Monday, August 11, 2014

Highlights from The Seed: A Vegan Experience

This past weekend I made it out to The Seed, an event for "vegan exploration," featuring a myriad of food vendors, live speakers and cooking demos, screenings, animal activist groups, natural living and cruelty-free vendors, and more. It was fantastic to see so many vegans and vegan-curious people gathered in one space, and naturally, there were plenty of delicious bites to be had. I didn't take photos of all the tables, because that would have been exhausting (plus I was carrying one infant + one large diaper bag), but I did capture my favorite eats of the day. Because we all know I was just there for the food.

The mind-blowingly delicious Beyond Sushi was on site, with both sample bites and full rolls available for purchase. I contemplated returning to their table in multiple disguises so I could just keep getting free samples, but I figured they'd still recognize the baby. Just look at all those rolls on display, that they cruelly tell you not to eat. I could massacre that mountain of sushi, but I'm vegan, and I don't believe in violence.

These sushi rolls are works of art. A must-eat when in NYC!

Another favorite of mine is the Regal Vegan, maker of the famous Faux Gras and Basilicotta. They had a selection of sandwiches (Kale Au Jus, Bahn Mi, and the "Deluxe" - Faux Gras, brussels sprouts, and fresh figs), a raw zucchini pasta with their new Superfood Pesto, and a Mediterranean-style Vegetable Pie. Yum.

You can count on The Regal Vegan for a good spread.

I was excited to see Vegan Divas there. I am rarely in the Upper East Side, so I have not yet made it to their storefront, but I recently got their cookbook and I LOVE it. Very inspiring, decadent, yet fairly easy to make recipes, mostly sweets but some nice light lunch ideas as well. They were giving out samples of their incredibly rich and moist brownies and mini donuts. 

These divas know what they are doing.

Truth be told, I didn't discover a whole lot of new things at The Seed, and I was starting to feel a little "been there, done that," about the event. One vendor that I did discover, though, was this Nicobella organic chocolate company. They had a selection of truffles with interesting flavors like pumpkin chai, blueberry almond, and sunflower butter banana. 

And they also had these Lime Basil Truffles, which were so good I had to take a package home. The basil is fairly assertive at first bite, then mellows out and allows the subtle lime tang to come through. I never had this flavor combination in a chocolate before, and I liked it a lot.

I didn't try these Marty's Vegan Fast Food burgers, but they looked really good and were a huge hit with others I heard from. I am hoping to see these again soon, maybe at another event, because I definitely want to try them. 

I had to make a choice, you see, between burgers and dogs, and I went with the very buzzed-about Yeah Dawgs, a vegan (duh) pop-up hot dog cart. I've been hearing so much about these vegan dogs and I was excited to finally get to try one. It's kind of a thing, being a New Yorker, and never getting to enjoy that quintessential New York experience of buying a hot dog from a cart. Now vegans can do that too, and as usual, we do it WAY fucking better than regular people eating "real" hot dogs. (Sorry, somehow talking about New York and hot dogs brings out the trash mouth in me. I hope my mom isn't reading this.)

Hell yeah, dawg.
These hand-made hot dogs are soy- and gluten-free, made with "a blend of root vegetables, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, gluten-free flours, herbs and spices." Now, I have to be completely honest here and say that while the flavor of the hot dog itself was good, I wish that it had a bit more "bite" to it, texturally speaking. It was a little too soft and I wanted it to have that hot dog "snap," more like the Tofurky or Field Roast sausages, but that can be tough because both of those brands are soy/gluten-based. But where Yeah Dawgs rock my world are with the toppings. I have NEVER had a better-dressed dog, that is for sure. I got a "Classic" with the works, which comes with TWO homemade sauerkrauts (classic and ruby red), plus TWO homemade pickles (cucumber and pineapple!), plus I threw some spicy mustard, pickled jalapenos, and a sprinkle of coconut bacon on there, for extra good measure. All I can say is, fuck yeah, that was a good dawg. (Note to self: pickled pineapple might be the greatest topping ever created. Why have I never had this before?!) 

I ended my day with a stop by the DF Mavens table. I'm a huge fan of their rich, creamy ice cream so, prepared to buy myself a scoop, I was delighted to discover that they were giving it out for free. Free ice cream is the greatest thing in the world, except for my two gorgeous children and maybe my gorgeous husband. 

I got a scoop of their Mint Cookie and a scoop of their Key Lime. The Key Lime is my favorite, I love the contrast of the cool creaminess with the refreshing lime tang, but their Mint Cookie totally rocked my world too. I actually thought I was getting a scoop of mint chip, you know, the regular kind with chocolate chips or flakes in it, but this was SO MUCH better. It's a very refreshing mint flavor with big hunks of Oreo-type cookies in it. Now they are both my favorite flavors and will have to compete for my affections.

And they are both Dahlia-approved.


  1. So happy that you enjoyed and thanks for the write up!

  2. Happy you're back Leinana!