by Stewart Rose and Amanda Strombom
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 and 2, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street.
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 dairyfree 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.
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
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.
Vegfest takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, 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. For more information, visit SeattleVegfest. org or call 206-706-2635. Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose are president and vice president, respectively, of Vegetarians of Washington.