Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week we meet Olivia from Primavera Kitchen. This Toronto blogger has spent years creating community with her readers through her chatty newsletters and recipes that focus on healthy, easy dishes with simple ingredients.
Name: Olivia Ribas de Farias
Blog Name: Primavera Kitchen
Where were you born? In Brazil
Where are you living now? Toronto, Canada
Why did you start your blog?
Six years ago, my husband and I were trying to change our eating habits by avoiding white carbs, refined sugar and trans fats as much as possible. I also became more curious about foods in general and what we should be eating or not.
While we were getting on track to a healthier lifestyle, I would regularly send pictures of my recipes to my family back in Brazil, who also wanted to make them. This inspired me to create a food blog to share my recipes not only with my family, but also people who wants to eat and make more homemade food and healthier dishes.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I came up with the name Primavera Kitchen because I would like a name that I could combine a Portuguese word (my first language is Portuguese) and English. But I also wanted a Portuguese word that was known in North America. I thought “Primavera” would be a great name because it is a name in many popular dishes like Primavera Pasta, which is made with fresh vegetables and pasta. Nowadays, there are more variations of this recipe like Primavera Risotto or Primavera Pizza.
I like this word because it is not only a Portuguese word, but Spanish and Italian as well. It came from Latin and it means spring. So, the star of the primavera dishes is the vegetables themselves, and they are the focus of my cooking style as well.
What do you blog about?
It’s about creating healthy uncomplicated meals that have a family-friendly approach! The recipes are fast, simple, delicious and of course nutritious, without sacrificing flavor because healthy food can be as delicious as any other food.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
I blog fulltime since February 2016.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
It’s hard to say only one. But I think all my skillet meal recipe posts are probably the ones that encapsulate me the most because I’m all about keeping things simple and easy in the kitchen and in my life too. Here are a couple of my most popular ones: Shrimp & Vegetable Skillet and Italian Sausage, Onions and Peppers Skillet
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
My Keto Chocolate Bars because they’re absolutely amazing. It’s so decadent, full of rich chocolate flavor and it doesn’t even feel that it’s healthy.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Definitely it’s my post about Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet Recipe. I posted it in 2014, just months after I launched my blog. It has over 1M repins and more than 300 reviews. I made this recipe for the first time when I was cleaning up my fridge. It was so good, but I didn’t want to post this recipe because it was so easy to make. But days later I decided to make it again and post. It was a huge success.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
I think it’s writing since English is not my first language.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
To find balance. This is particularly hard for me because I’m an obsessive type A personality, meaning when I set my mind to something, I do everything possible to get it and to make it happen. At the beginning of blogging I was obsessive about it. I was totally hooked. But it became a problem when I was sleeping and exercising a lot less to blog.
While I totally believe it’s important to chase your dreams and never give up, it’s equally important to not forget about your health and people that you love. Give yourself a set amount of time to work, and then walk away to spend some time with your loved ones, to get outside for a walk, to enjoy an old hobby and so on. These things keep you healthy and inspired!
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
Becoming a fulltime blogger in only 1.5 years of blogging.
Share a couple of your favorite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I love Joy McCarthy, who is the founder of Joyous Health and she is also a certified holistic nutritionist and best-selling cookbook author. She also lives in Toronto and she is passionate about healthy eating. She is so authentic, honest and I love the way she uses her site to teach others how to be more responsible about what we should or not eat.
Editor's Note: You can read our profile of Joy here.
I also love Lorena from Green Healthy Cooking. She is German but she lives in Montreal. We are friends and I love her personally. Her recipes are healthy, but tasty and super easy to make. Also, she videos are GORGEOUS and very easy to follow. ()
Editor's Note: You can read our profile of Lorena here.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
What are you working on next for your blog?
At the moment I am updating old content and optimizing these old posts as much as I can. The goal is to make them more helpful for the reader with more tutorial photo and explanation about the recipes.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Funny fact about me, although I post a lot of low-carb recipes I love a good bowl of pasta or noodles.
What makes your blog unique?
Well, there are lots of healthy bloggers out there, but I think my blog is unique because I try to keep my recipes very easy and family friendly and I don’t use any complicated/weird ingredients to make healthy dishes. I have also been known to create lots of skillet or one-pan meal recipes. On top of that, I’m Brazilian, so I love cooking with tropical ingredients and seafood because I used to live in a city by the beach where fish and shrimp are a very strong part of their diet.
How do you cultivate a sense of community around your blog?
I have no doubts that I cultivate a sense of community around my blog with my newsletter. I have a very close relationship with my subscribers. There I talk more about my personal life, my kitchen behind the scenes, my recipes and they email me back talking about themselves too. I’ve been talking with some of them for years now. It’s great! I feel like we’re very good online friends.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The page about blogging resources.
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