Seasoned Green’s vegan food truck journey

Season Green owner, Chris Carr, at the Strawberry Festival handing out one of his flavorful vegan meals, Vegan Birria Tacos.

Seasoned Green is breaking stereotypes one meal at a time with their flavorful vegan and vegetarian menu.

By Anisha Paudel Community & Culture Beat Reporter

In the busy streets of Tampa, where good eats are everywhere, one stands out for its commitment to inclusivity and flavor: Seasoned Green. This vegan and vegetarian food truck isn’t just about salads and steamed vegetables; it’s a culinary adventure that caters to a diverse range of tastes and dietary needs.

In a city where finding a satisfying vegetarian option can be a challenge, Seasoned Green offers a menu that celebrates the rich tastes of New American, Caribbean and Southern cuisines — all completely plant-based.

Chris Carr is the man behind the truck. He has been vegan for about 8 years.

“Me going vegan started off as a challenge,” Carr said.

It began when Carr and some coworkers made a challenge to not have any soda for a week. They completed it successfully and then thought to not eat any meat for a week.

“After that challenge ended, I actually had some meat, and then I could instantly feel a difference, it didn’t feel good,” Carr said.

Since that day, he decided that was it. Carr said going vegan wasn’t as hard as it seems.

Seasoned Greens started as a response to the lack of vegan options in Tampa Bay, or at least a flavorful plant-based meal. When diving into veganism, Carr wanted something more impactful with Southern and Caribbean flavors. At the time, he couldn’t check off everything on his list for what he was looking for, so he decided to do it himself.

Carr is not the only person who had trouble when starting a vegan journey. Many vegetarians and vegans in the Tampa Bay area tend to feel like they either must accept whatever they come across or just feel like a burden.

“If my friends are going to a restaurant, I am getting a salad or an appetizer, that is how it usually goes,” said Evalyse Sanabria, a vegetarian.

Sanabria became a vegetarian again four months ago after taking a break from it. She has been having some trouble, whether going out with friends or exploring the city.

“I know they closed two vegan places recently, but in general, it’s difficult to find things that are vegetarian, even harder for vegans,” said Sanabria when asked about any good local vegetarian foods in the area.

Then some people in the community feel like things have gotten better for the vegetarian and vegan options in restaurants or grocery stores.

“Being a vegan was awesome, when I first started, of course I could get vegetables and stuff like that for food, but now there are some vegan alternatives, sure they may be pricey, but it is better than just vegetables,” said Lisa Ballard, who was a vegan for three years.

Ballard said she was also able to manage as well, and while she may not be a vegan right now, she loves to see better options. She still enjoys being a vegan, but it was just time-consuming to cook different meals for her family because they didn’t want to eat the same meals as her.

There seems to be a dilemma in the community, either there isn’t enough representation of good vegetarian and vegan options, or if there is, people just have to accept it, whether they enjoy it or not.

Seasoned Green challenges that dilemma and tries their best to create inclusive and flavorful meals that vegetarians and vegans can enjoy and not just settle with.