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

Shorganics Shenanigans

By Megan Vick

 

Vegan Shenanigans

 

You may not know this, but “Shenanigans” is one of my all-time favorite words. According to Google, Shenanigans means: “secret activity or maneuvering. silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief”

 

Thanks sounds exactly like what’s been going on at Shorganics. We definitely have some secret, and not-so-secret, stuff happening – and it’s all the shenanigans that have caused me to be delinquent in posting. Apologies, my dears.

 

You may have noticed we’re working on updating our website! This is very exciting and our new site is SOOOOO much more powerful and more awesome than our last site. Be sure you check it out as soon as it’s up!

 

The secret stuff is still secret – sorry. It’s the reason we’ve been so busy and so MIA in many respects. We can give you hints…

 

We hope you’re subscribed to the best vegan beauty box which is delivered to your door monthly!!

 

and the final hint:

Hint hint - coming soon!

 

That’s all for now! 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. <3

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.

Family Vacation – The GRAND Canyon (part 2)

By Megan Vick

 

It’s hard to believe that 3 days in the Grand Canyon warrants 2 full posts, but it’s true! There is so much to see and do – no matter where you turn, it’s a new view with new colors depending on where the sun hits the canyon. In addition to spending a day hiking** around the canyon’s rim, we also managed to fit in a jeep tour and a helicopter tour. By the way, there are a ton of pics in the post, so KEEP SCROLLING!

**By hiking, I mean sticking to the mostly-paved pathway which winds itself a breathtaking, yet safe, distance from the rim.

 

Pink Jeep Tours

Remember I mentioned the ill-fated mule ride? We decided to do a Pink Jeep Tour after a recommendation from an awesome friend. He saw Pink Jeep Tours in Sedona when he was on vacation and came back to tell me all about them.

We were able to hop in an open-air Jeep with the whole fam and 2 new friends to see some of the less-traveled areas of the Grand Canyon. I have no idea where we were (maybe the east side of the south rim…) but it was absolutely gorgeous! Mike, our driver, was so much fun, so knowledgeable, and even let us gallivant a little longer than usual. He also indulged my quest to find elk – and we found 2!

If you ever have the chance to do a Pink Jeep Tour – whether it’s at the Grand Canyon, Vegas, or Sedona, it is well worth it. Consider this my verified recommendation.

 

 

jeep

Matt & me in front of the Pink Jeep. The whole family was there, but there wasn’t a good picture of all of us.

 

 

boy elk

A young male elk – I stalked him for about 20 minutes to get this shot. He was very nice about it.

 

 

lady elk

A young female elk. She was kickin it in the brush by the restroom… just loving life.

 

 

Mike

Mike, our friendly driver!

 

 

 

 

Maverick Helicopter Tours

After another recommendation, we took a chance (an expensive chance) on a morning helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon. Bennett, our delightful pilot, played awesome music (Def Leppard, anyone?) and told us some incredible facts about the canyon. We opted for the earliest tour they offer because we were told that once the sun comes up, the canyon can get hazy which doesn’t make for the best views or pictures. With about 5 minutes left in the flight, the sky got hazy and we could no longer see the mountains in Flagstaff (which is really far away!).

We looked at a lot of helicopter tour companies, but Maverick got some of the best reviews and came personally recommended. Now, I’m personally recommending it to you!

 

The group!

The group!

 

Colorado River

Colorado River

 

heli 2

 

Bennett, our pilot, with everyone!

Bennett, our pilot, with everyone!

 

Family Vacation – The GRAND Canyon (part 1)

By Megan Vick

 

The Grand Canyon truly lives up to the word “Grand.” (Something tells me “The Huge Colossal Massive Canyon” would not go over well, although it may be a more appropriate description.) We spent 3 days in Tusayan, AZ – which by all accounts is barely a town, but it is only 6 miles from the park entrance. There is no internet and barely any phone service, so it’s truly a vacation. Completely disconnected from the world… it was lovely.

 

Food

It was much more difficult to find vegan food in Tusayan compared to Las Vegas. In a no-stoplight town, there was a Wendy’s, McDonald’s, a steakhouse, and a mexican restaurant. Luckily, I brought yummy snacks and we spent most days being active around the canyon. We hit up the Mexican restaurant one day for a late lunch and I got as close to vegan as I could by eating some yummy enchiladas without cheese and sour cream. We weren’t there for the food – that’s for sure. The truly breathtaking Grand Canyon took all my focus.

 

Grand Canyon

What can you say about The Grand Canyon that hasn’t already been said… We’ve been back for 2 months now and it’s still so fresh and incredible. Pictures simply don’t do the canyon justice, but here’s a good story:

 

While we were in the throws of booking our trip, someone highly recommended taking a mule ride to the canyon. After looking at some interesting tours, we decided that a 3-Day trip (1 day ride, 1 day in the bottom of the canyon, 1 day ride back) was a bit too much. I’ll be honest – our idea of camping is the Holiday Inn in Tusayan where there was no internet (True Story… no interwebs for 4 days…).  We agreed we would take a 3 hour mule ride along the canyon rim – sounds fun, right?

 

Leading up to the trip, Matt & I had a growing sense of unease about this mule ride. After doing a lot of research, we realized you can walk along the same trail for free (instead of the $120 per person mule ride). Then, we realized, you don’t actually ride a mule alongside the canyon, you ride for an hour and a half to the canyon, hitch the mule for 30 minutes, then ride an hour and a half back to the barn. Yeah… not for us. Plus, we were never really comfortable making a creature ride us along the rim of a canyon for pleasure. Seems a little cruel and unusual – but that’s just me…

 

I’m sure the trip is fantastic, but we cancelled anyway and hiked our way along the rim – which was beautiful. They also have buses for you to ride from lookout point to lookout point – and you can catch the same bus back to the parking lot if you don’t feel like hoofing back the way you came (which is what we did).  Here are some fun photos from the trip.

 

The whole family at the Canyon

The whole family at the Canyon

 

 

Megan & Matt on a ledge with nothing beneath us. Mom did not like taking this picture.

 

I really made Mom mad here. I told her to take a picture in case it's the last one... ever. She was not happy.

I really made Mom mad here. I told her to take a picture in case it’s the last one… ever. She was not happy.

 

 

I am cranky because I hit my head on that stupidly low tree branch. Mom said it was insta-karma for making her nervous.

I am cranky because I hit my head on that stupidly low tree branch. Mom said it was insta-karma for making her nervous.

 

 

There’s more on the Grand Canyon to come!

 

 

 

 

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.