Motivated by scientific evidence connecting the link between diet and health, more and more conscious foodies are eating green by turning to vegetable-based meal choices at home and when dining out. Veg News reports that in response to this mushrooming trend, 51 percent of chefs have added plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free menu selections.
Vegans do not eat or use animal products. Vegetarians rely on plant-based foods. They do not eat meat, eggs, dairy or animal by-products, and generally, avoid processed foods. Vegan diets include legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), nuts /nut butters, hemp, flax, and chia seeds, tofu, and other minimally processed meat substitutes, calcium-fortified plant-based milk, yogurts, seaweed, nutritional yeast, sprouted and fermented plant foods.
Zakiya Courtney — mother of a blended/extended family of 15; grandmother of 50; great-grandmother to 16, and wife
After winning several cook-offs for her greens and demonstrations at local food, markets calls for her super tasty vegan foods grew. Mounting requests inspired the creation of her catering business Vegan Soul. She says, “Nine-layer salads, biscuits, southern-style greens, and peanut stew, all made from scratch are popular requests.” Zakiya proudly explains that “two of my sons are also vegan chefs, and a daughter in law is a pastry chef.
Zakiya’s culinary skills also earned her a spot as the featured chef for ‘Vegan Soul Fridays’ at Tricklebee Café on West North Avenue in Milwaukee. Additionally, her expertise, along with that of six other chefs, was awarded the honor of preparing a community dinner for Michael W. Twitty — famed author of The Cooking Gene and blog Afroculinaria.
She was also a participant in a VIP Popup for the 2019 Farm Aid Concert at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. Hosted by music superstars Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, 37,000 artists, farmers, food vendors, and fans attended.
An educator by profession, Zakiya’s heart is rooted in cultural community activism. But have no doubt, preparing healthy, delicious vegan foods is her passion.
U.S. Department of Human Services: www.hhs.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov