Meet VV


Short Story:

I’m a food photographer based in Bloomington, Indiana.

I’m a vegetarian that uses cooking / baking / eating / photographing / music as creative outlets. In turn, I’ve created VV as an attempt to inspire all of you to get creative  and dance in the kitchen with me!

Long Story:

Vegetarian Ventures is a vegetarian food blog that shares vegetarian and vegan recipes with a twist of adventure and inspiration. I’m a 20-something year old who lives in the heart of the Midwest. I work with indie-rock music by day and blog here by night. I love to vegan bake, cook with far too many spices, play with my peanut butter lovin’ puppy (Tuko // Taco // Tofu), go on picnics, camp, dance in the kitchen and take road trip adventures. I love things like Chai-flavorered anything, dream catchers, cacti, and David Bowie so please don’t be alarmed if I throw in a glam rock photo or two. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10 years which has forced me to learn to cook for myself; however, I am nothing of an expert and am still learning everyday. This blog is here to motivate and push my cooking abilities while hopefully teaching all of you a few tips along the way. I am constantly seeking a healthier (but delicious!) cooking routine so come along and join in the journey with me!

Talk soon,

Shelly (aka VV)

Fine Print Info & All The Jazz:

If you’d like to get to know me outside of my blog, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] or check VV out on Instagram, Facebook and Bloglovin. Please note that all photos, unless specified, on Vegetarian ‘Ventures are taken by Shelly Westerhausen or Wyatt Worcel. Please make sure to properly link back to the original photo if you borrow it and properly post photo credit.

VV gets around! Shelly Westerhausen and/or Vegetarian ‘Ventures has been in print publications such as Bon Appetit, O The Oprah Magazine, Family Circle, Chickpea Magazine, Vegetarian Living, and many more. VV also has recipes and articles featured on websites such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Refinery29, The Kitchn, Food52Foodgawker, Sheknows, Saveur MagazineKitchen Daily, Daily CandyBabbleFinding Vegan, Taste Spotting, Tasteologie, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and many others. Interested in featuring VV? Contact me at [email protected].

DISCLAIMER: Some links on this site are affiliate links and I do earn a commission from them. Please note that all opinions are my own.

-4 Photo by Anna Powell Teeter






  • Unc George
    November 6, 2011

    We need a recipe for a vegan turkey so we can prepare for thanksgiving

    • shellywest
      Unc George
      November 6, 2011

      I’ll get on that. Do you guys have a Whole Foods?

  • girlinafoodfrenzy
    March 18, 2012

    Love your site! It’s incredibly gorgeous 🙂 though I’m not a vegetarian I can definitely appreciate your blog, so glad I stumbled across!

    • shellywest
      March 18, 2012

      Aww thanks so much! Glad to hear it!

  • fueled by vegetables
    April 2, 2012

    Love your blog! I will definitely be trying out your recipes and recreating these masterpieces! Nice job and Happy Eating!

  • Valerie (all mussed up)
    April 9, 2012

    I followed you back here from my blog, thanks for stopping by! Can I just say AMEN to everything you just said above? Spice overloads, vegan baking adventures (especially as therapy or procrastination) and picnics are things to live by. 🙂 cheers!

  • Frankie
    April 10, 2012

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, which prompted me to stop by here. I love what you’re doing. I’m a pescatarian so I appreciate some great vegetarian and vegan recipes. I especially can’t wait to try out that oatmeal bread.

  • recipemirror
    April 22, 2012

    Just saw that you won Cookie Wars at Baker Bettie. Congrats!! Your cookies look awesome!

    • shellywest
      April 23, 2012

      Thanks so much! It was a fun contest to be a part of!

  • More Than Greens
    April 23, 2012

    Just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! Your design and photography are both amazing. Looking forward to stealing some of your recipes! 😉

    • shellywest
      More Than Greens
      April 23, 2012

      Thank you very much! I’m glad to hear my recipe have inspired your cooking!

  • katherineboyle
    April 26, 2012

    Wonderful blog! Can’t wait to try some of your recipes!

  • Denise Browning
    April 27, 2012

    Thanks for visiting my food blog and like my article about Pineapple-Mint pops, Shelly! Success on your ventures…

  • Angie's Food Adventures
    April 27, 2012

    Hey Shellywest! Thanks for noticing my blog, especially since I just started doing this and it’s still so strange to me. But I’m loving it and I get to meet interesting people and see great websites like yours! Can’t wait to make those fritters, gluten free of course. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

  • leroywatson4
    May 1, 2012

    Hello There,
    We love your blog, so we’ve nominated it for a Kreativ Blog Award.
    See the link below:
    Happy Blogging, Lee and JaneX

  • More Than Greens
    May 4, 2012

    Hi! I really enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can check out the post here:

    Have a great day!

    – Sarah

  • Angie C
    May 14, 2012

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love your blog..some amazing recipes that I must try!

  • Hungry Jess
    May 15, 2012

    This is such a cool blog! I love the layout and the photos

  • iatelunch
    May 17, 2012

    Hey there! I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award!

  • tildyteacake
    May 21, 2012

    hi there – thanks for checking out my blog! you have some great looking food on here – very inspiring

  • thewildbohr
    May 22, 2012

    BEAUTIFUL blog Shelly! Looking forward to following you!

  • Your Vegan Neighbor
    May 22, 2012

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I love the look of your blog and your vegan dishes all sound great! Can’t wait to try some if them! P.s. I too love David Bowie 🙂

  • veggiewhatnow
    May 24, 2012

    I have nominated this blog for the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling: Congratulations on your nomination! 🙂

  • luvnorcal
    May 26, 2012

    I have nominated your blog for the Pink Tree award! Thanks for being awesome, and congrats 🙂

  • marthastoever
    May 29, 2012

    thanks for visiting my blog!! i can’t wait to look through your recipes… i’m always on the hunt for more vegan inspiration!!


  • sheelbeel
    May 29, 2012

    Ahhh you sound like so much fun! I love a lot of the same things as you! Can’t wait to keep reading!

  • One Veg World
    May 29, 2012

    Hi Shelly,
    Thanks for visiting our restaurant’s blog and thanks for spreading the veg message through your wonderful blog 🙂

    If you’re ever in the area, we’d like to invite you to visit our restaurant 🙂

    Best wishes,
    One Veg World

  • Linda
    May 30, 2012

    Hi Shelly,

    Thanks so much for liking the Orange-Rum Tea Cake post on my vegan cooking blog, Vegetate!. 🙂

    I love Vegetarian “Ventures, your recipes and photos are wonderful!

    I am definitely going to make some of your Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes ASAP, wow!!!

    Best Wishes,

    • shellywest
      May 30, 2012

      glad to hear from you, Linda! That tea cake really sounds delicious! Am hoping to make it soon.

  • simplesustenance
    June 19, 2012

    Nice blog!

  • erica banks krug
    June 20, 2012

    I LOVE David Bowie.

  • myfoodreligion
    June 21, 2012

    Beautiful looking blog.

  • Maci
    June 21, 2012

    I adore your pictures! They’re beautiful!!!! 🙂

  • detroittokyo
    June 22, 2012

    Hi, Shelly. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for liking my Baked Havarti Cavatappi with Mushrooms & Spinach post. Your blog is very nice, can’t wait to poke around some more. Have a nice weekend!

  • soupandsuch
    July 2, 2012

    Hi there, Shelly! Thanks for stopping by my blog…which has led me here! I love discovering new blogs and yours looks so great. Can’t wait to take a longer look around!

    Happy summer!

  • leroywatson4
    July 4, 2012

    Shelly, your journey is a real beauty! We love your blog at the Beach House, your food and images are a source of inspiration. We’ve voted you for a ‘Lovely Blogger Award’, something that has happened many times Im sure. But what you have created could certainly be called ‘Lovely’ at the very least. Its a work of art! Happy days, lee and janex

    • shellywest
      July 6, 2012

      Thank you so much, Lee and Janex! This is not the first time you have made me feel like I should be proud of my blog and I am very grateful for the encouraging words.

      Also, you both are such fascinating people yourself! I was smiling the whole way through your bios on your blog! You have both had so many experiences already and I love the describing words for your favorite places!

  • gwynnem
    July 9, 2012

    Thanks for stopping by mu blog and checking out today’s post. I love the look of your blog!

  • A Dairy Princess Cooks
    July 11, 2012

    I love your blog, my daughter is also vegetarian I can’t wait to show her your blog.

  • Jorie
    July 17, 2012

    Love this blog already. Excited to follow along, Shelley!

  • Allison
    July 19, 2012

    Hi Shelly, I just stopped by to say that I love your blog and I’ve nominated Vegetarian ‘Ventures for a Liebster Award!

    (You can find the post here: )

  • dinnerversions
    July 31, 2012

    Hi there, thanks for the Like on my white bean and tomato salad today. I’m checking out your blog and I like what I see! I’m definitely going to have to try the vegan thai lettuce wraps!

  • myfoodreligion
    August 1, 2012

    I have nominated you for the Inspirational Blog Award. Congratulations & thanks for your great blog.

  • Cathy
    August 1, 2012

    I enjoy reading your blog so much that I have nominated you for an award! Take a look here:

  • ohshecooks
    August 1, 2012

    You’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award! I guess it’s your second nomination, but, well…that’s just how it goes 🙂 Please check this out:

  • The Farmers Taft
    August 9, 2012

    Thank you for spending hours and hours of your time creating a lovely, healthy, and inspiring blog for all of us to enjoy. I have nominated you for an Inspiring Blog Award, with nothing to do other than bask in the glow!

  • Teresa
    August 14, 2012

    Hey this is an extremely belated thank you for visiting my food blog and liking the Black-Eyed Peas Baked squash. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you. I hope you are able to make the recipe some time and let me know how it turns out. I have lots of other vegetarian recipes on my blog and over a thousand pins on Pinterest if you are interested in checking them out sometime.

  • ikigaidance
    September 19, 2012

    I enjoyed checking your blog out. I like how you offer alternatives to the usual way of doing things, such as the samosa patties where you suggest the usual samosa filling encased as a patty rather than having the typical crisp triangle end product. It is great not to feel restricted by a recipe and change things up.

  • kahht
    November 1, 2012

    Your blog is so beautiful and chic! So many good recipes too. I love your style lady.

  • Reia@thecrueltyfreereview
    November 9, 2012

    I love your site and I wish I had discovered you prior to the potluck. But I am definitely following you now!

  • Anne
    November 13, 2012

    Your blog is so beautiful 🙂

  • Jennifer St. James
    December 4, 2012

    Hi there! You won my cookbook giveaway! Please get in touch so I can have the publisher send you a cookbook. Cheers! And congrats

    • Shellywest
      Jennifer St. James
      December 4, 2012

      Oh, yes! I loved the way those sweet potato cupcakes sounded. I could not find an email address to contact you on through your website? Mine is [email protected] if you’d like to email me there! Thanks for the opportunity and cannot wait to start cooking out of the cookbook!

  • Y. bertaud
    December 10, 2012

    I had nominated you for One Lovely Blog Award…

  • Lukasz
    December 13, 2012

    Congratulations, I’ve nominated your blog for the Reality Blog Award! You can pick it up here I really enjoy your blog!

  • chinmayie @ love food eat
    December 28, 2012

    Just stumbled up on your blog today and I had to tell you how I am totally in LOVE with it!
    Also… I noticed that your design is also by Blogmilk like mine 😉

    • Shellywest
      chinmayie @ love food eat
      December 28, 2012

      Thanks! I love the blogmilk designs and your blog looks fantastic! Your photography is wonderful and that bell pepper chutney is gorgeous. Can’t wait to start following along on your blog!

  • nitahannele
    April 2, 2013

    Hey shelly, just found your blog this morning and it’s gorgeous! i tried to follow you in bloglovin but unfortunately i couldn’t find your blog?
    keep up the great work (:

  • Sophie33
    May 11, 2013

    Nice to meet you 🙂 You have a lovely blog over here! You cook vegetarian & vegan.

    I cook, bake & eat vegan at least 5 times per week with my husband. I also eat organic meat or fish, 2per week. I also have a lot of vegan & vegetarian recipes on my blog! Come on over & check me out!

    Many greets from a foodie from Belgium! 🙂

  • Sophie33
    May 11, 2013

    I also joined this VVP, in the dessert section!

  • kylie
    September 29, 2013

    I’m so happy to have found your blog! Love your recipes & food photography! IF you’re ever in portland again let me know, I’d be happy to show you around!

  • Ashlae
    January 21, 2014

    I kinda wish I still lived in Bloomington so we could vegan bake together. I live in Denver now (and love it here) but dream of Bloomington often. And Soma and Laughing Planet. And Bloomingfoods. *Le Sigh*

  • Samantha Peacock
    April 5, 2014

    Your blog is absolutely beautiful. Stumbled across you via the Best Food Blog Awards. Good luck & keep making great stuff! 🙂

  • Maria
    April 24, 2014

    Not a vegetarian, but fell in love with your blog at first sight. Lovely images!


  • tim
    April 26, 2014

    would be nice to have a “print” button for the recipes, instead of having to cut and paste to text/edit on my MAC

  • Mark
    October 2, 2014

    Your site is great!, i came here via alink fromthe website my blue and white kitchen. as a veggie of 20 years, i really appreciate your efforts. Thanks from the UK. I kae music too 🙂 xx

  • chief
    December 12, 2014

    Great photos, nice graphic design, good recipes. I can almost hear the music.

  • Dana
    January 13, 2015

    I’m new to your blog (blogs in general), and I just love it. I find it so unifying that people that love food and preparing food seem to also be so inspired by music and have such a fondness for dogs! Warm hearts, I guess. I love to eat meat, but also love animals, so your blog will be so integral in my journey to eat less meat. Thanks and can’t wait!

  • Kezia Sze
    March 3, 2015

    Lettuce wraps, sweet potato cup-cakes, white bean and tomato soup – I just love wholesome eating of all kinds of living foods on your blog.

  • mrcake57
    September 16, 2015
  • Heather
    October 27, 2017

    I’ve just recently found your blog and LOVE your recipes and photography! Was wondering if you could answer a few questions about your photos… What camera & lens do you most often use? Also, Lightroom or Photoshop? I read loads of veggie blogs but your photography is definitely my fave. Thanks for the awesomeness! -Heather @

    • Shellywest
      November 6, 2017

      Hey Heather! Thanks for the kind words! I use a Canon Mark iii and mostly us a 50 mm macro lens or a 35 mm. I also edit everything in Lightroom for the most part but do use Photoshop if something needs a lot of editing. Hope that helps!

      • Heather
        November 8, 2017

        I usually shoot with my 50mm as well. Next on my list is the 35mm! Thanks so much for the reply! -Heather

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