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. ❤

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.

Save BU Wrestling!

By Megan Vick

It’s no secret we support the Save BU Wrestling cause. What’s this cause, you ask? In 2013, Boston University announced they were dropping the wrestling program. Wrestlers, parents, BU faculty, and other BU athletes were outraged and the movement began. Now, athletes across the country are joining together to support the wrestlers and protest against those who made this decision. You can read more about why we support Save BU Wrestling on our post, The Value of a Team.

Here’s the History:

In 2012, New Balance (yeah, the shoe company) donated $3 million to Boston University for a proposed $24 million lacrosse field – before BU had a lacrosse team. New Balance just entered the growing market of lacrosse apparel – convenient, n’est pas? It’s mighty suspicious that a university with no lacrosse team gets a donation from a company who makes lacrosse apparel. The rest of the $21 million was fronted by members of the Board of Trustees.

Well, smack my booty and call me Judy… wouldn’t you guess that BU announced shortly thereafter they were adding a men’s lacrosse team (oh yeah, and a women’s crew team). And the new lacrosse field would be aptly named, New Balance Field. Luckily, the athletic department had a meeting with all sport coaches and the Athletic Director said no sports would be cut to accommodate the 2 new sports. A year later – BU announced they were dropping wrestling after the 2013 – 2014 season.

Title 9  Shenanigans

Don’t you love the word “Shenanigans?” It’s the best word to describe what happened when BU decided to add 2 new sports. A Title 9 expert reviewed the sports program at BU and found it was ridiculously out of compliance, which could cause a pretty hefty lawsuit against BU. Men’s Lacrosse would add 40 men to the program and Women’s Crew would add 15 women. This leaves an excess of 25 men throwing off Title 9 compliance. What’s a university to do? Add a women’s team? No, no – the university drops wrestling. That makes a lot of sense except for the fact that Boston University denied Title 9 was a factor when they decided to drop wrestling. The real conundrum occurred when the Athletic Director was quoted in multiple BU press sources and on a radio interview saying, “Title 9 is always a factor when expanding an athletic program and [BU] had to consider Title 9 in order to add lacrosse.”

Suspicious Ostrich

Suspicious Ostrich is Suspicious

The Future of BU Wrestling

As of right now, BU is starting to sweat the efforts of the Save BU Wrestling group. Not only are they vocal, but they have also created the Boycott New Balance movement opposing New Balance’s role in events leading up to the discontinuation of Terriers Wrestling. While the movements are strong on campus and through the friends and family of unhappy BU students, it’s important to encourage this effort in the vegan community. Two members of the Board of Trustees, David D’Allessandro and Kenneth Feld, are involved with SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey Circus, respectively.

By all accounts, both SeaWorld and all animal-based circuses have a track record for animal cruelty (have you seen Blackfish?) and now these two organizations have members who are directly involved with the discontinuation of one of the world’s oldest sports at the country’s most expensive university (yes, more expensive than Duke!). There have been rumors in the BU camp to start a boycott of SeaWorld and Feld Entertainment, owner of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Knowing how long vegans have been actively boycotting these two groups, it only makes sense to join forces to show how powerful this pairing can be.

Be sure to check out the Save BU Wrestling facebook & twitter pages as well as the Boycott New Balance movement.

Share this – reblog it, Facebook it, Tweet it, whatever it is you want to do, share this with the world. Both wrestlers and vegans share the same mentality – Never Give In.

Never. Give. In.

Wrestling and Veganism

By Megan Vick

 

As a vegan, I like animals – it’s why I don’t eat them or stuff that comes from them. Because I like animals and believe they should be loved and cared for and protected, I don’t like SeaWorld and I don’t like any organization, like Barnum & Bailey Circus, using animals for entertainment. It’s wrong, cruel, and wildly unnecessary.

 

You’re with me on this, right? Here’s where two things in my life merge together in a way I never expected.

 

My father, Art Donahoe, is a Boston University alumni, wrestler, and wrestling coach. I grew up with wrestling, with wrestlers, and understanding the power a sport like wrestling can have on people and families of all backgrounds. In 2013, BU announced they were dropping their wrestling program. Heartbroken, the Save BU Wrestling movement was born. Recently, in a conversation with good ole pops, he mentioned that a member of the Board of Trustees was a chairman for SeaWorld and another member owns Feld Entertainment – parent company of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Dad mentioned this because he thought it would be powerful for people to boycott SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey Circus due to the role these trustees had in wrestling being dropped from Boston University.

 

If only there were a group of people who actively protested against SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey… If only these same people stood up for diversity, for teamwork and togetherness, for hard work and doing the right thing… oh, wait – vegans are EXACTLY the right people to help spread this message.

 

Perhaps an unlikely match up of the Save BU Wrestling movement and animal-rights activists, but here we are. By joining together to expose the (dare I say) corruption of BU Trustees and the blatant mistreatment of animals under their reign, we have the ability to make a powerful statement which benefits both people and animals.

 

Vegan friends, friends of vegans, animal- lovers, wrestling- lovers, I call on you to unite. Tweet this, Facebook this, do whatever other social media sharing you choose to help spread the word about Save BU Wrestling. Be sure to check out the Save BU Wrestling facebook & twitter pages as well as the Boycott New Balance movement.

 

Save BU Wrestling

 

 

Never. Give. In.

We’re Back, Baby!

By Megan Vick

While we may have been absent from The South Durham Farmers Market since just before the Christmas holiday, we are returning this Saturday (cue high fives and cheers).

 

High Five Bunnies

 

If you didn’t already know, we moved over the holiday and we’ve been taking this time to reorganize and reprioritize Shorganics. Fear not, faithful friends, nothing changes on your end! We’ve simply laid out our office differently and made difficult decisions – like where the printer should go. All in all, it’s been a long process, but we are THRILLED to return to The South Durham Farmers Market – rain or shine – on Saturday.

 

We’ve missed you, so come on out and pick up some Hand and Foot Creams to soothe your skin in this crazy winter weather we’re having. Namaste

2013: Year in Review

By Megan Vick

 

2013 was a wonderfully good year for Shorganics. We spent many a Saturday at The South Durham Farmers Market and met great people. Matt and I spent many nights developing our plan to take over the world new formulas and testing new products for your enjoyment.

 

New Products this year:

  • Lavender Lemon Body Butter
  • Soap (10 types)
  • Berries & Citrus soy candle/wax melt
  • Lavender Lemon soy candle/wax melt
  • Oakmoss soy candle/wax melt
  • Tulip soy candle/wax melt

 

We also changed some of our packaging to make it prettier, safer, and easier to work with. Even with all that, we are still ready and raring to go in 2014. You’ll see us in more stores in more cities across the United States throughout the year. Want to see Shorganics in your town? Email us (support at shorganics dot com) the name of the store where you’d like us to be and we’ll reach out!

 

We’ve got more big and exciting news coming soon, so stay tuned! Namaste.