Jennifer Ruple

“It was the health benefits that made me give up dairy,” said Susan Herhold, chef and owner of The Leaf and Seed, a vegan food truck that will be making its Sylvania Farmers Market debut on June 4. Six years ago, Herhold became a vegetarian but was still eating dairy. Her sister suggested she give it up to see if it would improve her health issues. “When I stopped eating dairy, my symptoms were better almost immediately. My asthma and migraines were not as bad, my cholesterol improved, and my skin cleared up. I have more energy too,” she explained.
To get started on a plant-based diet, Herhold bought cookbooks and began experimenting with recipes. “I have kids, so I needed to figure out how to make vegan versions of the things they wanted, like tacos,” she said. “Soon after that, I had neighbors and friends asking me to make plant-based dishes for them, so I started a food service business.”

Susan Herhold

Herhold took her cooking one step further when she and her husband, Shannon, decided to participate in a local VegBash event. “I wasn’t sure if this was for us, but I said, ‘We’re here; let’s see what happens.’ When I finally looked up from cooking, I saw that the line was out the door for my food,” she recalled. “That’s when I decided it was time to buy a food truck.”
In May of 2018, Herhold purchased a truck and began serving her scratch made, vegan comfort food throughout the area. “When we take the truck out, we do all the cooking on it. It’s a licensed commercial kitchen,” she said. While Herhold does most of the cooking, she does get help from her family. “My son, Saxon, is a chef in South Carolina who will be working with us this summer. My daughter, Paige, helps serve food, and my husband drives the truck.” The Leaf and Seed truck can be booked for special occasions such as weddings and graduation parties. Herhold also offers traditional catering services.

“People often ask me where I get my protein,” said Herhold. “We need about 46 grams of protein a day. One cup of edamame has 18 grams of protein, a cup of lentils has 18 grams, and a medium size potato has 5 grams. I don’t use a lot of meat substitutes. I use beans and quinoa instead.”
Herhold’s advice to those who want to convert some of their recipes to vegan versions is, “Think of something you really love, like lasagna. Think about the parts you can’t have like the meat and cheese, then find plant-based substitutes for them, such as using tofu for ricotta cheese.”
Here’s what we can look forward to from The Leaf and Seed this summer. “We always offer our nachos, which are organic tortilla chips topped with black beans, cashew-based nacho cheese, local micro greens, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, salsa, guacamole and cashew-based sour cream. We usually offer a sandwich such as a burger or jackfruit sandwich. Our Rueben is really popular, and we usually make some type of burrito,” said Herhold. “We try to have a vegan dessert available as well such as lemon cake with lavender blueberry sauce, chocolate chip cookies, brownies or strawberry shortcake.”
The Leaf and Seed’s weekly food truck schedule can be found on Facebook and Instagram. “We will be at the Sylvania Farmers Market on Tuesdays and at First Fridays in Sylvania,” said Herhold.
A special thank you to Susan for sharing three of her popular recipes that would make a delicious spring or Mother’s Day brunch. “I encourage people to give up animal products for one day a week,” she said. “You’ll start to feel better.”

Tropical Fruit Compote and Veggie Tofu Quiche

Veggie Tofu Quiche
1 pre-made vegan pie crust, or your favorite recipe crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound firm tofu, pressed dry
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup non-dairy unsweetened, unflavored milk (Herhold prefers cashew milk)

Heat oven to 350 F. Add olive oil to a large skillet and sauté all vegetables for about five minutes.
In a blender or food processor, blend tofu, milk and seasonings.
Add tofu mixture and veggies to a large bowl and mix well.
Pour mixture into crust and bake for 30 minutes or until firm.
Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Lemon Bundt Cake with Buttercream and Berries

Lemon Bundt Cake with Buttercream and Berries
For the Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ cup vegan butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup non-dairy milk, unsweetened
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup non-dairy vanilla yogurt
For the Buttercream
1 cup organic powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons vegan butter

Blackberries and raspberries
Heat oven to 350 F. Grease a Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat together vegan butter and sugar until well combined. Stir in non-dairy milk, extracts and non-dairy yogurt.
Add the liquid mixture to flour mixture. Thoroughly combine.
Pour batter into pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until cake is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let it cool completely.
While the cake cools, make the buttercream. In a mixing bowl, mix softened butter with lemon juice. Add powdered sugar while mixing with hand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy. Pipe frosting onto top of cake in decorative pattern. Arrange berries on top of the buttercream.
Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Tropical Fruit Compote
1 can pineapple chunks
1⁄2 cup coconut sugar or white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
3 medium apples, chopped
3 medium bananas, sliced
1 cup shredded coconut

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the orange, lemon and pineapple juices until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove from heat; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the fruits. Pour warm sauce over fruit; stir gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
Top with shredded coconut.