Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

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.

Another all-veg school

NY Elementary school 1Another public school in New York City just went all vegetarian – and this time it was the kids who asked for it.  This is the third New York City public school to go all veg. The school’s principal, Arlene Ramos, revealed that students asked for healthier, meatless options and that she is proud to be able to introduce the new menu. “My students have expressed an interest in healthier eating, and the school gave them the option to choose this menu I am very proud of their decision.” Lentil sloppy Joes, pasta fagioli, Mexicali chili, braised black beans with plantains, and teriyaki crunchy tofu will now be the lunch options for the 1,250 pre-K through 5th graders at Public School 1, Bergen Elementary School.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams—who adopted a vegan diet last October to conquer his type 2 diabetes—supports the menu update. “It is particularly exciting to learn that this is a youth-driven initiative,” Adams said. The drive for all New York City public schools to go all veg is a campaign of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food headed by Amy Hamlin.  We’ve previously written about the other schools that have gone all veg.

For years we have heard every excuse from many of Washington’s public schools. But, if a city as big and diverse as New York can do it, we’re sure Seattle can as well. Let’s hope New York City will set an example for Seattle and other cities to follow.

Four pieces of good news for vegetarians

We’re happy to see the growth of food made with plant-based ingredients. It’s never been easier to be a vegetarian. Our choices and access to plant-based foods continues to grow and grow. Here are the latest four pieces of news:

Plant-based food – the leading trend

Plant Based foodsAt a recent Natural Products Expo, plant-based foods was the leading trend in the food industry.  Environmental, health and ethical concerns related to the production and consumption of animal products has moved purposefully plant-based foods, once relegated to the vegan and vegetarian minority, into the mainstream. Innovative new meat and dairy alternatives are improving upon taste and texture all the time, therefore widening the appeal of a plant-based way of eating. Read more

Celebrate launch of California Pizza Kitchen’s vegan pizza!

Come celebrate the breakthrough! Daiya nondairy “cheese” will be served for the first time ever at a California Pizza Kitchen. The kickoff is this Wednesday (Aug 9) 5pm – 8pm at the California Pizza Kitchen, Park West Plaza in Tukwila.

To celebrate this historic moment, the location is throwing a HUGE launch party for attendees to enjoy pizza, drinks, and tons of free Daiya giveaways.

We want the dairy-free “cheese” to be offered nationally, so make sure to invite all of your friends so we can show California Pizza Kitchen just how big the demand for vegan options really is!

We thank our friends at Daiya and Vegan Outreach for putting together this historic event.

Daiya CPK poster


Plant-Based Shopping Tips

In Pursuit cover 1.0Shopping is a vital link in the chain for those who follow a plant-based diet, or for those who are curious and want to give it a try. Our handy shopping guide, In Pursuit of Great Food, is a practical guide to help you learn about the many different plant-based choices to stock in your kitchen, and how to get the best value in time and money from your food budget.

Many people are on a tight budget and worry that eating healthy, plant-based food will be expensive. However, if you are willing to plan and prepare your own meals from basic ingredients, you can save quite a bit of money. For those who often find themselves short on time, there’s a wide selection of convenience and prepared products to choose from in many local grocery stores. Read more

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.

Two people eating ice cream

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

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?

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