But WHAT Do You EAT?: Vegetarian Summerfest FOOD 2011!

Summerfest was wonderful (which is an understatement) for many reasons, but one of the cherry-on-top bonuses of the week had to be that the college cafeteria was turned into a 100% vegan buffet for every meal. 

Every meal had a featured hot dish line, soup, fully stocked salad bar with homemade dressings (and extras like nutritional yeast and three kinds of lettuce!), a raw foods station, a gluten-free station, and several kinds of pizzas covered in Teese or Daiya. WOW.

(*Note: They do not offer coffee. Herbal green teas and juice like crazy, but for coffee you have to sneak off campus and drive a half mile up the road to stupid Starbucks. Which for some folks -ahem- needed to happen because the 4-5 hours of sleep every night made waking up difficult. Next year, BYO coffee pot.)

I took photos of almost every meal I had, and wanted to share them with you in case you are in a bit of a cooking/lunch idea/dinner menu slump. I may not remember everything exactly as it was, but I can tell you it was delicious and there is such a fun novelty of eating and not having to ask about ingredients, etc..

And now the real reason you’re here, the food!

Bean chili over quinoa with gluten free cornbread and sauteed greens. Mushroom pizza. Salad with the BEST RAW DRESSING OH MY GOSH.

A lunch.

 

Breakfast potatoes, mixed veggie millet, and fruit. Salad with lemon tahini dressing. Carrot muffin.

A breakfast.

This was my lunch after breakfast, a cooking demo with food samples, and hanging out at the vita-mix table… I opted for a mostly-raw lunch. The wrap is a savory tofu salad, and the raw foods plate is explained below.

A lunch.

They served raw food meals every day!

Sign explaining the above photo.

 

Salad, sauteed kale, pizza, veggie fritter, spicy cashew curry, raw peach soup, butterscotch cake.

A dinner.

Vegetable and tofu casserole, rice with a red pepper sauce, stromboli, salad with vegan thousand island dressing.

A lunch.

 

Baked BBQ tofu, collard greens, fresh herb and soup, pizza, salad, whipped berry dessert.

A dinner.

Potato bar! Sweet potato with tofu sour scream and PEANUT SAUCE THAT WAS INCREDIBLE, salad, bean and grains bake, garlic pizza, olive and tomato soup, cocoa cupcake.

A lunch.

 

FRENCH ONION SOUP!!!!!, unlimited Gardein baked chicken (*note: this was hilarious and weird because they are so much like chicken a lot of people were freaking out and thinking someone played a cruel joke), pasta and salad.

A dinner.

Pancakes with plums and cherries, grits, brown rice (got carried away with the sauce, woopsies), fruit and Field Roast sausage!  Plus the aforementioned coffee. 

A breakfast.

 

You’ll find this interesting: despite eating very well at every meal, noshing on cooking demo samples and lingering around the Vita-Mix guys several times a day… I lost weight. 

I thought it was just in my head, but my clothes were looser and upon returning home, one of the first things Ryan said to me mid-spooning was, “Where did your belly go?”     AH, THE POWER OF A PLANT-BASED DIET.

 

People Sanctuary: Summerfest Update

Bitten by bugs. Oh the irony.

I’m briefly updating from the steps of my dorm at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus. I just got back from an hour long hike and the sun is setting.

I imagine it will take me some time to find the words to convey what it’s like to be here, this place that has transformed from regular (albeit quite beautiful) college campus to vegan sanctuary/utopia/life education center for a week. One thing all the speakers keep talking about is this notion of continuing to be an ambassador when this week is over: to take the tools and knowledge gathered here to share with as many people as will listen. And to those who don’t want to listen, to plant the seed of compassion.

During the past month, I felt as though I hit… not a wall, but a plateau in my own cooking and recipe developing, my desire to consistently improve myself mentally and physically, and in general motivation to use time efficiently. Don’t get me wrong, great things have happened – getting my food in a local cafe for customers to purchase, making an offer on a home for me and Ryan (dogs! babies! maybe! I don’t know!), building stronger relationships with beautiful people, and so much more – all of which I am grateful for and do not take for granted.

But I needed something and I believe I am finding it here, or I am finding the pieces here that help me put more of it together. We have a responsibility to ourselves to live with intent.

And I feel inspired, hopeful. I feel it when I see the children, vegan since birth, so happy and healthy running around talking about how much they love their dogs. I feel it when I talk to the couple in their late 60’s who started plant-based diets seven years ago and have since been able to get off all medications. Or when I meet the people from my own community and we plan potlucks and outings to take once we are back home. I feel it in the enthusiasm of cookbook authors and personal chefs, talking about their personal journeys and telling myself “I can do this”.

And right now, literally just seconds before I typed this sentence, a woman walking into the building stopped near me and said, “You look so peaceful right now”.

When I’m done here, I’m going to meet some folks for a Skywatching class. People wish on stars on I have so many new wishes to make, while remembering that it is us who have the real power to make things happen. And we will.

Sleep well,

Jaime K

 

 

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION: Off to Vegan Summer Camp!

For many years, I’ve seen the full page ads for Vegetarian Summerfest in VegNews and Vegetarian Times magazines. Somehow this incredible several-day conference was held not in California, or NYC…  but just a few hours away on the other side of Pennsylvania.

 This conference which I’ve affectionately dubbed “Vegan summer camp” is five days living at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus, in the dorms, attending workshops, listening to speakers, watching cooking demos, joining workout classes, meeting new people (including lots of families – veg kids are my favorite!), brainstorming world betterment, and rubbing elbows with personal heroes.

Here is an excellent blog post chronicling someone’s experience last year. 

Oh, and guys? Every single meal is an all vegan buffet that includes pizza (daiya cheese heaven!), two well-stocked salad bars, gluten free foods AND raw foods, and ever-changing entrees.

So, on that note, I hear they have a 6am bootcamp workout class…

What I am most looking forward to is being able to meet, hug, and converse with my biggest personal hero and likewise main inspiration for starting Save the Kales, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  Here is Colleen’s website, and here’s a video of her talking about her new book coming out next month. I have so much love in my heart for her and for the wonderful work she does every day.

I’ll be back next week with so much goodness to share. Check in on the STK facebook page to get Summerfest updates in real time!