Back in early May, my friend Kat and I (same one doing the ultra with me in August) were chatting over Facebook about some new vegan recipes. (She also happens to be a Scott Jurek-devotee, hence the meatless slant.) Our other friend Michele joined the conversation and casually asked if she could come over while we are cooking, since the recipes sounded so good. We laughed, traded dates, and then suddenly...
...VeganFest 2014 was born.
(You are probably wondering - when did Kim become vegan? That's a great question. It will be addressed in tomorrow's blog entry along with a number of other pressing concerns in "So...Are You Vegan Now?")
The food - let's get back to the food. It's really amazing what you can do without meat or dairy. And at the end of the night, I realized I wasn't worried about spoilage or the food sitting out too long. There was no risk of meat going bad, the mayo turning, or cheese developing that oily surface. There was just an overabundance of healthy, veggie-based dishes, each more colorful than the next.
Check it out:
As I told a friend the next day, it was meta.
Paul Graham, the "Vegan King of Las Vegas" and purveyor of that pasta, was also in attendance. He recently wrote a book called "Vegan Eats in Vegas" and is known as the authority figure on all things vegan here. (check out his blog: http://eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com) I had no idea but Nacho Daddy has a vegan nacho option or every single restaurant in the Wynn has a vegan menu. Nice. So many great places to go without feeling like you are the only one not diving into the petite filet or cheese appetizer. I commented to him how zen the night felt and he replied, "When you take animal products out of the equation, kindness emanates."
The overall consensus was VeganFest must go on. Maybe in the fall months when it's a bit cooler (and I'm not getting up at 4:30 to run). I'd love to host again. Best, what I learned the most is meat-eating friends should definitely come. This is not an exclusionary event. The amount of ideas exchanged in that five hour block of time would help anyone with meal-planning options/getting healthier, whether you are meat-free everyday or just on Monday. Or very, very rarely, like my husband.
I can state with authority - Brian had a good time too. Yes, he went to BBQ with Scotty and Uncle Jim before the party and yes, he posted on Facebook (for the fifth time in his entire Facebook presence) that they ingested "a whole chicken and half of a pig." But by the time he got home, put the boy to bed and grabbed a beer, he had fun chatting with everyone, too.
See? Kindness emanating. Everywhere.
Carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore...everyone is welcome. :-)