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Pat Greer's Kitchen Brings Raw Vegan Nutrition to Houston Foodies

By Marina Jokic

Thanks to a health challenge nineteen years ago, Patricia Greer discovered the world of vegan food. Her increased energy and wellbeing became very noticeable, and she decided to share her experience with others by opening Pat Greer's Kitchen, a plant-based food catering service located in Houston that also offers community cooking classes.

The idea behind opening a plant-based catering business came to Greer thanks to her own experimentation with a vegan diet. "I felt so incredibly wonderful eating a plant based diet and I wanted some crunchy things to go with the meals I was eating," she says.

So, she started dabbling with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dates, herbs and spices as the staple ingredients of her crackers and cookies. Eventually, her experiments yielded large quantities of snacks, which she decided to sell at Central City Co-Op, an organic food cooperative that she founded with her daughter.

The "krackers" and "kookies" as she playfully called them became a hit with customers. During that time, a particular customer approached Greer about expanding her business and she happily seized the opportunity. Greer then bought into a dilapidated property in the Montrose area, gutted the downstairs and turned it into a commercial kitchen that specialized in producing her delicacies wholesale.

"The wholesale grocery business was brutal for a product that was about four years ahead of its time, which helped us decided to expand into fresh foods," Greer points out. In particular, their Pizza Bella with portabella mushrooms as its base was one of their first creations and remains one of the most popular items on their menu. Their Pad Thai, Buddha Bowl, Southwestern Bowl, Veggie Lasagna, Green Burrito, and Garden Burger also garnered a lot of accolades.

The dessert selection was equally appealing, ranging from authentic Texas Pecan Pie to the more exotic Coconut Dream Pie and Strawberry Geez Cake. Greer really takes her ingredients seriously. For example, the Coconut Dream is made from organic cashews, unsweetened coconut, a touch of agave nectar, dates, and cinnamon. Customers can even feel good about eating the desserts!

"Everyone is different and has different needs for their body," says Greer. Understanding that people differ in their nutritional needs and being sensitive to dietary restrictions are crucial to running a successful catering business. Vegan food can be especially useful in treating high cholesterol, reducing glycemic loads, alleviating cardiovascular disease and diabetes?the list goes on. Greer's personal experience with the healthful effects of plant-based foods inspired her to share her recipes with others.

Greer's advice to people who are just beginning to test out new and unique diets is "be a flexitarian, know what you need and when, experiment and play with your food," she says. A great place to start is at Pat Greer's Kitchen.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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