Kim Campbell of Plant Pure Nation Added to the Plant Based Cooking Summit Lineup!

 

 

Kim Campbell author of The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook is the latest addition to the Chefs for the Plant Based Cooking Summit in Lake Lure NC. She is excited to be joining the talented line-up of chefs for the summit and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and to be a part of this ground breaking summit.

 

 

 

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Vava’s Crêperie Café – An Exciting New Crêperie in Bethlehem, PA With Vegetarian Options!

 

 

by Michael Wilkins

 

I grew up in the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where the biggest industry was the manufacturing of steel and Bethlehem Steel was the biggest employer in the Valley. My father worked there all his life and retired from the company before they went bankrupt. I have many fond memories of the city and it’s culture, but in my entire life I never encountered a place like the Crêperie.

 

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The Crêperie is is a little French café located in a strip mall right around the corner from the Marriott hotel properties near the airport. When I arrived at the hotel, I inquired about local places to have breakfast that served vegan food and I was directed to the Crêperie. I went for breakfast the following morning and had a great conversation with Kathy (the owner) about how she cooks her food and what brought her into this line of work. She told me her story about leaving corporate America and opening a small restaurant serving food that she enjoyed while growing up. Her grandmother, which she affectionately calls Vava, was a major influence in her life. This is how she came up with the name Vava’s Crêperie Café. We both grew up in a family of six children which gave us the opportunity to exchange stories about our places in the pack. One of her fondest memories is coming home after school to crepes with homemade raspberry jam.

 

Crepe

 

I must admit at this point she almost had me drooling as she described the crepes her grandmother made with great affection. She uses the recipes her grandmother used to make crepes when she was a little girl. Let’s face it folks, don’t we all want to eat the food our grandmothers cooked for us when we were younger. It takes us back to a happy and comfortable time sharing meals with our family in grandma’s kitchen. This is the atmosphere Kathy has tried to create in her café.

 

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As is the case with many people working in corporate America, Kathy became disillusioned with her work and decided to open the Crêperie. Her goal was to create a similar atmosphere to a French café, mimicking the recipes her grandmother had made for her. Much of this information is locked away in her memory of growing up as a child. She went back to visit Mery, France her grandmother’s birthplace, which gave her the inspiration for the Creperie. The personal touches with which Kathy has imbued her café is obvious the moment you walk in the door. I had conversations with several of the patrons, all of whom heartily endorse Kathy’s creations. The café is small and friendly, which lends itself to an atmosphere of interaction. The Crêperie is evidence that the culture of the city of Bethlehem has changed a great deal from what it was when I grew up. The breakfast of choice for the blue-collar workers in Bethlehem was quite different from what Kathy has created in her restaurant.

 

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As you pick up the menu or look at the choices on the wall where the daily offerings are written, your mind starts to spin trying to digest all of the choices available. You can order anything from a Montecristo, to a peanut butter and banana crêpe. The nice thing about this place is that you can also create your own crêpe from a large list of choices available. The categories include a source of protein, cheese, vegetables, and sauce. There are no strictly vegan options at this point since the crepe batter contains eggs and milk. After our discussion, Kathy has agreed to research vegan crepe options and hopes to have them available in the future.

 

Recommendations

 

The sauces range from a balsamic glaze to a pesto created by Kathy. She prepares everything from scratch and obtains her produce from local sources. I had a blast ordering my meal and going through all the choices available to create my crêpe. Kathy prepared for me a whole-grain plant-based crêpe which included spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomatoes, sautéed peppers and a pesto sauce. Needless to say, by the time I received my breakfast, my mouth was watering. The taste was fantastic and took me back to a time when I was having breakfast with my brothers and sisters in my mom’s kitchen.

 

Menu Board

 

There are plenty of choices here for carnivores and vegetarians. My bet is that everyone will walk away from here delighted with what they have experienced. The Crêperie has been open a little over a year. If you are like me, when you travel it is fun to experience new and different places to eat. It’s great to have an opportunity to experience food that is prepared with affection and passion. Nowhere is that more evident than at the Crêperie. Bethlehem has finally acquired a little slice of French cuisine. I plan to tell everyone I know about what Kathy is doing here so that she has enough business to allow to continue fueling her passion.

 
 
 

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer surviver. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimen, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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Gathering Café In Charleston, SC, Casual Fine Dining with Vegan Options!

 
 
 
by Danielle Bussone

Travel-weary and ravenous, Rich was searching the web for a place to eat near our hotel in north Charleston when I happened to look up from my steering wheel and noticed a sign that read “Gathering Café.” My car just steered its way into the parking lot. We were greeted by our friendly waitress, Olivia, and we grabbed an empty table. Casual and understated, the restaurant decor belies the gustatory delights awaiting discovery.

Gathering Cafe Exterior

Olivia

Interior 2

 

Gathering Café serves animal dishes for the most part, but we were thrilled to learn the menu has a number of vegan options We quickly discovered Olivia to be knowledgeable and accommodating. To start, we ordered the Carrot-Ginger Soup and the House Salad, which we shared while awaiting our main course. The salad consisted of fresh, delicate baby greens, fresh tomatoes, carrots and cucumber tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and served with a crisp sesame seed cracker. It tasted… well, like spring.

 

House salad & Carrot-Ginger Soup

The Carrot-Ginger Soup was sweet and spicy and utterly delicious. I was beginning to get the picture. The chef at Gathering Café certainly understands flavor. There is a vegan falafel sandwich and vegetarian dishes in which the cheese can be removed if you prefer. We opted for the clearly plant-based options.

Oven Roasted Chickpea Cakes

I ordered the Oven-Roasted Chickpea Cakes. Served on a bed of chickpeas, roasted peppers and tomatoes and topped with perfectly prepared fresh asparagus, the combination of flavors was out of this world.

Rich had trouble choosing between the two rice bowls, so we resolved the dilemma by ordering both (taking one back to the hotel for later).  The Panang Curry boasted carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, mushrooms and ginger stewed in coconut milk and served with brown rice.

Panang Curry

The Teriyaki Rice Bowl comprised of mixed vegetables, avocado, and sesame seeds, was flavored with, you guessed it, teriyaki sauce.

Teriaki Bowl

Finally, we finished with a delightful refreshing fruit sorbet that was just the right combination of tart and sweet. These are not on the menu but are offered as seasonal specials in a variety of flavors.

Sorbet

Do yourself a favor the next time your are in Charleston. It’s worth the drive out of the city to visit this charming little restaurant to enjoy some of the best food in the area.

    

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Vegan Options at Happy Trails Café, Alvarado Station on the Virginia Creeper Trail!

 

 

 

by Danielle Bussone

Happy Trails Café in Alvarado Station, Virginia is smack dab in the middle of the Virginia Creeper Trail between Abingdon and Damascus, VA.  The famous Virginia Creeper Trail is named after a railroad that ran between Abingdon, VA to Whitetop Mountain in North Carolina, spanning three states on what is now 34 miles of biking, hiking and horseback riding trails.

What is unique about Happy Trails is that they offer vegan options! Since there isn’t a single place in Abingdon or Damascus where we can find a plant-based meal, it is rather astonishing to find something to eat in this out of the way diner. The owner, Gwyn Hill, is a darling. Her partners/co-workers are her husband, Travis and her son, Logan, her parents, Loretta and Harvey Johnston, and her mother-in-law, Fran Hill, making it truly a family affair.

 

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There are several plant-based options on the menu and Gwen often offers vegan specials. The first thing I noticed was the sign for boiled peanuts. I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m a boiled peanut fanatic. Rich and I scarfed down an order while awaiting the rest of our meal.

 

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We couldn’t think of celebrating the Fourth of July without the traditional hotdog, vegan of course, with relish and sweet onions and a side of fried chips.

 

Vegan Hot Dog

Vegan Hot Dog

 

We ordered the Big Honkin’ Veggie Wrap, a flour tortilla layered with house-made hummus and stuffed full of fresh vegetables from local farmers and dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.

 

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The Big Honkin’ Hummus Wrap

 

On a subsequent visit, I discovered I could replace the chips with a fresh side salad for a healthier version.

 

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The Big Honkin’ Hummus Wrap with a side salad instead of chips

 

Rich and I also shared a Loaded Veggie Wrap, which is wrapped in gluten-free rice paper, stuffed with fresh veggies and served wit a lemon-vinaigrette. This wrap is made surprisingly sweet by the house-made sweet onions prepared by Gwen from a prized family recipe. It really is something special.

 

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On our next visit we tried the Veggie Quinoa Salad, crisp, garden fresh vegetables topped with the now famous pickled sweet onions.

 

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Veggie-Quinoa Salad

 

We enjoyed our meals in a small dining area next to the kitchen. Outside are plenty of tables underneath a sunscreen as well as numerous bike racks and plenty of parking. Across the street is a public park next to a lovely stream. There are pavilions with tables for dining and even swings to relax in underneath.

 

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Small indoor seating area with lots of tables outside, plus a park across the street bordering a stream with covered eating areas.

 

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This day’s veggie special was a veggie burger which comes with two sides. The menu board also features a delicious juice of beets, apples, carrots and ginger. I watched as one customer’s eyes popped open wide as took a sip from her friend’s glass. She immediately ordered one for herself.

 

Happy Trails Café is perfectly located and is a welcome oasis in the middle of our 17-mile bike ride. Rich and I are becoming regular customers and, so far, Gwyn and her charming family do not disappoint.

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle  directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

 

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Danielle’s Meatless BBQ pulled ‘pork’ made from Jackfruit WJHL 11 Daytime Live

 
 
 

Danielle Bussone demonstrates how to make Vegan “Pulled Pork!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note from Danielle: In the video I misspoke and said to add 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar. It is actually 1/4 cup! Oops! 🙂 Full recipe attached.

 

Ingredients:
2 16oz cans Green Jackfruit in brine
¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Southwestern Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder or Chipotle in adobe sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 – 1½ cups Barbecue Sauce (see Time For Change) or any commercial BBQ sauce

 

Method:
Drain and rinse in cold water. With a fork pull the wedges of jackfruit apart until it resembles pulled pork. (It is much easier if you microwave the jackfruit for 30 seconds or steam it in a tablespoon or two of water first.)
Transfer to a covered skillet or sauté pan.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently.

 

Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links. When you buy something through my links, Veggin’ Out and About! receives a small commission that helps support this site, which is greatly appreciated. It does not increase the cost of your purchase, and it helps us to continue to serve you. I post links only to products I use myself, have been highly recommended by a trusted source (which I will always disclose), or are very similar to products I use that are no longer available. Click on product to view link.

 

 

Jackfruit can be found in most Asian and Indian markets, probably at a better price than you can find on-line. However, if you don’t have these markets in your area or prefer the convenience of delivery to your door, this is good option.

 

 

This is a brand that I enjoy and is a reasonable price. I haven’t found an organic source for this product to date. This product doesn’t have high-glucose corn syrup and is overall the best among the available brands within the same price rang. You may be able to find this at you local grocers but, if not, this is an option!

 

 

This may be a better choice. Simply Organic brand is widely available at most grocers, but you may have a little more difficulty finding the chipotle powder. When buying hot peppers, it is important to find them organically grown if at all possible because many of them are sprayed with pesticides which also contain neurotoxins. Better to be safe than sorry!

 

Liquid Smoke is far less toxic than actually smoking your food over smoldering wood coals. A little of this goes a long way and is an essential ingredient if you want your dish to really taste like pork without resorting to cooking animal protein. This product is widely available in your local markets. The remaining ingredients can also be found at most markets, so there is no need to list them here.

 

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Danielle Teaches Hands-On Ethiopian Class At Plant Based Cooking Summit at Lake Lure In October

 

 

Danielle Bussone, author of Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health! shares her journey in plant based cooking with Veggin Out And About!

 

 

Danielle has a passion for ethnic cooking. Since many cultures have naturally vegan components, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.

 

 

Danielle is particularly interested in Ethiopian cuisine and is currently writing a book on healthy vegan Ethiopian cooking. She is very excited to be able to teach participants of the Plant Based Cooking Summit how to prepare a delicious six-course Ethiopian meal from start to finish, complete with injera, the spongy, sourdough flatbread that is a staple of Ethiopia. And here’s a Veggin’ Out exclusive not on the video; she hopes to have a sample of home made T’ej, the Ethiopian honey wine, for everyone to sample!

 

 

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Terri Edwards to be a chef instructor at the Oct 9, Plant Based Cooking Summit!

 

 

PCRM licensed Food For Life instructor and founder of Eat Plant Based, Terri Edwards, will be one of the chef instructors at the upcoming Plant Based Cooking Summit in Lake Lure, NC this coming Oct 9th!

 

 

Terri explains how a plant-based diet has empowered and healed her.

 

 

Simply Amazing Burgers, Wraps, and Salads are on the menu in Terri’s class.

 

 

 

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Chef Whitney Ross Will Be Teaching Plant-Based Cuisine At The Upcoming Plant-Based Food Summit!

 

Chef Whitney Ross, graduate of the University of Tennessee Culinary Program and Co-Owner of the Dinner Bell Fresh Food Truck in Knoxville, TN, tells Veggin’ Out and About! how he became interested in plant based cooking.

 

 

Whitney and his partner Rebecca are excited about the opportunity to be teaching cooking in small hands on groups.

 

 

Whitney focuses on serving meals that people unfamiliar with plant-based eating will find satisfying.

 

 

 

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Green Truck Neighborhood Pub Serves Up Vegan Options In Savannah, GA

 

 

 

by Danielle Bussone

 

 

Green Truck Neighborhood Pub isn’t just a great place to find a plant-based meal in Savannah, it is a community experience. We arrived early for lunch on a Wednesday and the place was already packed. Rich and I were disheartened to learn there was a 30 minute waiting list, just our luck. We were en route to another destination and couldn’t hang around. But, just as we were about to leave the waiter mentioned there were two seats at the bar. Bingo! We were seated immediately.

I was surprised to find Green Truck so busy considering how large the dining area is. We were elbow to elbow at the bar where our orders were taken and place settings appeared out of thin air.

 

Green Truck Exterior

 

Green Truck

The Original Green Truck; the Namesake, a 1965 Chevy Stepside is a metaphor for hard work, a long road, and enjoying the journey.

 

There is a pride that exudes from the staff and for good reason. This is truly a community effort. Local farms provide grass fed hormone-free beef (still a boo from all us vegans) as well as  produce in season.  Local Perc Coffee, provides the coffee served at Green Truck. The furniture, bulletin boards and booths were either made from local artisans, or were salvaged. Local print shops created the menus and t-shirts, the beer comes from artisan brewers within the US, and everything that can be recycled or composted from restaurant is. And if this kind of social responsibility isn’t enough to tempt you to eat here, check out the menu.

 

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The Mighty Veg With a Side of Vegan Chili

 

Rich ordered the Mighty Veg Burger topped with sliced tomato, avocado, grilled onions and red pepper with a side of homemade vegan Chili, dill pickle and crostini. The breads, salad dressings and sauces are made in house, including the ketchup. It was a beautiful presentation and OMG delicious! We always divide our orders so we can enjoy the entire meal. The burger was plump, flavorful, and moist, and did not fall apart as I bit into it.

 

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The Mighty Veg Up Close and Personal

 

I ordered the Veggie Reuben, which is also the Mighty Veg burger sandwiched between slices of homemade Rye and topped with zesty Saurkraut and homemade Thousand Island dressing. I ordered a salad on the side. Normally it comes with Swiss cheese, but we opted to omit it. It wasn’t your typical Reuben, but it was really good. As usual, we divided the sandwiches and shared, so we both won.

 

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The Vegan Reuben Close-up

 

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The Vegan Reuben With A Side Salad

 

Green Truck doesn’t have a lot of veggie options, but what they do have is outstanding. If you are ever in the Savannah area, it will be worth the effort to check out Green Truck Neighborhood Pub.

 

Green Truck Interior

Interior

 

Green Truck Micro Brews

Bar offers a selection of 30 micro brews in bottles and 6 on tap From American craft breweries owned and operated in the United States, as well as a number of wines in bottles or by the glass.

 

green truck image

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Sweet Savor African Restaurant

Sweet Savor Exterior

Sweet Savor Interior

En route to Jesup, GA , we stopped in Charleston for an overnighter. Just down the road from our hotel, we discovered Sweet Savor African Restaurant, a Nigerian restaurant that is located in exactly the same location as now defunct Taste of Ethiopia, one of our all-time favorite Ethiopian restaurants. It’s a cautionary tale, use it or lose it. If we don’t support these marvelous ethnic restaurants with our patronage, they disappear, along with their amazing vegan options.

 

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Sweet Savor is certainly not a plant-based restaurant but it does offer a few plant-based options. This cuisine is based on healthy whole foods like beans, grains and fruits. The spices are definitely understated so don’t expect exotic flavors. The food is simple and hearty. The owner is a lovely Nigerian woman who is willing to work with customers to see they have everything they need. If you find yourself in North Charleston, check out Sweet Savor and discover the hearty food of Nigeria.

 

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