Portrait of author and registered dietitian Nisha Melvani holding her cookbook, Practically Vegan.

Have you been racking up your grocery bill trying to eat vegan? This episode will help you fix that. This week, we’re chatting with Nisha Melvani of the amazing Cooking for Peanuts blog, which is all about making plant-based cooking practical—and affordable. 

Inflation is real…and food prices are rising. So how do you stretch your grocery dollar? Not to sound cheeky, but eating more plants really IS a good place to start. But the key is to eat the actual plants: staple foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

Where vegans can get into issues with our food budget is when we buy a lot of prepared foods like breakfast cereals, snack bars, and vegan cheeses. (Lentils are A LOT cheaper than beef; Beyond Meat burgers? Not so much.) So how do you turn all these staples into something edible? Well, you probably head to a blog like Cooking for Peanuts… along with over 400,000 of Nisha’s other followers who love her down to earth, practical recipes made from whole plant foods.

So let’s dive in:

About Nisha Melvani: 

Nisha Melvani is the author of the new cookbook, Practically Vegan, as well as a registered dietitian and nutritionist. She studied pre-med at McGill University and later received her Master’s degree in Nutrition from Columbia University. Nisha then attended culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. She’s also a Mom to three beautiful girls.

Portrait of vegan cookbook author Nisha Melvani superimposed onto purple and red graphics and logos for The Allsorts Podcast.

On this episode we chat about:

  • How Nisha took a detour as an investment banker before finding her calling in food and nutrition
  • Her experience growing up in both Jamaica and England—and how the contrast in cuisine influenced her culinary journey
  • How parenting changed the way Nisha cooks!
  • The 80/20 rule: what it is, and why it’s good for your mental health
  • Why going vegan takes a bit more mindfulness than becoming a vegetarian (e.g. you DO have to consider things like B12)
  • How to create a huge variety of interesting meals using the same ingredients 
  • What we get wrong about plant-based nutrition
  • Tips for grocery shopping on a budget
  • Her three key meal builders: aromatics, fresh produce, and herbs & spices—and how to use them
  • Why she devoted a whole chapter to dressings and sauces

Learned something new? Have questions? 

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Connect with Nisha Melvani:

Website: cookingforpeanuts.com

Instagram: @cookingforpeanuts

Nisha Melvani’s Recommendations:

How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie