Kitchen Stories with Gloria from @shanyaraleonie

It's been a little while since I've shared a Kitchen Story with you. Now I'm finally back on track and I have a bunch of inspiring people and their stories lined up.

First up - meet Gloria. A twenty-something year old girl who's traveling the world and currently based in London, UK. I've followed Gloria and her amazing work for a long time. She takes the most beautiful photos of her food creations and she always somehow seems to nail the lighting in her photography. 

Hi Gloria, tell us all a little bit about yourself. 

Hi! I’m just a twenty-something woman (I guess woman is appropriate when you’re twenty-something but I still feel more like a kid) who tries to find her purpose in life. I enjoy traveling the world, although I have a huge fear of flying which is not really helping. At them moment I live in London with my boyfriend, but we are going to move to Berlin soon. I love cooking and creating. Unfortunately we only have a very small kitchen with almost no space, so cooking is rather difficult, that’s why I am looking very much forward to our move into a hopefully bigger flat with a dream kitchen *fingers crossed*

You post the most amazing food creations on your Instagram and blog. When and how did you get into cooking? How about plant based foods? 

Thank you! I’ve been vegetarian almost my whole life and I stopped drinking milk a loooong time ago but cheese, cheese and yoghurt were my “guilty pleasures”. I couldn’t imagine one of my favourite meals which is pasta, without cheese. When I moved to Canada for a year cheese and yoghurt was so expensive that I just stopped buying it. That’s basically how I got into plant based eating. Then of course research and Instagram helped me in finding alternatives. And I just love cooking. I find being in the kitchen very therapeutic.

Name three must haves in your kitchen. 

Do you mean ingredients or foods or appliances?

Appliances: A blender - which I can not live without, a kettle or pot to boil tea and a good knife.

Foods/Ingredients: Oats, banana, cinnamon

Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Why? 

Brekky: Oatmeal or smoothie/just fruit, lunch: oatmeal or soup or leftover dinner, dinner: spicy curries

Would you like to share your favourite recipe? 

Green Thai Curry - my absolute favourite, I could have this every single day.


Green Thai Curry


1 tbsp green thai curry paste (find a decent one with the least ingredients and no sugar/oil)

1/2 can coconut milk

1 tsp galangal

1 tsp lemongrass

1 tsp xylitol or rice mirin 

1 tbsp thai basil

1 tsp fresh lime juice

fresh chili if not spicy enough and tamarin sauce if not salty enough

fresh vegetables (anything you've got in the fridge: cucumber, chard, zucchini, green pepper, bok choy, broccoli)

  1.  Throw the green thai curry paste in a pan and add half of the coconut milk on medium heat, let it bubble until it becomes fragrant for a minute.

  2.  Add the galangal, lemongrass, xylitol, thai basil and lime juice and reduce to a low heat.

  3.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and vegetables except your leafy greens as they tend to cook much quicker, let all simmer until your vegetables are tender.

  4.  Add your leafy greens, give it a taste test and add some chillies or tamari sauce, if it's not spicy or salty enough.

  5. Enjoy it hot and spicy! 

What would your perfect food day look like? 

An outdoor run, delicious brekky, farmer's market, exploring, cooking a curry for dinner, chilling on the couch and watching a good TV Series

You live in London, England. Which places, cafes, restaurants and food shops must one visit while in town? Feel free to share your hidden gems. 

Oh. I rarely eat out. Almost never, especially not at the typical health food places. Just because it’s too expensive and I can make it myself a)cheaper b) exactly how I want it and I know what goes into it.  But I do like to get food at markets. So with that in mind, the falafel at Camden Market are SO good, I love Indian food so Tayyabs has great + cheap food and super delicious and vegetarian with vegan options is RASA (Indian food, too). And I can totally recommend JuiceBaby in chelsea, they have yummy smoothies. And last but not least my favourite take out spot is a vegan Ethiopian place on Kingsland Road (don’t remember the name, but there is only one on this road) - SO GOOD.

We all have a sweet tooth, don't we? What do you prefer to have when you need that sweet kick? 

Smoothies, chocolate or nice cream. 

My favourite Smoothie is this one:


Chai Soul Food Smoothie

vegan ● rfsf ● hclf 

rice or almond milk

half a ripe banana + frozen bits for extra creaminess

handful of goji berries

2 tsp of coconut milk

2 tbsp masala chai

3-4 dates

You're the queen of food photography - no doubt. What is your best advice for someone who wants to become better at taking photos of their food? 

Hahahahaha, not true! I think lighting is key. And sharpness. So get a good lens and take some sharp pictures in front of a window.

You're obviously a very inspiring young woman. Where do you get your cooking inspiration from? Any specific foodies out there that inspire you? 

Am I? Thank you! It makes me very happy if I can inspire someone. It’s a good feeling to be inspired and to inspire others. Where do I get my inspiration from? Oh … I often just randomly go through Instagram .. I like the “suggestion page” a lot, where I just get lots of random photos by random people (obviously adapted to what I like, so mainly food and other stuff) but it’s good, because this way I can find lots of inspiration from other accounts which I don’t follow (yet). And of the people I do already follow on Instagram @tastyasheck, @rhianamygdala or @erinireland just to name a few. Then Pinterest is always fantastic to get inspired.

Follow Gloria:

Instagram: @shanyaraleonie


YouTube: @shanyraraleonia

Twitter: @shanyaraleonie