Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

We’re excited about Vegfest!

OverviewPlant-based foods are all the rage these days.  According to the International Food and Restaurant Consultants, Baum and Whiteman, the number 1 trend of the year for 2018 is that plant-based foods are going mainstream.  While still less than 3% of Americans identify as vegans, 31% of Americans practice meat-free days, and 35% of Americans get most of their protein from sources other than red meat, according to Mintel.  In addition 58% of adults drink non-dairy milk!

The local restaurants are starting to take notice of these trends.  The renowned steakhouse, Daniels Broiler, is launching a fully vegan and totally gourmet menu to complement their usual meat-based menu. They recently contacted us to pair the launch and promotion of this new plant-based menu with Vegfest.  They will be holding the grand launch of this new menu on Friday, April 6th, and have invited us to speak at that event.  They are also including a $10 off coupon for everyone who joins Vegetarians of Washington at Vegfest, to add to the many other restaurant coupons included in the membership goodie bag. A steakhouse rolling out a vegan menu was chance we just couldn’t miss!

Vegfest, the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, this year will be on April 7 and 8 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic event as always, designed to pique the curiosity and excite the taste buds of the many vegans, vegetarians and the veg-curious in our region.

Blue Lotus engaged - low resAs always, many new products and companies are making their debut at Vegfest. Nut milks are all the rage these days and we’re happy to feature a local company, Mylk Haus, whose product contains high levels of tree nuts that make for both great taste and health. For those who prefer their nuts to crunch, check out the Royal Macadamia nuts direct from the island paradise of Hawaii. There’s also new scrumptious goodies such as Hippeas, which uses chickpeas to make a doodle type crunch snack, and a new local company, Love Kale, which took one of nature’s healthiest foods and turned it into a snack that’s as delicious as it is healthy. Speaking of snacks we’d never want to run Vegfest without chocolate. Check out the Raw Rockin’ Chocolate. This chocolate is so good it should be available by prescription only! For those who like something a little exotic give Sao Nao sauces a try.

We’re happy to recognize the growing farm animal sanctuary movement with new sanctuaries in our region such as the Flying SK Farms, where a dedicated staff provide loving care for animals in need.  See the full list of companies participating in Vegfest.

Chat Mingkwan - low res

Chef Chat Mingkwan

Renowned cookbook authors from around the country will be flying in to present cooking demonstrations.  Chef Chat Mingkwan will focus on Asian Fusion recipes, selecting delicious recipes from his cookbooks “Asian Fusion” and “Vietnamese Fusion”.  Chef Ellen Jaffe Jones has a new cookbook called “Vegan Cooking for One” and will also teach how to “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day”.  New chef Hannah Kaminsky is looking forward to showing how to cook “Real Food, Really Fast” and Kristie Middleton, from the Humane Society of the US, will feature recipes from her book, “MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live—One Meal at a Time.”

For those who want to learn more about health and nutrition, doctors – specialists such as internists and even an OB/GYN – will be  speaking throughout Vegfest on how going veg can make a huge difference to your health.  Our full schedule of doctors speaking on health and nutrition, and chefs giving cooking demonstrations is now available online.

Don’t miss this year’s Vegfest, April 7 & 8 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street.  Admission is only $9 and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door. See Vegfest for more information.

Vegfest Chef Chat Mingkwan Recipes

We’re delighted to have Chef Chat Mingkwan back with us at Vegfest giving cooking demos this year.  As a special treat, he shared three of his delicious recipes with us. Come to Vegfest to learn more from Chat about Thai and Vietnamese cooking.

Green Beans with Peanut Dressing

Serves 6

3 cups green beans, trimmed, cut to 1½ inch length
2 cups julienne color bell peppers (your choice of serving fresh or cooked.)

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Parboil the green beans for 1-2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water for 2 minutes more. Drain and blot dry. Keep chilled. Read more

Ending slavery in the seafood industry

Thai fishing boat with peopleSlavery has been a well-documented human rights disaster in several world fishing regions for years. We wrote about this problem a few years back when reports began to surface in 2014 that seafood harvested or processed by forced labor was making it into the supply chains of major U.S. retailers like Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and restaurants like Red Lobster. For U.S. retailers and seafood importers, avoiding slavery in the fish supply chain has proved exceedingly difficult. Fishing occurs far from shore, often out of sight, while exploitation and abuse on vessels stem from very complex social and economic situations. Read more

Chicken slaughter is killing us

Chicken-carcassesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture recently denied a petition by the National Chicken Council to remove the line speed limit on how many chickens can killed per second in the slaughterhouse.

Some food safety advocates cheered at this, calling it a victory for workers and consumers, but we don’t think it’s that much of a victory. The current rate at which chickens can be killed is already ridiculously fast at 3 chickens per second, and accidents and injuries are already a concern. Read more

Warming Soup Recipes

This is the time of year when it’s often cold and dreary outside, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up.  Did you know that making a pot of soup from scratch is actually very simple to do, and it’s oh, so healthy?  Try some of our recipes below and get cooking!

Pumpkin-SoupPumpkin Soup

This recipe is from nutritionmd.org, where you’ll find a great supply of delicious vegan recipes.  It’s reprinted with permission. Makes about 8 1-cup servings.

This sweet and creamy soup has just a hint of spiciness. It can also be made with puréed winter squash, yams, or sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin. Read more

Meat consumption continues to rise

Grilled meatAmericans are eating even more burgers, chicken fingers and bacon, and the trend could say a lot about our health, the environment and, of course, the farm animals.

American consumption of red meat and poultry per capita is forecast to hit 222.2 pounds per person in 2018, up from 216.9 pounds in 2017 and 210.2 pounds in 1998, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s the highest amount of meat consumption within the last 50 years. Production of both red meat and poultry will increase in 2018, at the same time the U.S. economy is growing and Americans have more money to spend on food. Read more

Utah rules ag-gag law unconstitutional

Curious Cows

The farm animals, and all those who care about them, just won a big victory in court. A judge in Utah has ruled that the ‘ag-gag’ law – which makes filming and photography to document abuse in animal agriculture illegal – is unconstitutional. US District Court Judge Robert Shelby claimed the law violates the First Amendment right to free speech. According to Amy Meyer, who filmed the abuse of a cow outside a slaughterhouse and was later charge with a crime, the court’s ruling is a “vindication for anyone who stands up for what’s right and tells the truth.” Read more

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