EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Looking for a different way of eating? There are healthier options, a local diner just signed up for The Chef Vegan Challenge coming in September. 

Before the Vegan Chef Challenge kicks off, El Pasoans can sign up to try The 10 Weeks To Vegan as a guided challenge and learn to replace an animal product with a vegan dish of their choice, making the transition less overwhelming.

All while receiving nutritional tips, vegan recipes, and product recommendations during those weeks.

“There’s a lot of really great substitutes now for vegan chicken and so many different brands. Like Beyond Meat, Haksmo and possibly chicken now top. Morningstar, I think. So these are all options you can get at grocery stores, like at Walmart even. So many big grocery store names have vegan options for chicken now. 10 Weeks To Vegan will show you what the products look like and you can find them at your stores,” Va said. 

On the other hand, the Vegan Chef Challenge is inviting other chefs in El Paso to fight animal cruelty and fight climate change with diet change. 

It’s important to point out what exactly makes vegan different from vegetarian. Director of Food Events and National Coordinator for Vegan Chef Challenge, Jackie Va says vegans don’t eat meat, cheese, eggs, fish, milk and surprisingly not even honey. 

Bottomline is they don’t consume anything that comes from animals. 

“The Vegan Chef Challenge will have so many different options to try. These Chef’s really get creative on what kind of things they have.”  

Va says going vegan is a healthier option for people, hence why many people are giving it a try. For instance, people are doing meatless Monday’s or going vegan until dinner time.

Roman Wilcox, a local co-owner and chef at one grub community on 901 Arizona avenue, is one of the chefs that signed up for the vegan challenge in El Paso and is looking forward to showing what vegan food is all about. 

“If somebody has specialty diet needs, as far as being vegan or vegetarian or they have seafood allergies or they can’t eat gluten or they don’t work with soy. We just want to be an access place for that,” Wilcox said.  

With six years in the business, One Grub Community started out as a food truck then a Farmer’s Market but now their diner offers the borderland community fresh plant based options. 

“Tofu scramble is the easiest thing to make, it’s readily available, it’s such an easy thing to make. Our bomb burritos are the most popular didsh, probably and its a giant 14 inch tortilla that is filled with our house made tofu scramble fresh, some veggies, some yummy fried potatoes and our chickpea soyreezo and then it’s covered in our cashew queso. I mean you can do a simplified version of that, and a vegan person that usually doesn’t have options in your spot is going to be so happy that it’s there.”  

Wilcox tells KTSM alongside La Semilla, growing fresh vegetables, they have a non-profit on site called ‘Planty For The People’  where they pay for customer’s orders with donation tips in return they receive a coin worth $13. 

And another reason why this Vegan Diner stands out, it’s because they grow fresh vegetables right outside of their diner. Such as melons, zucchini and any vegetable that you can think of. Helping them sell the produce in their market stand inside. 

If you don’t know where and how to start your 10 weeks to vegan and would like to show support to our local vegan chefs. Here is a list of vegan restaurants in El Paso. 

Although there’s only two that have signed up for the Vegan Chef Challenge so far, Taco Shop is one of them. The restaurant is not even vegan, meaning any chef can sign up to challenge themselves in cooking a vegan dish. 

If you’re interested and want to learn more about going vegan, you can sign up here. After you sign up for the 10 Weeks To Vegan, they will invite you to their private Facebook page

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