Monday, October 01, 2007

World Vegetarian Day!

Yay! Today is World Vegetarian Day! Yesterday I went up the San Francisco VegFest with my aunt Laura & her boyfriend Roland - they are also both vegans!! We also drove up with my aunt Sara's housemate Gemma - who is a graduate student from Spain. Even she is a vegetarian! She spent the day cruising around Sf, but we enjoyed spending time with her on the car ride. We were already excited when the car parked in front of us had a "Go Vegan!" liscence plate holder.
Here's Laura & me... all smiles to be spending the day together. We always have such a great time together.
We got there before 10:30, which was very cool because we got in for free. When you came in, the people from CLIF bar were there giving out free samples of the their Nectar bars. I had tried these before and liked them okay, but I really liked their new cacao flavors - especially the Dark Chocolate Mocha & the Dark Chocolate & Walnut flavors. All these Nectar bars are 100% organic and have no more than 5 ingredients.

The VegFest wasn't the hugest event in the world... but it was still the biggest VegFest I had ever been to. There was a big room with tables for different groups - some food companies rockin the free samples, some animal rights organizations, some food vendors... stuff like that. The Sun Flour Baking Co was there, & giving out samples of all their cookies. My two favorites were the Peanut Butter Shortbread & the Mint Chocolate Cookies. I was happily stoked when one of their employees gave me a free box at the end of the day. Yum.
Laura is helping herself to a sample (or two) of the Teeccino coffee substitute. It was yummy and we especially liked the Vanilla Nut flavor.

One of our first snacks was a raw "pesto pizza" - it was pretty yummy... but these sorts of raw things usually just make me burp for a while. This was no exception!
So, I wanted a little substinence - so we headed over to the yummy Mexi food booth. This was fresh organic corn with lime and chili powder. That was some SERIOUS chili powder. Our mouths were on Fire!!
Along with the corn, we got some nice black beans & a salad... with some tasty green salsa.
I was so happy to see the folks from Sjaaks chocolates. I lllllloooooooovvvvve their chocolates! If you ever need a rich caramel candy, i can't possibly recommend their Nuts and Chews highly enough. Their peanut butter cups were great too.
The guy in the white teeshirt is Art from "ProBar." I've blogged about these in the past, and I really like them. They are expensive (about $3) - but very tasty and full of real foods. They feel a lot more like food than your average Clif Bar. They had many flavors there for tasting, and of the ones I sampled, I most preferred these: Nutty Banana Boom, Art's Original Blend, Cran-Lemon Twister, and Koka Moka (which is more desserty tasting... less like a wholesome meal). He was a very nice and interesting person, and he's making some great bars!

We didn't just eat! We also talked with the people from the various organizations & went to three very interesting lectures. We heard Erik Marcus from Vegan.com speak about being effective and persuasive on the topic of veganism - to effectively get more people interested in veganism. We also heard Dr. John McDougall talk on the healing potential of a fat-free vegan diet. It was very interesting and inspiring. Lastly, we also heard Howard Lyman speak. He was very entertaining! He emphasized the need for us vegans to be happy and friendly, so that others will be interested and attracted to veganism - rather than repelling them with anger and self-righteousness. Amen to that! This is a picture of all the goodies I came home with - brochures, stickers, Erik Marcus' book "Meat Market", free samples of vegan dog food... cool!
Here's Laura cuddling with a little bunny who was waiting for someone to adopt him. :)
Roland eats mostly raw food- and one of his favorite foods in the world is the Durian. The durian is very stinky - in fact it is illegal to take one on a plane! Neither Gemma nor I had ever tasted (or smelled!) a durian before, but Roland was hungry and wanted to eat his special treat on the way home... in the car! Whoa... that was some serious stink. This cute picture shows Roland and Gemma, just after her first ever bite of durian. It was fun to eat something new, especially since I've heard so much about it.

Today, Musty and I headed over to a little posh town nearby called Los Gatos... just for a fun little day. Here at the apple store, I engaged in one of my favorite guerilla activities, carefully putting up the World Vegetarian Day website on all the imacs, ipods, and anything else with a browser. Fun!

Tonight for dinner we took my wonderful wonderful wonderful grandfather out for dinner to one of Santa Cruz's best veg restaurants: Malabar - they serve Sri Lankan & Malay food. My grandmother was out of town this evening, and doesn't really like eating out, so it was really fun to have some special time with just my grandfather. It was also neat to ask him questions about the food he ate when he was growing up (91 years ago!). This pictures captured the last of the **delicious** fresh salad rolls, before it was gobbled up.
I ordered these delicious "kofta balls" - spinach and pistachio dumplings in a delicious tomato curry. MMMMM! It was a fantastic meal & a wonderful way to end off World Vegetarian Day!

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A few other picks from last week...
This week I picked up my annual installment of canned tomatoes from my farmy friend Jane - who grows organic dry-farmed tomatoes. This year we bought 9 jars. It's so nice to have these delicious jars of SUMMER on hand for the deep winter months.
I made this delicious salad recently, I think it's from the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times - it had cherry tomatoes, 3 colors of potatoes, onions, and edamame. Yummy & pretty.
Here's a beautiful birthday cake that my mom made for my aunt Laura & my grandpa - they have the same birthday! It was vegan, of course, and delicious! I loved how she decorated it with all those fresh flowers.
I was inspired by Diann to try this fancy pasta dish from "The Artful Vegan" - Broad Noodles with Southeast Asian Peanut Pesto and Five-Spice Baked Tofu. It was very complicated, and very yummy. I especially loved the peanut pesto flavor (so fun to work with fresh peanuts!), and also the 5-spice tofu. mmmm. Thanks so much for the tip Diann!

And for the final course, Dessert! What is it? An apple pie, of course! This is the Crumb Apple Tart from "Vegetarian Modern Kitchen"... a simple crust, filled with very thin apple slices (and maple syrup etc), and topped with a crumb topping.
Happy World Vegetarian Day!

16 comments:

  1. Wow! What an fascinatingly amazing post! What a great weekend!

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  2. Happy (belated) world vegetarian day and world vegetarian month to you, too!
    What a fun post. I want to try durian for the first time. I keep seeing frozen ones at the markets and wondering if they are as good as fresh, or if it's even possible to get fresh, or whether I should wait until I'm somewhere fun like Thailand or Malaysia to try it for the first time.
    Oh, and Los Gatos is near where I grew up- I love your blog for the Bay Area memories it brings back for me! (I love your stealth web activism, too) I'm excited because I'll be coming to CA this winter, and will get to see my friends and some childhood places as well.

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  3. yay!!!! how fun - World Vegetarian Day is DEFINITELY a day worth celebrating; and not just for one day, but everyday!! as usual, all your food (and all the OTHER photos) look fantastic - I'm especially keeping my eye on that delectable apple pie of yours :0)

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  4. What a great festival! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I envy your vegan chocolate experience! I'm a little scared of durian. What did it taste like?

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  5. That was fun! Austin never has festivals like that and I don't understand why. And you got a whole box of cookies - nice!

    I'm glad you made the peanut pesto noodles. I thought that was a really good meal. And we can make just the peanut pesto anytime.

    I checked out the chocolate website. Oh, boy, they have some nice candies I would love to try.

    Your mom made such a beautiful birthday cake. It was certainly made with lots of love.

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  6. Sounds like an awesome day! How cool that you put the world vegetarian day website on all the computers....very sneaky! :-)

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  7. Happy (belated) World Vegetarian day to you :o). All the food looks great!

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  8. how cool is that! i wish i could have been there!

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  9. Wow, so much tastiness & gorgeousness in one photo! I'm glad you had fun at VegFest & maybe next time we'll get the chance to meet up!

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  10. what a great post!

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  11. I love this post!

    Thanks for taking us to the VegFest with you. Wish I could have been there to hear the talk about speaking to people about veganism. I find that I falter in that scenario because I don't want to castigate people for their cruel eating choices, but then because I am trying to tone it down a bit- my talk gets watered down and ineffective.

    I also love that your grandfather went to a yummy veg restaurant with you. How fun!

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  12. I saw a durian for the first time at our international market. I was very curious about it. Aside from it being stinky, what did it taste like?

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  13. What fun, to spend World Vegetarian Day with so many vegan loved ones! The festival looks fantastic, and is certainly bigger than any vegfest I've ever been to (none)! That charred corn looks fantastic.

    I love that pie. Ahh, apple season!

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  14. wow... just wow! quite a fabulous post! happy be-lated world vegetarian day to you!!!
    Julee

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  15. Looks like you had a great time at a great Food Fest! It made me get extra excited for Boston Veggie Food Fest which is coming up soon.

    I grew up in Malaysia and am well acquainted with durian. I cannot tell you the kind of unholiness I would unleash on someone who tried to open one in a car that I was also trapped in--the scent is unbearable. You are a good sport to take it in stinky stride...

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  16. Just catching up on your blog. I MISS home! Andrew and I have been going to the monthly vegetarian social event here in Tallahassee, which is a lot of fun. We ran into someone from the event last week and he gave us a Durian (happened to have an extra one in his car). We tried it at home and it was really strange. I'm not sure if it was ripe or bad because I have nothing to compare it to, but the experience didn't win me over to the strange fruit. And yes, what a smell!

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