We want to let you know about Coco and Lala, two Minnesota residents who are making plant-based eating fun and accessible through their Facebook page, Keeping up with Coco & Lala.
Coco and Lala’s live Facebook videos showcase recipes, taste-test products, and explore the questions that often come for people going vegan. With humor and honesty, they give an entertaining look at plant-based cuisine that’s sure to inspire people on their journey to a more compassionate lifestyle.
Tell us about yourselves. How long have you lived in the Twin Cities area? What brought you here?
Coco: I was born in California, lived in South Dakota for a while and then moved to Minnesota in 1998 for a change of pace. Now, I’ve been here long enough to know how cold, cold really is!
Lala: I am proud to be a Minnesota native, grew up in the Crocus Hill area of St. Paul, and graduated from Central High School. I don’t care for the winters but love being a Minnesota native!
What turned you onto plant-based eating?
Lala: I grew up around a lot of vegetarians so I was very familiar with the vegetarian lifestyle. After watching the documentary What the Health, I decided to try going vegan. I’m still on my journey, but I incorporate a lot of vegan foods into my daily lifestyle. The media makes it seem like it’s so easy to go vegan or transition, but not all communities have the access to vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
Coco: My transition to eating vegan is still ongoing. I grew up eating meat and never really thought about going vegan until I watched What the Health. It was then that I decided to cut out meat. Two and a half months later, I still did not miss meat and looked for ways to become vegan. I was not only looking for meat substitutes but also dairy substitutes. Going out to eat with family and friends who are not aware of my lifestyle change can be challenging. What I find surprising is how many of my favorite foods I can still enjoy while being vegan. I love sharing about that on our show. And getting together weekly with Lala to cook recipes for the first time ever on live video definitely makes for some good comedy!
Speaking of your Facebook show, how did that get started?
Coco & Lala: We found the transition to being vegan somewhat daunting and not so easy as it’s portrayed in our society. We wanted to educate our community on healthy and fun vegan options–with a little spice from us! We enjoy sharing our recipes and giving unfiltered reviews of our food experiences.
I love the candor in your videos. Very refreshing! How has the response been?
Coco & Lala: Great! We get viewers from all over the country, and when out and about we’ll have people we never knew were watching tell us how much they enjoy it. We hope to continue educating others on the healthy vegan lifestyle. We want people to know that it’s okay if you come across a recipe that doesn’t suite your taste buds. Don’t give up! There’s going to be recipes that could use some improvements, and when we’re cooking on the live videos we’ll make those improvements on the spot. Essentially, we want people to be more healthy. We really enjoy what we do so we would love to write a cookbook with some of our favorite recipes.
That would be awesome! And tell us about some of the food you’ve made so far on the video.
Coco: I like the chocolate pudding made primarily with avocados. My kids have been eating this for years without knowing that they are eating avocados (LOL!).
Lala: My favorite would be the General Tso’s cauliflower chicken, strawberry banana ice cream/swirl and the Beyond burger. Since we are newbies to vegan foods, we still have so many more recipes and foods to try!
Coco & Lala: Of course our very favorite vegan food so far is the BBQ pulled Jackfruit sandwich, which inspired our challenge, Coco and Lala’s Jackfruit Challenge!
Ooh, tell us about that!
Coco & Lala: The Jackfruit Challenge is about getting people to try something different as a meat replacement (and jackfruit is also a fruit!). We would like people who eat meat to do a blind taste test, trying BBQ pulled chicken or pork alongside BBQ pulled jackfruit. We tried this on our families and friends, and the jackfruit won every time! No one can believe that a fruit can taste just like meat.
We invite everyone to join us in the Jackfruit Challenge! You can find the recipe and more detailed directions on our Facebook page. And you can help us spread the word and get people to eat more fruit by getting your family and friends involved. Those with the best videos will receive a special prize!
Sounds fun and fantastic! Tell us what you’re doing when your not sharing about the wonders of vegan food.
Coco: I enjoy making YouTube videos with my family. We have a family YouTube channel called Laud Family Vlogs, where we do fun food challenges. It’s great family time for us. I also enjoy baking and mentoring our youth.
Lala: I enjoy singing, genealogy, and spending time with family and friends. I’m a gospel singer and have an album that was just released in July. You can check out my new music at thysongbird.com.
Thanks to Coco and Lala for sharing their story with us. We’re really excited about how they are sharing their transition to plant-based eating and at the same time educating their community, family, and friends. They’re also talking about very critical issues of affordability and accessibility for plant-based food. So inspiring!
We encourage you to “like” their Facebook page, share their videos, and take part in the Jackfruit Challenge!