Peter Cornish meets with the owner of the vegetarian food delivery service that is spreading love all over the city with quick-and-easy, health-conscious food. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Eat clean, feel loved.
Chay is not a restaurant, it’s a lifestyle choice inspired by love. Love of yourself, love of your environment and love for those around you.
The passion behind Chay is Trang Nguyen, a young woman who embodies the love she shares through her food, and the lifestyle choice she encourages others to make.
The inspiration for Chay came from concerns people are having about the quality and hygiene of their food, and the impact this is having on their health.
“My vision is to empower people to be the best version of themselves, through lifestyle changes, rather than just diet,” Trang explained. With the help of an American dietician, I created a vegetarian, weekly nutritional plan consisting of ten meals that are delivered daily, Monday to Friday.”
Creating the menus is the fun part.
Many people believe that vegetarian food lacks protein and is boring, so Trang and her team set about creating meals that are delicious and full of nutrition.
“We wanted to ensure that people had the energy they need to see them through the day, without reaching for fizzy drinks or sugary snacks halfway through the afternoon,” Trang said.
The 10-meal menus change every five days so members are always offered something new.
Each meal set is priced at VND1,200,000. You have the choice of eating twice a day for one week, or once a day for two weeks.
“We wanted to destroy the myth that vegetarian food is boring,” Trang stresses. “Our menus blend a healthy fusion of European, Asian and Middle Eastern tastes that appeal to many.”
I had a quick look at this week’s menu plan to get an idea of what’s on offer.
Each meal has two courses, an appetizer and a main, ensuring there’s enough protein, good fats, and carbohydrates to provide a balanced, healthy meal.
“We get much of the nutrition from vegetables, and superfoods such as lentils and grains,” Trang says. “We also make sure to add vegetables that are high in vital chemicals, antioxidants and plant sterols that help reduce cholesterol levels.”
The current week’s Monday meal includes a quinoa salad with roasted sweet potato. Wednesday has an asparagus and edamame salad. Friday offers honey and ginger braised carrots. You don’t need to be a vegetarian to appreciate this food, both for its taste and nutritional value.
“We source our vegetables from an organic farm in Dalat,” Trang explains. “There are no chemicals used in the growing process, the farm is completely sustainable and we have a tracking system that tracks our vegetables from seed to table. The food we eat should make us feel good, and feeling good is one way to love yourself. When we are able to love ourselves we can love those around us, and the environment we live in. A healthy plant-based diet is how to help ourselves and our planet thrive.”