For today's #stewardshipchallenge activity, we want to explore the benefits of a meat-reduced or meat-free diet. If you're not sure where to go or how to start your meatless mission, you've come to the right place! Everything helps, so even if you eat plant-based once a day or incorporate one or two meatless days a week, a little goes a long way! And here's a secret: giving up meat doesn't mean giving up flavor! Local digs like Great Full Gardens and Nom Eats prove it. Keep reading and learn about how some of Reno's own plant-based restaurants are really turning up the heat on sustainability!
Great Full Gardens:
Great Full Gardens was founded in 2010 and opened their doors to the Reno Community in 2013. For the last 7 years, they have provided Reno residents with a dining experience that is delicious, nutritious, and sustainable. Owners Gino and Juli Scala recognized the beneficial impact a plant-based diet could have on one's health and wanted to create a space where delicious plant-based, healthy, local, and organic options were abundant and easy to access for the public. Co-Owner and Marketing Director, Cyndi Wallis is a strong advocate for the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet as well. "Eating a plant based diet has been proven to be the single biggest way to lessen the impact on our Mother Earth. Health wise, it has been show to lower cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease, and so much more. The list goes on and on!" she says.
In addition to serving a primarily vegetarian and vegan menu, Great Full Gardens also exhibits stewardship and sustainability in other ways, too. From using compostable and reusable packaging, to providing compost to local farms, and sourcing their products locally, this restaurant puts a lot of thought and care for their customers and the environment into every aspect of their business model. Wilson Wood, who has been an employee of Great Full Gardens for two and a half years, says, "Our culture is what sets us apart. We do all the small things with lots of detail to make sure our customers know that we appreciate them and wouldn’t be here without them."
Even in their personal lives, Wallis and Wood put environmental stewardship at the center of their day to day choices. "I maintain a garden and greenhouses at my home, and eat from what I grow as much as possible. I eat a plant based diet, and as local as possible to support local farmers and business," Wallis says. Wilson tries to live as low waste as possible and makes a lot of personal care products from natural, household ingredients.
Great Full Gardens has a unique and diverse menu, and they try to offer something to everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions. When asked what she hopes customers can take away from their experience at her restaurant, Wallis says, "I hope that people leaving feeling like they have been taken care of, and feeling good about the food that they have eaten. We want them to leave feeling more uplifted than when they entered, and to take that good feeling with them out into the community to make a difference there!"
Check out Great Full Gardens on Facebook and Instagram:
Come visit any of their 4 locations:
555 South Virginia Street
1330 Sheels Drive, Sparks
748 South Meadows Parkway
1325 Airmotive Way
If you've ever wandered around West Street Market, you've probably passed by Nom Eats, which opened just this last February. However, Ian McIntosh and the gang have been serving up delicious plant-based food to Reno residents since 2014 from their food truck, and they've been a staple to the Reno foodie scene ever since. "When we started thinking about opening a food truck, there weren't a lot of vegan options in Reno. We would always go to different cities just to eat vegan food, we wanted a place that was serving the vegan food we craved, so we figured we would have to open it ourselves," said McIntosh.
The Nom Eats team always tries to keep sustainability in mind by using only vegan ingredients, recycling in any way they can, and using compostable materials. McIntosh also strongly advocates for the environmental benefits of a vegan lifestyle. "The world and the animals are not here for our consumption, we must protect our animal family and be kinder to them and our planet, also being kinder to your body and what you put in it affects so much, from your energy, mood and overall health...Once you realize how detrimental our decisions are to our environment, you just want to live simpler and more sustainably,"
The sustainability principles at Nom Eats also translate to McIntosh's personal life, like being mindful of his shopping and consumption habits and even his waste production.
When asked what his favorite vegan dish is, McIntosh recommends Nom Eats' BBQ Soy Curls and Coleslaw. "We try to make most of our menu from scratch and avoid overly processed products. This business is such a big part of our lives and family it’s unique because it’s a reflection of us ,and I think we are pretty unique."
Ultimately, McInstosh's goal is to share their passion for vegan food with the Reno community. "The food truck gave us such a unique opportunity to really get to know and become friends with our customers. We know we owe everything to the overwhelming support of the Reno community and all we want to do is show how much we love them."
Check out Nom Eats on Facebook and Instagram
Come visit them at 148 West Street
Craving more delicious options? Check out these local plant-based restaurants!
Also located in West Street Market, Thali is a local family-run restaurant that specializes in 100% organic, plant-based Indian dishes. Their menu is unique and ever-changing, always keeping customers on their toes. They even provide gluten-free options for those who need it. If you're feeling particularly hungry, pop in on the weekend to try their set menu, which includes 3 main dishes, salad, rice, rotti, fresh yogurt, and desert. You definitely won't leave hungry!
Check out Thali on Facebook and Instagram
Come visit them at 148 West Street
Laughing Planet is a Portland-based company with locations in Midtown and the UNR campus. The menu offers something for everyone with meat and plant-based options as well as a seasonal weekly special. Their menu features a wide variety of vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, and even paleo options! With online ordering, outdoor seating, made-to-order menu items, and compostable take-out containers, their food is fresh, fast, and affordable. The grilled veggie quesadilla is my personal fave!
Check out Laughing Planet on Facebook and Instagram
Come visit them at 148 West Street
What is your favorite meatless restaurant? Do you have a go-to you love to share with friends and family? Post a photo with #stewardshipchallenge and tag @tmparksfoundation to show off your awesome plant-based faves! Happy Stewarding!