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Taking the Veganuary Challenge

We teamed up with Veganuary to kick off 2021 with a new challenge, and inspire and support our employees on their vegan journey through January and beyond! We invited Yelp’s very own Nivi M to cook one of her favorite recipes for us. Nivi Mittal is the author of the cooking blog ModdyFoodieForLife. While not a vegan herself, Nivi grew up in India, where her family ate only vegetarian dishes. 

For our virtual vegan cooking event, we paired Nivi with three apprentices, two of which had no or hardly any experience with vegan food. Read on to find out a bit more about Yelp’s vegan-inspired crew.

Nivi, what are some tips for making classic dishes vegan-friendly? Use easy swaps like coconut cream for heavy cream or tofu for paneer, but also experiment with spices to add more flavour to the food. There are a plethora of spices if you visit your local organic, Indian, Asian, Middle-Eastern grocery stores, and experimenting with them makes an easier transition to vegan friendly food. 

Joi, you’ve been vegan for most of your adult life. What’s your favorite dish? It’s hard to pick just one! My #1 comfort food in the winter is lasagna. I’ve experimented with several recipes and have come up with one that features a cashew ricotta made with artichoke hearts, as well as thinly sliced zucchini and loads of marinara sauce. When short on time, though, my homemade kale chips made in the air fryer is my absolute favorite thing to eat.

Travis, we heard that you’re sick of ordering in and want to cook more this year. What are some dishes that you’re going to explore? I love being able to open my horizons and my food palate to new flavors. One meal I’m looking forward to cooking is a Greek meatball bowl and imitation Starbucks Egg Bites for a quick breakfast. 

PJ, you said you’ve never eaten tofu. So, what do you think now? I definitely have a new appreciation for it. The texture is still new to me, but thanks to the wonderful spices in the recipe, it made a great dish! I’m definitely intrigued by what other spice mixtures could go well with it.