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The Mandarin Spinach Salad w/ California Caramelized Walnuts is one of the delicious tossed salads at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in the October menu. The walnuts used in the recipe are from Poindexter Nut Company (PNC), based in Selma, CA. Mike Poindexter is a third generation walnut farmer and CEO of PNC. Mike’s father, Ron Poindexter, and grandfather, Latha Poindexter, started delivering their walnuts in the 1950’s. In addition to growing their own walnuts, PNC buys from 300 other California farmers.

Last year, the company purchased 55 million pounds from the outside growers. “We farm about 1,300 acres and roughly half of that is in walnuts and the rest is raisins. We supply about 3% of our overall volume with the balance coming from our network of farmers,” says Mike. Chandler, Tulares, and Ivanhoes are the walnut varieties grown at the farm. A walnut tree takes about five years to grow before it begins producing walnuts and hits its maximum production between nine and 11 years of age.

Harvesting starts after Labor Day and continues until the end of October, with some harvesting running through Thanksgiving.  Typically, about 90% of the walnut harvest is complete by Halloween. Harvesting walnuts is a spectacular sight.  A specialized tractor grabs the trunk of the tree and shakes it. “If you stand there you can feel the walnuts being shaken and it’s surreal. About 75 pounds of in-shell walnuts are on a tree and generate around 33 pounds that are finished and get into a box. So, every tree will generate just a little more than one case of walnut kernels,” says Mike. [click to continue…]

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The October menu has a variety of pumpkin recipes for you to taste at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in the fall harvest celebration. You’ll taste pumpkin in the Pesto Pumpkin Bisque w/Pesto Crumbles and Pumpkin Spice Soup, Gluten-Friendly Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Spiced Pumpkin & Cranberry Muffins, and the Caramel Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding and Classic Pumpkin Spice Cobbler desserts. So, where do the pumpkins for these recipes come from? Meet Bob Wieland.

At 74, Bob Wieland has been all around the pumpkin patch and learned a thing or two along the way, he says. One of the things he has learned is the importance of being a steward of the land. “I’ve been a farmer since 1968, growing mostly pumpkins, beans and corn, and one of the things I’ve come to really appreciate is the need to protect and preserve the land for future generations. As a farmer, I am as concerned with the environment as anyone and I intend to do my part to leave this place better than I found it,” Bob says. [click to continue…]

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October brings the return of sweet potatoes to all Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants as part of a month-long menu that features a wide range of traditional autumn favorites. “As our guests have become more aware of the nutritional value of sweet potatoes and have asked us to serve them more often, we’re happy to now offer sweet potatoes every evening during October at all our restaurants across the country,” said Susan Hoffman, Vice President of Fresh Sourcing and Menu Innovation.

Increased demand for sweet potatoes has tracked information about the health benefits of the root vegetable, driving per capita consumption nearly 80% between 2000 and 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sweet potatoes are low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol, while a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and Potassium and very high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese. For complete nutritional information, click here.

Supplying the sweet potatoes on the West Coast is California Sweet Potato Growers, the first California sweet potato cooperative founded in 1963. And on the East Coast, the supplier is Wayne E. Bailey Produce, Company, Inc., which began operations in 1935. [click to continue…]

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October is going to be a fun month picking the perfect pumpkin at the pumpkin patch for the annual decorating and carving traditions. With all that carving, brings great pumpkin recipes to make. If you want to enjoy the pumpkin season taste without all the work, we have a great variety for you!

Illinois is the leading producer of pumpkins in the US. Some of our recipes that contain pumpkin are from Seneca Foods, who partners with family farms, such as Wieland Family Farms, and selects naturally sweet, vine-ripened pumpkins to make their premium solid pack pumpkin puree.

With the cooler weather approaching, a delicious hot bowl of soup feels just right. Try the Pesto Pumpkin Bisque w/ Pesto Crumbles or the Pumpkin Spice Soup to hit that pumpkin soup craving. And pair it with the Gluten-Friendly Pumpkin Spice Muffin or the Spiced Pumpkin & Cranberry Muffin.

It’s no trick! The pumpkin desserts you have been waiting for are back! Pumpkin Soft-Serve is here for a limited time Oct. 13-19. The Caramel Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding or the Classic Pumpkin Spice Cobbler w/ Whipped Topping will be a real treat during dinner only.

Maple Cream with Baked Sweet Potatoes is dessert in itself. The sweet potatoes come from California Sweet Potato Growers and Wayne E. Bailey Produce, Company, Inc.

In addition to the pumpkin recipes, we have the Zesty Tortellini, Texas Slaw, Whole Grain Confetti Couscous w/ Feta, and Sweet & Tangy Asian Quinoa prepared salads. The Mandarin Spinach w/ Caramelized California Walnuts salad has spinach, Mandarin oranges, red onions, and walnuts tossed in a light vinaigrette. The walnuts in the salad are from Poindexter Nut Company based in Selma, CA.

Rigaonti pasta is a tube-shaped pasta in the Beef & Sausage Bolognese Pasta and the Mac N’Dulgence which has bacon, peas, and parsley in a creamy Alfredo sauce.

Show us your pumpkin favorite by tagging @souplantation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

We offer a large variety of options, including the following Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Friendly dishes: [click to continue…]

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Yelper Josh Hockett Meets CEO John Morberg Following YouTube Video

by GFBlog September 15, 2016 Fun Stuff

Josh Hockett knows what fresh and nutritious food looks and tastes like! As a civilian director of fitness and performance nutrition for a U.S. Navy ship based in San Diego, Josh has become a true fan and ambassador of the Garden Fresh “Discover Fresh” promise of fresh and wholesome food. Thus far this year, he [...]

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Protein Available in All Houston Sweet Tomatoes!

by GFBlog September 15, 2016 Recipes

Choose an irresistible scratch-made protein Houston! Earlier in May, Katy Freeway Sweet Tomatoes was the first location to introduce the variety of proteins for guests to enjoy as an add-on item to their meal.  Now, you can go to any Houston Sweet Tomatoes (Woodlands, Houston NW, and Stafford) to get the same great protein with [...]

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Sign Up for Club Veg to Know What’s Coming to You!

by GFBlog September 15, 2016 Promotions

Want to be the first in the know via e-mail on the special limited time offers on the menu? Plan out your calendar and add us to your schedule so you can be in sync with Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes limited time offerings! One of the perks of being a Club Veg member is receiving [...]

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Passion for Supporting St. Jude, Told by Greg Keller

by GFBlog September 8, 2016 In The Community

Greg Keller, President Emeritus and Operations Vice President, had the opportunity to spend four days at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis a few months ago and wanted to share that experience in hopes for people to understand his passion for supporting St. Jude. “Those of you who really know me understand that I [...]

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Grab a Slice of Chicago Pepperoni and Sausage Focaccia

by GFBlog September 6, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

Grab a slice of Chicago Pepperoni and Sausage Focaccia in select Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants through September 30! The fine meats come from Fontanini, a family owned and operated meat manufacturing company for over 50 years in the Chicagoland area with Italian roots. In 1960, Oriano Fontanini had an American dream. Oriano and his [...]

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September’s Menu “Hass” Avocado

by GFBlog September 1, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

The Avocado BLT Tossed Salad (w/ bacon) tossed salad will be available September 1-28th! Bacon, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce, and Roma tomatoes make a great classic BLT. We are turning it up a notch with the addition of red onions and the rich buttery flavor of avocado and a creamy house-made avocado ranch dressing. The [...]

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Discover Fresh Abundance

Let's just say within 24 hours of being in the ground, it's on a refrigerated truck on its way to us. Our food is made from scratch every day. Our salad bar buffet features over 50 fresh ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, we server original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, scratch-made muffins, and Focaccia breads in our hot buffet. Create. Indulge. Enjoy.

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