Friday, October 5, 2012

3rd Annual No-Beast Feast - and a GIVEAWAY!

The Dearborn Animal Shelter held it's 3rd annual No-Beast Feast on Friday, September 14th.  I love this event because it's a great fundraiser for the shelter, all the food is vegan, and VegMichigan is there to promote the benefits of and answer questions about living a veg lifestyle.  This year the guest speaker was Dr. Kerrie Saunders - a food and fitness consultant who teaches people how to reverse disease through diet and exercise.  I actually met with her a few years ago for a nutrition consultation at her Birmingham office.  I was so pleased to see that she was speaking at the No-Beast Feast this year because she is so down to earth and approachable, not to mention extremely knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise.  And, of course, vegan.

During Kerrie's presentation, it was interesting to see and hear people's reactions to some of her comments.  There were two non-vegetarians sitting with my mom and me that were very open to what she had to say.  If nothing else, they were going to go home with new things to think about and consider.  Then there were some people at a table behind us that were definitely scoffing at some of the comments.  They certainly weren't giving up their cheese for collard greens anytime soon!  Oh well.  Overall, I think most people were receptive and they really couldn't ignore the statistics she gave from her Michigan Firefighter Challenge. I mean, really, the health benefits of a plant-based diet truly speak for themselves!  One new piece of information I came away with was that legumes are the best food to reduce belly fat.  So if you want to know my secret it must be those 3-4 cans of chickpeas I go through a week!  

I spoke with Kerrie for a few minutes after dinner and she remembered meeting with me for my consultation.  I told her how I run circles around some of the guys at Boot Camp and they want to know how I have so much energy.  My response is always, "It's my vegan diet!"  She gets similar reactions from firefighters - until they take on the challenge of a vegan diet, that is.  

Besides meeting Kerrie Saunders, I also had the pleasure of meeting another special person - local artist John Orischak.  He's the creator of Wired Art Works, which is art made from recycled political lawn signs.  You can find his art on Fridays at the Dearborn Farmer's & Artisans Market.  My mom owns two of his pieces and I own one so it was very exciting to be sharing a table with him!  He was super friendly and fun.  I love meeting local celebrities!

Okay, onto the food.  The meal was delicious this year.  I didn't photograph the appetizers because although they tasted good, I'm not sure what they were and they looked kind of weird.  They would have photographed terribly.  I'm guessing they were some sort of faux chicken things.  Usually they have fresh rolls from Bangkok 96 but for some reason they put those out with the desserts.  I think that might have been an oversight.  Either that or it's some new trend that I'm not up on.  I really would have liked to have one for an appetizer!

The soup this year was a thick spicy tomato with black beans and veggies.  Super delish!

Dinner included tons of fruit (which I saved for dessert), salad (which I skipped to save room for other things), quinoa salad, green beans, a broccoli pie, and THE best Mexican lasagna.  I wish I could get the recipe for it to know exactly what was in it but they seemed to be keeping it top secret  It definitely had pumpkin and cumin in it.  There were black beans and it had a sprinkling of Daiya cheese on top.  The broccoli pie was really good but the lasagna was by far my favorite.

For dessert, Chef Genevieve from Bangkok 96 prepared a selection of raw desserts.  There didn't seem to be enough for everyone to take more than one, plus raw desserts are not something I like to eat a lot of, so I just took one small thing.  Nothing was labeled but it tasted like a coconut/cashew/banana tart and there was a juicy ripe blackberry on top.  It was very good.  There were other tarts as well as cheesecakes.  It was all gone in a flash.

The event seemed to be quite a success and very well-attended.  Hopefully this means the animal shelter will have it again next year!

Oh, I almost forgot!  My table won a vegetarian cookbook!  It isn't vegan, however, and doesn't look like one that I would likely go through the trouble to veganize.  SO, I've decided to host my first ever Vegan Road Runner giveaway.  If you would like your own copy of Vegetarian - More than 100 Fresh Flavoursome Recipes, here's how you can win:

1. Comment about this post on the blog.
2. Comment about this post on Facebook.

If you want an additional chance to win, you can do so by "liking" Vegan Road Runner on Facebook.  If you already "like" VRR on Facebook, one comment will get you two entries.  Deadline is noon EST Saturday, October 13th.  I'll put all entries in a hat and pick a winner!  Good luck!

This could be yours!


  1. Good food, company and information. And I bet that those back table scoffers will be back next year....

  2. I would love to try some vegetarian recipes and hope that my picky eaters will like them!

    1. Congratulations, Julie! You are the winner! Hopefully you'll find something that your picky eaters will enjoy! :)