Welcome to Maple + Mango!

Hi there! I’m Vanessa and Maple + Mango is my little corner of the internet. I wear many hats here! I’m the founder, creator, cook, photographer and the voice behind Maple + Mango. Thanks for dropping by and taking some time to get to know me!

Vanessa Gilic singing into a wooden spoon with heart cut-out.

What You Will Find Here

Recipes with real food ingredients. Mostly simple. Always delicious!

That about sums it up! I love food and I want to help you make delicious food using real ingredients. So here is what you can expect to find on Maple + Mango:

  • Delicious recipes made with real food ingredients!
  • Easy to follow recipes with step-by-step photos and tips to help you succeed! Or if you are an experienced cook and just want the recipe, you also have the option to simply hit the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of each recipe post to take you directly to the recipe card.
  • Everything from easy dinner ideas to amazing salads, cozy comfort food and sweet treats! Loads of incredible recipes for special occasions and events too! Check out the recipe index to explore all the delicious options.
  • Occasionally, I also like to share some lifestyle content like travel tips, a gift guide or my favorite yoga gear. But mostly it is all about the food here!

A Little About Me

I live in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia (Canada) with my husband and two incredible boys who are now both teens and eat SO MUCH! I have also lived in various parts of Ontario, Canada which is where I was born and raised by my German parents (hello dual passport!) and spent my early adult years. And I will never forget the four amazing years we spent living in Brisbane, Australia when the boys were little (the place of sunshine, warmth and no snow…my happy place!).

When I am not playing in the kitchen or working on Maple + Mango, I love to explore, spend time with my family, embrace my inner yogi, travel, sing at the top of my lungs to good tunes, cozy up on the couch with a great TV show and enjoy local food and wine!

Vanessa Gilic headshot holding a wooden spoon and whisk.

How Maple + Mango Started

I guess I have my kids to thank for setting a series of events into motion that led to this website! Before having them, I had studied Business in University, worked as an Analyst for a few large corporations and had a general interest in food and cooking. I liked to take cooking classes, watch food shows and flip through cookbooks to try new recipes. However, my interest in focusing on foods with real ingredients started once I had the responsibility of raising these two little guys.

This interest and desire to learn more led me to the Academy of Culinary Nutrition where I completed the Culinary Nutrition Expert program (affiliate link). This is where I learned that starting my own website could be a possibility which seemed exciting BUT…. I was scared. I didn’t know the first thing about building a website and had never even held a real camera before. So a number of years went by, slowly learning bits and pieces before I had the courage to jump in and finally do the thing!

I created Maple + Mango as a place to share my passion for real food recipes (basically delicious homemade food with simple ingredients). Eating has become so complicated these days and I wanted to create a space that focuses on removing the stress to eat “perfectly” since there is no “one size fits all” approach that works for everybody anyways. I just like to keep things simple around here – stick to real food ingredients, listen to your body and eat what feels good to you… and make sure to indulge sometimes (because life is just so much better when you do!).

Vanessa in the kitchen holding a bowl of food.


Where did the name “Maple + Mango” come from?

Any guesses?? Let me tell you, it sure is hard to come up with a name so I finally decided to lean into something personal. The name pays tribute to my connection to both Canada and Australia. I am a born and raised proud Canadian girl. “Maple” which is a major Canadian symbol represents that part of me. However, I also had the opportunity to live in Brisbane, Australia for 4 years when my boys were little. I absolutely LOVED it and felt so at home – laid-back vibe, warm year round (definitely loved this!!!!), beautiful scenery, year round farmers markets, etc. I remember thinking how cool it was that “tropical” fruit was local produce and my first taste of a local mango during mango season was super memorable. The taste absolutely blew my mind (and made me realize that I had never really had a great mango before). Therefore, “Mango” symbolizes the part of my heart that has remained in Australia.

What is your food philosophy?

You can read about my food and wellness philosophy here.

Why don’t you show calorie information?

Because calorie counts are stressful, do not align with my food philosophy and I would much rather keep things relaxed and focus on quality over quantity. The main focus here is to cook delicious food with real ingredients. Not all calories are equal since not all calories behave the same way in our bodies. Calories from nutrient dense foods will have different effects on the body versus those from highly processed or refined foods. Nutrient dense foods will allow you to feel satisfied with less food since your body is getting the nutrition it needs which enables your brain to signal your belly that it’s full. On the other hand, highly processed and refined foods have the opposite effect, increasing cravings and encouraging overeating.
It is also impossible for me to provide truly accurate calorie information since recipes are not manufactured products. The ingredients that each person purchases can vary as well as what an appropriate portion size for that person is.

Can I include your recipe in a roundup?

I am happy for you to use one photo as long as you provide a link back to the recipe on my site and provide a photo credit. Thanks for including me!

Can I use your recipes or photos?

Thanks so much for asking!
Recipes/Posts: Republishing recipes from Maple + Mango is strictly NOT allowed without written permission. The content here is protected by copyright law. However, you are welcome to link back to the recipe/post without reposting the content (e.g. why you liked a recipe or that you were inspired by a recipe in your own words or as part of a recipe roundup). Please use a double link back to www.mapleandmango.com and the specific post. For example, “I love Maple + Mango’s (make this a link to site) recipe for abc (make this a link to the specific post)” or “Get the recipe for abc (link to post) at Maple + Mango (link to site). Check it out!”
Photos: You can absolutely use one photo with one condition though – you must credit the photo to Maple + Mango and provide a link back to the post on my site for the recipe (and not reprinting the recipe itself!). For example, “Get the recipe for abc at Maple + Mango.”

Do you accept guest posts?

No I do not.

What did you use to build your site?

Note: Some of these links are affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
I use BigScoots as my hosting company and a CultivateWP theme (previously used a WordPress theme called Foodie Pro with the Feast plugin). My newsletter and email list are run through ConvertKit. I also use some great plugins from WP Tasty: Tasty Recipes for my recipe plugin and Tasty Pins for Pinterest functionality. I am also a member of Food Blogger Pro which provides a ton of valuable information on everything needed to start a website. For my sanity, I have also signed on for a plan with NerdPress to handle some of the tech and security stuff on the backend (not something I used from the start but a must have now since that stuff stresses me out).

Vanessa’s Favorite Recipes

It’s so hard to choose – I love them all! Here are a few recipes that I have really been enjoying lately.

Top Recipes

Here are a few of the recipes that are really popular around here.

Join the Community!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read through my story. I’m so happy you’re here…and I’d love to get to know you!

Thanks for visiting Maple + Mango!

Eat Real. Live Well. Feel Amazing.


Vanessa curled up on the couch with a cup of tea.