Play with Food

The Green Ninja started as a passion project between two friends who loved plants. Nikki had been cooking plants and dreaming of Green Ninjas and Jess had been drawing plants and drinking green smoothies. When their powers combined, the rest was history.  


Nikki Castagneto


"Cooking for me not only connects me with nature, but it helps teach me about patience and mindfulness.”


As a former New Yorker, Nikki spent years working with some of NYC’s top fashion companies. After dealing with the stressful demands of big city life, Nikki realized that she needed to make a change. In pursuit of a better quality of life, she began to experiment with the internal healing properties of food. 

Nikki trained at Matthew Kenney Culinary in California with a sole focus on raw plant-based foods. Since then, she has developed a fitness-focused meal delivery company in NYC, consulted with Austin-based restaurants to re-imagine their menus and created a plant-based meal delivery service.

The Green Ninja is a passion project for Nikki and her way of helping spread the focus of prevention rather than intervention to our upcoming generations. She fuels her passion with a strong creative side brought to life with a whimsical childlike nature. Nikki truly understands there is no better way than to change the health of our world than to focus on the youth!


Jess Engle 


"Cooking for me is a lot like art - if I'm not having fun making it, it doesn't taste nearly as good."


Jess spent the past decade doing branding, marketing and advertising for global businesses and corporations in New York City. Similar to Nikki, she burned out on life in the fast lane and decided to slow down and get back to her roots - art and design.

Now, Jess does illustration and creative consulting for kids, businesses and brands out of her studio in Austin, Texas. She works in wobbly lines and in colorful watercolor washes. Her art elicits a sense of wonder and adventure, with just a hint of mischief. 

When Nikki approached Jess to help her bring The Green Ninja to life, she knew it was meant to be. As a life-long learner and scribbler; the project merges both of her great loves and allows her to apply her storytelling skills towards something that matters.