Mindy Kaling is inching closer to a plant-based diet as her vegan friend and fellow actress Natalie Portman encourages her to stray away from animal products. The television star doesn’t follow a strictly plant-based diet, but lately, Kaling has been featuring some of her favorite vegan dishes on her social media. In March, Kaling posted a video to her Instagram of her cooking a plant-based butternut squash soup dedicated to Portman’s vegan lifestyle.

“One of my New Year’s resolutions is to eat less red meat,” Kaling told her followers. “I want to follow in the footsteps of my very healthy, awesome friend Natalie Portman, who is vegan and does great recipes online, and I want to do something similar. There are some really good nutritious [soups] that are also vegan.”

The Office alum’s move toward plant-based food follows her pledge to eat less red meat moving forward. The actress noted that she wants to boost her nutritional intake as well as become more conscious of the sustainability regarding food production. By sharing recipes, she hopes that she can encourage her fans to do the same, realizing how individual diet is related to global environmental issues.

"I love red meat but I know that it’s not good for me, and I just don’t need to be eating as much of it for health reasons, environmental reasons, all the good reasons,” Kaling said this February.

The actress’ mission centers around tasting as many plant-based foods as possible from Impossible Burgers to vegan desserts. In 2019, Kaling teamed up with Vice President Kamala Harris to make Masala Dosas - a vegan Indian staple described by the duo as "kind of like a sourdough crepe" filled with spiced potatoes. Kaling and Harris discussed how most of their older relatives ate predominantly vegetarian foods. While cooking, the teams recalled that growing up, their family meals rarely had meat with Harris claiming that "If it had a mother, it was not getting eaten."

Kaling has been publicly displaying her plant-based so that her fans can follow her vegan journey. The star’s Instagram now features several of her favorite vegan recipes alongside videos and descriptions that give fans a taste of her vegan eating. Whether inspired by Portman or her own family, here is a quick round-up of some of Kaling's vegan recipes.

Chana Masala

Masala Dosa

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Banana Ice Cream 

Natalie Portman's Vegan Influence

Beyond influencing her friends to take up a vegan lifestyle, Portman is a heavily involved activist for plant-based eating and sustainable food sourcing. Portman spent most of last year providing vegan recipes and cooking tutorials to her fans, cooking everything from homemade stews to vegan latkes. The legendary actress went vegetarian at nine years old after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animalsinspiring her to rethink her diet and how food impacts the environment and the lives of animals.

“When I read the book, that was what made me become a vegan. I think until then, I had thought, ‘Oh, with eggs and dairy, you’re not killing animals. It’s just their natural byproducts,’" Portman explained. "But when I started learning about the conditions—and the environmental effect of all these animals and the impact on humans of having large groups of sick animals together, it really made me want to change immediately.”

Since going vegan, Portman has invested in several plant-based companies including Impossible Foods, Oatly, and MycoWorks - a biotech company responsible for sustainable vegan leather sourced completely from fungus. The Black Swan star continues to advocate for plant-based living to promote sustainability, cruelty-free sourcing, and nutritional health. As her influence grows, her friends and fellow star such as Mindy Kaling seem to move toward plant-based lifestyles and cooking, inspiring their fans to consider vegan foods and products.

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