Who knew vegan food could be so tasty?
Finally, there is a place where we can binge on macaroni and cheese and feel healthier than when we started! Is it magic? Well, kind of. It’s vegan magic cooked up by Vegan Meets Soul’s self-taught chef Brittany Ventress. DIG sat down with Brittany to sample some of her creative vegan alternatives to our soul food favorites and learned that a vegan diet is a lot more than just salads.
So why does someone decide to go vegan? For Brittany, her transformation began out of necessity.
“I was overweight after my pregnancy, weighing 232 pounds, and had high blood pressure. I knew I had to do something.” She started researching what it meant to be vegan and if she could find a way to include her lifelong favorites into her new lifestyle. “At first it was hard. I was not about to give up fried chicken, red beans and rice, and macaroni and cheese. It turned out I didn’t have to and the substitutes I made tasted just as good and left me feeling slim and full of energy.”
Vegan Meets Soul started shortly thereafter. “I always felt like cooking was my calling and now I feel truly blessed. Everyone is scared when they pursue their dream, but when it starts to work, it feels amazing.”
Vegan Meets Soul, located at 1665 N Little John Dr., offers take out and can deliver for a $4 fee within a 6-mile radius. The menu changes weekly and is posted to both Facebook and Instagram so followers can place their orders ahead. Plates are in the $8- $11 range, with catering options for larger crowds.
We tried some of her most popular dishes, which were as taste-full as they were guilt free. Her jambalaya balls are made with her homemade vegan sausage and were seasoned to perfection. They come three to an order. We also tried her soy protein chicken wings, which come in lemon pepper, barbeque, and buffalo flavors. They are served with Brittany’s legendary soul sauce, think spicy and sweet. The texture of the wings was actually much more chicken-like than alternatives we have tried in the past and were “on the bone” aka on sugar cane. Her fried chicken, which is served with a side, is made from gluten free pure protein and fried. It can be fried in avocado oil for a dollar extra, a worthwhile spend. The macaroni and cheese is made with nutritional yeast and can also be made gluten-free. It was creamy and we never would have known it didn’t have cheese if it were served elsewhere. We could have eaten a whole bowl.
Those skeptics who thought there was no way vegan food could taste delicious? Ventress said they have been converted.
“A lot of my family and friends are now vegan too.”
All and all we were excited by the familiarity the dishes had to the classics and are eager to try the nachos, soul rolls, and more. If getting healthy is this tasty, we are on board. To try Vegan Meets Soul, you can order by calling (225) 364-7577, visiting Facebook, or catch them at Family Fit Day in Downtown BR on September 15.
Photos by Mihn Kiet Tran