Actor Isaiah Mustafa Makes Dorm-Friendly Food with His Daughter

Actor Isaiah Mustafa schools his college-bound daughter on easy healthy recipes that she can whip up right in her dorm room.
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Isaiah Mustafa and daughter preparing vegetables

Haley gets a knife-skills lesson from her dad while she preps the veggies for soba noodle bowls.

You might know Isaiah Mustafa as the smooth-talking Old Spice Guy or the smoldering werewolf, Luke, on Freeform’s Shadowhunters. But his role of a lifetime is dad to his 18-year-old daughter, Haley, who will be moving from their home in Los Angeles to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, this fall. 

On many nights, you’ll find dad and daughter on the couch in their L.A. home, critiquing the horror movie they’re watching and devouring slices of buffalo cauliflower pizza from SunCafe, their favorite local restaurant. Before Haley heads off to school, Isaiah is giving her a cooking crash course so she can have a taste of home when she’s halfway across the country.

father and daughter enjoying parfaits on porch

Because she’s on a scholarship for the varsity acrobatics and tumbling team at Baylor (2019 national champions!), Haley needs lots of good whole foods to fuel her active days. “I wanted to teach her how to make easy, good-for-you food that’s convenient to grab and go when she’s late for class,” says Isaiah, whom you can catch this month in It: Chapter Two (hitting theaters on September 6). She’ll be living in tight dorm quarters, so all the recipes Isaiah is teaching her (like vegetable-topped soba noodles and an avocado-cacao parfait) can be made using a toaster oven or a hot plate.

Since her dad adopted a vegan diet a few years ago, Haley has come around to eating plant-based meals when they’re together. Sort of. “I like eating vegan—when it tastes good,” says Haley in classic teenage-deadpan style. To bring her fully over to the vegan side, Isaiah created a snack inspired by their favorite cauliflower pizza. When Haley gets homesick, Isaiah hopes she’ll make a big batch of cauliflower, turn on a movie—and call her dad.

chopping purple cauliflower and red pepper

"I taught Haley to set up an assembly line of chopped vegetables after she gets home from the grocery store," says Isaiah. "That way, it's easy to grab something to go or to get ready and cook."

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower

Vegan ranch dressing is a cooling dip for the spicy cauliflower.

Recipe: Try Isaiah Mustafa's Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower

Veggie-Packed Soba Noodle Bowls

Recipe: Try Isaiah Mustafa's Veggie-Packed Soba Noodle Bowls

mother and daughter enjoy veggie noodle bowls

The soba noodle bowls taste as good as they look. Haley and her stepmom, Lisa Mustafa, do some taste testing.

Avocado Power Parfaits

Recipe: Try Isaiah Mustafa's Avocado Power Parfaits

"When Haley was younger, I'd try to make something with what was in the refrigerator," says Isaiah. "It was a crapshoot a lot of times! Now I'm more of a planner."

family time giving treat to dog

Even if the family pup, Buck, could eat an avocado parfait, he's much happier doing tricks for a dog treat. 


For more mealtime fun, check out Yum-o!, Rach’s nonprofit organization. You’ll find recipes, ideas for improving food in schools, and stories about people who are changing the way America eats. How cool is that?!