I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was at the Natural Foods Expo in Anaheim, CA. Well, I STILL have more to share about that but got behind because I threw my back out! So… please stay tuned for more on that and thanks for your patience!
This past weekend, I was at the Vegan Street Fair in North Hollywood, CA with the family. It was a gorgeous sunny and very yummy day! Before I get too behind in everything I wanted to share that with you!
I love the VSF because it makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – I can eat EVERYTHING! (Well, except when they make it spicy. Or add raw onions, or *shudder* cilantro! LOL! But that’s just my personal preference!) But I’m getting ahead of myself. Read on to see all the yummy food I found!
And as for my ‘photos’ above… apologies for the mostly eaten pizza and summer rolls (and missing taco!) but I was having too yummy a time to stop and take photos. I think that’s the sign of a successful event! “Disclaimer: too tasty to photograph!”
Also, be sure to read to the very end because I have a super SPECIAL DEAL for ALL of you (who live in the U.S.). It’s something I do and now you can do too… even cheaper! 🙂 Because really, who doesn’t want less expensive healthy food!!!
Anyway, here are my favorites from the fair:
- Donut Friend
Of course I hit up Donut Friend. If I lived any closer to Highland Park, I’d be in big trouble 😉 This is one of my favorite TREAT spots! We seem to always take out-of-towners here (whether they are vegan or not!). TOO good not too!
- Rock ‘n Roll Pizza
Impressively good vegan cheese pizza (and that’s coming from a New Yorker!). My toddler LOVED it (and she will ONLY eat NYC pizza! True story. Well, she was born there!) 🙂 I have yet to find a better vegan ‘cheese’ slice on the West coast! It was VERY cheesy!
I remember loving this place last year (at Vegan Street Fair 2016) and put it on my “must visit” list this year. I was NOT disappointed! The strawberry yoga-urt (with strawberries on top) was to die for! Their ice creams are made with a blend of cashew and almond milks plus probiotics, which almost makes it a health food, right? 🙂 We also got the chocolate, green tea and peanut butter flavors because… um… ‘healthy food’, right? 😉 Honestly, I wanted to go back for another scoop of strawberry but the toddler was having a meltdown and we HAD to leave to go to the park, as promised!
- One Veg World
I like to think I’m a connoisseur of summer rolls. I get them whenever they are on the menu because I LOVE them. My favorite ones are located right outside of Boston but these ‘might’ be my new favorite on on the West coast! I had their super fresh Summer Rolls & a Thai Iced Tea. The summer rolls were so good, I had seconds (and out of all FOUR rolls I ate, I got a photo of my last bite)! And although I had a sip of the tea, it’s one of my hubby’s favorites so he finished it before I got a chance to have any more!
- Southern Fried Vegan
I had the quinoa & beans with coleslaw and “chicken”. I’m not the biggest fan of fake meat, but as an occasion treat, particularly in a dish like this, it can be yummy! Unfortunately, I never got a chance to try this one… my toddler ate it all! (not pictured)
- Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen
By the time I made it to Yvonne’s, I was “sweeted” out for the day. Fortunately, her vegan cheese & crackers were really tasty, and made the perfect snack for the car ride home! (Hubby & toddler liked it as much as I did! The plate was gone before we even got off the 170!)
- Califia Farms
In addition to being a shaded place to breast feed, the VIP tent was stocked with Califia’s new line of flavored almond milks! Already a fan…. we use their Better Half (coconut cream & almond milk) in our teas and lattes at home! I had a Matcha (naturally), Hubby had a Nitro Mocha coffee & nitrogen drink that he enjoyed, and the toddler tried the Vanilla Vegan Protein. She loved it, but managed to spill half of it on my pants (not a drop got on her!), so I’m calling that one a draw.
- Humm Kombucha
Besides the almond milk drinks, the VIP tent had kombucha samples from Humm. Real fruit ingredients, plus a bunch of B vitamins made me intrigued. I have to say, the lemon ginger and coconut lime were YUM!
- Two Birds Baking Co.
I was intrigued by their promise of vegan Ding Dongs (a favorite of mine as a kid growing up in NJ)! I think the taste was really close, but if you want to get technical, I would say this looks more like a Hostess Cupcake than a Ding Dong! 😉
- Trejo’s Tacos
The roasted cauliflower tacos were really good! Not spicy, which is always a danger for me with tacos. My toddler ate more than half of it as well, so they’re doing something right! (not pictured)
So there’s my list. The icing on the cake though was the swag bag! I’ll have to save that run-down for another day, but I was really impressed with the variety and quality they packed in there!
There were 30+ more booths on my wish list, but we had to cut our snacking short. A hot, sunny day + 20,000 people + and a toddler who really needed to get out and run around meant we couldn’t stay and browse/eat ALL day. Although I thought it was great that they had ‘kid’ stations with games and activities. She loved playing ‘football’ – watch out Tom Brady! (video to be posted on IG soon!) The baby was hiding in the VIP tent with her shades on, away from all the paparazzi! 🙂
(And for full disclosure, at the moment I don’t think she’s vegan. I saw her eating Sophie the Giraffe, stuffed Zebra AND her stuffed Bunny! :)- Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.)
Can’t find these places/products at home?
Maybe reading about the fair above (with 20,ooo+ attendees!) makes you think about adopting more of a plant-based diet yourself. Or maybe hearing about the crucial health and environmental benefits from your doctor, newspaper, news show, friend, relative or me has been making you think more about plant based eating. Maybe you know you should incorporate more HEALTHY foods and that can really HEAL YOUR BODY with what you eat and you’re excited to try … BUT you live somewhere that doesn’t have many healthy options?
I know in many of my newsletters and recipes, I mention how plant based, organic, season and locally sourced ingredients are the goal, but not everyone has a Whole Foods, Erewhorn Organic Market, food co-op, farmers’ market or Community Supported Agriculture available to them.
If you don’t, Thrive Market is an online source of vegan and organic options when your local market is limited. If you’ve never tried it, use this link for 25% off + free shipping!
Thrive Market cites lack of access to organic, gluten free and vegan options in places without a Whole Foods or a health-food co-op as one of the reasons they exist. (They even carry the vegan egg from Follow Your Heart, who I saw at the Natural Products Expo West! 🙂
I live in a major city surrounded by healthy options but as a busy mom of 2 with my own business, I find placing an online order at my convenience (read: in my PJ’s at 9:45pm!) saves me time and energy I can use to spend on YOU or quality time with my family.
I hope you find it as helpful as I do!