VegFest 2011: Top five food products

Categories: Vegetarian

We came, we saw, we took pictures and now we're sharing them with you. There were all kinds of products available at VegFest 2011 on Saturday, but we managed to settle on five favorites, starting with this gourmet mushroom kit that grows 'shrooms in recycled coffee grounds. (Oyster mushrooms, of course -- you'll have to hit up your usual connections for the hallucinogenic kind.)

We know, you've probably seen the Amazing Grater on television, but if you haven't already considered it as an addition to your vegetarian/vegan kitchen, you might want to. Vegan cheese isn't exactly easy to grate, but this thing makes it simple as can be.

If you're considering a CSA share, you could do a lot worse than Grant Family Farms; you can get food shares of all kinds (veggie, fruit, mushrooms, eggs, bread, flowers, cheese and even meat, summer or winter) for a single person or a whole family. Fresh and delicious!

Qrunch was doing a brisk business offering samples of the quinoa burgers, which were snapped up quickly by a line of waiting eaters; the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, wheat-free, egg-free and nut-free patties are made from organic grains and vegetables; you can find them at Tony's markets and Marczyk Fine Foods.

We saved the best for last -- and we know what you're thinking: "Raw? Vegan? Gluten-free? Ew." You are so, so wrong. Hail Merry makes nuts, granola, macaroons and amazing tarts, all raw, vegan and gluten-free -- and every last product is delicious. The booth was serving up macaroons at VegFest and could barely keep up with demand. If they'd brought the lemon tarts to share, no doubt there would have been a stampede or a riot. Just try one Hail Merry product and we bet you'll be going back for more. (You can get them at Natural Grocers and Whole Foods locations.)

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"gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, wheat-free, egg-free and nut-free"

Holy k-rap.

Jon S
Jon S

I do have to agree that the whole (insert name of food here) -free marketing associated with veganism is getting ridiculous. Gluten free is the most absurd. They slap it on things that obviously never had gluten to begin with.

Also, gluten-free today is like lactose-free was back in the '90s. Celiac disease is a real problem that does affect a small number of people. But somehow everyone is now suddenly self-diagnosing a gluten intolerance at way higher numbers than reality would call for. And there is some bizarre movement going on amongst the vegan and health food crowds that has made gluten a horrible evil for everyone, for absolutely no reason.

Bottom line: You have actual celiac disease, then definitely avoid gluten. If not, then gluten isn't bad for you in the least.


Before you scoff, GFTW, consider that there are plenty of foods that fit all of these criteria. A cowboy rib-eye steak for example.

Seriously though, I do love quinoa and would give these a try - not as a subsitute for meat or anything else in a diet - but just as a handy portable snack to add to my lunch bag for work.


I agree. It's also easy to have a low-gluten diet, but very difficult to have a gluten-free diet.


Corn-fed beef is corn-free?? I was pointing out how ridiculous the *-free foods have become. It's likely to only get worse.

I like quinoa too! And gluten. And dairy. And soy. And corn. And wheat. And eggs. And nuts. And...

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