Sol Food Collective is the first vegan food truck on this season’s The Great Food Truck Race. Can this food truck captivate and educate foodies and Food Network fans?
Are you watching The Great Food Truck Race? Season 10 features the first vegan food truck, Sol Food Collective. With the growing popularity of vegan recipes, this food truck can showcase how versatile vegan food can be. Could this Food Network show spark you to make a change?
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Jacquelyn Jones, a chef and health wellness coach who leads Sol Food Collective. Jones recently said that she was excited to be part of this new season.
She adopted a vegan lifestyle and has reaped many benefits from that type of eating. Now, through this platform, she can reach a wide audience and show Food Network viewers that vegan eating is more than just a bowl, salad or smoothie.
In The Great Food Truck Race Season 10 premiere, the challenges prove to be bigger than ever. As the only vegan truck, Sol Food Collective had some difficult choices to make. Would they compromise their vision and principles for the sake of winning a challenge?
For the very first challenge of the season, the vegan food truck impressed everyone with their version of street corn. Without compromising their principles, they proved that plant based recipes can and are delicious. They won the first challenge.
In many ways, this Food Network platform is huge for both Sol Food Collective and the vegan movement. Vegan and vegetarian meals are more than just a bowl of greens or a fruit in a blender. The flavors, textures and deliciousness that can be made in a smart, creative vegan meal can and will impress lots of people.
After watching the first episode, The Great Food Truck Race isn’t going to be easy for Sol Food Collective. There are going to be challenges than involve ingredients that don’t adhere to their vegan principles.
That concept was tested in the first episode. This food truck chose to forgo the crab challenge because crab isn’t an ingredient that they use.
During my conversation with Jacquelyn I specifically asked her about this aspect of the competition. She specifically stated that she and her team chose never to compromise their beliefs and values in any of the challenges. While she did concede that they used a plant-based protein in this season, those substitutes aren’t the focus of their cooking.
In a way, the goal of Sol Food Collective being on this Food Network competition is more than winning the prize. The ultimate success is showing foodies that vegan food is as, or even more, flavorful, nuanced and delicious than any dish that isn’t plant based.
Jacquelyn specifically said, “I believe in eating whole foods.” While she believes in eating some items, like plant based meat alternatives, in moderation, the goal is to show how vegan dishes are more than just a bunch of vegetables.
Based on this particular experience, she said that she didn’t have a hard time convincing people to try her dishes. In many ways, the dish, itself, enticed people to try it. Again, creative flavors and conceptually smart dishes are what foodies crave.
Since this opportunity is a great platform, I asked Jacquelyn about the importance of eating local and supporting local farmers. Personally, I have always found that locally sourced ingredients offer the most flavorful ingredients in any dish.
Jacquelyn mentioned that she is fortune to have a plethora of farm fresh options in the Los Angeles area, where she is based.
She said, “One hundred percent, I support my local farmer. I only shop at farmer’s markets, (unless) I have to grab something from the grocery story, like coconut milk.” Beyond the economic benefit to eating local, she believes that the nutrition is better for everyone.
Specifically, she said the nutrition in the food from the local farmer. Where the farm picks his berries fresh that morning versus fruit that has been shipped and sat, the health benefits are quite different. Of course, we call can taste the difference, but there is also the benefit to your body.
While many people are fortunate to have options, smart choices can be made anywhere. Jacquelyn suggested that even when shopping at mass market retailers offer organic and non-GMO products. She believes that it should be a critical to purchase ingredients with these designations.
Lastly, Jacquelyn believes that anyone can incorporate parts of the vegan lifestyle choices into their daily routine. She believes that recipes don’t have to be created as vegan specific. Instead, she tries to take dishes that are familiar, favorites and popular and find a way incorporate it into a vegan options.
Again, comforting, favorite recipes can be transformed into impressive vegan meals with just a little creativity. Most importantly, people don’t need to think that they are sacrificing or being deprived. They are having as good as, or sometimes better, dish by focusing on the fresh ingredients.
It will be interesting to see how Sol Food Collective does on this season of The Great Food Truck Race. Season 10 airs on Food Network Sunday nights at 9 p.m.
Do you follow a vegan lifestyle? What is your favorite vegan recipe?