Team Vida Vegan HQ has a dream (okay, and at least 107 projects in the works), and that dream is to one day attend Expo West. From the looks of the Internet and all the jealousy-inducing photos we’ve seen, this year was bigger, better and more vegan-friendly than ever. I mean, it had its own vegan-specific hashtag, #VegansAtExpo. That’s really saying something. Like I said, one day, the sampling will be ours, because it looked like a blogger-hopping blast!
To tide ourselves over until we bring on the exhibitors at the next Vida Vegan Con, we put together this hashtag roundup from the tradeshow.
Hint, hint, we’d love to see all these folks and products at VVC2015*! Right?! Let’s make it happen.
*Dude, the much-anticipated VVC2015 city & dates are seriously, seriously coming your way early Spring, which means oh, so, soon. I hope you subscribe to our official Vida Vegan HQ newsletter! (because it’s an infrequent, imperative source for these things).
Enjoy these highlights via Instagram & Twitter, some thoughts from Michele and myself, and prepare to contemplate: Is 2014 the year of the vegan fish stick, or what?
Michele says: I am so G-to-the-D excited about these, and I can’t tell you why. Fish sticks were always the grossest, but I loved fish & chips—which now seem just as gross. So why do I want a vegan fakey fish? Whyyyy?
…because who can ever get enough of JJ’s Cocomels?
Fan favorite! (And we’re talking about the bacon and our friend Jared)
Speaking of bacon, we sure are A-OK with another nifty vegan seitan bacon hitting the market. Anyone seen this in Portland yet? Or better yet, we’ll come to you!
Clearly a necessity with the non-stop sampling going on.
Everyone (okay, at least three people in Jess’ Instagram feed last week) are raving about these new Field Roast burgers! And breakfast sausages! For that matter, I must admit, I’m a little disappointed when I visit Seattle and every other restaurant doesn’t offer *something* Field Roast. Come on, home town pride!
Cue freakouts. People have seriously been waiting for this. The year of the soy yogurt shortage even saw me breaking out my slow cooker and making my own. I’ve got Artisan Vegan Cheeses to make, people. Fortunately, the WholeSoy factory is up and going and I can report that it’s recently been spotted at the Hawthorne New Seasons (again, here in Portland. Have you seen it your way yet? Do tell! People are depending on you. I had no idea this many people I knew ate so much nondairy yogurt).
Looks like 2014 is gonna bring us even more vegan cheese. No issues here. Let’s push things forward and get some standards.
Okay, you know team VVC takes ferocious pride in the VVC Swag bags, but even we’re a little jealous here!
What would you love to have from this pile of goodies? Personally, I want to get my eager little hands on this and plan on stalking the roaming SD truck later today:
Michele says: So Delicious, I knew you were listening in on my dreams.
Also ongoing: The Vegan Ice Cream Revolution! I’m partial to coconut and soy, but keep the options coming. More for everyone!
Hello, Spork sisters (and hairstyling inspiration for the day)!
Who’s down for some faux tuna? (Karla, I’m talking to you)
And ah yes, having tried Beyond Beef myself, I could EASILY see this fooling nearly anyone eating at Taco Bowl. I’m normally one for black beans, but if this is the future, let’s get started.
Michele says: Personally, creamy foods like mayo creep me out, but I love that there’s a gourmet/upscale vegan market. It’s products like this that help us broaden the perception of “vegan.”
There you have it! Expect new cheeses, fishy stuff, crumbles and even more vegan bacon heading your way (or order it online through nice folks like Austin’s Rabbit Food Grocery and Portland’s Food Fight!).
And don’t worry, we’ll take one of everything for Janessa.
Some roundups for additional swooning:
- Meshell in your city: Awesome Stuff we saw at Expo West, Parts 1, 2 & 3
- Field Roast: Expo West 2014
- Veggietorials: Natural Products Expo West: Vegan Favorites
- HealthyVoyager: Top Picks of Natural Products Expo West 2014
- Vegan Gourmand: The Vegan Zombie Tour at Natural Products Expo West
- The Veracious Vegan: Natural Products Expo West Days 1, 2 & 3
- Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth: Natural Products Expo West 2014
And John, we are eagerly awaiting The Laziest Vegans recap!
Did you attend? Did you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it!
Love it or hate it, there are less than 24 hours to mentally prepare for another Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’re staying in with a mail order from Lagusta’s Luscious and Casablanca, off to a romantic dinner, attempting to say the phrase “Galentine’s Day” out loud, or making tots and deciding to conquer a few seasons of Game of Thrones, Valentine’s Day is about love and celebrating’ that special day with yourself, your loved ones, or your cat. In any case, we hope you spend the day in an enjoyable manner with only a smattering of pink confetti and a bit of thanks in your heart for the people you love.
Here are some ideas from all of us at Vida Vegan Headquarters on a variety of ways to make the evening special, and some topics to tackle blogging (whether you have a bit of spare time tomorrow, decide to Instagram dinner, or tackle writing about it all next week):
- Find those cookie cutters. Yes, you could easily make heart-shaped pancakes or a cake or even polenta/quinoa molds, but how about dinosaurs? Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?! Plus, it really gets you thinking about the past and future, so ring-a-ding-ding…or, just figure out how to make every single thing you eat that day heart-shaped.
- Sneaky, sneaky. Does your significant other or bff(s) read your blog? Probably. Maybe (or maybe they say they do). Try posting about something TOTALLY different than what you actually have planned. Surprise, surprise.
- Go big and go garlic. Roasted garlic lasagna and garlic bread sounds lovely. It’s called intimacy, right?
- DIY V-Day Craft Ideas: Make your own science-y valentine, like these! Subversive Cross Stitch is always there for you. Um…therapeutic pin cushion?
- You Time.Stay in, say screw it, and pop in (okay, stream) some cheesy ‘80s horror and actually pop some popcorn while you brush your cat’s hair. We know you have at least one cat.
- Date Night. Go on, go out to dinner at a vegan (or vegan-friendly) restaurant if you want to! Whether it’s a fancy date, take out, a dive bar, or a slice, you deserve it.
- We Get You. Seriously, have dinner with your cat. Serve everything in wine glasses.
- Schadenfreude. Share your worst adolescent breakup story, that horrible Roxette song that was somehow “yours,” and recreate (veganize) the mall-food-court super deluxe cheese fries you shared on your first date.
- Your Soundtrack: Get down with your single self with Spotify’s ‘Singleton’ playlist. Or, if you’ve got a sweetie, annoy them with these Spotify love song playlists while makin’ dinner or makin’ out.
- Break Out the Candles. Any night’s an excuse for a lovely homemade, vegan meal for two (or three, or whatever’s your bag), V Day’s the big leagues. Here are some romantic recipe ideas to get you inspired:
- Seitan & Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup via The PPK
- Shaved Brussels Sprout with Whole Grain Mustard Sauce via Vedge Restaurant
- Candle 79’s Vegan Paella via City Spoonful
- Allison Rivers Samson’s Double Cheese Lasagna via VegNews
- Portobello’s Cashew Cream Pizza via Serious Eats
- When in doubt, just beet it. via Pinterest
- Ancho Chocolate Pie via Vegan Secret Supper (Jess note: this book is mesmerizing!)
I know, one mere dessert recipe?! As if you don’t have something already up your sleeve.
Rest assured, #11 is an honorary mention (aka one big duh) for thematically-inclined bubbles, cocktails & mocktails, of course.
Enjoy your day, whatever you do, and feel free to share your ideas and plans in the comments!
It’s almost here! This Saturday evening (December 7, 5–7pm) is Vida Vegan’s holiday event, Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos—hosted by Janessa Philemon-Kerp, Jess Sconé, and Michele Truty. We’re down to the fun stuff: final recipe testing and crafting and practicing our demos.
If this is the first you’re hearing about it, then yipes stripes, grab one of the few remaining tickets now so you can hang out and eat and drink and craft with us this weekend! If you’re in the Portland area, we’d love to see you there! And keep an eye on our Instagram feed, where we’ll continue posting photos of our testing and behind the scenes prep sessions.
We’re having a great time playing with wintery flavors. Just check out our menu!
Savory spiced popcorn
Red curry carrot dip
Cauliflower goat cheese
Speakeasy smoked Yukon Gouda
Coconut vinegar quick pickles
Cheese Plate fromage fort & crackers
Baked maple bourbon popcorn
Depression-era chocolate cake with chocolate ganache
Italian olive oil citrus cake
Candy cane chocolate–chocolate chip cookies
Spiced apple-red wine punch
Sparkling cranberry orange punch (non-alcoholic)
Hands-on papercraft table (gift tags and menu/place cards)
Décor ideas, tablescaping
Homemade gift-giving ideas
So yeah, loads of food and fun, and a special gazillion tips throughout the evening.
And we’re putting a bunch of the recipes together in a little booklet for attendees, with a little homemade present, too! And who knows, you may win one of our door prizes. Now you can see why we’re so excited.
Remember, this private event is 21+, so bring ID. Hope to see you there!
The ladies of Vida Vegan—Janessa, Jess, and Michele—are throwing a December do! It’s a party with a purpose, a lovely evening of mingling and eating and drinking…and inspiration and education. We’ll help you get ready for your wintery event, cozying up with friends and family and food and fun.
We’ll have vegan sweets and savories, party-worthy punch and cocktails/mocktails, and décor ideas. Demos, hands-on crafting, and a special take-home gift!
Learn more about this 21+ event here, and get your tickets here—it’s a small space so make sure you don’t miss out. (And here’s the Facebook event, so you can let the machines mark your calendar for you.)
Last August, Janessa, Jess, and I presented some vegan meals to the folks at Rose Schnitzer Manor, a Jewish assisted-living home. They were already serving a few meatless meals a day and wanted to use and learn more about plant-based proteins.
We made them a big berry salad with maple-agave tempeh, and a baked tofu mac-n-chee, and ran through the benefits of a vegan diet, offering some super accessible alternative proteins.
They had SO MANY questions for us—and I’m not just counting the seven times Ruth asked what kind of cheese we used. We talked about how they could get more options from their cafeteria, since most of them couldn’t shop or cook for themselves anymore.
And they ate the food! And most of them liked it! I don’t think we moved anyone to become vegan that day, but I do believe we took some of the fear factor away from some unfamiliar ingredients.
When we visited Austin for location scouting earlier this year, we knew we had to visit Capital City, Austin’s amazing vegan bakery owned by Kristen Davenport.
The cart has since moved, and a brick and mortar bakery is currently in the works. She makes the best best best treats, and donated ridiculously good brownies to this year’s Galarama. I’m pretty sure everyone in Austin knows about this place already, but if you don’t, do your mouth a favor and get down there.
Here’s Jess and Michele picking out their treats:
And a sweet romantic cookie and mouthwatering cupcakes: