Rolling Out

Vegan chef Jenesis promotes healthy meal options for Black community

Through her versatile and delicious meals, this chef is changing the healthy eating game

Healthy food provides the necessary nutrients for our bodies to function and thrive. That is why chef Jenesis Prioleau, the founder of Believe it, it’s Vegan, continues to advocate for clean eating every day.

A trailblazer in the food industry, her meals are infused with bold flavors, proving that vegan cuisine can be both healthy and satisfying. Her journey from “MasterChef” contestant to successful chef and entrepreneur is an inspiring story.

At what point in your life did you become a vegan?

I became vegan 13 years ago. I was at a burger joint to get a burger, and long story short; I ended up in the hospital. They said I had some stomach issues and needed to change my diet, and these are my prescription pills for the rest of my life. I’m like, ‘I’m not going to take pills for the rest of my life.” So, I started researching about eating right. I reached out to my Grandma Nancy, who was raw vegan, and she gave me some pointers, and I just went from there and moved on in that journey. I realized that veganism is not as hard as people make it out to be. When you eat meat, you add your vegetables, so it’s no different.
What tips would you give someone who is looking to incorporate vegan food into their diet?
The first thing is [to] look for fresh ingredients. For instance, when you get an avocado, you see the little pit sticking out. Pulling the pit out will show you this brown, or a pretty green color. If it’s brown, that means that the avocado is overly ripe. An avocado should have a little softness. It’s all about color and texture. The same thing goes with mangoes. I use a lot of food from local farmers’ market-type places. You [can] get a lot of fresh ingredients. Sometimes, you go to a regular grocery store, and they’re going to be pushing overly ripe food. You need to eat food on the back of the produce shelf and not the front. Also, watch your labels.
What would you like to see in our community from future chefs and nutritionists?
We’re doing well on pushing the small business part of it. Our community is filled with go-getters. We need to unify more. We’re all in it together; if we unify more, we will empower ourselves and grow. I’m always a student, and I’m always learning. I realized that when you watch other communities and cultures, they move unified. We need to move more unified.
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