Alisa Kogan wins Meatless Monday Recipe Conversion Contest

Alisa Kogan wins Meatless Monday Recipe Conversion Contest

NGI student Alisa Kogan’s winning recipe: Tandoori Tofu and Vegetable Skewers with Spicy Mango-Basil Chutney. Photo Credit: Cherry Dumaual, The Monday Campaigns.

Natural Gourmet Institute students and apprentices went head-to-head in cooking competition

Alisa Kogan wins Meatless Monday Recipe Conversion ContestLeading health-supportive culinary school Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) partnered with Meatless Monday and Gotham Greens to present “Meatless Monday Summer Skewers: A Recipe Conversion Contest.” The live event took place on Monday, July 13, and showcased how creative and unique meatless recipes can be.

During the contest, three NGI students and apprentices competed to convert traditional skewer recipes to healthier, meatless versions. As an additional caveat, all the competing recipes featured basil from Gotham Greens as a key ingredient. The recipes included Tandoori Tofu and Vegetable Skewers with Spicy Mango-Basil Chutney (by Alisa Kogan), Garlic-Stuffed Cherry Tomato and Portabella Skewers with Basil Gremolata (by Iris Fitzgerald), and Lentil Kofta Kebabs with Coconut Quinoa and Basil-Tahini Sauce (by Naliaka Wakhisi). The final creations were judged on taste, texture and visual appeal by a panel of judges including Peggy Neu, President of Meatless Monday, Beth Lipton, Food Director of Health magazine, Tim Ferrell, Chef at Pickle Shack, and Arielle Haspel, Creator of Be Well with Arielle.

Natural Gourmet Institute student Alisa Kogan was named the winner of the competition with an Indian-inspired recipe. As a prize, she received a private tour of Gotham Greens‘ Brooklyn facility, as well as a gift certificate for dinner for two at Pickle Shack. Click here for Alisa’s winning summer skewer recipe.

“Meatless Monday Summer Skewers: A Recipe Conversion Contest” took place in association with NGI’s upcoming Recipe Conversion Certificate Program. The four-week course will teach students to convert conventional recipes to healthier, plant-based versions, as well as to convert traditional baked goods to gluten-free and vegan varieties. The program is open to the public and will begin on October 20, 2015.

Founded in 1977 by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) is the leader in health-supportive culinary education. Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program is a comprehensive and professional program that trains students to meet the growing demand for culinary professionals who are able to make the connection between food and health. NGI’s interactive and dynamic Certificate Programs are designed to give students first-hand experience and expertise in the areas of Writing for Food Media, Sustainable Meat, Culinary Tours, Culinary Nutrition, Sustainable Farming, and Food Entrepreneurship. Natural Gourmet Institute also hands-on classes and lectures for the healthy cooking enthusiast. On Friday night, the school is transformed into an intimate dining room, where Chef’s Training Program students and instructors prepare a three-course vegetarian Friday Night Dinner that is innovative, delicious and beautifully presented.

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit public health initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Sid Lerner, the organization’s chairman, founded the Meatless Monday movement in 2003, with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The campaign seeks to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer and conserve valuable environmental resources by encouraging the public to cut back on meat consumption one day a week. The campaign is founded on research that demonstrates that Monday is the day we are most primed to start and sustain a healthy new behavior. Since its launch 12 years ago, Meatless Monday has become an international movement with support from schools, celebrities, restaurants, and organizations around the world.

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Based in Brooklyn, Gotham Greens designs, builds and operates commercial scale greenhouse facilities in urban areas for fresh vegetable production. They produce high-quality, greenhouse-grown vegetables and herbs using ecologically sustainable methods in technologically-sophisticated, climate-controlled rooftop greenhouses.