To contact me, please email lisa[at]thevietvegan.com
Who are you?
My name is Lisa, I’m 27, and I like taking pictures of food. I’m vegan, a nerd, and a feminist. My favourite colours are green and purple, I love lemon-flavoured things, and my favourite food is mac and cheese (vegan, of course). Actually just food in bowls in general are awesome (soups, noodles, smoothie bowls, rice bowls…etc.)
So where are you from?
It’s complicated, but currently I live in Mississauga (which is just west of Toronto).
So… The Viet Vegan eh? Why the name change?
Now that I’m out of school and I’ve been working in the food marketing field for a while, I’ve lost my connection to my translation background. While I do still translate on the side and I still speak French, I found that I identify less as Je suis alimentageuse and more about reconnecting with my family’s roots in Vietnam. I’m Canadian-born Vietnamese and I grew up learning English from the TV. I speak Vietnamese but my reading and writing skills are fairly rudimentary.
However, with my involvement with the Vietnamese community, I’ve wanted to explore the roots of my family and understand what they went through to get here. My parents were both boat-people refugees, meeting in Thailand before coming to Canada. I understand the resilience and struggle of the South Vietnamese, and I hope to bring more light to it through my blog.
Furthermore, I wanted to really commit to my identity as a vegan. I’ve only been vegan since October 2013, but animal rights, sustainability, and ethical living are things that have become very important to me, and I want to share with people why eating and living plant-based is an awesome way to be. I’m still pretty new to veganism. I consider myself a vegan toddler and I hope you enjoy my trials and tribulations as I navigate what it’s like to be vegan and Vietnamese.
You’re called the Viet VEGAN. Why do you have lacto-ovo-vegetarian recipes?
I’ve been vegan since October 2013 and before that, I was vegetarian. While I no longer advocate cooking with dairy and eggs, I know that there are some people who have loved using the recipes on here. Not everyone who reads this blog is vegetarian, let alone vegan, so any step towards more plant-based meals is a win in my books.
Okay, so you’re The Viet Vegan. I got it. But why do you have so many non-Viet recipes?
Like I said, I’m Canadian-born and I was born in a super WASP-y tiny town in Ontario near cottage country. So naturally I am influenced by Canadian cuisine. I actually prefer eating Vietnamese food over Canadian food, but since I moved away from home, I realized how time-consuming Vietnamese food prep is. Plus Canadian food is way more accessible (because duh-Canada), but now that I live closer to an Asian market, Viet staples are more affordable and easier to come by (hence the increase in noodle recipes).
I keep seeing “Je suis alimentageuse” all over the site. What does “alimentageuse” mean?
Je suis alimentageuse is the name of my blog before I rebranded as The Viet Vegan. Alimentageuse (pronounced: ah-lee-mahn-ta-juhz) is a word I made up from alimentation, which means food in French, and turning it into an adjective. To me, Je suis alimentageuse translates to “I am a foodie”.
What camera do you have?
I used to use a Canon XSi until December 2013, when I upgraded to a Canon 60D. Then my 60D died in summer 2016, so I got an 80D. I wanted to save up for a 5D but I needed another camera soooo I had to put that on hold. I mostly just use a 100 mm f/1.4 macro, 24-70 mm f/4, or a 50 mm f/1.4 lens, but sometimes my 18-55 mm or 18-200 mm kit lenses make an appearance.
Why are you so long-winded about things unrelated to food?
I use this blog sort of like a diary. Without having met me, you might think that I share a lot of my life online. Well, actually in real life, I’m the same. I overshare. I have no poker face and essentially no filter. I also have social anxiety that clashes with my outgoing personality so all my feelings need to come out somewhere, so they come out here. If you don’t want to read it? Fine. Scroll down. But don’t make a habit of it, sometimes I actually do talk about the recipe, and some of those details are relevant to the success of the recipe.
Who the heck are Chris and Burrito Boy/Eddie?
Since the beginning of this blog, you’ll see mentions and anecdotes of my former partner, Chris. We’ve since parted ways, but I’ve since started dating Eddie. He was initially introduced on my blog as Burrito Boy. For the record, he’s told me he’s perfectly fine with me writing about him so long as they’re positive (which they always are). In fact, he kind of gets a kick out of it.
For those wondering, Burrito Boy is an omnivore a vegetarian (as of Jan 2017) whose favourite food is burritos (I know, so out of left field.) His moniker derives from our first date, as well as the fact that he loves burritos. Before me, he had never met a vegan (I don’t think he had any vegetarian friends either), so since we’ve been together he’s become accustomed to having tofu, seitan, and soy milk on the regular. He’s not a fan of broccoli or mushrooms, but he’ll pretty much eat anything I make so he’s vegan when he’s around me.
If you’re trying to get the whole story (don’t pay attention to the blog post dates, because I wrote each post at least a couple weeks after the events), here’s a list of the posts related to my love life:
- The beginning of the end of my relationship with Chris
- When I came to terms with our break up
- My experiences with online dating
- My recap of the first date with Eddie
- Eddie’s and my second epic 7 hour date
- Asking myself, “Am I over Chris?”
- What’s it like to date an omni as a vegan
- Valentine’s and an update on my relationship with Eddie
I like grammar. If you see a typo, please tell me and I will fix it. Typos drive me crazy and reading my stuff over and over makes me miss things so please tell me if I have a typo!
My school background is in translation studies but I work in the marketing field.
Please link back if you’re going to use any of the recipes I’ve used on this blog. Rewrite directions in your own words as recipe ingredients are not technically copyrighted while directions are. All photography on this blog is taken by me (unless otherwise noted) and thus I ask that you do not use my photography for any commercial purposes unless I have given you permission.
(Copyright all rights reserved)
JSA artwork by Molly Aylwin