Tonight I Dined: Greens and Grains

I took a sister trip to NJ to visit our grandma...and on such visits to the Jersey Shore, my food options have historically been Subway or Salad Works. So I was shocked to see that a food hall, The Exchange, had popped up near Stockton College and the culinary selection included a vegan restaurant! Greens and Grains offers a huge plant-based selection of smoothies, sandwiches, entrees, dessert, and Philly-made Inspired Brews kombucha on-tap. Who knew Galloway, NJ would be so kind to vegans?!

To be honest, of course I got dessert. And to be even more honest, I started my meal with the cheesecake. I could not help myself. The flavor was "original", no frills with fruit or chocolate, just the true essence of cheesecake. The filling was ultra creamy, with a nice sweetness and tang. But the crust was in another league, delivering a wonderful texture and bringing so much flavor on its own. In Houston the (not-raw) vegan cheesecake option in town is just Loving Hut, and while it's delicious, Greens and Grains is my new favorite. By far.

My sister picked up the marinated chickpea salad from the grab-n-go case. And bonus: it was discounted (because I think it was from the night before). Who cares, it was marinated, so it was probably more flavorful that way. Plus, I love how there are cheap vegan options around a college, allowing more people on a budget to access delicious plant-based foods. Back to the chickpeas...they were incredible! The dressing was tangy and herby, and permeated every bean with flavor. The dressy wasn't overly oil, but did have some oil, which made it rich and filling. This would be excellent on it's own, like we had it, but incredible over rice or as a pita dip. I definitely need to recreate this in my look forward to that!

I ordered a grains bowl with the eggplant and chickpea ragout in a cashew cream over brown rice (you could also make your bowl with a quinoa base). It was an enormous portion for $8.50...I'm thinking a pound and a half of food here. I loved the tenderness of the eggplant that melted in my mouth against the texture of the chickpeas. The sauce was very rich and the creaminess from the cashews added a great texture and taste that took a traditional ragout stew to the next level. 

I am so happy I found The Exchange Food Hall and Greens and Grains. They have three other locations in the area, so if you're down the Jersey shore, make the's worth it for delicious, healthful, cheap vegan options!
Dat Cheesecake

Cold Chickpea Salad

Eggplant Ragout with Cashew Cream

Me with the Food Hall sign