well known. Seasoned vegetarian and vegan cooks however, will find VegWeb a treasure trove of reference material, tips and ideas; it is just a shame that it is organized so poorly. Due to this, we would best describe VegWeb as a diamond in the rough; quite some polishing would be required to get into a top ten spot.
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