Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday Veggie Saturday

Last Saturday I shunned all other activity in order to devote my afternoon to the Boston Vegetarian Festival. I'd been excited about this event for weeks, so finally when the day came I could hardly contain myself! M and I had fun trying to find a parking spot (the lot with free parking was a good walk away, we were just trying to get something closer) and discovered all wonderful hidden slices of Roxbury and Mission Hill.

[Okay, so it wasn't like a cute sightseeing expedition, it was more trying to find good places to either A. turn around or B. get back on to main roads]

Boston is a quaint city.

[Quaint being a nice way of saying something akin to 'pain in the tuchus']

We walked in and...WHOA! It was great. It was marvelous! I walked in and thought, are there this many vegetarians (or vegetarian friendy) in and around Boston? I couldn't believe it! I was thoroughly amazed. I mean, I feel like we are so gastronomically underrepresented in this area... I can count the number of strictly veg eateries on one hand (correct me if I'm wrong folks!), while the area boasts hundreds of steakhouses. Perhaps I exaggerate a little...

It was thoroughly packed when we arrived, and the first booth we went to was Grey 2K. The people there were so nice, and M pulled out his phone and showed off pictures of Sam to the people working the booth and to interested passers by. We spent some time trying to convince a nice couple to adopt a grey as well. This is always common for us...I think when we adopted Sam we also took on the role of 'greyhound ambassadors'.

After our improptu PDA assisted "Why You Should Get a Greyhound Now" presentation, we went off in search of food. I had promised M that I would get him a nice plate of Indian food as I knew that Cafe of India was supposed to be there. Sure enough they were, and he got a plate with pakoras and samosas. Cafe of India has some significance for us as a couple because we actually had our first date there four years ago!

I know, it's cute. :) I actually remember what I ordered that night, isn't that sweet?

Anyway, back to the fest. Tons of really cool products (food) to try! Here are some of the highlights.


This is by far the best vegan cheese ever. I can't WAIT until this is sold in the states. It is so rich and creamy and get MELTS!

Trader Joe's

TJs had such a dynamic crew manning their booth! They were passing out samples of two of their creamy soups, Butternut Apple and Veggie Medley Bisque which were both really yummy. Not only did they give out little sample cups, but also the full size aseptic packages! Free! Yeah! Unfortunately they do have honey in them, but I will keep them around.

Turtle Mountain/Pure Decadent

This was my favorite freebie of them all. Turtle Mountain (maker of So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Dessert) was giving away samples and coupon books. You could either get a soy ice cream bar, or a soy ice cream cup. I got a cup of the Peanut Butter Zig Zag, which was rich chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls. Yes, Belinda, heaven is a place on earth, and then it was in my cup. So good...and the coupons will help me to score more soon! :)

Mambo Sprouts gave out these great goodie bags filled with all sorts of stuff (lotions, coupons, chocolate crisps, beauty samples, luna bars, chocolate dairy milk, etc). We each got one and have been going through them slowly, M receiving the non-vegan items.

There was this great booth run by a family fortunate enough to have both a chef and a nutritionist in the group. I wish my family could be so fortunate! Their business is called Nutri Ahaar and they run it out of their homes. Their website url comes up with nothing, so I can't link to them. They make trail mixes and dried fruit treats and they also made some sort of saffron drink powder to mix with milk. I was assured that the saffron mix did well in non dairy milks, but I decided to pass. I got an assortment of their dried fruit treats, which reminded me of truffles! One treat was made with almonds and figs, another with apricot and nuts, and the last with figs, cocoa and sesame! Yum!

MartinOrganics had a great spread and was selling all kinds of great vegan cookies and some vegan cereals. We bought a ginger cookie that I tell you was a large ginger snap! Crispy and sweet and wonderful! The Silveira cereal which we tried is amazing. VERY sweet, and NO sugar. I was amazed!

I've always been addicted to pickles. It's a crazy addiction, and perhaps the toughest thing about keeping to a semi Fuhrman happy diet is staying away from all things salty, like my beloved. I threw caution to the wind and stopped by the Real Pickles booth with the idea in mind only to try them. Of course I walked away with a huge jar and a super cute t-shirt (as if I really needed to broadcast the pickle love!). These are so good and so different as they are naturally fermented and raw. So no vinegar! Very very good. Their products include all sorts of pickled treats, not just cucumbers! Check them out if you like those little ambassadors of brine as much as me!

Speaking of t-shirts, there were so many being sold there it wasn't funny! I wanted to get one of the super cute Herbivore shirts but they were a bit pricey. Then again, most of the shirts were pretty pricey! I did find one that I had to have! Little Vegan Monsters was selling these great "Choo-choo-choose Vegan" shirts printed on American Apparel t-shirts (yay!) and I absolutely had to have one. They were all super nice at their table and have a cookbook coming out soon! Oh, and the guy who sold me my shirt had some of the most beautiful tattoo artistry done on his arms. I was totally taken aback as it was just that breath taking. Anyhoo, here's what my cool new shirt looked like on!

In other wardrobe related news, No Sweat was selling their wares at a table and there were some serious discounts to be had! I really wanted a new scarf (scarves are a total obsession for me) and they were all selling for ten bucks a piece. I went through the selection carefully and chose the funkiest one they had.

I was trying to avoid buying any and all cookbooks with the exception of VCTOW, but they sold out WAAAAAYYY before I got to the table, but one of the other book tables was selling things for half price and they had a few of Bryanna Clark Grogan's books for sale, which I have never had the good fortune of coming across offline. I love BCG-all of her recipes come out wonderfully for me! So I got The Almost No Fat Holiday Cookbook

because I had heard some good things about it, but primarily because it had this recipe:

Growing up in a French Canadian-American family, this is a staple food around the holidays! Of course, its not something that a vegetarian could ever think about, but I'm hoping that Bryanna's recipe helps to fill that void!

Also on the book front, I stopped by Dr. Fuhrman's table and picked up a copy of Eat to Live for my mom. I chatted with him for a bit and he signed my book. Nice man but he looked totally out of it.

Who could blame him? I'm tired just writing about it!


Emmy said...

That's cool the place you went on your first date was at Vegfest. The place where Rob and I had our first date is no longer in existence...of course, that was 11.5 years ago. I'm intrigued by Cheezly. Did they say when it's suppose to come to the states? That's cool you got a free sample of Peanut Butter Zig Zag. That is Rob's favorite pre-packaged soy ice cream.

Those organic pickles sound great. I love pickles. I will definitely check out that link. Cute t-shirt too!! Love the vegan t-shirt too. Awesome!!!

Sounds like you had a great time. I'm envious of all the free samples you got :)

bazu said...

Cheezly greetings!
I loved this post- you are so amazing to remember all the little things- I keep forgeting what I saw, ate, tried...
I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOVE pickles. We tried the real pickle pickles, too! and sauerkraut, and kimchee...and more pickles.
and how cool was it that Trader Joes was giving out free soup boxes. (By the way, I think the creamy vegetable medley was vegan, I didn't see any honey or milk in the ingredients)
that's so cool that you met dr. fuhrman.
by the way, we got there so late, that we had a really easy time finding parking- ha ha.
Still wish we could have run into each other. Oh well, next time.
I'm going to do my last vegfest post today or tomorrow.

Ben Kaelan said...

That's so cool! I'm totally hopping on a greyhound and going next year... who am I kidding? I;m too much of a snob to greyhound! LOL

Vegan tourtiere? I remember eating that as a kid and drenching it with ketchup... my grandma grew up during the depression and I swear to god she cooked everything as if the depression was still going on. I found a recipe for vegan "pudding au chaumeur" the other day though... I thought that was pretty cool. That's as Quebecois as you can get :)

*drooling at the truffles*

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous!!! It sounds like you had a wonderful time and how nice to have such great representation. Maybe the Veg Fest will inspire more people to go veg.

aTxVegn said...

Too cool. I'm so jealous our city doesn't have a veg fest yet. I also can't believe we don't have a Trader Joe's.

I didn't know you were in love with pickles! There could be worse things..... And I love your scarf. That will surely brighten up a cold and dreary day.

So now you're up to date on all the latest vegan vendors and you had a great time. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie™ said...

Wow! Sounds like a great festival. I have that cookbook you got. It's full of really fun recipes. I have made vegetarian tourtiere and it turned out pretty good. I haven't made Bryanna's though. Maybe I should try that one this year. I used to make it every Christmas eve, but for some reason got out of the habit. I should start again because I really like tourtiere.
Good score on the ice cream. I'm addicted to the praline pecan flavour. Yummy!

wheresmymind said...

We dig TJ's soups a lot! Totally dig the new wife is a "Fishaterian" could she go next year?

Candi said...

I've been waiting for this post! Wow, that was worth the wait. Thanks for so much info and links! I feel like I was there with both you and Bazu! I'm happy to hear how many veggies turned up! :)

I LOVE your t-shirt and scarf! And the pickles shirt! LOL! So cute.

Too bad TJ uses honey in their soups. They look really good otherwise!! And free! Nice!

Thanks for sharing. I was laughing at some of your lines here. "ambassadors of brine" LOL!

Gaia said...

I loved your post and I so want to visit BVF !

You grew up in a Growing up in a French Canadian-American family ? I had no idea ! Your mom or dad ? Where is she/he from ? Too bad I can't send you tourtières in the mail ! (that is what I ate last night ! LOL)
Almost every vegetarian food company sells vegan tourtière here..
but homemade is always way better !

laura jesser said...

Wow, awesome. I want to go sometime! I love all the goodies you shared, but the scarf is the absolute cutest.

Vicki said...

Nikki, this VegFest looks totally amazing! what a super-cool experience. when & where does this happen again? love, love, love the scarf.

Candi said...

I just read that you are not feeling well at all! :( I hope you get better soon!

KleoPatra said...

Thank you for taking us along on your wonderful adventure. I laughed at "pain in the tuchus" - cute!!! I enjoyed the post from start to finish, thanks so much for this!!