Lula and I hit the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival in Chelsea yesterday to find ourselves in perfect company with vegan cookies, ice-creams and cheeses, plus more substantive treats like homemade seitan and chickpea-flour fritatas—and a good lookin’ crowd of compassionate eaters from toddlers to seniors. Some of our favorite vegan eats, in no particular order, were:
V-Spot‘s Colombian empanadas—filled with spicy seitan, corn and carrots, from Park Slope’s Fifth Ave veggie cafe (currently renovating and reopening this spring). Delicious!
Goodie Girl Tribeca cookies—pitch-perfect chocolate-mint cookies, inspired by (and miraculously mimicking) Girl Scout Thin Mints, made by NYC’s own Shira Berk. They were even gluten-free.
Raw Ice Cream Company‘s ice creams—made from a basic blend of raw cashews, raw coconut, raw cocoa, agave and various flavorings; we indulged in the chocolate (what else?) and OMG! So wonderfully decadent.
Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows—we’ve been obsessed with these for months ever since they first appeared on the shelves at our local health-food store, and it was awesome to meet the genius candy-lady behind them (and stuff our faces with her addictive s’mores while we were at it).
Lizzmonade—fresh lemonade blended with fresh pineapple and strawberries, sweetened with agave. Lula especially loved sucking it down with the fat purple straw!
It was a satisfying afternoon, both mentally and gastronomically. But, interestingly enough: Today we hit the Purim Carnival at the JCC (which we adore)—a mob scene, though a joyous one—where Lula experienced her very first cotton candy (gag!). She loved it, of course, seemingly just as much as the vegan marshmallows. And while the traditional treat would’ve served as a sweetly ironic and amusing footnote to the weekend, the carnival’s petting zoo did not. Terrified rabbits and reptiles, fenced off in the middle of the insanely crowded, loud, bouncy-house–filled gymnasium, sat cowering from the overexcited toddlers “petting” them. So unnecessary. So disheartening. So much still to explain to my little veggie girl.
Thank you, NYC Food Fest, for making compassionate eating the norm this weekend.