Vegan in NOLA: Rouses Market

Before I go out of town, I spend a ton of time researching the area looking for vegan-friendly bars and restaurants, and for grocery stores in case I need to make my own food. For the Orthodox Young Professionals Conference in New Orleans, I found a nearby Rouses Market to stock up the condo I rented with a group of friends.
I noticed on their website they have a dietitian that put together a couple shopping guides for people with special diets. I emailed the store to see if they could do a vegan shopping guide and maybe a recipe, and pretty soon Esther, the amazing dietician, sent me a list of more than 1200 vegan items available at Rouses!!! Sure, it includes EVERY vegan thing in the store, like beans and fruit juice, but still. It just goes to show how much vegan food people are already eating without even thinking about it.

Anyway, Rouses has several locations around New Orleans, so chances are there will be one near you no matter where you stay in NOLA.

Vegan in NOLA: Rouses Market | Orthodox and Vegan
Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to run around the store like a crazy woman taking pictures of every single vegan specialty item I found, but here are some of the things I saw:

-Multiple brands of vegan & vegetarian meats
-Daiya cheese
-Non-dairy milks
-Non-dairy ice cream (Coconut Bliss was only $4.49!!!!!!)
-Energy bars
-Cruelty-free health & beauty supplies

Of course there is also a big variety of fruits and veggies, fresh bread, an olive bar, hummus, guac, salsa & chips. There are hot and cold cereals that can be eaten with the non-dairy milk. The salad bar isn’t too exciting, but it’ll do (I filled a box with all romaine leaves so I wouldn’t have to spend a ton on a whole package of romaine hearts I wouldn’t be able to finish). They also have locally made kombucha that is delicious.

By the way, I did indeed get a recipe from Esther that can be whipped up using simple ingredients found at Rouses, and probably also at a store near you! I’ll be sharing that Wednesday. And don’t forget to check out my New Orleans Fattoush!

Meanwhile if you’re going to be in NOLA and curious to know if Rouses Market carries a specific item, comment below and I’ll check my giant shopping list for you!

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant

So, Friday being a fasting day, I managed to get one non-vegan friend, Angela, to join me at Seed, an adorable little vegan restaurant near New Orleans’ Lower Garden District. Since Green Goddess was closed until August 31, I was super excited to be able to try at least one vegan restaurant in NOLA! And we were not disappointed.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
We started with the Breads + Spreads, although I switched out cucumber and celery for the bread. There are several choices for spreads/dips, and we chose puttanesca, creole cashew cheese, and chickpea salad. All three were good, but Angela favored the spicy creole cashew cheese while I preferred the chickpea salad, which was reminiscent of egg salad with mayo and relish.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
Hope you enjoy this extremely blurry picture of Angela’s BBQ Sandwich, “house-made seitan, bbq sauce, slaw”, on a whole wheat bun. She gave it a thumbs-up.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
I wanted to try a New Orleans classic, so I went with the Southern Fried Poboy made with “fried tofu, light chickpea flour breading, lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo, poboy bread”. As far as I could tell, the tofu was extra firm and had been frozen in water and then thawed, creating a nice meaty texture. I thought it tasted like chicken.
I added avocado because who doesn’t love extra fat? Little did I know the sandwich would be bigger than my head. I ate a few pieces of the tofu and then squished the bun together until I could get my mouth around it without looking like a complete pig. It was wonderful; however, I would ask for extra mayo next time.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
Of course no trip to New Orleans is complete without beignets! As far as I know, Seed is the only place to get traditional beignets that are also vegan (although I did find a hookah lounge that does pita beignets – fried pita triangles covered in powdered sugar – and those are vegan!!). I was expecting fat, fluffy rectangles of fried dough, but these were a bit dense. They also weren’t greasy at all, which makes me wonder if they were baked instead of fried. But who would do such a thing? Nevertheless, they were very tasty and addicting.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
Our waiter told us they also had a couple special items that weren’t on the menu, including Samoa Cheesecake.
Me: “YOU MEAN SAMOA AS IN THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES??!??!!?” Most exciting news I’ve heard in a while. I’m pretty sure the velvety-smooth cream cheese base was made with cashews, and the caramel layer with dates (yes, you really can make nuts and dates taste like cheese and caramel! It’s miraculous but true and I’m thinking a knock-off recipe is on the way to prove it). There was a layer of chocolate chunks over the caramel, and the whole thing was topped with toasted coconut. It was just dreamy.

I wish I could’ve eaten at Seed every day until I tasted everything on the menu, but, alas, there were too many other places to try! But I’ll definitely be a return customer if I make it to NOLA again. Besides the great food, the waitstaff were very friendly and our waiter was happy to help us make the most of our meal.

If you’ve been to Seed, comment below and let us know your favorite item on the menu! If you haven’t been to Seed yet, I highly recommend adding it to your list of places you must visit while in New Orleans.