This Vegan Catering Company Celebrates the ‘Natural Beauty of Food’

Plus, tips on how to create your own photo-worthy grazing board


Published:

Rua Francis of Planthropie

Color blocked into sections of dairy-free cheeses, seeds and nuts, fresh produce, spreads and crackers, the grazing boards created by Birmingham transplant Rua Francis offer a bold and sophisticated presentation for plant-based meals.

“I’m embracing the natural beauty of food,” says Francis, the pen-and-ink and watercolor artist and entrepreneur who launched Planthropie, a plant-based catering business, in June. “I feel like nature makes food in a perfect way.”

Along with its carefully curated vibrant spreads, Planthropie’s seasonal vegan menu includes tasty
appetizers like olive and basil tapenade; small plate entrées like vegan mac and cheese shooters made with vegetables and cashew nuts; and raw desserts like lemon cheesecake and cacao energy bites.

Francis’ own food and wellness journey has helped her finesse these recipes. The 32-year-old, who emigrated from Iraq with her family in 2003, was raised in a household that emphasized fresh, homemade meals. Throughout the years, she’s dabbled in a plant-based lifestyle, but it wasn’t until 2016, when she started staying home with her then newborn, that she fully embraced a vegan diet.

“I saw how dairy was affecting my baby,” says Francis, who, instructed by a doctor, eliminated the animal byproduct to help solve her son’s acid reflux and colic. “He started sleeping like an angel.”  As part of a self-described “planthropic mission,” she plans to use her food to show others how a vegan lifestyle can also improve their health.

Planthropie will partner with a local health care professional and sponsor events that focus on educating the community about veganism, and offer free plant-based menu consultations to nonprofits. “What’s a better way to get to people’s hearts and minds than something as intimate as food?” Francis asks. “If I can inspire someone, then it plants a seed to change their lifestyle.”

Visit planthropie.com for more information.


Pretty Palettes

Planthropie’s Rua Francis embraces her artistic side to create one-of-a-kind grazing boards

Prep: “I sketch what I want to do. I like a natural base. The board, for example, a really nice wooden board or a round board, [should be] really light so you can carry it easily.”

Technique: “I use a lot of color blocking. I group colors together, so it creates some sort of a visual flow. Even though the board is very full, when you create that color flow, it directs your eye to certain items.”

Food: “On my board, there will be at least a dip, a spread, and one [or two] cheese components. There will be vegetables to dip with or put spread on, and there will be some fruit. I like a surprise element, like ... cacao beans. Throwing these in can strike a conversation.”

 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Designer Taste

A quaint Ferndale shop sells exotic cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie

A Lebanese Take on Classic American Favorites

Mission BBQ Opens in Troy

A new restaurant serves summer favorites with a side of patriotism year-round

A New Noodle Shop on the Block

Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen

Woah, Deli!

Rocco’s Italian Deli offers classic sandwiches with a fresh, Detroit twist
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  5. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  6. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  7. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  8. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  9. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission