Plant-based eateries sprout in Detroit

The Cilantro Peanut Stir Fry from Seva Detroit couples mung bean sprouts with an in-house made cilantro sauce. PHOTO/ERIC SOKOL

OU News Bureau

Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming an easier way of life, offering an array of flavor for those seeking an improvement in personal health.

“This is not a lifestyle of deprivation,” said Paul Krause, pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Cabinet pharmacy in Southfield and president of VegMichigan. “Once people transition, it actually opens up a whole plethora of different foods and different tastes.”

VegMichigan, a nonprofit organization, promotes the health, environmental and moral benefits of living a vegan way of life.

Paul Krause

“It doesn’t take that much effort anymore,” Krause said. “Almost all restaurants have a couple options now.”

Plant-based diets are being embraced by those from all walks of life.

“People from different areas of education — whether you’re liberal or conservative,” Krause said. “We don’t see much of a difference.”

To meet demand, vegetarian restaurant Seva, originating in Ann Arbor, opened a Midtown location. Seva is one of a handful of vegan or vegetarian restaurants in Detroit.

“I don’t really see one specific group that comes in,” said Sunshine Miller, sous chef of Seva Detroit.

The number of patrons at Seva Detroit has grown during the past year with help from an increase in awareness regarding the healthiness of veganism.

“We’ve seen a rise in people that are coming and eating here,” Miller said. “I feel like that information and that knowledge is helping people make the choices that are best for their body and their lifestyle.”

Eating a plant-based diet may help prevent diseases that can be caused through the consumption of animal products.

“Heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes,” Krause said. “Those are the four that could almost be eliminated.”

Second-hand exposure to antibiotics could pose a risk for those who eat farm animals treated with these drugs. 

“We continually supply them with antibiotics and then when we eat the meat, we eat antibiotics,” Krause said. “If someone has disease problems they might go into a hospital and they’re resistant to antibiotics because they’ve been eating antibiotics their whole lives.”

Options to replace meat have been increasing.

Seva Detroit sous chef Sunshine Miller presents The Beyond Burger, a pea protein meat alternative topped with a pretzel bun. The sweet potato fries are made with vegan-friendly canola oil. PHOTO/ERIC SOKOL

A new animal protein replacement available at Seva Detroit is called The Beyond Burger. It simulates real meat in ways other than flavor.

“Made essentially out of pea protein isolate, it’s kind of the newest meat alternative,” Miller said. “It looks like a burger, it has the same texture, it has the redness in the center.”

Meat substitutes can now replicate nearly all types of red meat.

“There is an alternative called seitan, which is made out of wheat gluten,” Miller said. “With the right seasoning, that can get really close to steak texture.”

Soy is prepared in different ways, allowing it to fit with a variety of meals.

“Tempeh — it’s fermented soy,” Miller said. “It gives you that mouth feel of protein. It has that texture to it.”

Desserts that would traditionally contain dairy are offered with milk alternatives.

“We can do coconut milk we have soy milk, almond milk,” Miller said.

“So much of the food we make goes to feed animals instead of feeding the hungry,” Krause said. “If we weren’t funneling all that food into animals to keep them alive, we would have so much excess food there wouldn’t be any world hunger anymore.”


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Posted by on Dec 4 2017. Filed under Featured article, Wayne C.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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