Sunday, April 29, 2012

Michigan VegFest '12

Today I attended my 4th VegFest (which, coincidentally, also marks my 4th Veganversary).  Last year I wrote a, uh, less than stellar review of the event.  Based on that experience, I wasn't getting my hopes up again about this year.  I knew I had to go - I couldn't NOT go - but I wasn't going to get frustrated if it was disorganized ("serenity now"), there were long lines ("serenity now"), or there was an obnoxious man in a cow suit trying to scare people into the PETA booth ("SERENITY NOW!").  

Jaime said she would go with me again and we both decided this would be the year that we would finally go and see John Salley.  He has been a presenter every year that we've gone, but for one reason or another, we just haven't made it to his presentation.  Not this year.  We weren't going to let another VegFest slip by without seeing John Salley.  (FYI - Jaime had already met him once at Dunham's back when he was a Bad Boy; this would be my first encounter.)

So although we didn't want to get our hopes up about VegFest, we sure had our hopes up about John Salley!  In fact, Jaime arrived an HOUR EARLY to my house, she was so excited!  Although it meant I didn't have time to do my hair - I didn't want to make her wait around while I slaved over the flat iron - it gave us plenty of time to stop for coffee to get fueled up for the day.

Aside from a bit of disorganization upon entry, it was a relatively smooth operation.  It was much more spacious and spread out than last year, making it easier to get to vendors and food samples without having to wait in ridiculously long lines.  People seemed friendlier, more laid-back, and they weren't hogging all the food samples.

I met some really friendly veggies (much better than last year's cow!)

I had all the best intentions to take pictures of every bite and document its place of origin before I put it in my mouth; however, that didn't exactly happen.  Here's what I had to the best of my memory:

From Krishna: 

Khaman - chickpea batter steamed with sesame & mustard seeds, cilantro, and coconut as garnish

Mix Lentil Curry - chickpea, pigeon pea, adzuki bean in mung bean curry

Upton's Naturals was there serving up some of their seitan crumbles.  I didn't try any thisyear because I've had them before.  What was new was their wraps. There were three to choose from.  I had the chipotle and Jaime tried thechicken bacon ranch.  I can't remember the third flavor.  It was allso overwhelming and exciting that they were all vegan!  Both of the oneswe tried were very meaty and flavorful - delish!  I didn't get to ask butI think these must be a new product because I think I saw some packages but Iwasn't finding anything about them on the website.  Anyone know??

From Russell Street DeliHouse-Made Black Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup
Apple Rosemary Pecan granola - a winning flavor combo!  Pick up some of this low-fat Michigan-made granola at Eastern Market.

We had some tasty desserts, though we controlled ourselves better than in past years.  Not pictured but tasted was some lemon cake from Patisserie Ci, and delicious chocolate mousse from Whole Foods, and several other small bites, including a strawberry muffin, a scone, chocolate silk pie, a cookie, applesauce.  Hmmm, perhaps we didn't control ourselves so well after all . . .

Mini Oreo Clusters from Schakolad
Lily Reid Vegan Treats

After all of our eating we stopped at Herbivore Clothing Company to buy a shirt that I've had my eye on for a couple of years online but wasn't sure about the sizing.  I was so excited to see it in person!  While I was at it I also bought a sticker and a button.  How can you resist that pig?

And then . . . it was time.  Time to see John Salley.  He's too big to tell you about it in this post.  (Literally - he's a giant!)  He deserves a post of his own.  So, to build excitement, I'll leave you with this photo of my reaction to seeing him in the hallway.  (Well, a reenactment of my reaction.)  Please note that I'm 99.9% sure he saw this reaction from across the hallway, we locked eyes, and he smiled directly at me.  It was a magical moment.

Yes, I am actually clutching my heart!

My next post will be a Celebrity Spotlight edition on John Salley and I promise there will be photos!

Free samples given out at the end

Did you go to VegFest this year? 


  1. Hi Amanda, great post! Just wanted to let you know that the Upton's sandwiches are a new product. I don't work for Upton's or Whole Foods, but my husband is crazy about these new wraps and has found them at the Whole Foods in Troy and the "original" Ann Arbor Whole Foods. They're over near the deli in the refrigerated/prepared foods areas.

    1. Oooh, good to know. Thanks, Carmen! I'll be in Ann Arbor in a couple of weeks and will look for them at Whole Foods. I think my husband would love them, as well.

      Thanks for reading my blog! :)