April 10, 2018

Seattle Vegfest 2018: products we loved

TBV (throwback vegfest) from a 2011 volunteer stint.

On Saturday, we did what we usually do around this time of year, we went to Seattle Vegfest at the Seattle Center. We went early to avoid the crowds, and ended up standing in a long line waiting for the ticket windows to open. Avoid the crowds? What was I thinking? This was the busiest Vegfest I can remember. It was packed with people even just after opening at 10 a.m., which I suppose is a good thing, as it indicates a booming interest in vegan and vegetarian food. Vegfest isn't 100% vegan, but this year it seemed that nearly everything I encountered was vegan. I was astonished at all the food tables filled with vegan, gluten free, organic food. I think there were more than 500 foods to try, and everything I tasted (except one fizzy drink) was delicious. In addition to eating enough food to make me feel full long before we reached the last of the tables, we also attended two cooking demos — one an Indian food demo revolving around chickpeas, and the other a demo by none other than Hannah Kaminsky, the intrepid blogger (Bittersweet Blog) and cookbook author, cooking foods from her latest cookbook, "Real Food Really Fast." I was excited to catch up with Hannah after her presentation, and we ended up going out for dinner (and then out for ice cream!) later in the evening. More about this later.

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't bring my camera to Vegfest, nor did I take a single photo with my phone, thus the 2011 throwback photo at the top of the page. (We were volunteering that day stationed between Mighty-O doughnuts and Theo chocolate — and I personally took full advantage of that positioning.) When I mentioned to my husband that I hadn't taken any photos, he suggested I recycle old ones, as a joke, I think. Well, looks like the joke's on him. This year my blogging credentials are at risk, I know, but I'll try to make up for my failure by showing you some of the finer things we tasted, then bought and brought home, as well as a couple of samples we acquired. And there's also the dinner...

Our first item bought at vegfest was purchased by my husband, when we came upon Doshi,  a company selling vegan leather products such as purses, wallets and belts, as well as backpacks and briefcases. The business is a new one, and we were told they had held up production until they were sure they could provide a quality product that would last. They are an ethical, vegan company giving 5% of all (profitable) sales to non-profits benefiting animals, people, and the environment. Ken bought a beautiful belt, and it does seem to be of excellent quality.

The purses and backpacks were gorgeous, too, if you're looking for a beautiful vegan bag. The wallets were also nice. Look above at their card with contact information if you want to find out more.

Oh boy, these two items were so delicious. Not just delicious, but easy to use. I was especially taken with the Nutra Kik vegetable broth powder from Kawi Foods, which was the tastiest broth I've tried in a long time. It takes one tablespoon per cup of boiling water to make veggie broth, or you can use it straight from the package to add extra flavor to a casserole or whatever. The ingredients are non GMO nutritional yeast, organic onion, sea salt, org. garlic, org. shiitake mushrooms, org. fennel, org. paprika, org. red beets, org. oregano, org. basil, org. cayenne pepper, org. thyme. There are other varieties as well, and I wish I had realized there was a salt-free version. I like to add my own salt.

The cashew sauce from the Beyond Better company, comes in several flavors but I only tasted the original. It was rich and creamy. Homemade cashew sauce is pretty easy to make but if I'm pressed for time I think I'll be happy to have a couple of packets of Beyond Better cashew sauce on hand for quick, savory and cheesy toppings. The ingredients include org. cashews, nutritional yest, org. tapioca, org. sea salt, org. herbs and spices, org. onion, org. garlic, org. acacia fiber (prebiotic), guar gum, org. turmeric, org. yellow mustard, org. cayenne, xanthan gum, vegan lactic acid. Vegan, no gluten, no GMO, no soy, no grains.

Jilz crackerz may be too addicting for me to have around the house. We snagged a few samples, though, so I can indulge a little until they are gone, then we'll see how long I can last before I buy more. They come in three flavors — original cracked pepper and sea salt, Mediterranean, and Tuscan. You can find the crackers on jilzglutenfree.com, on thrivemarket.com, on Amazon, or possibly in a store near you. Check the Jilz website for a list of stores.

We also love Thin Stackers — a thin, small, square flat rice cake from Lundberg. Our sample was red rice and quinoa. I'm very fond of spreading things on crackers.

I wasn't especially hungry when we finally got home from Vegfest, what with all the delicious foods we sampled, but a couple of hours later I felt a little snackish. I ate an entire small bag of crunchy, Lundberg Rice Chips, and I liked them a lot!

I also want to mention the Kite Hill Greek yogurt sample I tried. It was the best tasting and best textured vegan yogurt I've had — not counting my homemade soy yogurt. My husband purchased a few small containers of Kite Hill almond yogurt (plain) — not Greek yogurt — at the co-op, and I liked it almost as much. The Greek yogurt I had tried at vegfest was flavored, but I prefer to buy plain yogurt and add fresh berries and raisins. Do you have a favorite yogurt?

I was planning to write about our dinner and dessert with Hannah, but I think I'm going to have to do it another day. If I don't publish this now, it might be days before I finish!


  1. It was -such- a great event! I feel so lucky to have been able to attend, to meet up with you, and experience a little taste of Seattle. This certainly won't be my last.

    PS, if you want to post about it, I did get a great little snapshot of you enjoying the ice cream at The Cookie Counter. Happy to share. ;)

    1. I thought it was one of the best vegfests I've been to, if not the best. I just wish I had brought my camera. It was especially fun to meetup with you, Hannah!

      I would love to see the ice cream photo — thank you so much. My iphone dinner photos aren't the best — it would be nice to have one good photo in the post!

    2. I also want to mention, you inspired me to write a post! And, I dusted off the the box with the spiralizer and moved it to the kitchen pantry. Who knows ... maybe I'll even remove it from the box and give it a try. (Never mind the two other smaller spiralizers on the shelf!)

  2. Yay! So happy to see a post from you in my feed. It looks like this was a really fun event. I saw that Jeanette Zeis was there, and I would have had a stomachache deciding which & how many of her pieces to get to add to my collection. That's so fun that you went out with Hannah. I look forward to hearing about it!

    1. Thanks Cadry! Yes, it was a great event — so many excellent products to admire and try. And, Yes, Jeanette Zeis was there with her beautiful vegan dishes. She was probably wondering why I was staring at her pieces and smiling but not approaching the table. I can't possibly store any more dishes, much as I'd love to buy them all. My brain was calculating where I could put various items but I didn't give in.

      We had a lovely dinner and dessert with Hannah — I hope she comes back again next year.

  3. How fun! So awesome to have so many new vegan foods and products nowadays. I'll have to keep an eye out for those items. Kite Hill is my favorite yogurt too, I usually get the plain but I also like the blueberry and peach flavors.

    1. It was a great event, and fun to taste all the new products. The truth is though, we hardly ever buy any of that stuff — too set in our ways, I guess. But for new vegans, it's a bonanza! I will buy the soup stock and yogurt, and Ken loves his new belt. Maybe I'll buy the crackers. :)

  4. I love seeing all the new vegan products out there these days - I'm so pleased veganism is getting so popular (even if does mean there are mad queues at veg*n events!) I'd love to see a ready made vegan cheese sauce over here one day too.

    1. Personally, I think homemade cheese sauce tastes better! But yes, it's great to see all the attention given to vegans.


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