Who knew that in the great state of steak, I’d be waiting in line for 20 minutes to get my hands on a vegan frito pie? Well that’s exactly what I did on Sunday afternoon at the Texas State Veggie Fair. It seems I may not be so alone as a Texan gone vegan after all. The turnout to this event was impressive to say the least.
Jared and I took Jackson and soaked up some hippie love, beautiful scenery, and some delicious food. Sometimes I worry that I’m not vegan enough for stuff like this. After all, my shoes had leather, and my make up was probably tested on animals. I joked that I hoped we didn’t get fake blood thrown at our leather shoes, but I was so pleased to see how respectful and kind everyone was. It made me proud to be a part of that group and a little less intimidated to call myself a “vegan.” (Though technically, I’m just a strict vegetarian.)
We checked out the booths first. I bought some awesome disposable spoons from Eco Dallas made out of potatoes called Spudware. Totally cool and much better quality than the plastic ones! The “paper products” are made from cane sugar instead of trees too. I’m so inspired by people who get an idea and go for it. I have ideas all the time, but follow through is another story!
Of course, food is the reason one comes to a state fair, right? It’s rare that we go anywhere that I can order something without making a modification or questioning the ingredients. To be in a place and walk up to any vendor, order anything off the menu, and not ask a single question was a dream come true. There were so many choices: corn dogs, funnel cakes, indian food, fresh squeezed juice, tamales, but Jared is a sucker for Spiral Diner‘s nacho cheese and was craving a frito pie. I wanted to try a corn dog and funnel cake but their line was SO long so I stuck with Jared and we ordered Frito Pie, Nachos, and a Pumpkin Cupcake from Spiral Diner. Not a lot of veggies…but definitely worthy of fair food.
We met a cool guy while standing in line that went vegan three years ago. His wife was raised on a cattle ranch and isn’t thrilled about him cutting meat out of his diet, but he does all the cooking so she can’t complain much (and even eats vegan at home). They still haven’t told her meat-loving family for fear of what they’ll think. We were definitely a little afraid to tell our families and it hasn’t all been easy, but it made me especially grateful that Jared and I are doing this together and have each other’s back. It would be really tough if I didn’t have his support and I imagine that could be even harder for a guy who’s wife doesn’t understand.
After we ate, Jared had to leave to go to work (boo to coaches meetings every Sunday afternoon), but Jackson and I weren’t done with the fun. Well I guess Jackson needed a little break
I took advantage of my sleeping baby and went to a Raw Food demo by Amber Shea of the Almost Vegan blog. It was probably good timing to hear the benefits of raw food, because it’s about to cool down here in Texas (I hope!) and when that happens I tend to want to skip the fresh veggies and go for something warm and toasty. I’m not interested in going completely raw, but I’d love to learn some new techniques for making veggies taste great while preserving their nutrients.
Amber showed us how to make massaged kale salad with tahini dressing. I’ve heard of massaging kale with dressing and attempted it a few times, but I didn’t realize that you really need to give that kale a deep tissue massage, not just a pansy little swedish massage. The more you massage, the softer the kale becomes and it shrinks down too. The result resembles the texture if you sauteed it for a few minutes.
After the demo, I was feeling so good about eating my veggies that I headed for the NadaMoo Ice Cream booth. OMG. Coconut Milk is THE way to go when it comes to non-dairy ice cream. So creamy and delicious. I tried both chocolate and vanilla, but as much as I love a good dark chocolate bar, vanilla always wins in my book when we’re talking ice cream.
While I’d spent my afternoon indulging in a total food fest, Jackson was now ready for his lunch too. I found a quiet spot with an outdoor yoga class behind me, a huge old tree spreading out to the right of me, an adorable family picnicing to the left of me, a running trail filled with inspiring athletes and a sailboat-filled lake in front of me. I sat in the grass, fed my baby the best stuff on earth (no I don’t mean Snapple), and smiled at how good life was in that moment.