The amazing new vegan goodies from Natural Products Expo West! »
Alternative title: How the West Was Won
I don’t even know where to start. I spent my entire weekend at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA (for a good time, search #vegansatexpo on Twitter and Instagram). It was like being at summer camp! I met so many people I follow online, or vice versa, and I ATE ALL THE FREE (!!!!!) FOOD (mostly ice cream, which you wouldn’t be able to tell by these photos, but it’s true). Rather than going into extreme details about each and every thing I tried (that’s what follow-up posts are for!), I figured I’d give y’all what you really want: FOOD PORN.
In all my excitement about Mr. Dewie’s, I forgot to take a photo (thanks for sending one, guys!) The owners were so generous, and let me try EVERY FLAVOR. They were all good, but this caramel almond was my fave! The cashew milk is so delectably rich! There are also a few flavors made from almond milk, which totally ruled.
Gardein’s new Fishless Filets were a definite star of the Expo. Flaky, “fishy,” crispy… NAILED IT! And the cute little samples they passed out were served with Follow Your Heart’s Tarter Sauce. It was a match made in vegan heaven!
I’m embarrassed to say how many samples I had at The Piping Gourmets booth, but let’s just say I did EXTRA research and the results were unanimous: their gluten-free, whoopie pies are AMAZEBALLS. My top picks were the chocolate with mint and the chocolate with raspberry.
This is one of FOUR new flavors of Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon. They were all stupendous!!! This “apple fennel” flavor really stood out to me. I’ll be throwing this in tofu scrambles, fo’ sho’!
Do you know who the Spork Foods sisters are? They’re about as cute as can be, and man can they make some tasty pancakes! Jenny and Heather are the official ambassadors for GO Veggie! Foods, and made blueberry cream cheese pancakes with the GO Veggie! plain cream cheese. Delish!
Edward & Son’s Native Forest has SO many awesome new products coming out. This is the first ever organic jackfruit! A few other new items I’m excited about are the organic coconut milk powder, and organic sweet potato flour! I can’t wait to play around with those.
The Sophie’s Kitchen “vegantoona” was another Expo fave of many of the vegans I talked to. Made from pea protein and konjac root, this “toona” has a really unique taste and nails the catfood-esque consistency of the “real thing.” Plus, it’s shelf-stable, so guess what’s going in my earthquake kit?
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Beyond Meat’s ”Taco Beyond” booth. I already raved about their new Beef-Free Crumbles in a previous post, but this was just SO RAD! And why isn’t it a real thing??!!
As I said, there is NO way I could cover every product I saw there (and, sadly, I didn’t see everything!), but these are some of my favorites. I will definitely write more in-depth about some of these, and others that I left out. ESPECIALLY MORE ICE CREAM!
JB’s summer vacation: Chicago, cupcakes, beauty, and bags! »
Hey everyone! I’ve been on a hiatus, on summer vacay if you will. I went to Chicago, Michigan, and my parent’s house out in the East Bay. All kinds of exciting things happened—I drank rum in the back of a pick-up truck at a wedding in Michigan (a wedding where vegan food was served! The bride loves me), I ate at The Handlebar AND Native Foods (OMG, I so get what the big deal about Native Foods is now!), and back in California, I made cupcakes for my sister’s baby shower! That was a really big deal, as it’s a huge step for my family to have the dessert be completely vegan!
Now that I’m back, I have all sorts of exciting things to share! First, for all you vegan beauty and fashion fiends out there, check out the blog Logical Harmony! I absolutely love this blog, and actually found it because Tashina is a huge fan of Source (where I spend most of my waking hours). She’s always taking the most fantastic pictures (via Instagram, like all the
cool kids nerds) of our food there, as well as all things beauty related. Follow her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her lovely and informative blog!
A couple months ago, I bought a bag from Alex Eaves' company, Stay Vocal, and let me tell you, it’s a wonderful, sturdy travel companion! His company is awesome (and he’s vegan!) because all of his apparel and bags are reused. For instance, my bag is an old MXPX tote, turned inside out with a Stay Vocal logo on it! At first I was like, “it’s going to be inside out? I don’t know about this…” but I love it! I highly recommend his stuff—the hippie in me digs his mission, plus it’s great quality. My bag reads “Reuse because you can’t recycle the planet,” and fellow “re-usetarians” are always beaming at me when they read it.
I also finally took the Vegansaurus new food challenge! It happened in July, but that’s me—always late to the party. I worked with jackfruit, making a dish similar to this one. I was inspired by the jackfruit sandwich that Rachel had in Colorado. I can’t wait to play with it some more, so I can post a recipe I’m super proud of. I’m stoked that jackfruit is a meat substitute of sorts (for carnitas or pulled pork) that is actually not processed flour, soy, or some other crazy combination of ingredients that tend to be hard to digest.
That’s it for now—I got a lot of posts to catch up on before the coffee wears off.
I tried a new food: Jackfruit! And I didn’t even have to do any work for it!
My buddy* Amie of Denver’s Vegan Van has jackfruit on her menu pretty often, so I was counting on her to help me expand my horizons. Luckily my husband dragged my in-laws there for lunch the other day, and I got them to bring me a sandwich! It was barbecue jackfruit something or other, for free (to me) and with no effort! WIN! Marriage is worth it, guys!
The barbecue flavor was obviously amazing because everything Amie makes is good, and the jackfruit didn’t have much flavor beyond that, kind of like how tofu works. Overall it reminded me of a cross between artichoke hearts and seitan. It was a little weird to have something with such a meaty treatment be so … vegetable-y in texture.
It doesn’t have the same protein-y oomph as seitan or even tempeh, but if I were looking for a gluten-free, soy-free carrier of delicious sauce, I’d definitely turn to my good friend Jack.
I’m curious to try cooking it myself sometime, but it’s apparently kind of hard to come by around here, Amie uses all sorts of secret voodoo to get it.
Jenny says she’s going to try jackfruit too! Jenny, tell us what you think!
*”Buddy” might be overstating. But she does remember my name sometimes! And I am a huge fan! A girl can pretend.