‘Hot For Food’ Made Me Vegan! | Dinner Exchange

– Hey everyone, I’m
Lauren Toyota and I’m a YouTube creator with Kin Community. I make fun, vegan comfort food on my channel hot for food along
with my boyfriend, John. And I also have another YouTube channel called Lauren In Real Life where I share how to live a vegan lifestyle
and I post a lot of blogs. One of the coolest parts
about getting to create content for people on
YouTube is all of the direct feedback and
comments that you receive. And it’s really special because we receive lots of positive comments
from people all the time from people who are making
small changes in their lives or big changes in their lives
by adopting a vegan lifestyle and diet and we also see
tons of cool pictures on social media of
people making our recipes from hot for food and to me, that is the most rewarding part. The photos are amazing, people
are so enthusiastic about it. And it’s really neat to
be able to contribute and make change in some
way just by getting to do what I love for a living. A while back, I formed a bit of a special connection with one hot for foodie. He was just so enthusiastic
on social media about sharing our recipes
and I kinda took notice. So I’m really glad I got to give back by doing Dinner Exchange with him. (upbeat music) – My name Joe Rap, I’m 23 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I’m super into health and
wellness and I recently became vegan because I was inspired by Lauren and John on hot for food. So funny story about how I
first discovered hot for food. I was actually on a third
or fourth date with this very trendy guy who was from like Portland or San Francisco or some place like that and he told me that he was vegan. So I was like, okay, of course
I want to impress this guy. So I started Googling
all these vegan recipes. And I found Jenna
Marble’s boyfriend Julian. He has a blog on YouTube
and he was making one of Lauren’s recipes and they were like these cauliflower buffalo wings and I was like, woah, that’s creative, that’s really cool. I spent all this time preparing and I like didn’t try the recipe beforehand because I just had no
idea what I was doing. And I used tin foil instead
of using parchment paper which is like a very
specific part of baking that I just didn’t know, I
totally bombed the recipe. And then later on, I was
like, this seems like something that I probably
could do if I tried a little bit harder so I re-made
the recipe a few days later for a couple of friends, came out awesome and I was like, I’m hooked, I
need to look up this channel. In Lauren’s video, she goes,
tap, tap, tap and place. Tap, tap, tap and place, it’s a skill. So after that experience,
I got really hooked on Lauren’s show, I loved
the way that she was talking about food, I loved
the things that she was doing. I liked watching her and
John and their interactions Everything just felt natural,
I reached out to Lauren after following her
for quite a few months. And I asked her what are
the biggest challenges that one might face being
vegan or trying to go vegan. And she gave me this super honest answer, really inspired me. – Joe Rap, hey dude, this guy’s awesome. He makes our hot for food
Recipes and posts them all over Twitter and he seems to me. You seem to me like the unlikely person that would follow hot
for food but you’re cool. And we love you and we like sharing the photos that you take. – When I saw that she shouted
me out on her personal channel on her blogs, I was overjoyed. I shared the video with everybody. I was like, look, this
is so cool, like somebody that really inspired me like
was touched or reached out. Right now what’s really
cool is that I’m helping Lauren with her cookbook. She’s coming out with a
cookbook in the new year which is an incredibly exciting product. And so I’m helping her
taste test some recipes. We kinda ping pong ideas
and communicating with her is great, it’s really cool to
have that come full circle. So before I really got
into YouTube and just like the finer elements of the
cooking community there, I was really only good
at making like pasta. I would go to the grocery
store and just sort of pick out stuff that I was
already used to eating. I used to eat a lot of meats. I used to eat a lot of beef. I think that there’s a
common stereotype that you need to eat this way
in order to work out, in order to put on muscle
and in order to stay active. And sort of, after I became
vegan and transitioned I realized that’s just not true at all. So I come from a very
traditional, salt of the Earth Italian family, cheeses and
meat sauces were a really big part of our diet, ya
know, you have lasagnas. And you have spaghetti sauce and meatballs that my body didn’t really naturally like and it’s funny because
people would be like, you’re Italian and you don’t like sauce. It’s like no, I really
never liked meat sauce. I never liked heavy Parmesan cheeses. And kinda later on, I
realized, oh, it’s probably because my body doesn’t want these things that I just didn’t like them. It takes a little bit of
practice for sure to think about like how do I think closely about what my stomach is telling
me but everything that you put in your body is everything that you’re gonna get out of it. One of the biggest things
I noticed now that I’ve cut meat and dairy out of my diet is that my digestion is way
better, I feel like I’m actually tasting my food. I feel like it’s actually being
digesting in the right way. I’m a little bit more
regulated throughout the day and my energy levels are higher. I think that it brightened
up my complexion which is something that people talk about. It really helped me in
so many ways and I didn’t even know that that’s what my body needed because I was so used to
eating meat for so long. (upbeat music) I truly, really wouldn’t be
living the life that I was if I didn’t watch hot for
food and if I didn’t start getting creative in the kitchen and if I didn’t start experimenting
with truly good food. Lauren really inspired me
with all of her creations and then got me really
regulated and got my life where it needed to be and now I am doing that for other people. So it’s a total chain of the
universe manifesting that. (upbeat music) – I’m so happy that Joe
gets to share his story of how he’s made all of these
positive changes in his life. And sometimes I can’t believe
that something I create for fun actually impacts
somebody this much. So Joe makes our recipes
all the time, of course, from hot for food so
now it’s my turn to try something a little bit new. Joe and his mom sent me a
package with ingredients to make something very
special from his family. So I got all these vegan treats. – My grandmother was born in Italy and she was a huge
inspiration in the kitchen for my mother and for my
family so growing up she always made these cookies
and they’re called Anginettes and they’re very classic Italian cookies. I also liked them because
they’re delicious. But when I became vegan it
was like that was a struggle. And the holidays would
become harder because you like always want your mom’s
cookies when you home, ya know. What was really cool about
doing this Dinner Exchange is that during the
holidays when I went home and I talked to my mother,
she happened to be making the Anginette cookies
and I was like, wouldn’t that be cool, if we could turn these vegan and then pass this recipe along to Lauren. So my grandmother, before she passed away, has this big book just
filled with all these Italian recipes, all this
classic traditional stuff that she pulled from her
grandmother out in Italy and we found the secret ingredient to my grandmother’s cookies
is that they use this kind of cheese called Ricotta or Ricotta if you’re like very Italian, you want to pronounce it that way. So I was like okay,
can we turn this vegan? Can we play with it, instead of eggs, can we use flax and instead of Ricotta can we use like a cheese that’s
made from almond butter. And so my mom and I
experimented in the kitchen like a lot of times,
took us quite a few tries at this recipe but eventually we nailed it and we created something
that I think is better than the alternative but I am biased and I’m always gonna say that. Lauren, I hope you find
when making this recipe that it’s actually cool to
work with cheese in cookies. I know that’s not something
that you normally do. But borrowing a little bit
from my big Italian family, I hope that’s something
that kinda gets you thinking in the same way that you inspired me. (upbeat music) – I hope I make your grandma proud, Joe. And I’m actually just happy that for once, I don’t have to actually develop a recipe. I just get to follow someone else’s. (upbeat music) Okay, so you can actually click over to my channel, hot for food to find out how to make these vegan Anginettes because I’m doing the whole recipe
from start to finish. And they’re really good,
I think using the Ricotta makes them super moist, it
gives them an interesting texture and taste and these are so pretty. (upbeat music) Getting to do Dinner Exchange
really means a lot to me. And I also think it’s
important that we connect and become friends with
our online community and YouTube community
so Joe, keep up all the Posi vibes ’cause you’re
spreadin’ a lot of love in Los Angeles and
I totally think you’re on the right path, I can’t wait to see where your vegan lifestyle takes you next. – So who would’ve thought
that looking for a recipe online to impress a date
would lead me to live this incredibly healthy lifestyle. I just want to thank
Lauren for working every single day to inspire me
and thousands of other people to get on this path
of health and wellness and to inspire people to go vegan. Lauren, you’re doin’ it right and I can’t wait to see
your cookbook when it’s out. (upbeat music)

About the author


  1. So amazing the kinds of connections you can make online. Thanks Lauren and Kin Community for making this so great. Love you guys!

  2. This was so nice!!! I totally relate – coming from an Italian family as well, the baked goods are really what I miss the most. It's fun to try and veganize them ☺

  3. Came from Hot for food, stayed for the message!! This was super dope n im happy to see that Lauren n John inspired Joe to become vegan n live a healthy lifestyle. They've done the same for me and I'm slowly bringing my family around with the recipes I make from Hot for food. Kudos to u for sharing!!!

  4. What a great story! I have to admin, Lauren also got me totally hooked when I first discovered her channel and I love re-creating her recipes. The cauliflower-wings always surprise non-vegans and are always always a huge success <3

  5. Just when I thought I couldn't love Hot For Food any more than I already did! I'm an Italian vegan as well, so this hit home for sure. <3

  6. I love this! My daughter was diagnosed with severe UC a few years ago. She was hospitalized and near heart failure due to losing so much blood. After researching a ton about her disease I found out that she should stay away from dairy and meat. We live in the Midwest and meat, potatoes, and cheese are a staple so I had no idea what I was going to feed her. I started searching Pinterest and You Tube for recipe ideas and snacks for her and I came across Hot For Food. I was instantly hooked on Lauren and John's personalities and I binge watched every video, took notes, and printed recipes. I also subscribed to Lauren's vlog channel and couldn't stop watching! Every recipe of yours that we've made has been absolutely delicious, and you two inspired me to become vegan as well. I want to thank you two from the bottom of my heart. You really changed my daughters and my life. 💕 #hotforfoodisthegreatest

  7. I take slight offense to the "truly good food" comment but the rest of the video was quite nice, even though I'm not vegan.

  8. Joe is such a sweetheart, you can see how passionate he is about everything he talks about, just wow. I'm hot for food too, hihi

  9. Love, love, LOVE this video!! hotforfood / Lauren Toyota has been a huge inspiration for me in a ton of ways, from her recipes to her approach to veganism. She has helped me develop into the vegan I am today. It's nice to see this connection with others as well. 😀 And congrats to you, Joe! This is an amazing, inspiring video! <3

  10. Love it!! Lauren has certainly changed my life too! I was a new vegan 6 months ago and stumbling onto hotforfood has been a huge inspiration and help! My roommate and I are always watching the vids, testing out the recipes, and doing happy dances in the kitchen. We can't wait for Lauren's cookbook! Thank you, Lauren and John!

  11. This makes me so happy! I love hot for food!!! They seriously have total game changing recipes. Being vegan myself, it's really awesome seeing veganism reach more and more people. It truly does change your life for the better! <3

  12. I love Hot for Food SOOO much! Lauren and John are so inspiring! And Kin Community is another favorite channel. This collab is a match made in YouTube heaven! LOVE you guys!! Thanks Kin Community! xoxox Lauren! 😘💕

  13. I'm in no way trying to bash Joe's story, it's actually so endearing and inspiring. I loved it!
    What I'd like to talk is probably a misconception with Italian cuisine. I should start by saying that I'm Italian. Every time I hear talking about Italian recipes, especially from people with Italian roots, all I hear it's the heaviness and the calories, meat, cheese and grease.
    I'm not saying that's not part of our tradition, but it's definitely not all of it. Italian people started eating more meat after the war, when they finally had the means to get some. That's why all the nonnas make food for 20 and always worry whether you ate enough, they experienced starvation. That's a generalisation border lining on stereotype, though.
    Italian cuisine like the rest of Mediterranean diets is considered healthy because it relays heavily on plant based dishes, unprocessed, organic, local produce. Like you say pasta sauce and you think of meat. The basic sauce it's tomato, olive oil, basil. I've never cooked bolognese sauce in my life, but I can make anything with any vegetable. That's what Italians eat.

    I don't want to go on for too long, it's even tangent to the subject, but I needed to say this.
    Thank you

  14. Hot For Food was a huge inspiration for me to go full vegan. It can be a scary transition when your loosing all your "comfort foods" that you grew up with and don't know where to start with new recipes and Lauren and John really make cooking vegan exciting and delicious! If it wasn't for their recipes and inspiration I'm not sure I would have ever made the switch to vegan! Thanks Hot For Food!

  15. Haha! Me and my boyfriend always go "tap-a-tap-a-tap" when we make
    HFF's cauliflower hot wings. Fun to see more people do that as well 🙂


  17. You definitely impact people Lauren!
    This video was just posted by our local news on their FaceBook page – hopefully it captures the attention of someone who may not be on YouTube!

  18. THIS IS LITERALLY ME!!!!! an italian that has a family that think meat is a nessesity and me being hooked on hotforfood. Love this an completely relatable 🙂 <3

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