We’ve been bad…

You may have noticed we’ve been a little silent as of late… and there is no excuse. We’ve been busy making thousands of soap bars for you and other vegan soap supporters across the country & in Canada.

 

Being busy is a great problem to have – certainly no complaints. We recognize our lack of posting and we have a ton of great posts coming soon.

 

In the meantime, have you seen our new website? Do you like the new look of the blog?

 

Namaste!

 

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Food Friday: Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes

By Megan Vick

 

My most favorite restaurant in the world is closing soon and I have been heartbroken since I got the news. Friends are out of jobs, customers are out of delicious local food, and I am out of pickled ramps and butternut squash gnocchi (not served together, I swear).

 

During our last visit there, we had delicious fried green tomatoes and I have been determined to recreate them. I think I’m doing pretty well so far… the best part is, instead of frying them, I’ve baked them in the oven for a healthier version. This recipe makes a great appetizer for 2 or small meal for 1 person. They were so good I forgot to take a picture – shocking, I know.

 

Here’s what you need:

 

  • 2 large green tomatoes (preferably organic)
  • 1/3 cup almond mik (either plain or unsweetened… I’m sure any plant milk would work here)
  • 1/2 cup flour (almond, chickpea, all- purpose… anything you like)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Slice your tomatoes into thick slices (or quarters if you want to be fancy)
  • Put almond milk into bowl – set aside
  • Combine flour, pepper, salt, garlic powder together and mix well in another bowl – set aside
  • Dredge tomato slices in milk, then in the flour mixture – be sure to cover both sides completely
  • Put slices on a baking sheet, pan, or dish
  • Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until coating is golden brown

 

Pro Tip: Serve with some vegan ranch (a la Native Foods Cafe) for dipping or a balsamic reduction – Divine!!

 

You can thank me later! Enjoy and Namaste

Food Friday Feature: The Fiction Kitchen – Raleigh, NC

By Megan Vick

 

On Thursday, July 24, Matt and I made time to treat ourselves to dinner – a fancy dinner. Despite the encroaching rain, we headed to beautiful downtown Raleigh to the all-vegan restaurant, The Fiction Kitchen. The Fiction Kitchen opened a couple of years ago and we went shortly after it opened. It was great back then, but we lived about a 40 minute drive away. Now, we’re a quick 10 minutes from the restaurant – and believe me, we’ll be there a lot more often.

 

We were greeted and seated right away and we had water on the table before I could blink my eyes. After much debating about what we would have, we decided to get the vegan tasting plate as an appetizer and some house-made root beer. Then, Matt ordered the chicken and waffles while I ordered the evening’s special, the tomato pie.

 

Tasting Plate: local crackers, spiced pecans, blueberries, peach jam, smoked cashew cream, tempeh pate, and cashew cream.

Tasting Plate: local crackers, spiced pecans, blueberries, peach jam, smoked cashew cream, tempeh pate, and cashew cream.

 

Let’s talk about this tasting plate for a minute… wait, sorry… I’m drooling. Anyway, the smoked cashew cream was maybe the greatest thing I’ve ever had. Matt and I had a great time mixing and matching different combinations. The tempeh pate with the smoked cashew cream was exquisite and the cashew cream with a little peach jam topped with spiced pecans was divine. We even ordered extra crackers so we could savor the cashew cream combinations and before our wonderfully attentive waitress took our plate, she let me scrape up the extra goodness with my finger. Oh yeah, I was that girl. Poor Matt – he just can’t take me anywhere.

 

Vegan Food

Matt’s Chicken & Waffle

 

What you’re seeing there is The Fiction Kitchen’s house made “chicken” breaded and fried better than the Colonel himself could do it. He’s also got a light and fluffy Belgian waffle under all that chicken along with blueberries and arugula. There were pros & cons with this dish. Pro: It was so good, Matt devoured it. Con: It was so good, Matt devoured it and I didn’t get any.

 

raleigh vegan food

Nightly Special – Farmers Market Tomato Pie with Fried Chicken

 

My picture of my meal did not do it justice. I didn’t turn on my flash because I didn’t want to disturb the other guests at the restaurant. I have an heirloom tomato pie with cashew creamed corn topped with fried chicken. The chicken was an additional suggestion by our waitress (did I mention how awesome she was? I think her name was Taylor…). Even though we already had an appetizer, I went for adding the vegan protein to the meal because why the hell not?! It’s North Carolina – how often do you get deliciously wonderful vegan fried chicken??

Not to mention, I had seen it coming out of the kitchen for several minutes while we ate our tasting plate and it looked so good, I couldn’t say no. I have no self-control when it comes to food. 

The tomato pie itself was delicious and the tomatoes were some of the sweetest I’ve ever had. It was quiche-like, minus the eggs, of course. And that cashew-creamed corn… Holy Southern-Style Vegan Food Batman! I could seriously eat that ALL.DAY.LONG. It was sweet and creamy, like creamed corn should be, but had a little bit of an extra kick to it too.

 

Vegan Food Raleigh

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Pretzel Crust

 

Ah yes, the piece de resistance – Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake. It’s so good, it deserves to have all the words capitalized. It was light and fluffy with a crisp, but not crispy, pretzel crust. Best of all, it was topped with soy whip. Matt suggested we share a piece and I (reluctantly) agreed. I was ridiculously full, so I am glad we shared the cheesecake. Despite the sharing, I still want to cradle the cheesecake in my arms and whisper, “My Precious,” over and over. Because it was that good.

 

Long story short – go to The Fiction Kitchen in Raleigh. If you’re a local – visit often! If you’re not a local, make time to grab some food during your visit. And if you’re travelling alone – let me know because Matt & I won’t even hesitate to join you.

 

Thanks to The Fiction Kitchen for being awesome and letting us linger in the restaurant for damn near 3 hours while we ate, talked, laughed, took pictures of food, ate some more, and drank the best root beer ever. Y’all rock. ❤

Treatment Tuesday: A Little Goes A Long Way

By Megan Vick

 

Stahp

That’s right. Just stahp!

 

You’re using too much lotion!!! This might be a little bit of a rant, but it is something that needs to be addressed – and quickly.

 

We love going to sell at our local farmers market. It gives us a chance to connect with you, our customer, who we may not otherwise get to meet and talk to when we sell to stores. One thing that we’ve noticed a lot lately is the interest in our lotions and hand creams. Several people have come up to us and asked if our lotions are greasy. Let’s talk about that:

  1. Our lotions are not greasy – it’s one of our most common compliments. Not to mention: no lotion maker will ever admit to having greasy lotions. It’s best if you ask for a sample right off the bat and judge for yourself.
  2. All lotions will be greasy if you squeeze an entire ounce of lotion into your hand just to rub on your forearms.

 

We’ve seen not one, not two, but four (4!) different women approach our booth, squeeze a 1/2 – 1 ounce of lotion into their hand and slather themselves with it. Now, that may work in winter. In Iceland. But you will absolutely feel disgustingly greasy if you do that with any lotion – especially if you add the fact that you’re standing outside in July heat and humidity in North Carolina.

 

Ranting aside, the point is to conserve your lotions and creams. You can always apply more to your body if you don’t feel hydrated enough. You can’t, however, get rid of that slippery, slimy feel after you’ve applied too much. Believe me, I want you to use the hell out of our products – but don’t overuse and abuse them to the point you begin to dislike the brand.

 

Namaste.

Outer Banks Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants

By Megan Vick

 

It’s come to our attention that the restaurants we found up and down the Outer Banks not too long ago are not as vegetarian and vegan friendly today. We’ve taken down the original post until we can interview and fully vet another group of establishments.

 

It’s a shame such a popular tourist destination has a decreasing number of places for the increasing number of vegetarians and vegans in America. But make your voice known in a positive manner! Let your servers and management know when you visit a restaurant so they can work with you. In the meantime, stay strong – the OBX is a wonderful place to visit and you should not miss the opportunity should you have it.

 

Namaste.

Food Friday: Inspiralized Vegan Lemongrass Thai Green Curry Soup with Zucchini Noodles

By Megan Vick

 

When I got this recipe in my feed the other day, I am fairly certain I actually drooled. At my desk.

 

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a chance to make this yet because we’ve been getting some big orders and making soap like crazy (more on that later). But this looks seriously delicious and further cements my girl-crush on Miss Inspiralized (aka Ali). Check this amazing-ness out: Vegan Lemongrass Thai Green Curry Soup with Zucchini

 

Yummy!!!!

 

Photo respectfully borrowed from Inspiralized.com courtesy of Ali Maffucci

Photo respectfully borrowed from Inspiralized.com courtesy of Ali Maffucci

 

 

 

Family Vacation – Vegas Baby! The Food

By Megan Vick

 

While none of us are big gamblers, we had a ball eating our way through Vegas (I gained 6 pounds!!) and watching enough Cirque du Soleil shows to last a lifetime. After arriving at our hotel, The Desert Rose Resort – just off the strip, around 1:00pm on May 10,  we went right out to find food and ended up at Rainforest Cafe at the MGM Grand. While the experience left a lot to be desired, there were several vegetarian and vegan options available (yay!). I was pretty stoked to know that I would be able to find some good vegan eats while on vacation. Thank you Las Vegas!

 

Las Vegas Vegan

 

Matt and I surprised our moms on Mother’s Day morning with a reservation at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. With its French setting and menu, we knew our foodie moms would love it. We had the amazing luck of being seated just next to the outdoor patio and had a full view of  the Bellagio and its legendary fountain. Mon Ami Gabi had a few vegetarian options, but I called ahead to make sure certain items were vegan (or could be made vegan) so I wouldn’t be stuck with a just a fruit cup. Even though I called ahead to alert the server of my veganism, I still ended up with the most beautiful bowl of fruit ever. Berries, melons, pineapples – oh my! I also got the thick cut oatmeal – just to try it. I have never liked oatmeal (it’s a weird texture!), but this was delicious.  So good, it was gone before I thought to take pictures.

 

Throughout our week in Vegas, we found tons of great restaurants and just about every one of them offered a vegetarian or vegan option. One of my favorites was Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR in Planet Hollywood. It’s exclusively a burger joint, but stepped up a notch because, you know, it’s Gordon Ramsay. I was genuinely impressed to see the Earth Burger on the menu. It had all the veggies on it and instead of meat or a veggie patty, I was able to enjoy one of the biggest, juiciest portobello mushrooms ever. It was absolutely stunning. Once again, it was gone before I thought to take pictures… I have to get better about that.

 

Next time you visit Vegas, you won’t be disappointed with the options for vegetarians and vegans. Since it’s a massive tourist destination, restaurateurs are catching on to the vegan and gluten-free lifestyles of customers. If you are considered, be sure to call ahead and ask questions. It’s Vegas after all – there’s not much that can’t be done in that city.