When we stumbled on Veganlovlie, a tropical-inspired vegan cooking blog, we licked our lips and danced in the kitchen. Then we promptly made these Vegetable Pancakes for breakfast and connected with Teenuja and Kevin, the blog’s righteously creative founders, whom we believe are living the essence of what we call the #MintyFreshLife – Clean, happy, healthy living with whole foods, great taste, and big smiles.
The two lovebirds are natives of Mauritius who now reside in Montreal, Canada, so their fusion-inspired cuisine makes perfect sense. They learned to cook Mauritian-style from their mothers and added their own meatless creations as their tastes and ethics evolved.
Mauritian cuisine is an amalgam of European, African, Indian, and Chinese cultures. Add in the Veganlovlie spin and the result is a fusion of culinary communities and flavors. “The ultimate goal,” says Teenuja, “is to inspire and lure our followers into their own kitchens to enjoy this amazing culinary and cultural experience.”
“In 2007, we were living in the UK and heard about Mad Cow Disease. Soon after, the Avian Flu. So we decided to reduce our meat consumption,” explains Teenuja. “We gradually felt much better health-wise and decided to keep eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes.”
The couple eventually learned to veganize their favourite native dishes without compromising on flavour. The more they travelled (and, boy, did they travel!), the more they played with different cuisines from different cultures.
“What started as vegan Mauritian-fusion turned into a really unique kind of cuisine that we could not resist sharing with the world on our YouTube channel and the Veganlovlie blog.”
Veganlovlie started out as a passion project for Teenuja. It was a way for her to learn more, explore, and share her vegan adventure. Kevin joined the veggie adventure in 2009 and the two haven’t looked back.
“Our channel and blog gave us the opportunity to showcase our recipes in a more artistic, concise, and close manner,” says Teenuja. “They also gave us a chance to share our unique cooking philosophy – colourful dishes from scratch and fusion cuisines.
Choosing to be vegan was a process for Teenuja and Kevin. The more vegan they ate, the better they both felt – physically, emotionally, and morally. The two felt a fog was lifted mentally and that veganism “pushed us toward being more creative in the kitchen.”
From there, Veganlovlie’s food philosophy was born: Cooking is not a chore; it’s fun! “We want people to look forward to cooking,” says Teenuja. “So our recipes feature easy, step-by-step instructions and show the process from start to finish. It’s really an enjoyable experience!”
Teenuja and Kevin believe that if you want to make a lifestyle change it has to start with what you put into your body. A good way to start is to cook your own food. If your food comes from corporations and microwaveable boxes, you lose touch with the ingredients.
“When you prepare food from scratch and from whole ingredients, it is SO much more rewarding,” says Teenuja. “It also gives you a certain independence. You get to choose what you put into your body rather than relying on ready-made processed foods.”
When it comes to eating healthfully, Teenuja and Kevin ascribe to these three tips:
1. Lure in the omnivores! Make your first vegan recipes indulgent ones. Veganlovlie’s Chocolate Pumpkin Cake wins over skeptics all the time. Then, they’re open to learning what’s possible.
2. Stop eating when you’re full. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. If you are, do.
3. Don't be afraid to try new foods or new ingredients. Veganlovlie encourages everyone to give an ingredient a second chance. Before you reject a certain ingredient or vegetable out right, especially one that presents numerous health benefits, try preparing it differently or with a different combo. You might surprise yourself with how much you like it!
Oh, and if you think eating vegan is limiting, think again! “We discovered a whole new world to explore in terms of ingredients and recipes,” says Teenuja. “Vegan food has proven to be equally, if not more, delicious than non-vegan food.”
Check out Teenuja and Kevin’s delicious and nutritious plant-based creations on veganlovlie.com, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They never stop creating incredible fusion-style dishes with a tang of Mauritian inheritance. One of their faves (and one of ours too) is the Traditional Mauritian Roti and Fillings – full of flavor AND stories.