Tasty iPhone apps for vegetarians

by David Lister

The lengthy list of vegetarian apps available in the iTunes App Store proves that, among other things, no animals were harmed in the making of the iPhone. While admittedly heavy on cookbooks, this list also highlights apps that can tell you exactly where the ingredients in your food come from, and whether or not the company you’re giving money too is as compassionate toward animals as you are.

Vegetarian Apps

There may be a plethora of veggie cookbooks in the App Store, but few are savvy enough to combine that with a restaurant locator. That’s exactly what Vegetarian Cookbook and Restaurant Locator ($0.99) has done, offering something for meat-free fanatics whether they’re looking to dine in or out. There aren’t an overwhelming number of recipes, but they are conveniently categorized, and the locator allows you to search by city or zip code.

First things first: the free Whole Foods Market Recipes app is not strictly vegetarian, but it’s got plenty of meatless recipes that are clearly marked as vegetarian- or vegan-friendly. You can filter out dishes by category and diet, and it includes features such as a grocery list and (of course) a store locator. Even though you may stumble across the occasional meat-centric dish, this is still well worth downloading.

Likewise, the BBC’s Good Food Healthy Recipes ($2.99) has a little bit of something for everyone, including vegetarians. Like the Whole Foods app, you can search for meat-free dishes and they are nicely marked as such. Again, like the aforementioned app, there’s also a grocery list feature included, and more than 195 recipes to peruse before experimenting.

For you newer vegetarians – or at least those who haven’t been on board for the past 119 years - New Vegetarian Dishes ($1.99) will be an eye-opening experience. This cookbook authored by Mrs. Bowdich in 1892 gives you a taste of vegetarian life in the 19th century with more than 220 recipes. In this critic’s humble opinion there are better cookbook options in the App Store, but New Vegetarian Dishes is still a fun blast from the past – with no flux capacitor required.

Vegan Apps

Speaking of Animal-Free, that’s the name of a very similar, and also free, app. It divides ingredients into two sections, animal products and vegan products, also giving information about exactly what they are. While it doesn’t have quite as much information (no drink section) it is a little nicer to look at. Vegan, vegetarian, or just curious about what you’re eating, both Vegan Is Easy and Animal-Free are equally useful options.

Cruelty-Free (free) offers a large database of companies and products, and whether they will cramp your vegan lifestyle or not. The difference between this app and the previous two is that it isn't limited to food ingredients alone.

Now that you know where your food is coming from and what it is, Raw Food Chef Pro ($4.99) can tell you what to do with it. The app has more than 100 raw vegan recipes, including drinks, snacks and full meals. Like many of the other cookbook apps mentioned it has handy features such as favorites and a built-in shopping list.