Thursday, September 23, 2010

I See Veg People!

I had an amazing time at the Portland Vegfest last weekend! And I can't believe that it took me almost a whole week to write about it. It was so wonderful to see so many of my vegan friends from near and far there! I hadn't seen my dear friend, Dr. Michael Klaper in many years, and it was a joyful reunion!

And after five years of online camaraderie, finally meeting my virtual buddy, Kyle Vincent was also a special treat! He's such a sweet, compassionate, and funny guy!

Vegan bodybuilder, Robert Cheeke, is living proof that you don't need to eat meat, eggs, or dairy to have a strikingly beautiful muscular body. Wehn I first me Robert five years ago, he was living here in the Willamette Valley. Now he's down in Los Angeles living in vegan heaven. I didn't tell him, but I am insanely envious! He thoughtfully signed a copy of his new book, Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness for me, and I am really looking forward to reading it!

My very favorite acquisition from VegFest was this nifty button, a cute homage to the movie, The Sixth Sense, and a very thoughtful gift from my Naughty Vegan friend, Jeff Rogers. 

Wearing it in a room filled with vegans was lots of fun, but wearing it out in the real world gives it a whole other meaning. I like to think of it as an exercise in creative manifestation.

Saturday night, my friend, Ken Viscidi, and I went to Blossoming Lotus and had ourselves an amazing dinner! We started with  two sensational appetizers: Live Nachos and a Creamy Pesto and White Bean Dip. They were beyond scrumptious!

Ken and I both had big eyes and growly tummies for the many plates of Four Cheese Lasagna that were carried past us, while we waited more than 45 minutes for our table. (It was worth the wait!) But by the time we were seated, they were all out of lasagna, so we had to quickly make two other choices.  Ken opted for Black Bean Chili Quesadillas, but I hungered for something a little different and ordered the Crispy Thai BBQ Salad. I'm a sucker for anything with the initials "BBQ" in the name, and mixed greens, crispy rice sticks, curried cashews, and Thai spiced barbecue soy curls topped with a creamy ginger dressing and toasted coconut sounded irresistible.

After my very first forkful, I declared it the best salad I have ever eaten!
With so many tasty-looking dessert choices, it was difficult to choose just one. But I was already quite full, so I asked Ken to choose and said that I would take a bite of whatever he ordered. He brilliantly chose the Blood Orange Live Cheesecake. Now I would have played it safe and selected the Key Lime Cheesecake. But not Ken, God bless him! He went for broke.

Ken and I both took a bite and just gave each other a wide-eyed look. We couldn't believe how powerful the orange flavor was, and I had to ask our waitress if they used some kind of orange extract or oil to give it that amazing flavor. She told us that there was nothing orange in the cake, other than the blood oranges. If you can imagine what the brilliant red color of that cake might taste like, that's exactly what it tasted like—an explosion of blood orange! Needless to say, I couldn't stop at just "a bite," and Ken thoughtfully allowed me to eat half of his cake. I can't wait to go back to Blossoming Lotus again!

I didn't forget that in my last post I promised to share the recipe for Carrot Apple Muffins I came across on We still have lots of apples on our little tree, and so we're still enjoying our happy little harvest! So here's the recipe. These are really quite lovely for breakfast.


• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups finely grated carrots
• 2 large apples - peeled, cored and shredded
• 6 teaspoons egg replacer (dry)
• 1 1/4 cups applesauce
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil or 1 banana, mashed
• 1/3 cup raisins (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl combine brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in carrot and apple; mix well.
3. In a small bowl whisk together egg substitute, applesauce and oil. Stir into dry ingredients.
4. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.


Nancy said...

Any chance of getting the recipe for the blood orange cheesecake?

Helen said...

I have to stop visiting your blog. It always makes me hungry! You look like you had a great time at Vegfest! And all the food at Blossoming Lotus looks incredible.

GiGi said...

What fun! Looks like a blast with great food, awesome veganites and that button is great!!!

JL goes Vegan said...

Great post! Looks like a great time at the fest! I definitely need to make those muffins!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a very delicious time last weekend! And those muffins look great! Can't wait to make them.

VeganMarr said...

OMG! EVERY, SINGLE, DISH you had at BL looks scrumptious! Wow. And Im not surprised it was just blood oranges...they can stain your hands like cherries can. Strong color & taste! Yum!! I hope they open a restaurant in LA!! Maybe u could be ther chef, Gail! Move ya down here!!! ;-)

And yes, Robert is a GREAT example of vegan muscle!!

And I'm so glad you got to see Michael, he's the sweetest!

Vegiegail said...

Hi Nancy! I doubt it, but I'd love that recipe, too! I'd also love to know how they get their soy curls to taste like they did in that salad! They were incredible!

Anonymous said...

That button is great! And the muffins look very moist and delicious.

Sayward Rebhal said...

Oh, I <3 BL so much! And Lori's live cheesecakes are my favorite desserts in the world. I've never had one that didn't leave me in awe.

Yay for VegFest!

Anonymous said...

When I had that salad in Portland, I also said it was the best salad I'd ever had!