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Pettable Not Edible – Eating Vegan in SLC

Normal Saturdays in Salt Lake City generally consist of walking your dog in the park and ordering coffee at a local shop. However, last Saturday was filled with walking lobsters and various food samplings as Salt Lake City celebrated its fourth annual VegFest, a vegan food festival aimed towards showcasing the benefits of veganism and allowing many non-vegans to sample amazing food. Various vegan food trucks, local vendors, grocery stores, and clothing companies were scattered around Library Square displaying their goodies for everyone to enjoy. Although the vegan movement has always been around, it has gained significant attention during the last couple of years. With this growing popularity, Salt Lake remains one of the most popular places to be vegan, boasting the highest number of vegan restaurants per capita. Our initiative to make veganism accesible and affordable is paying off. Just in case you weren’t able to attend VegFest or are new to veganism, here are some amazing vegan restaurants. 

1. Boltcutter: A popular vegan restaurant that serves street tacos, burriotos, buffalo cauliflower, and more. Items are made from scratch daily and the restaurant is open late.

2. Monkeywrench: Located right next to Boltcutter, Monkeywrench offers completely vegan ice cream served in warm waffle cones. Come enjoy a delicous dessert after a full vegan feast!

3. Seasons Plant Based Bistro: Vegan gourmet and hand-crafted food. Serving baked macaroni and cheese, creamy mashed potatoes, and short rib au-jus (all completely vegan), this restuarant will leave you full and satisfied. I guarantee you will have your next reservation booked before you are out the door!

4. Cinnaholic: If you are ever in the mood for a decadent cinnamon roll, head to Cinnaholic located in Trolley Square. You can shower your roll with any topping of your choice, and wash it down with fresh coffee. 

    Although these restaurants all sound delectable, not all of us have the funds to eat out every day. Learning how to cook vegan at home is simple and not nearly as expensive as you may think. By buying whole foods (such as beans, rice, pasta, etc.) you actually spend the same amount of money as you would buying a typical American diet. Here is a complimentary VegFest recipe, which was debuted in the Utah Vegan Guide.

  • Fluffy “Buttermilk” Pancakes: 

    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    • 1 heaping Tbsp of baking powder

    • 2 Tbsp. sugar

    • 1 tsp. Salt

    • 1 cup plant-based milk

    • 2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar

    • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

    • ½ cup of water

    • 3 Tbsp. canola oil 

    • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk vigorously the milk with the apple cider vinegar and flax seed to create a vegan buttermilk mixture. Pour the buttermilk into the bowl of dry ingredients, followed by the water, canola oil, and vanilla. Lightly mix until a lumpy batter is formed.

  2. Preheat a gribble or skillet on medium-low heat for 10 minutes while your batter rests. Lightly coat your skillet with oil, and slowly pour ⅓ cup of the batter into the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for approximately 4 minutes, flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

    Just like that, you have vegan pancakes! Cooking vegan is much easier than many think and can be incredibly healthy. Many vegans realize that not everyone has access to veganism or is ready to fully commit to a vegan diet, so try swapping out one meal a week for something that has no dairy or meat. Or next time you are at your favorite restaurant, check to see if they have a vegan alternative. Small differences matter. “Veganism is not a sacrifice, it is a joy,” -Gary L. Francione. So take part in Salt Lake City’s progressive vegan culture, and enjoy eating and cooking plant-based! 

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Sophomore at the University of Utah studying Strategic Communications
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