BOV Contributor | NYC

Nisha Melvani | Cooking for Peanuts

I was fortunate to be born in the tropics on the beautiful island of Jamaica. My parents are of Indian descent, and even though I have roamed the world and lived in several countries, I remain an island girl at heart. My being thrives in nature, my feet are happiest shoeless when I can feel the sweet rhythm of the earth.
I was sent to a very strict English boarding school at the tender age of seven where if you didn’t finish everything on your plate, you were sent to the cellar! I ate more than my fair share of mushy Brussels sprouts during those years and it was pretty miserable, but I did come home with a clipped British accent, much to the delight of my parents. College years were spent in Montréal and it is here where I developed my love for the kitchen.
New York was my next move where I lost my heart and met my wonderful partner and husband. I pursued my studies and graduated from Columbia with a masters in nutrition. Life galloped fast and furious and we were blessed with three daughters born within the space of 3 1/2 years. Raising them kept me busy and I was completely focused on nurturing them mind, body, and heart.
I did manage to sneak away to culinary school for six months and get my diploma from the Natural Gourmet Institute. This gave me the confidence to grow my Instagram feed which meant I could help more people to incorporate budget-friendly, vegan meals into their diet.

My 5 Favorite Vegan Ingredients: chickpeas, smoked paprika, plantains, tahini, and Thai red curry paste...and miso. (I know...that’s 6!)

My 3 Favorite Vegan Recipes: Peanut Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew; Oil-free Chickpea & Pasta Salad; and Crispy Cauliflower Steaks with Avocado Pea Pesto Pasta.

Currently Working On: a cookbook on easy, cheap, and delicious vegan meals to be published by Penguin Random House. (As well as navigating 3 teenagers!).

My Most Recent Life Motto: ‘I won’t kiss up to happiness.’