Steph, along with her partner Sam, created their blog Sugared Coconut in hope of inspiring others to adopt a vegan diet or at least encourage others to introduce more vegan meals to their diet. They want to show others that being vegan is limitless, empowering, fulfilling, fun, and healthy. Which is why they create bright and colourful vegan bowls and meals (& sometimes donuts)! We chatted to Steph about her blogging, lifestyle, inspiration and what it means to be apart of our cookbook.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hiya, I'm Steph! I'm a Toronto based vegan that loves to cook and share my passion for cooking wholesome vegan meals. I work in the health industry as well as in social work, and I use vegan food as a way of healing for myself and my clients.
When did you start food blogging on Instagram and what inspired you to start?
I started blogging on Instagram a little over a year ago. I actually didn't have any social media so the thought of starting a blog really freaked me out, my partner (Sam) joked with me about taking photos of my food one day and now here we are. It definitely started out as a fun thing to showcase my love of cooking and my love of vegan food, and now it's blossomed into something much bigger than that.
When I met Sam and his all-vegan family, my entire worldview changed. My views towards health, animals, food, and the environment completely shifted. I made a choice to put my health first and to no longer contribute to the horrific treatment of beautiful and innocent sentient beings.
I don't look at other recipes often, I like to create my own recipes whenever I can and really challenge myself. I also have a ton of allergies and sensitivities (nuts, wheat, sunflower seeds, and most legumes) so I can't eat a lot of recipes that I see out there. I guess you could say I get inspiration from recipes that I cannot eat and then I try and transform them into something I can actually eat. If I had to say something, I'd say Instagram.
Your foodie creations are breathtaking, to say the least! Where did you learn all your cooking and food skills?
Prior to going vegan, my cooking skills were minimal. However, when I went vegan I kind of had to force myself to be a good cook because my hardcore Portuguese family would not cook for me...my poor mom had no idea what to make me.
Your Instagram feed is so bright and beautiful! Where do you source all of your fruit and veg from?
I try and source my fruits and veg locally by going to markets or by subscribing to veg boxes. However, I live in Canada so a lot of the fruits that I use in my creations are not readily available here. When I do go grocery shopping, I gravitate towards local health stores like Goodness Me or Natures Emporium, or Wholefoods.
Oh my goodness, that's a hard one. For food and vibes, I would definitely say Bali. For the views, I would definitely say Iceland or the Faroe Islands. I really cannot pick, I think I have left a piece of my heart everywhere I have travelled to.
Definitely my falafel bowl.
My favourite thing is definitely how sustainable coconut bowls are, I love that your company transformed something society views as waste into a household product that people use daily. And it's biodegradable... and it prevents people from using plastic (heck yes).
We are so excited to have one of your recipes included in our cookbook ‘Vegan Bowls for Vegan Souls’. Tell us about the recipe you chose and what it means for you to be apart of the book?
The recipe that I created for the Vegan Bowls for Vegan Souls Cookbook is a spicy beet and sweet potato burger, I love a good burger and wanted to use this as an opportunity to show non-vegans that you can make a good tasting vegan burger that is simple and healthy. I am so honoured to be a part of the book, alongside so many talented creators.