drug database


Vegan Grand Rapids Guide to Non-Dairy Ice Cream

Did you know that 75% of the world’s population suffers from lactose intolerance? That statistic, combined with the millions of Americans kicking dairy to the curb because of ethical and health concerns, has ice cream shops stepping up in a big way to meet the demand. We’re not talking about sugary sorbets or fruit based slushies either. Some ice cream shops in Grand Rapids are serving up some seriously creamy vegan ice creams to help beat the summer heat (not that we’ve avoided the stuff in the middle of winter either!). Here are the (non-dairy) cream of the crop.   Love’s Ice Cream – We’ve said it before and we stand behind it: Love’s Ice Cream makes the best ice cream, dairy or not, that we’ve ever had. Located inside the Downtown Market, Love’s creates small batches of artisan ice cream by hand. Everything at Love’s is made with quality ingredients that are local, healthy, and organic whenever possible. For instance, one of our favorites, the Cinnamon Roasted Nut is made with a combination of cashew and almond milk that they make on site. There are usually 3-4 vegan flavors at any given time. You won’t find boring flavors at Love’s. Some others favorites include the Coconut Chip, Cherry Amaretto and Rosewater Cardamom gelato. They also have chocolate covered Michigan shaped pops! Furniture City Creamery – Furniture City Creamery is located in the beautiful, walkable Cherry Hill shopping district. Everything is made from scratch using carefully crafted recipes in small batches. Furniture City Creamery also has something we’ve found at no other local ice cream shop – vegan waffle cones! All the toppings at Furniture City are also vegan, including the caramel and chocolate sauces. This wasn’t by accident. The owners want everyone to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor equally! There are usually 2-4 vegan flavors at anytime, like Salted Caramel, No-Bake Cookie, Mint Chocolate Chip, or the ever popular Peanuts and Cracker Jack Porter  (made with beer from The Mitten Brewing). Furniture City also has vegan baked goods you can take home or toss in a bowl and serve your ice cream on! Jersey Junction – Jersey Junction has been an icon in East Grand Rapids for over 50 years. When you enter, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. There’s a large ice cream counter and walls full of candy. Even though the atmosphere will conjure...
read more

Vegan Grand Rapids Guide to Summertime Grillin’

It’s summertime and that means porch gatherings, pool parties, and barbecues. You’ll probably find yourself surrounded by steaks and beef burgers being tossed over an open flame but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun. If you’re in a hurry, you can grab a box of pre-made vegan burgers or hot dogs from the grocery store. If you have time, we suggest making your own. Here are our grocery store picks as well as a couple of our recipes that we use before heading out to party. Burgers: 1. Gardein Beefless burgers – These burgers are soy and gluten based and probably the closest thing we’ve found that’s most like the real deal. Gardein’s meteoric rise backed by big bucks means they’re pretty easy to find nowadays. You can get these at all Meijer stores or Harvest Health. 2. Amy’s Veggie Burgers – Amy’s sells a big variety of veggie burgers that you can also find at most grocery stores (Meijer and Harvest Health for sure). The All American Veggie burger is another soy and gluten based burger and close to the real deal. Kolene prefers the California burgers. Those ones are made up of vegetables, grains, nuts and mushrooms. 3. Boca – An original, Boca sells several kinds of burgers but be careful as not all are vegan! The obvious choice is the “Original Vegan” version. With a soy and wheat gluten base, it might even trick your omnivore friends into thinking you’ve switched teams. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you could also try the Original Chick’n patty. Recipes: Of course, the best option for health (and taste) is usually to cook yourself and this time is no different. What constitutes a good vegan burger is definitely up for debate! Some go nuts, others go mushroom and Jon has a secret recipe of his own that even uses stuffing. Here are some recipes we think rise to the top: Scott Jurek’s Lentil Mushroom Burger Dreena Burton’s Umami, Almond, Quinoa, Sun-Dried Tomato Burger Isa Chandra’s Olive Lentil Burger Homemade vegan burgers that don’t suck from Serious Eats Hot dogs: 1. Lightlife Smart Dogs – Soy based and gluten-free, Smart Dogs were made for grilling. You can’t go wrong with one of these lean protein-packed wieners that as closely mimics the real thing as possible. You can find these at D&W and Meijer stores. 2....
read more

The 7 greatest vegan moments in Grand Rapids in 2013

It was a big year for vegans living in Grand Rapids. We witnessed some pretty great events this year and we’ve tried our best to highlight the very biggest and amazing things that happened in 2013. Here they are, and happy new year! 1. Big City Pizza Comes to Grand Rapids CVLT Pizza opened its doors in early 2013 adding more vegan pizzas to the small pile of other eateries offering scrumptious pies like Brick Road Pizza and the Mitten Brewing Co. What sets CVLT apart from the others? Their commitment to only use locally sourced ingredients. Calling cofounder Ryan Cappelletti’s commitment to local food impressive would be a massive understatement. You won’t find anything but tomato sauce from local farms (even in the dead of winter – they can all year round) and locally grown veggies, nut sauces, and freshly foraged mushrooms. 2. Vegan Grocery Went Mainstream Despite Treehuggers, one of our favorite grocery stores, closing, Grand Rapids saw a big increase in the number of vegan staples being offered around town. Finding Earth Balance butter no longer feels like something you need a sherpa to do. However, the real winner in our hearts is D&W Fresh Market. This year alone they began carrying, to name a few, Vegenaise, Daiya Cheese, Ferris raw nuts, So Delicious yogurt, and (most recently) Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast. 3. The Proliferation of Chilly Vegan Treats Ice cream and fro-yo lovers were treated like royalty in 2013. From Spoonlickers opening in Eastown, Sweet Yo’s two locations, Love’s in the new Downtown Market, and microcreamery options like Furniture City Creamery, it was a sweet tooth owner’s dream-year. While we’ve sampled all of them, we’re pretty partial to Love’s. Usually offering at least two vegan ice cream flavors, this is not your run-of-the-mill ice cream shop. While you might find some classic flavors, you’ll also find some pretty creative ones. We’ve been fortunate to try Cinnamon Roasted Nut (made with their own cashew and almond milk), Coconut Chip, and the Rosewater Cardamom flavors. It may be the dead of winter, but get in there asap! 4. The Vegan Kitchen Takeover Started Invading Restaurants. Two local chefs, Chef JR and Chef Justin, started one of the most ambitious projects this year. Once a month these two super chefs invade a local restaurant’s kitchen to create a unique vegan menu where guests can dine for one...
read more

Vegan Grand Rapids Guide to Eating Your Way Through ArtPrize

ArtPrize, the world’s largest open art competition, has descended upon Grand Rapids for the fifth time. Once again the top artist (chosen by public vote) will be awarded $200,000. There are over 1800 artists competing in 169 venues, mostly concentrated in downtown GR. You’ll have 19 days to explore the city, vote for your favorite artists, and of course, find the best places to eat. Ideally, what you’d have below is an assemblage of the finest pieces on display. A preview of top-10 contenders that you can seek out right away to make sure you see the best of the best. But there’s one problem. We don’t know anything about art. But hey, no worries. In lieu of an art degree, we’ve got an honorary degree in exploratory eating which counts for something, right? We’ve listed some cool places to grab a bite while you’re downtown – and just from experience we know the venues that generally are worth checking out. So without further ado, here is our top list of places to go to see some pretty cool, sometimes bizarre, and always interesting art during ArtPrize. If you get hungry, we’ve got you covered there too! UICA | 2 Fulton West UICA is known for displaying some of the top contenders in ArtPrize. This year will surely be no exception. With 13 artists displaying a variety of types of art, you don’t want to miss stopping in here. Woolhouse is a life sized room that was hand knitted. It’s complete with a knitted couch, lamp, and chair. SERIOUSLY. Another interesting piece slated for UICA, is Climb, three fully-playable vintage Donkey Kong cabinets arranged in a geometric configuration. A video screen depicts a hopeless Mario who forever climbs without ever saving his princess. After your visit to UICA, take the short walk around the corner to Stella’s Lounge at 53 Commerce Ave. Stella’s has a decent section of their menu dedicated to vegan dishes. Order a  No Bull Steak (seasoned tempeh, sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms and sunflower vegan cheese served on a baguette) or Hippy Stuffed Black Bean & Lentil Burger with a side of Poor Man’s Wings (breaded potato wedges tossed in buffalo hot, mild, golden BBQ or sweet-chili sauce with the most delicious spicy avocado ranch on the side). To learn more about Stella’s, check the Restaurant Guide. SiTE:LAB | 54 Jefferson Located in the former home...
read more

Marie Catrib’s Bringing The Cheese

If you stop by Marie Catrib’s right now, you’ll likely be disappointed to find them closed! In the middle of a renovation, they’re shutting down for over a week. Of course we had to get to the bottom of it so we stopped by last week and chatted with Marie’s son, Fouad Catrib. It seems that they are expanding the deli area with a bulk of the expansion adding more deli cases to hold cheese. So why are we talking about this?  Well, we were ecstatic to find out that they were adding a few varieties of vegan “cheese” to the case as well! Fouad was eager to offer us a few samples to try. He gave us some  Tofu misozuke, something we had been dying to get our hands on for quite some time! This is a traditional Japanese delicacy that is produced by aging tofu in miso for months – it’s a method that dates back hundreds of years. During the aging process, the tofu totally changes its texture He gave us two types to try, the original, and a kombu variety that is billed as being more complex with a bigger “bite” to the “cheese.” It’s definitely interesting stuff. It comes on a cute little bamboo dish in a small portion (just 2.5oz). The texture is so different from tofu, it’s hard to believe that was the original substance. It’s tart and creamy, stinky and rich as if it’s an aged cheese from France. Much like those roqueforts or stiltons, it’s not going to be for everyone. It’s something pretty original and special, and since the first bite, I’ve been thinking of other ways to use it. I think it would be amazing in a sauce! We had both sesame crackers and herbed pita chips to try it with, and really both of the crackers were delicious. However, the pita crackers from Marie’s are seriously incredible! They’ll be selling both varieties of misozuke. Fouad also told us that there was a local vegan cheese maker that will be filling the case with more varieties. By the sound of it, she will be using rejuvelac,  a fermented liquid made from sprouted grains, to ferment her cheese.This all comes on the heels of their launch of a new menu just before the new year. The new menu has some exciting new vegan items, including Jon’s new favorite sandwich, Bubba’s Deal – BBQ portabellas, grilled onions, spinach,...
read more

Standup Vegan Foodies…and Unite!

And on top of that, as local vegans shouldn’t we be making every best effort to only patronize local restaurants who support the vegan lifestyle? Think of it as a political group – we should vote with our stomachs and show the local restaurant industry that offering plant-based dishes makes sense for the environment, and for the animals and for our health, but it also makes financial sense.


read more

Make compassion part of your Thanksgiving tradition

A long standing tradition of ours has been to sponsor a turkey from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project. Each November we get to pick the cutest turkey from their list and support their mission. This year, we thought we’d try to turn our $30 donation into something more, and that’s where you come in. Every year more than 46 million turkeys live in deplorable conditions and are slaughtered just for the one day of Thanksgiving.  Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project encourages people to save a turkey at Thanksgiving through sponsorships that help to rescue animals and provide care for them once they reach their sanctuary. They also educate and advocate for turkeys and other farm animals everywhere all year long. They’re a fantastic charity, worthy of the support, and I know their mission is in line with many of ours – To protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living. So this holiday season, with you, we’re hoping to raise $500 to help support Farm Sanctuary’s work. Will you  join us in donating to a great organization, and a great cause?  Each donation made through FirstGiving will go directly to Farm Sanctuary and support the work they do each and every day....
read more

Vegan New Orleans

The VeganGR team hit the road a few weeks ago for New Orleans. We researched vegan options before we left, but things looked a little sparse. Known more for deep, dark buttery roux’s and seafood, New Orleans actually turned out to be better than expected. Here’s what we found should you ever find yourself in the Crescent City! 13 Monaghan: Almost unnoticeable on Frenchman St., 13 is a great option. A cute little bar, with great local brews on tap (Abita, YUM), we actually ate here twice. Our first visit was for lunch. We ordered a BBQ Tofu Sandwich and a Veggie Po-Boy (minus cheese) – it was full of spinach, artichokes, red peppers, and mushrooms. We ordered it with vegan mayo on the side, which is made in-house with tofu and almonds! We also split an order of tator tots, because what grown-up doesn’t like a good tator tot once in awhile? (Side note: we’re not sure if the bread was vegan.) The next morning we woke up hungry and wanted breakfast stat. We decided to cab it back to 13 Monaghan and try the tofu scramble. It came with veggies and toast (be sure to ask for no butter, as sadly, they had no alternative). Discovering that you could sub any of the egg dishes with tofu, we also ordered the breakfast burrito (no cheese).  It came with tofu, potatoes, and salsa.  It was a great start to the day! Overall, the food here was good, and it’s also probably good to remember they stay open until 4am. Great for a late night snack after listening to some great music at a bar on Frenchman. Overall, I would give them a B+. More photos from 13:                     Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar: To know me, is to to know how much I appreciate a good breakfast. In fact, no longer eating eggs has definitely been one of the hardest things in terms of my vegan transition. No matter how gross they are (and they are), eggs made into a fantastic omelet with a great cup of coffee was one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning. But that’s OK! Tofu now replaces eggs for me on most weekend mornings. Even having not visited every place in New Orleans with a vegan breakfast, I still feel confident in saying that Surrey’s has...
read more