Who am I?

 I’m Haiying (Joyce) Gan, the recipe developer, blog post writer, and food photographer behind LightOrangeBean.com. I am also a wife, mom of a 5-year-old, and resident of Michigan, USA. Light Orange Bean was launched in September 2014.

What you will find in this blog?

In this website, you will find a diverse collection of both old and newly developed recipes, of which 100% are gluten-free and  and over 90% are vegan friendly. I only use natural sweeteners, such as stevia, agave nectar, or organic cane sugar, but not refined sugar, in my recipes.  I believe you will find something that you are eager to make in your own kitchen among all the healthy, delicious, easy, and eye-catching recipes on this blog.

Why I started this blog?

Cooking became something I really liked to do, ever since I could reach the counter standing on a stool. I liked how good food made people happy,  brought them together, filled their stomachs and their minds with joy and good memories. I have since learned about the benefits and necessity of eating a healthy diet. Even though the food I cook with has changed, eating still remains one of the greatest joys in my life, with an even greater appreciation for it. So now it’s become even more important to me to share these healthy, tasty, reliable, and frustration-free recipes with as many people that will listen, in addition to my friends and family.

Three years ago, my husband and I decided to switch our protein source from animal-based to mostly plant-based. Although we occasionally have chicken, fish, or eggs; most of the time our protein is from legumes, grains (gluten-free), seeds, nuts, and tofu. Due to an almost endless variety of plant based foods and new creative recipes, my family has never had to eat the same dinner more than once in a single week. You will find many vegan friendly dinner dishes, sweet snacks, and desserts with various flavor combinations throughout this blog.

What do I use for my food photography?

More than 90% of my recipes/food photos are accepted by Foodgawker, HealthyAperture, TasteSpotting, Finding Vegan, Potluck Oh My Veggies, and Tasty Kitchen, et. al. Majority of the food photos are taken under natural daylight using Canon T3i DSLR with 50mm/f1.8 lens and edited using Adobe Photoshop® afterwards.

If having engaging content and great recipes are the soul of a great food blog, then eye-catching and mouth-watering food photos are the windows to the soul. I owe my gratitude to Lindsay @ pinchofyum.com for the fantastic ebook, the Tasty Food Photography. After studying the book and putting this food photo knowledge into practice, my photography skills improved dramatically. If you like my food photos and also want to improve yours, this book would definitely do the trick. It contains many practical ideas so you don’t have to spend big bucks to achieve “food magazine grade” photographs.

A little bit about me and my family.

I grew up in Xi’an. It is one of the oldest cities in China with more than 3000 years of history. With its food culture and tradition, Xi’an has earned its culinary legacy. I started to help my parents prepare food in our small kitchen when I was a child. I moved to United States 10 years ago to pursue my doctoral degree in organic chemistry and achieved my PhD in 2011, followed by a two-year postdoctoral training in molecular imaging.

Sometimes I think there is similarity between a recipe developer and an organic chemist. Not only do they follow experimental procedures (recipes), such as weighing, mixing, heating, and recording the results for future improvements, but they also do have to be creative.   With an enthusiasm for cooking and a background in chemistry, don’t be surprised if you find a little bit of chemistry explanation in some of my blog posts.

My husband, Brad, who built our house, is a builder and a handy man. Several years ago, he was diagnosed with celiac disease, in simple words, he could not eat anything with gluten in it (no wheat, rye, or barley). Later, I found out I have gluten intolerance. So our whole family has gone GF. It is challenging to cook without using wheat, but I can say loudly, we Did it and I continue to improve from my research into what others have done, development of new recipes, and trying new baking procedures, which is a lot of trial and error. You can find all of our gluten-free recipes here.

If you are new to gluten-free, or you are just someone who wants to explore different food, stay tuned with Light Orange Bean.


Because I spent a good amount of time to develop recipes, create blog posts, and take good photos, at this time I don’t allow republishing of my blog posts and recipes verbatim on your site or publication. Republishing my posts, recipes, and photos may be considered with my prior consent. Please feel free to email me if you want to use some of them. If you would like to share my photos with your audience, please credit the photos you used with a link back to the original blog post.   All content in this site, including text, recipes, and photos are all protected by copyright.

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