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April 16, 2021
You know those Instagram accounts you stumble upon that keep you glued to your phone for an extra hour while you salivate profusely? Nive's @colorfulbalancedrecipes is that Insta account for us. We are consistently blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness Nive puts into each and every post. 😍 So without further ado we are pleased to introduce you to our new collaborator hailing all the way from the San Fran Bay area. Meet Nive Suresh. 👋
How’s your day? It’s been fantastic, thank you for asking!
Flowers or succulents? Definitely succulents – love that they’re low maintenance lol
“Lol” or “haha”? Both!
Book or podcast? Books, hands down.
Pineapple on pizza – pick it off or leave it on? Pick it off
Rice or noodles? Noodles (slurp)
Fave cheesecake flavour? Oooh tough one – I want to say my Thanksgiving pumpkin cheesecake because that’s the first thing that pops into my mind!
Cilantro – hell yes or hell no? Hell yes!
Favourite vegetable? Another hard one! I’m gonna say cauliflower.
Favourite word? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
What’s your life motto? Live the life you want to live. Don’t settle.
What’s your favorite emoji? 😒
Favourite season? Fall
The one thing guaranteed to make you happy? Cozy/stay at home weather or food
Last song that was stuck in your head? Señorita by Camilla Cabello & Shawn Mendes
Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels? Stories
Late-night snack of choice? Milk
Hi there! I’m Nive and I’m a vegetarian food photographer and recipe developer on the side. :) I’ve been experimenting with recipes for a while now and since I found out about my digestive intolerance to commercial yeast and most processed sugar, I started creating allergen-friendly food to fit my different dietary needs. Some of my friends encouraged me to start an Instagram (and later, a blog) to document my food adventures and the rest, as they say, is history!
Your instagram handle is @colorfulbalancedrecipes. How do you define “balanced” food? What does “balance” mean to you personally?
To me, balance means not restricting the kind of food I eat. There’s always a place for indulgence in a healthy lifestyle. When I found out about my intolerance, after a mild case of panic (and feeling restricted), I was excited to show myself that allergen-friendly, delicious and balanced food is possible and that’s what I bring to my Instagram as well! So really, eat some brownies with a side of gluten-free tempeh sandwich ;)
What are the biggest challenges and greatest rewards of being a food content creator?
Okay I think every food content creator will agree with me when I say that clean up and doing the dishes are one of the biggest challenges. 🙈 But the greatest rewards include learning something new constantly and pushing your creativity to its limits every single day. 😊
Where is your favourite place to shop for ingredients?
There’s a vegetarian grocery store (coop) called Rainbow Grocery here in San Francisco. It’s my go-to for any and all organic, local ingredients!
From your perspective, what draws your followers to your photos and recipes?
I think for photography, my followers may be drawn to my minimal and moody photography; for recipes, they may like the fact that allergy-friendly food doesn’t need to be restrictive or compromise on taste!
Favourite cooking hack or tip?
Don’t scrub a cast iron skillet with a steel wool or soap! I usually run it through some hot water to get rid of grease and use a stiff brush to scrub off stuck-on bits. And always rub on some oil before you store it away. :)
Where do you get the inspiration for your recipes?
I’d have to say some of it comes from traveling and the rest comes from meals I was exposed to while growing up! I still haven’t attempted my family classics in fear of ruining them. 😬
Do you have any culinary heroes?
Honestly, I have to say that I’m learning from literally everyone I interact with. :)
What are some of your favorite current trends in food and healthy cooking?
Making sourdough, of course! I’ve always been into sourdough but was too intimidated to make it myself (partly because my first attempt failed terribly). My partner surprised me with a dried sourdough starter recently and I’ve been having a blast working with it! Be on the lookout for all things sourdough-related on my feed in the near future. 👀
Ok we’re in the San Francisco Bay Area for a weekend… where should we go?
Depends on your interest—there’s so much to do around here! You could go check out the graffiti/ murals in the SF Mission district, bike across the Golden Gate bridge, ride cable cars in downtown SF, catch a game at the Oracle Park, eat at cute vegan cafes/restaurants, hike at Muir Woods, spend a day with books at City Lights and even make a trip to Rainbow Grocery ;D (and that’s just to name a few!).
If we’re only going to make one dish from your blog Colorful Balanced Recipes, which one should it be?
Awwww, just one?! Can I make you pick two? You have got to make my arugula potato pizza (it’s vegan-friendly!) for the main course and beet tahini date shake for dessert. 🤤
So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?
Definitely check out my blog and Instagram!
WHAT IS SMARTBITE COLLECTIVE? Smartbite Collective shines a spotlight on changemakers in our community that live according to Smartbite principles. We started Smartbite Snacks because we want to live our lives on our own terms while creating a positive change around us. We don't wait for things to happen, we get up and happen to things. Roadblocks don't discourage us, they fuel us. We believe that life is what you make it, how you impact it and also how you look at it – rice cakes are just rice but wine is just grapes. To us simplicity, boldness, kindness and giving a shit (yes, we said it) are everything and when we meet someone who embodies all of the above, you bet we'll ask tons of questions.
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October 01, 2021
What’s handmade, cute, sustainable and keeps your hair out of your face? The answer is Siena Vida scrunchies. Who knew scrunchie can do so much? We caught up with Vanessa who started Siena Vida in the midst of pandemic after she learned to sew from her Nonna (talent clearly runs in Vanessa's family).
So stop what you’re doing, make yourself a cup of whatever hot you fancy, grab a snack and get ready to be inspired. 💭💭💭
July 27, 2021
May 25, 2021
Meet Yoko Segawa, our talented May collaborator who believes that cooking is a basic form of self care and we cannot agree more. We first encountered Yoko on Instagram Reels, where she serenely shares recipe details of her healthy, plant based creations in 30 seconds or less.
Yoko's IG account, @yokos.kitchen an extension of her YouTube channel of the same name, has an immediately recognizable style. The pastel pink hues, fresh flowers, unique food creations and tunes that flit between mellow electronica to delightfully carefree pop tracks will instantly put you at easy.
We recently caught up with Yoko and chatted about everything from what she misses most about Japan to how the macrobiotics made her fall in love with a plant based food.