Shahrazad Mediterranean Restaurant

I’m not sure how many vegans live on the University of Louisville’s campus, but if you’re out there, I feel your struggle! When I was a student there, any hope I found for vegan options was sandwiched between two dry, gluten-free slices of bread at the allergen friendly station in the cafeteria – yikes! I’m still on the campus often, and the vegan options are still far and few between, but luckily I heard about Shahrazad and got the chance to check it out! This new Mediterranean restaurant opened up right next to the campus bookstore this past fall, and the vegan options will not disappoint! ¬†I got a falafel pita sandwich, baba ganoush (like hummus except made with eggplant… and way better than hummus ūüėČ ) and grape leaves, with a savory and comforting complimentary lentil soup. Everything was delicious, filling, and around 5$ an item! Tasty, cheap, healthy food is always the end goal, am I right? Besides the menu items I ordered, there were a few vegan salads as well as a vegetable stew to choose from. The waitress informed¬†me there’s no cheese in their entire restaurant, just make sure you order your food with no tzatziki sauce and you’re good to go! My food baby and I left as content as could be, and with a decent amount of leftovers to take home! And beyond just the food, the staff and owners were incredibly sweet. If you’re on U of L’s campus, stop in and try it out for yourself!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Veganism: Coming to a School Near You

veganout

Veganism is the newest social justice movement on the block, and kids of all ages are starting to get the memo! Each new generation of kids is growing in awareness and feels more inclined to take interest in political issues. Recently, countless videos of children protesting eating animals in their households have gone viral, and it’s astounding amazing to watch kids as a whole grow in understanding and give a voice to¬†the voiceless. The anti-animal violence front¬†is at its peak: colleges were the first to take on guest seminars informing young adults why to go vegan, now veganism is spreading to kids all around the USA as young as sixth grade! Food or Friends¬†is a new program backed by Vegan Outreach. This educational presentation¬†reminds youngsters to give into the voice that tells us to love and protect our furry friends, despite how different social trends urge us to put those thoughts on the back burner for our taste buds. Vegan Outreach worked to establish an interactive and fun classroom experience, while also urging kids to push their critical thinking (and critical empathizing) skills; as they¬†question if deterring their health, the earth¬†they live on, and the well being¬†of animals is worth that cheeseburger. The Food or Friends¬†project currently is small-scale and in just a handful of cities across the United States, but I can’t wait to see this project grow so more and more¬†kiddos can get on board and help to put an end to animal cruelty!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Surprising Store Finds for the Vegan Junk Food Enthusiast

After going vegan, you might start to realize that grass and greens can be the least of a vegan’s concerns!¬†With so many sweet and salty, animal-approved temptations out there, the “Potato Chip Vegan” even began circling around the vegan world for the herbivores dedicated to animal ethics who don’t mind indulging on some cruelty-free treats. If only kale tasted as good as chocolate frosting! Here are some surprising store finds to satisfy the Potato Chip Vegan in you!

  • Lay’s Classic Potato Chips
  • Lay’s Regular (unbaked) BBQ Chips
  • Kettle Brand Maple Bacon Potato Chips
  • Betty Crocker Baco’s & McCormick Bac’n pieces (and some other vegan bacon bit brands)

bacn

  • Oreos
  • Popcorn at Regal Movie Theaters and sometimes AMC Movie Theaters
  • Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos
  • Junior Mints
  • Bugles
  • Airheads
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Skittles
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
  • Krispy Kreme’s Glazed Cherry Pies
  • Duncan’s Chocolate Frosting
  • Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix

bacnss

  • Unfrosted Strawberry Poptarts
  • Xtra Tangy Buffalo Wing Pringles
  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Nutter Butters
  • Thomas Blueberry Bagels
  • Smucker’s Marshmallow Topping
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Burger King’s French Toast Sticks

ftoast

  • Earth Balance Cheddar Squares (vegan Cheez-Its)
  • Auntie Anne’s pretzels (with no butter)
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Reese’s Puffs
  • Cap’n Crunch
  • Original flavored Pretzel Crisps
  • Dark Chocolate Pretzel BarkThins

If you’re feeling like indulging, save the grass for our cow friends ūüėČ and show omnivores what they’ve been eating vegan all along!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Thanksgiving Veganized

What better way to give thanks than celebrating lives instead of eating them? With so many vegan substitutes, it gets easier and easier every year to veganize Thanksgiving! You can even have V-Grits cater your Thanksgiving spread with vegan Turkey Pot Pie, a healthy bean & oat based Thanksgiving loaf, Mac and Cheese topped with breadcrumbs, Beans & Collard Greens, Orange Walnut Quinoa Salad, Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce, homemade Bourbon Balls and 6 packs of Elixir’s Harvest Cider Kombucha! Did your stomach just growl, too? You can even make some yummy side dishes and appetizers with our cheese line! Add spinach, artichokes, garlic powder and italian seasonings to our Mozzarella sauce for a yummy spinach and artichoke dip! Or try our Mild Cheddar sauce over broccoli or in a potato casserole! Don’t want to fuss over appetizers? Put out a bowl of our Pimento spread with veggies or crusty bread for dipping and you’re good to go!

For even more Thanksgiving options, though, there’s a whole grocery world of holiday vegan spins¬†waiting to be explored! You can replace the dairy in homemade mashed potatoes with creamy coconut milk! Since just about every Thanksgiving side pretty much requires butter, Earth Balance always seems to do the job! Kite Hill also makes amazing vegan cream cheese and yogurt, if a recipe you want to try calls for it! Green Beans and yams can easily be made vegan, too. There are also some good lookin’ vegan turkeys out in stores! Tofurky (no, they are not made of tofu ūüėČ ), Gardein (featured below) and Field Roast vegan turkeys are some of the most popular out there! There are even versions that are pastry dough wrapped or filled with stuffing! Even Trader Joes has a Turkey-less Stuffed Roast! I haven’t experimented with any vegan Turkey’s personally, but they have all been reviewed to be pretty gnarly! For dessert, luckily the typical (double check allergens just to be safe!) pastry dough is vegan! Top some apple filling with a sheet of pastry dough as a crust and bam! You’ve got apple pie! In Lucky’s Market, neighbors to our line of V-Grits Cheese Sauces are rice milk and soy milk based vegan whipped cream! I haven’t gotten a chance to try it yet, but I cannot wait to drench my holiday sweets in mountains of that stuff! We hope this makes your veganized holidays a little bit easier! Happy cruelty-free eatin,’ folks!

gardein_holiday_roast_570

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Atlanta VegFest

I don’t know what that “Panda” song was talking about, we were too focused on all the vegan shenanigans¬†in Atlanta! We were so lucky to be a part of the 2016 Atlanta Vegfest! Vegfests are generally an overwhelmingly happy time for any plant eater, especially in a big city! I mean, being surrounded by thousands of vegans and eating some of the yummiest food around? Count me in! And of course, no vegan road trip is complete without checking out some of the best spots in town along the way!

Cashew in Chattanooga, Tennessee was our first stop. Donut breaks are the best kind of breaks, am I right? It was placed fittingly in a cute, trendy part of town and had some beautiful plant-strong art! We grabbed raspberry jelly filled powdered donuts and chocolate donuts with sprinkles before hitting the road again. I also got a beet and kale juice because you know, have to at least pretend I’m trying to eat healthy! The cake donuts were super moist and delicious, I would definitely recommend checking them out if you’re ever in town!

atlanta15

Once we arrived in Atlanta, for Kristina and Jeff it was practically a no-brainer where to go for dinner! Cafe Sunflower brought on the class! It was a beautiful place that¬†had vegan scallops (texture was spot on!), ah-maze-ing vegan chicken wings with sugar cane “bones,” vegan chicken enchiladas, vegan steak fajitas, and a mouth-watering dessert plate to choose from! At some point into the three appetizers, entrees, and dessert that passed on the table, I seriously questioned what tastes people think¬†vegans could be missing out on! The next day I topped my vegan chicken enchilada leftovers with our V-Grits Mild Cheddar sauce, talk about the perfect combo! We all agreed the trip to Atlanta was worth it just for that amazing meal alone! We were even lucky enough to meet the sweetest vegan Uber driver afterwards! What are the odds!

Atlanta VegFest was beautiful, to say the least! An overcrowded room of vegans and the vegan-curious is my own personal happy place. We brought samples of Mac and Cheese, gooey with our Mild Cheddar Sauce, and crackers with our southern Pimento spread. We’re happy to say¬†that we felt everyone there shared our same enthusiasm about our cheese line, and we even sold out of the¬†250 jars we brought in three bustling hours! The festival made us even more excited to be selling on Vegan Essentials¬†hopefully by the end of next month! After we filled the vegfest-goers cheese needs, it was time to partake on the fun ourselves! We got to see the friendly face of¬†David Carter (wearing a shirt I need in my closet), an NFL Lineman and animal activist! Carter acknowledges that veganism overlooks people of color and food deserts, and works to overcome those divides! How rad! Not to mention, he clearly puts all the vegan protein questions to shame! We also indulged in hot fudge vegan sundaes (too bad I ate mine too quick to take a picture!) and a range of vegan products from protein-loaded quinoa bites to yummy vegan meats! I couldn’t leave without snagging a new member to my vegan wardrobe, a grey scarf covered with animals by Compassion Company. On our way back home, we stopped at the Chattanooga Whole Foods for snacks and were surprised with super creamy and super pink sorbets of the fruity variety! All in all, it was a great day! We’ll definitely see you again next year, Atlanta! Thanks for the loveliest vegan noms!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Joella’s Veganized!

Where do I head when the V-Grits food truck isn’t out and I’m in need of gnarly vegan noms? No place other than a fried chicken joint! It might come as a surprise that Joella’s Chicken has one of my favorite plates of food in town.¬†They have a Vegan Chicken Plate that’s impressed several of my omnivorous friends, leaving their bellies full (even from the ones who claimed vegan food isn’t filling ūüėČ ) and taste buds satisfied! Their spice blends give their vegan chicken a nice kick! As for sides, my go-to’s are always the Crispy Thin Fries, and Kale Salad with currants and almonds (minus the cheese!)! Other vegan side options include a Black Eyed Pea Salad and a Vinegar Slaw. Maple Syrup and BBQ Sauce are the two vegan sauce options, but bringing my bottle of Follow Your Heart vegan ranch has never disappointed me!! Wash it all down with one of their tasty, cane-sugar house sodas and you’re set! Happy eating, folks!

img_8865img_8866

 

 

Tyson Buys Into Beyond Meat

“Are vegans making a difference?”

meat

Once again, we have proof that heck yes we are making a difference! The New York Times recently released that the largest meat producer in the United States¬†has bought into an all-vegan meat brand, Beyond Meat! Caring about ethics of animal agriculture has become the latest social trend, and Tyson is finally starting to get the memo! Judging by Tyson’s standard practices for treatment of animals, Tyson is clearly extremely distant¬†from caring about animal ethics, but seeing vegan meat as a prized financial opportunity shows where the crowds are headed! Multiple avenues such as social media, blogs, and YouTube have exposed and spread awareness of animal cruelty¬†to the public far more now than in the past. Unbiased studies not backed by the meat or dairy industry (we see you lobbying, meat and dairy industry!) have come out time and time again now stating that animal derived foods are the most detrimental products to human health. According to Mercy for Animals,¬†increased awareness has resulted in a decline of meat sales by 15% just in the last year, and plant-based proteins are expected to make up a whopping 1/3 of protein sales in the US by 2054. How rad! Hopefully in the near future, the habitual act of eating chicken flesh will become strange enough to where it is no longer common practice; thank goodness we are clearly headed in that direction!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Louisville

When I first visited Louisville, I was floored by the overwhelming number of vegan options in town! It seemed as if I could eat anywhere, without having to check twice, or call ahead in fear of the dreaded vegetable plate! If only everyone knew! Here are all the vegan-friendly places (or soon-to-be places, hint hint ūüėČ ) in the 502!

  1. V-Grits
  2. Half Peach Bakery & Cafe
  3. Lovafare
  4. Flora
  5. Ramsi’s
  6. Dragon King’s Daughter
  7. The Meridian Cafe
  8. Silver Dollar
  9. The North End Cafe
  10. The Mayan Cafe
  11. P.F Changs
  12. BoomBozz
  13. SnoWhat Snowballs
  14. Queen of Sheba
  15. Garage Bar
  16. Little Jerusalem
  17. Germantown Crafthouse
  18. Addis Grill
  19. Abyssinia
  20. Roots
  21. Heart and Soy
  22. Annie’s Cafe
  23. Cafe Mimosa
  24. El Camino
  25. Bean
  26. Steel City Pops
  27. Zoe’s Kitchen
  28. California Pizza Kitchen
  29. Please & Thank You
  30. Proof on Main
  31. Joy Luck
  32. Tom & Chee
  33. Simply Thai
  34. Time 4 Thai
  35. Heitzman’s Bakery and Cafe
  36. Havana Rumba
  37. Chipotle
  38. Wendy’s
  39. Seviche
  40. Varanese
  41. Qdoba
  42. Lydia House
  43. Slice
  44. Kentucky Taco Company
  45. RedTop Hotdogs
  46. The Fishery
  47. Dairy Kastle
  48. Dakshin
  49. Shalimar
  50. The Grape Leaf
  51. Chopshop
  52. Noodles & Company
  53. Taco Bell
  54. Pieology
  55. Wild Rita’s
  56. Shiraz
  57. Martini’s Italian Bistro
  58. Blaze Pizza
  59. Mellow Mushroom
  60. Quills
  61. Joella’s
  62. Royal’s
  63. Louivino
  64. Four Sisters
  65. Zen Garden
  66. Nam Nam Cafe
  67. Bluegrass Brewing Company
  68. Against the Grain
  69. Holy Grale
  70. Wiltshire
  71. The Hub
  72. Whole Foods
  73. Rainbow Blossom
  74. Annie May’s
  75. Sweet Surrender
  76. BarriCibo
  77. Heine Brothers
  78. Highland Coffee
  79. Vietnam Kitchen
  80. The Irish Rover
  81. Sapporo
  82. Wild Ginger
  83. Sake Blue
  84. Kansai
  85. Asahi
  86. Salsarita’s
  87. Panera
  88. Pita Pit
  89. The Falafel House
  90. The Three Amigos
  91. El Mundo
  92. Yang Kee Noodle
  93. Comfy Cow
  94. The Weekly Juicery
  95. Graeter’s
  96. Olive Garden
  97. Buca Di Beppo
  98. McQuixote Books & Coffee
  99. Feast
  100. Zad’s
  101. Mt Fuji
  102. ToGo Sushi
  103. Barcode 1758
  104. Corbette’s
  105. Arctic Scoop
  106. Oishiii
  107. Super Chefs
  108. Ginza
  109. Osaka
  110. Shogun
  111. Charim
  112. Fun Mi Cafe
  113. Olive Leaf Bistro
  114. Bunz Burgers
  115. Skyline
  116. La Bamba
  117. Spinelli’s
  118. Granville Inn
  119. Pizza Donisi’s

Happy cruelty-free eatin’ folks!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi