Vancouver vegan blogger Hilary Detwiller keeps food ‘Plate+Simple’

Local blogger offers tips, recipes and friendly advice for inspired vegan living.

Credit: Gabrielle Pope

Hilary Detwiller teachers vegan living on her blog ‘Plate+Simple’

Hilary’s vegan burger has been crowned “Yaletown’s Best.” (See below to get the recipe!)

Vancouver vegan blog Plate+Simple offers a mix of vegan recipes, nutritional advice and friendly insight into vegan living

Vegan Internet communities like VegWeb and the Post Punk Kitchen are gaining popularity among vegans all over the world, and now a growing community of locals are blogging about living vegan, in Vancouver.

On the blog for the Vancouver-based animal-rights organization Liberation BC, a list was recently posted of many local sites, such as Epicurvegan, Blowing Up My Kitchen, Sweet On Veg, Plate+Simple and many more.

bcliving caught up with the woman behind Plate+Simple to talk food, living and macaroons.

Hilary Detwiller writes the Plate+Simple vegan blog

Local blogger Hilary Detwiller is out to prove
a plant-based diet is the way to go.

It’s all about healthy living

Yaletown resident Hilary Detwiller is the blogger behind Plate+Simple. Despite having only launched in May of this year, the design and content of Plate+Simple would suggest that it has been live for years. Though most food-bloggers tend to focus primarily on luscious food porn and restaurant reviews, Plate+Simple ties together those elements with an overarching focus on health and nutrition.

“I truly think it’s every vegan’s responsibility to be as healthy as we can be,” says Hilary. “If we can show that vegans really can be healthy, radiant and glowing from the inside and out, others just might be inspired to emulate this lifestyle. Or at the very least, incorporate some new healthy changes into their diet. We need to prove to the world that people can truly thrive on a plant-based diet.”

Hilary fuels her busy lifestyle, which includes both a career and a toddler, with healthy food and exercise. She insists that her blogging is a labour of love that was destined to become an important part of her life.

“From the moment I decided to become vegan, I have seriously not been able to shut up about it,” says Hilary. “I am so excited about my journey that my poor husband and friends were subjected to countless hours of lectures about all things healthy, vegan and delicious. I knew I had to channel that enthusiasm somewhere more productive (or risk alienating my friends and family!) and so Plate+Simple was born.”

The Agro Cafe, a local purveyor of vegan treats, is where Hilary gobbles up one of her favourite snacks, their morning glory muffin.


With a little self-promotion on social networking sites and some exposure to eager participants in some initial giveaways, Hilary soon found that her blog was attracting all kinds of interest and readership.

“I was overwhelmed by the initial response. I honestly didn’t expect anyone outside my family and friends to read my blog.”

Vegan nutrition made simple

In addition to serving as a vegan food diary, Plate+Simple is also a health resource. This is one thing that makes the blog somewhat unique: while most other vegan blogs are focused on the animal welfare or environmental benefits of a vegan diet, Plate+Simple is all about the health benefits.

“Maintaining a healthy vegan diet can be a challenge if you don’t commit to making sure that you are getting all the nutrition that you require,” she says. “I spent so much of my pre-vegan life trying to be ‘healthy’ by eating low-fat this and sugar-free that, and only in hindsight did I realize that I was actually harming myself.

“For me, a vegan diet means focusing on real food—fresh, whole, simple food—that makes me feel amazing inside and out.”

Vegan macaroons recipe
Hilary’s to-die-for recipe for Easy Coconut Date Macaroons is a big hit on her blog, Plate+Simple.


As someone who was formerly obsessed with weight and calories but is now happy and healthy, Hilary can attest that the information on her site is of great value for both vegans and the vegan-curious hoping to establish a healthy and less tumultuous relationship with food.

Hilary’s willingness to share insight and anecdotes from her own life creates a personable voice: one that feels like a real friend leading by example to help readers enjoy their own healthy lives.


Vegan family living

When it comes to family, Hilary has proven that when one person goes vegan, it doesn’t need to cause any strife or tension in the home dynamic.

“My daughter Maya is vegetarian by choice—she has never liked meat. My husband Dennis is about 90 percent vegetarian, and moving more toward veganism every day,” says Hilary. “Dennis is very supportive of my choice to be vegan and trusts me to give our daughter the healthiest food possible. As Maya gets older, I will let her decide for herself how she wants to live and what she wants to eat.”


Vegans enjoy sweet treats too!

She admits to having a major sweet tooth and manages to keep it in check with the occasional indulgence in vegan chocolate and baked goods. Hilary’s favourite Vancouver vegan treat is the Morning Glory muffin from Agro Café. And her recipe for Easy Coconut Date Macaroons is to-die-for.



Plate+Simple contains a “foodlosophy” section where Hilary knowledgeably shares her suggestions for a healthy and well-rounded vegan diet. Hilary is happy at the moment to pursue her interest in nutrition as a gratifying hobby rather than a career path.

“Part of me fears that once a paycheque and responsibility is attached to the passion I feel for this subject, it might take away from the enjoyment I get out of it. For now, being a vegan health resource is a lovingly cultivated hobby. Maybe someday I’ll write a cookbook or something.”

For now, Hilary shares several of her own recipes on the blog and promises lots more contests, giveaways, recipes and vegan resources to come in the near-future. Personally, I need to get cracking on those Coconut Date Macaroons!

Get Hilary’s famous vegan burger recipe [PDF]!


Gabrielle Pope

Gabrielle Pope blogs about the vegan lifestyle in Vancouver. Dividing her thoughts between literature and the Vancouver Canucks, she is currently writing a novel for her thesis at UBC’s MFA Creative Writing program. Twitter