You're Not A Vegan Restaurant, But A Few Vegan Meals Could Increase Business

Video Produced By Denise Toledo

Vegan is the new gluten-free and just like the trendy gluten-free diet, not all customers who are looking for plant-based menu items are doing so for health reasons. Vegan diets are clearly better for you and for the environment, but they are also trending. Not all customers who are looking for vegan options are vegans. Some customers are just interested in the cuisine or are looking for a healthy appetizer or entree to pair with menu items more appealing to their carnivorous palate. Restaurants who are finding ways to broaden their menu offerings are finding success in attracting this new consumer. In this episode from Foodable's Smart Kitchen & Bar, we bring you two vegan recipes that will wow your guests, vegan or not. Watch the full episode for complete preperation and recipe. 

Molé Lettuce Wraps

cacao mole | sour cream | cabbage | salsa fresca | guacamole.

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1 cup cashews, soaked
½ cup coconut meat
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ tablespoon miso
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cacao Molé Sauce
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
½ cup cacao powder

Combine sunflower seeds and salt in blender. While blending, stream in grape seed oil and continue to blend until mixture is completely smooth. Add maple syrup, tamari, and cinnamon, blend until mixture is smooth and glossy. Add cacao powder in thirds, blending until thoroughly incorporated each time. This will produce a thick mixture; the vessel may need to be scraped down a few times while blending.

¼ cup raisins
1 chipotle pepper
4 sundried tomato halves
2 dates, pitted (or 1 tablespoon date paste)1 tomato, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, deveined
½ cup carrot juice, strained
½ cup soaking water, reserved from chipotle, tomato, dates, and raisins
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin, ground
1 pinch cardamom, ground
1 teaspoon salt

Soak chipotle, sundried tomatoes, dates, and raisins in warm water for at least 30 min. Drain and reserve water. Combine the rest of ingredients and blend thoroughly.  Add sunflower cacao butter and blend until smooth. Add more reserved soak water if thinner consistency is desired.

1 cup green cabbage, shredded
½ cup red cabbage, shredded
½ cup carrots, fine julienne

1 avocado
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

½ cup jicama, medium dice
1 teaspoon jalapeño, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch smoked paprika

½ cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
½ tablespoon lime juice
pinch salt

Kimchi Kelp Noodles

kimchi | kelp noodles | kimchi sesame sauce | radish, cilantro, pea shoots

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Napa cabbage – 1⁄2 large head (or 1 small)
2 carrots cut into matchsticks
1⁄4 cup red cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 bell pepper, chopped or julienned
1 tablespoons of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh green onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 1⁄2 teaspoons of dried red chili pepper, adjust to taste
2 teaspoons agave
1 teaspoon salt

2 cups kelp noodles
1 tablespoon baking soda
Soak kelp noodles in warm water and baking soda for 15-30 minutes. After
soaking, be sure to rinse and drain well.

1⁄4 cup cashews (soaked)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tamari
1⁄2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon red chili, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener
water as needed
1⁄4-1/2 cup kimchi

Blend all ingredients, except kimchi until smooth and creamy. Toss with kelp
noodles and kimchi, and your choice of vegetables, such as radish, cilantro,
chives, carrots or pea shoots.