Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

You’re going to love Vegfest

Serving Genesis Juice

Genesis Juice is one of over 500 different kinds of food to try

We all love to eat. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the foods we love to eat could love us back by making us healthier? That’s what plant-based (or vegetarian) foods can do. In fact, not only does eating plant-based foods make us healthier, it also protects the environment and saves our animal friends. What’s even better is that they taste so delicious. A wonderful opportunity to find out just how delicious plant-based foods can taste is at Seattle’s Vegfest, the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, coming up on April 1 & 2, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street.

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Don’t eat breakfast before you come to Vegfest.  There’s so much good food to try!

Vegetarian foods, based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, come in all shapes and sizes these days and Vegfest has over 500 different kinds of foods to try. With the plant-based food market growing rapidly, this year’s Vegfest includes many new food products to sample. Some of the ones that caught my eye are chocolate covered quinoa, an almond mousse from Almetta, and a new dairy-free ice cream from NadaMoo. Exciting new food items from Lightlife Foods and Field Roast are also rumored to be debuting at Seattle’s Vegfest for the first time. Try the new egg-free eggs by Follow Your Heart. And for those who like the exotic, why not give Health-Ade Kombucha mushroom beverage a try? And of course, what would Vegfest be without the delicious flavors of Indian Life Foods or the Oriental delights of Sensei Sauce.

Miyoko Schinner

Chef Miyoko Schinner will be speaking at 12:55pm on Saturday

Throughout the weekend, cutting-edge chefs and cookbook authors from around the country will be demonstrating just how easy it is to make your own gourmet vegetarian dishes at home, and doctors – specialists such as urologists, internists, and even an OB/GYN – will be talking about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. More doctors than ever before will also be on hand to provide health checks, with free blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests, bone scans and ultrasound artery scans, giving people the opportunity to discover just how much a vegetarian diet can help improve their health. A huge selection of cookbooks are available at the Vegfest bookstore, and the kids will enjoy the clown duo, Zero and Somebuddy with their skits on healthy eating.

The food scene in our region is changing fast. Vegfest will feature several vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants with samples of their extra special treats. Many restaurants, looking to cater to more veg-interested customers in the Puget Sound area, are happy to provide coupons for a free meal to people who join Vegetarians of Washington at Vegfest.

This year, Vegfest is on Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd, 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.

This article was published in the March issue of Natural Awakenings magazine

Can I kiss a meat-eater?

Say No to Meat cover 1.0kissing-with-roseIt’s almost Valentine’s Day, so we thought we’d answer the one question that new vegetarians and vegans are desperate to know…Can I kiss a meat-eater?

The following is an excerpt from our book Say No to Meat: the 411 on ditching meat and going veg.

 

Can I kiss a meat-eater?

There are no rules as to whom you choose to date. If you love every aspect of a person except what they choose to eat, then you may well decide that they should eat their food and you eat yours and both just accept the situation. We know many couples who have lived together happily for many years with this arrangement. Over time, the meat-eating partner may become comfortable with eating vegetarian all the time, or at least most of the time, just choosing a meat dish in a restaurant once in a while…or they may continue to insist on meat at every meal. Either way is OK if you’re OK with it.

Some people feel that their food choices are so important to them that they can’t face the idea of dating someone who eats meat. You are entitled to make that choice, but be aware that at present the percentage of vegetarians in the general population is very small, so it may take a little more work to find a suitable partner. You can try attending vegetarian dinners and get-togethers, or looking online for veggie dates.

Remember that there are many open-minded people out there who just haven’t heard about the benefits of a vegetarian diet, and would be happy to learn about becoming vegetarian in a warm and supportive environment. Don’t deprive them of kisses until they become vegetarian, or they’ll be out the door in no time, and you’ll be back to square one.

How should I tell my date that I’m a vegetarian?

Vegetarian Living – Going to Parties

Say No to Meat cover 1.0The following is an excerpt from our book “Say No to Meat“, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications.  This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!

What do you recommend when going out with friends or to parties?

Research beforehand and come prepared. When going out with friends to a restaurant, encourage them to choose a restaurant that you know has some veggie options you can choose. If you aren’t able to influence the choice of restaurant, it may help to look online beforehand to see from their menu what options are available to you. You may need to ask for something special to be made, if you can’t find a suitable menu item. Most chefs and restaurants don’t mind special orders, so it’s important to speak up. Another alternative is to eat beforehand, and just go along to enjoy the company.

Know before you go. At a catered dinner, ask beforehand if possible, whether the caterer has any vegetarian options. When going to a private party, it’s a good idea to mention to the host that you are vegetarian, so that they can cater for your needs if food is to be provided. Alternatively, you can just ask which dishes include meat when you arrive, so that you can be sure to avoid them, rather than putting your host to any special trouble.

Some people just need a little help. You may wish to offer to bring some food, so that you know you’ll have something to eat. At a barbecue, bring a package of veggie burgers or veggie hot dogs for the grill. A potluck is a great opportunity to show others how delicious vegetarian food can be, so it’s worth making a special effort to bring a particularly appetizing dish or two. You can pick something up from a natural foods deli section if you don’t wish to cook. Be sure to eat when you first arrive, since others may like your food so much they eat it all before you get any!

How to Save a Thanksgiving Turkey

Of course the best way to save a Thanksgiving turkey is by having a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. Every year 300 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered for food, and 46 million of those will be eaten on Thanksgiving alone. Every vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner will reduce the number of turkeys slaughtered for the dinner.

Fortunately, there are better options to be eaten and enjoyed than turkey. The northwest is home to two of the most popular and best tasting Thanksgiving turkey alternatives around. Field Roast features its somewhat sophisticated Celebration Roast, with an intriguing blend of herbs and spices, that’s getting rave reviews coast to coast. If you’d like to have a bit of fine dining at home, Celebration Roast is a gourmet choice. Try the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute for something more sophisticated.

With Tofurky you’ll get a turkey-like look, taste and texture, that comes with both stuffing and gravy. While Tofurky is traditional in style, there’s not an ounce of any animal products in it.

If you enjoy cooking and would like to make your own holiday fare, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve assembled some of our favorite recipes for you to try this Thanksgiving.  See our popular Veg-Feasting Cookbook for even more delicious recipes to try.

But what if you want to save even more Thanksgiving turkeys? We suggest participating in one of the many adopt-a-turkey programs around the country. One that has particularly impressed us is Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-a-Turkey Project.  Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project has encouraged people to save a turkey at Thanksgiving, through sponsorships that help them rescue animals and provide care for them at their sanctuaries, as well as educate and advocate for turkeys, and other farm animals, everywhere. As the 2016 Adopt-a-Turkey spokesman, Alec Baldwin, says, “turkeys deserve better.

For a one-time donation gift of just $30, anyone can sponsor a turkey which will then live out its life at one of their shelters. As a turkey sponsor, you will receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate with a color photo and fun details about your new friend. Turkey sponsorships also make perfect gifts, so make an even greater impact this holiday season by sharing the love with others. For a gift of $180, you can sponsor the whole flock and have adoption certificates sent to family and friends. Please visit http://www.adoptaturkey.org/  to learn more and participate in this wonderful program.

Good news? – Meat and Dairy acquiring veg companies

 

so-delicious-dessertsIs this good news? Mainstream meat and dairy companies are investing in, and acquiring outright, plant-based food companies. Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? Examples abound:
In July, France’s Danone, best known for its Dannon brand yogurt, bought WhiteWave and its subsidiary, So Delicious, which specializes in organic and plant-based alternatives to dairy products, in a deal worth $12.5 billion.

Beyond Meat packetBeyond Meat sells plant protein that “looks, feels, tastes and acts like chicken without the cluck,” as the product packaging for its faux chicken reads. That was good enough for poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc., which acquired a 5% stake in the El Segundo-based vegan start-up Monday.

For Tyson Foods, the move is a fast way into a rapidly growing alternative-foods segment, which could account for as much as a third of worldwide protein consumption by mid-century with a market value of as much as $108 billion, according to Lux Research.

Even Boca Burger is owned by Kraft, and Gardein was recently acquired by Pinnacle Foods, which owns brands such as Armour Bacon. So the trend is clear. The question is “Is this a good thing and what will it mean for the future?”  Commenting on Tyson’s recent investment, Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president for farm animal protection, says, “We’re thrilled to see Tyson investing in the company. Americans want to diversify their protein sources with more of it coming from plants, and Tyson is positioned well to help them do that.”

Others agree and think that mainstream companies have the connections and extra bucks to take plant-based foods further and faster than they could have gotten on their own. Ultimately, the mainstream is where the growth is expected to come from in the veg world.

But still some uneasiness lingers. Many veg companies are choosing to keep their distance. While mainstream meat and dairy companies, seeing their potential, seem to have supported their new brands, they could have easily done otherwise. Time, as the saying goes, will tell what this will mean for the food vegetarians currently eat and enjoy.

Elon Musk – Mars and Cars go veg

mars-colonyTesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently hosted a conference catered by the innovative vegan company, Impossible Foods. The Code Conference was a gathering of revolutionary thinkers and progressive planners, all of whom munched on vegan sliders as they discussed how to improve the fate of us all. Musk, who has struggled with his own vegetarianism, may now be finally seeing the light. This is especially important if he plans a mission to Mars. NASA has already determined that only a vegan diet will work both for the trip there and for the outpost on Mars itself.

Big names were in attendance at the event, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Bill Gates – an early investor in the revolutionary vegan start-up.

tesla-veganTesla, the all-electric-car company, has just unveiled an SUV model that’s not only environmentally friendly — it’s also vegan. When you think of luxury cars, you often think leather seats and that “new car smell” but what if you have plenty of money to spend, and don’t want it lined with animal skin? It’s a problem that plagues some vegans.

For decades, leather-free options in the car industry have been limited at best. Generally speaking, buyers looking to avoid the use of animal products in their cars would have to settle for basic models with cloth seats and plastic steering wheels, but as they add options like better engines, heated seats or upgraded speakers, they’re often forced to choose leather seats.

But now, Tesla’s “Ultra White” interior option, currently only offered in the new Model X SUV, comes available with a fully vegan interior — including synthetic leather seats, steering wheel and gear shift — giving that streamlined luxury look of leather.

The company reportedly created the new interior option, in part, after receiving suggestions from potential customers who felt the company’s eco-friendly stance on limiting emissions made no sense when the cars included animal products.

New Veg restaurant at Seatac

cafe-flora-polentaRejoice! Seatac airport will never be the same. Cafe Flora is bringing its gourmet veg menu to Seatac Airport.

Floret is the name of the full service restaurant in an 1,800 square foot space next to the new Delta Air Lines lounge between A and B terminals. The new restaurant is the first exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurant at the airport and the first expansion by Cafe Flora owner Nat Stratton-Clarke. “As an avid traveler and lifelong vegetarian I know how difficult it can be to find healthy, local food options while traveling,” Stratton-Clarke said in a statement. “Floret will be an opportunity to help raise the bar for airport dining everywhere.”

The menu will feature vegetarian and vegan selections including Cafe Flora favorites, seasonal dishes and new items with local and organic produce. The restaurant, which will also offer grab and go food and will have lots of plants and natural light from a 27 foot long wall of large glass windows looking out on the airport’s runways.

Floret, set to open sometime next year, will be serving guests every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. This will be the first time ever we can actually enjoy flight delays!

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