MSU chef prepares to open vegan eatery Veg Head in downtown Lansing this week

LANSING — The jalapeno popper mac and cheese on the menu at Veg Head starts with a sauce made of root vegetables, then Chef Kari Magee adds jalapenos and vegan cream cheese to the dish and tops it with bread crumbs.

“It’s spicy delicious,” Magee said.

Even if you don’t eat a plant-based diet, she’s sure Veg Head’s creative take on comfort food — which includes a sweet potato burger and tofu salmon with a sesame glaze — will win you over.

The completely vegan restaurant will open in a 132-year-old building at 208 S. Washington Ave. in downtown sometime this week, although Magee, an executive chef with Michigan State University, doesn’t have a firm opening day.

She promises there will be something for everyone on the menu.

“Every single dish on it was well-thought through and a reflection of my own culinary experiences packed with different flavors,” Magee said. “The idea was to make a space that everyone can walk into and find something they can relate to or want to eat or try.”

Changing perceptions of vegan food

Inside Veg Head’s 3,000-square-feet space, the exposed brick walls showcase paintings by local artists. Plants decorate counter space and sit on top of the dining room fireplace.