Food Trends: Plant-Based Love

Celebrate Earth Day with vegan dining updates, spicy seitan sandwiches, and sustainable microgreens

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A seitan maker’s plans for a new plant-based deli

For Rich Gaccione, what began as a COVID lockdown bread-baking story soon evolved into a niche plant-based business called Born From Pain. The long-time vegan eater found himself without a job in 2020 and was inspired to cook for people, so he started experimenting with seitan, a meat substitute using gluten. Now he sells vegan Pepperoni Sticks; his original flavor Firestorm, a spicy, fragrant, Ethiopian-inspired seitan; the Greek-herb seasoned Pythagoras Feast; and more.

At farmers markets, Gaccione also educates patrons curious about incorporating the lesser-known ingredient into their cooking. “I want people to have access to locally made vegan food that doesn’t use any crazy ingredients. It’s all very simple, healthy, unique, and local,” he explains. For now, folks can preorder seitan online for pickup Tuesdays at Trinity Brewhouse, or find him at the the Farm Fresh Market on Sims Avenue April 20 and 27 – but soon Gaccione plans to open Providence Vegan Deli, operating in a shared space with Like No Udder. BornFromPainBakery.com

 

Beloved vegan ice cream shop expands with new spot

Since learning that their lease wouldn’t be renewed, Karen Krinsky and Chris Belanger, owners of Like No Udder, have worked tirelessly to ensure the vegan ice cream shop opens for another season – which will be their 16th, including their early days operating out of the signature purple truck. So it’s with relief and excitement that Krinsky shares that the new location is just a couple miles away and is double the size. This means more baked goods, more efficient ice cream production, and making room for the aforementioned Providence Vegan Deli, with tentative plans to open in May.

From Unicorn Shakes to plant-based knishes – and the only vegan ice cream cake around – Like No Udder has become a community staple. “Our customers don’t fit one box. While we certainly serve vegans and dairy-intolerant folks, we also have a large group of people who don’t care – they just like it,” says Krinsky. “I’m not just in this business to sell ice cream; my mission is to be part of the community, do good, respect animals, and have fun.” 783 Hope Street, Like-No-Udder.com

 

Pawtucket-grown greens that pack a punch

Sometimes good things come in small packages – which is certainly the case with nutrient-rich microgreens, the trendy sprouts you’ve probably seen atop toasts and salads. And they very well may have come from 401 Micro Greens, an urban farm in Pawtucket run by Sergio Nunes and Nicole Whitehead. The pair grows greens using sustainable practices, without chemicals or pesticides. 

“We both come from the fast-paced world of the restaurant/hospitality industry where we discovered that growing our food as a hobby was very gratifying,” says Nunes. After learning about the superfood benefits of the small crop in the summer of 2023, they decided to open their own farm. A standout variety is the nutty, mildly sweet Sunflower Shoots, which they recommend using as a garnish with a squeeze of lime and Tajin. Salad mixes emphasizing spice, crunch, and nutrients create endless culinary pairings. Find 401 Micro Greens topping dishes at local restaurants, for purchase at the Pawtucket Farmers Market, and online for delivery. 401MicroGreens.com

 

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