Portland VegFest 2010 and a Giveaway!!!!!!!

Hey everybody! I hope you’re all enjoying the last weekend of summer. It’s raining in Portland and I couldn’t be happier! Tim and I spent a decent chunk of our day at Portland’s 2010 VegFest, which seems to grow bigger each year. There were heaps of vendors, exhibitors, and some amazing speakers. The event lasts two days but I am pretty sure I got more than my fill in one day! We sampled treats ranging from Equal Exchange Chocolates, Wild Wood Smoked Tofu, Dave’s Killer Breads, Doctor Kracker, Coconut Bliss, Numi Teas, Amy’s Mac-n-Cheese, Genesis Juices, Galaxy Rice Cheeses, Earnest Bars, Blossoming Lotus’ Live Fudge, Tempt Hemp Milk, Chicago Soy Dairy’s Nacho Cheese and Dandies, Heidi Ho Organics Cheeses (a new local Portland company!!!), and a medley of other yummy delights. It’s quite possible that I revisited some of the tables more than once (or twice).

The growing crowd wandering tables at VegFest

Flapping my arms with glee over my love for broccoli (note the circular tile by my feet)

With tummies full, we headed across the hall to watch Tal Ronnen do a live chef demo. This may have been my favorite part of the day. It’s always fun watching a professional chef prepare delicious foods (some of which we were able to sample!). Chef Ronnen was extremely personable, entertaining, and mesmerizing to watch. He prepared two recipes from his book, The Conscious Cook, Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples (so gooooood!) and Quinoa, Avocado, and Sweet Potato Timbale with Roasted Tomatillo Dressing. Tim and I weren’t able to get a seat in the crowded room, but we did get to stand in the back with an unobstructed view of Chef Ronnen. Here are some photos I took:

Chopping celery root

Tossing celery root into pot over imaginary flame

Making rich cashew cream for the soup

A nice bowl of sweet potatoes for the fancy salad

Dicing avocado

Molding the salad

Dotting the soup with Chive Oil (yeah, that’s right, Chive Oil!)

The finished salad (I was too far away to get a nice, focused shot, but you get the idea, right?)

Overall Tim and I had a lot of fun. I came home with a bag full of samples and treats. And guess what? I collected enough to share with one lucky reader!!!! Yeah!! Here’s what you could win:

* The October 2010 issue of VegNews magazine
* Steel Cut Oats and Muesli from Bob’s Red Mill
* Coconut Cream and Cherry Pie mini Lara Bars
* Earnest Eats mini Almond Trail Mix Bar
* A bread bag clip and measuring scoop from Bob’s Red Mill
* Tons of coupons for super vegan food items (Manitoba Harvest, Coconut Bliss, Wildwood Organics, Amy’s Organics, Emerald Valley, Lotus Foods, Galaxy Nutritional Foods, etc)
* Pins from Chicago Soy Dairy
* Stickers!
* Bragg Nutritional Yeast sample
* A nifty little pen from Amy’s Organics
* A packet of shelled hemp seeds from Manitoba Harvest

And, I’ll even throw in one of my handmade cards! Woohoo!! ┬áTo enter your name in the giveaway, leave a comment telling me about one of your favorite vegan food items. Easy as heck! I will choose a winner on Sunday, September 26th. Please note: due to shipping costs, this giveaway is only open to folks in the US, I’m sorry :(