Nutritionist, food blogger and now the author of The Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook, Nandita Iyer insists that she is the last person to try to convert any meat-eater to vegetarianism. But through over 100 simple recipes, she is here to tell you that cooking vegetarian food can be creative, easy and fun!

She says, “Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, fibre rich lentils and beans, nuts and seeds has been proven, beyond doubt, as a way to health and longevity. So if meat eaters include a few more servings of these healthy ingredients in a day, it will go a long way towards better health. Interesting dishes with lots of flavours is bound to keep even the hardcore non-vegetarians interested in this food.”

Nandita Iyer
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“If meat-eaters include a few more servings of these healthy ingredients in a day, it will go a long way towards better health. Interesting dishes with lots of flavours is bound to keep even the hardcore non-vegetarians interested in this food.”

Nandita was born and brought up in Bombay. She asserts that she grew up with her nose in a book, attending music classes, with an interest in drawing and painting. Cooking was never a part of her early adulthood, let alone childhood. She doesn’t remember being much of a foodie either. The shift however started, when she joined medical school.

“I studied medicine because I was always a topper all through school and college and I got admission in a local medical college. After a few years, I realised I was not cut up for the intense mental pressure and decided to focus on nutrition. I was also into a few allied healthcare branches, including healthcare advertising. Parallelly, my blog Saffron Trail was started. So a combination of my studies in nutrition and interest in cooking led to creating healthy vegetarian recipes for my blog audience,” she adds.

“I also asked myself the question if I would make this dish again. Only if it fulfilled all these criteria, a recipe qualified to get into this book”

 Nandita started off working on this book with a list of 150 to 200 ingredients that she found after researching several nutrition books. She then began creating recipes using these ingredients as her base in various combinations to create a variety of dishes. These dishes had to fit in one of the four categories of her book (Good Carbs, Eat the Rainbow, Protein Punch, Healthy Fats) – “I also asked myself the question if I would make this dish again. Only if it fulfilled all these criteria, a recipe qualified to get into this book,” she says.

 After having blogged for 12 years, she admits that the medium does tend to get a bit monotonous. She informs, “The challenge lies in finding ways and means to keep yourself constantly interested in blogging. Blogging is so much about keywords, SEO, promotions and it’s no longer just writing from the heart and that starts to get a bit tiresome at times.”

“Blogging is so much about keywords, SEO, promotions and it’s no longer just writing from the heart and that starts to get a bit tiresome at times.”

The one thing that the nutritionist keeps in mind while curating her recipes is – Quick and simple, easy list of ingredients, and no processed food as far as possible. So, what would be her advice to aspiring food bloggers for finding their niche and staying at it?

“Finding success from blogging is usually a very slow process so you cannot get discouraged very easily. Stick around and keep doing what you do. Try and find a niche and own that space by constantly creating good content in that niche,” says Nandita who hopes that she writes at least five more cookbooks in the next five years that will help people eat healthily and stay healthy.

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