Sometimes it is time to try something new—not be set in our ways and habits, perhaps think outside the box. With this is mind, there is a new locally-made product worth trying, liking, and then adding to your daily diet. Sadrah Schadel and Mike Woliansky have brought a full-flavored plant meat to market and are selling it all over the Asheville area.
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is a healthy alternative to meat and tastes great. Just look for No Evil Foods on the wrapper in a deli case. There are a variety of products and ways to use them: the Italian sausage with old world flavors, a Mexican chorizo with a fiery taste, and “The Prepper,” a savory roast. The sausages are called “The Stallion” with Italian flavors and “El Zapatista” with Mexican spices. The roast is quite versatile and can be a part of beef stew, shepherd’s pie, or shredded in a barbecue or in a salad. The product is primarily made with organic items. It has been cooked, therefore is not raw, but certainly benefits from being reheated. When cooking, you just add some oil to the pan, or you can even grill them.
No Evil Foods uses a high protein wheat flour to create a very meaty texture and a product that has a protein content comparable to animal meat. You’ll get 18 to 25 grams of protein per serving in all their products A number of herbs and spices have been added for flavor. This is essentially Seitan (pronounced ‘say-tan’ with the emphasis on the last syllable), which dates back to the 7th century and is said to have been developed by Buddhist monks. So it is not a new food. With delicious spices, herbs, and flavors added, No Evil Foods updates it, so that it will fit into a modern lifestyle. Your doctor would undoubtedly approve of this flavorful vegan dish to help with your cholesterol levels. Plant protein is high in protein, has no fat, and is considered better than animal protein. The products include nutritional yeast, which is fortified with essential B vitamins and amino acids. It is a real food—a plant food, not a fake synthetic meat.
Sadrah grew up on a 13-acre farm in upstate New York, and Mike in New Jersey. They both became aware of where their food came from early on and how it affects everyday life. Sadrah in particular farmed, canned, and even made maple syrup as a youngster. After meeting each other in Pennsylvania, they traveled extensively throughout Asia. Both have worked in the service industry. Sadrah and Mike knew they loved the Western North Carolina area, its people, the mountains, the tradition of craftsmanship, and the beer! Once the idea came to them of having their own vegan business, they wanted to come to Asheville. Many people suggested the area would be receptive to this kind of food. They started by taking a course at Mountain BizWorks. And indeed, the community has been very supportive of their small business—with people helping them to jump hurdles and to understand all the rules and regulations of the business world.
Having only really begun in 2014, their business is just starting, but it is growing rapidly. Sadrah and Mike create their products in quantity once a week by renting time at Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Candler. They produce organic and non-GMO plant meats from scratch in the kitchens there. Once packaged with a well designed label, the prepared products go out in a cooler the next day to places like Wicked Weed Brewing, French Broad Co-Op, Trout Lily, and Food Matters Market in Brevard. Because the product is cooked ahead, it is very shelf stable—four weeks in the refrigerator case of local grocery stores and may be easily frozen at home to extend the product’s life.
So far they have had a wonderful reception to their product. Katuah Market often serves it at their hot bar for customers and in their deli cases, and many restaurants are adding No Evil Foods ingredients to their dishes. Mellow Mushroom, for instance, is using the sausage on their pizzas, and Avery’s Hot Dogs uses “The Stallion” as their veggie option. As this product is organic and non-GMO, they are hoping to get non-GMO certified. As Sadrah says, “we basically do it all ourselves. The hard part is keeping the books. Mike does the financial side with Quickbooks. Frankly, we have been blown away about how well it has taken off. Both of us have other jobs, which means we work a lot every day and weekends. We want to grow incrementally and be balanced. We must make sure to take time for the other side of our life, the nonbusiness side.” Mike happily added, “since April, I can tell you we’ve done over $30K in sales—which feels pretty successful to us!” In addition, they have been chosen as a Martha Stewart American Made Agriculture and Sustainability Wildcard Finalist, which is quite an accomplishment.
So now is the time to think out of the box and try No Evil Foods for your next meal. Both Sadrah and Mike at the Food and Wine Festival recently found it really enjoyable to surprise many attendants with the incredible flavor of their healthy plant meat. It is certainly selling well, and they will be releasing the first in the Meats of Strength seasonal series for Thanksgiving this fall. This holiday roast will feed four to six people for a feast. It will feature all local products from Asheville area farms and local balsamic vinegar from Highland Gourmet. They also plan to donate a portion of the proceeds from this holiday roast to charity.
Visit a store near you or check out their website, noevilfoods.com. The texture and flavor will be a happy surprise. It will add a lot to your meal. This is real food, not a fake or synthetic, it is good for you, and it tastes good too.