Meet Renu Bhardwaj, a seasoned food blogger and content creator specialising in budget-friendly, vegetarian recipes. Renu has attracted 126,000 Instagram followers.

A mother of two, Renu, 43, works full-time in relationship management at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), and frequently collaborates with food brands and supermarkets, providing her expertise.

“I had been sharing recipes for a while on my Instagram page, but I decided to give it my 100% effort during lockdown,” she admits.

“Before that I was struggling with a sense of imposter syndrome, wondering if these recipes were good enough. But I definitely carved my niche in lockdown and my confidence began to grow – I realised how much people were relying on social media during lockdown and that’s where my recipes really came to life.”

And so it was during lockdown that Renu experienced some of her recipes going viral and her follower count creeping up to that magic 100k mark. Her ‘Banging Bruschetta’ recipe garnered 7.4 million views, and her ‘6 Minute Airfryer Oat Cookie’ recipe accumulated an astonishing 18.5m views.

Glasgow Times: Renu Bhardwaj has over 130k followers on her hey_renu Instagram pageRenu Bhardwaj has over 130k followers on her hey_renu Instagram page (Image: hey_renu)

Renu, originally from Manchester, has lived in Glasgow for 17 years and is well-established for her vegetarian dishes which are developed to be easy to replicate, and incorporate ingredients readily found in the kitchen cupboard in an effort to avoid food waste.

Her airfryer and budget-friendly recipes are also popular with followers – dishes like her 50p garlic chilli pasta, £1 potato salad, and £1 Tandoori roasties. “Food is a massive influence as part of my family, my childhood, and my culture,” Renu explains.

“Growing up in an Indian household, everything seemed to revolve around being in my mum’s kitchen. With four siblings I was always the one in charge of the salads, sides, and condiments like chutneys.

“I really try to recreate that food connection with my family but with a Scottish blend as well – and incorporate great local produce.”

After investing in expensive crockery, camera equipment, and teaching herself food styling, Renu has become a well-known figure in Scotland’s food scene. Her foodie exploits have even led her to 10 Downing Street, and she was asked to make a coronation quiche during the King’s coronation.

Here are some of her top recipes...


This is how to make my viral six-minute chocolate cookie. These cookies can be enjoyed in single servings, eaten at breakfast, or served with a scoop of ice-cream for a cheeky dessert.

Glasgow Times:


80g oats
small banana should fill 1/3 cup
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil @bionaorganic or avocado oil
1 tbsp oat milk @get_mighty
Handful chocolate chips
1/2 tsp cinnamon optional


  • In a bowl add all measured ingredients together, and form into a ball.
  • Flatten with spoon and make a flat, round cookie
  • Add more chocolate chips to top. (optional)
  • Preheat the airfryer and cook for 6 minutes on 180°C, or oven for 10-11 minutes, rest for a few minutes. @ninjakitchenuk
  • Optional, highly recommended a drizzle of maple syrup as oats can get very dry!
  • Make a batch and freeze.


Bruschetta is my ultimate summer comfort food. Crispy sourdough bread, onions, basil, garlic and sweet little Datterini Tomatoes.

Glasgow Times:


Sourdough bread
2 tbsp tomatoes chopped
2 tsp oil
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
6 Basil leaves finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt, pepper, oregano, optional chilli flakes


  • Finely chop and add all ingredients to a bowl
  • Grill your sourdough bread
  • Scrape your bread with a clove of garlic
  • Add the bruschetta mix
  • My secret ingredient: Aubergine Meze
  • Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze

Renu's article originally featured in our sister title The Best of Scotland magazine.