Yesterday, I drove from Houston to check out the Texas VegFest in Austin. I always get excited when vegans/vegetarians congregate, and I felt like this event was worth the day trip. The festival was at the beautiful Fiesta Gardens which is an awesome little park that hugs the river in Austin. There were vendors from all over Texas ready to share their love for vegan and vegetarian food as well as speakers, live music, and food demonstrations.
I have to say that the popcorn tofu from the Wheatsville Coop booth was absolutely my favorite part of the whole festival. That stuff is addicting! I’m sure their popcorn tofu recipe is kept top secret in some high security vault from all those hungry vegans. However, I did a little hunt on the internet, and I’ve found a recipe for Tofu Popcorn Chick’n. It might not be exactly the same as the Wheatsville version, but I definitely want to give the recipe a try! Here’s a link to the recipe created by thevedge food blog. So I’m crossing fingers this recipe will meet my popcorn tofu cravings after trying it for the first time this weekend.
I enjoyed the presentation by vegetarian expert Matt Ruscigno. But being a vegetarian nutrition fanatic myself, I didn’t really hear anything I didn’t already know. It was certainly a great introduction for others who are new to a plant based diet though. I did take from his presentation a couple of book recommendations: Vegan for Life and Vegetarian Sports Nutrition.
If you live in Austin, I definitely recommend trying some cooking classes at the Natural Epicurean cooking school. They had a very professional and informative booth. They served up some delicious iced almond chai drinks. Note: I’m really hoping I win that beautiful set of knives on display!!
The Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds were really delicious. You can find them at Whole Foods along with their other snack creations. I was thinking that those seeds would be a great snack to keep in your purse for when you’re running late for lunch but need an energy boost. Not to mention, they are super filling.
To be honest, I’m usually not a fan of companies that try to replicate a meat like flavor in vegan products. I personally think that veggies are so delicious on their own, and we shouldn’t be trying to copycat bacon in soy products. However, Upton’s flavored seitan was actually quite delicious. I think it would go well in a lunch taco with some stir fried veggies and topped with avocado.
All in all, I enjoyed the Texas VegFest. Most importantly, I loved being in an energized environment of passionate, like-minded people. It makes me so happy to see other people who also care so much about healthy and compassionate living!!