Chicago Veggie Fest 2012

Chicago Veggie Fest Challenge

Chicago Veggie Fest Challenge

Chicago Veggie Fest 2012


By Heather Pinkett (guest blogger)

Expecting a small festival with a few food vendors and information booths, I drove 1.5 hrs outside of Chicago into the burbs. Veggie Fest 2012 pleasantly surprised me, with more than 50 tents and booths erected on a large plot of land in Naperville, IL. This Chicago vegetarian/vegan festival proved to be a cornucopia of food and fun.

From the animal friendly veg hipsters to health conscious locals, the field was crowded Sunday afternoon with hundreds of participants carrying free canvas green and yellow promo bags filled with vegetarian snacks.

Chicago Veggie Fest Poster

Chicago Veggie Fest Poster

The focus of this year’s event was “Take the Vegetarian Challenge”, where at the main booth participants could pledge to eat vegetarian for a week. For those who have a hard time transitioning into vegetarian cooking, there was even a vendor that would make the transition easy by delivering everything you need to make delicious vegetarian dinners from scratch (Meezmeals).

Chicago Veggie Fest Eat Vegan on $4 a Day

Chicago Veggie Fest Eat Vegan on $4 a Day

Chicago Veggie Fest Talks

Chicago Veggie Fest Talks

Chicago Veggie Fest 1st Art Show

Chicago Veggie Fest 1st Art Show

Veggie Fest also provided food demos, notably Ellen Jones author of Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook. Ellen started out with her motto “ beans, grains and greens” recommending listeners buy “dry and in bulk” for the best discounts. As a daughter and niece of breast cancer survivors, her life focus became how to avoid breast cancer. While preparing a dish for the audience, she shares how she made the decision to look at her current eating habits and embark on a diet without meat. Through her interactions with converts, she finds that long term vegans have a better success rate if becoming vegan is associated with health issues.

Chicago Veggie Fest Justice for Animals

Chicago Veggie Fest Justice for Animals

Chicago Veggie Fest 2012 Live Music

Chicago Veggie Fest 2012 Live Music

For Ellen, the biggest complaint was from individuals who are trying to convert to a vegan lifestyle is the expense of being vegan. At this demo, Ellen made load ’em up tortillas with fire roasted tomatoes, rice, flour tortes, mushrooms, green onions, carrots, salad, with the objective of eating all the colors of the rainbow. The audience appreciated snacking on the samples passed around while asking questions that ranged from cooking a balanced protein filled meal to discount shopping tips.

While the talks were great, clearly the main attraction is the food at Veggie Fest! With an eclectic mix of international foods, I sampled Indian, Japanese and American cuisine with plenty of desserts to please the pallet. There were also vendor food products sold at Veggie Fest where I nibbled on Carne De Soya Soy meat (Mexican vegetarian cuisine) or chewed on a handful of hemp pellets (not so tasty). After perusing my options, I devoured sushi from Sensei’s Veggie Sushi Parlour and doubled back for the delectably seasoned kebabs’ at Sizzlin Veggie Kebabs’.

The festival had a great balance between food vendors, educational tents, how to go vegan and compassionate choices. Not to forget about the social aspects of being a vegetarian, the festival came complete with The Chicago Vegetarian Society for those looking to attend events and make connections with other vegan/vegetarian members.

There was also a children’s tent, meditation center and even live music with the Giving Tree Band. The day was filled with delectable vegan goodies and plenty of entertainment and educational activities. Well worth the drive to Veggie Fest 2012

Chicago Veggie Fest Sushi

Chicago Veggie Fest Sushi

Chicago Veggie Fest Kabobs

Chicago Veggie Fest Kabobs

Comments are closed.

 

 

Contact Us

Fields marked (*) are compulsory

Follow Us:

Facebook & Twitter