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VegFest 2016! A Big Success!

Big crowds came out to enjoy great food, informative presentations, and cruelty-free shopping!  

Attendees browse the many unique vendors

The Best Mac and Cheese in Michigan from Detroit Vegan Soul

The Best Mac and Cheese in Michigan from Detroit Vegan Soul

John Salley talks about living a better life.

John Salley talks about living a better life.

Let them eat cake!

Free cake samples! Yum!

The Carnival Room was fun for the kids!

The Carnival Room was fun for the kids!

SPICED PUMPKIN SOUP

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric 
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
 
1. Heat the oil in a large pot, and then add the onion and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until onion is soft, about five minutes.  Add the turmeric, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.  Cook over medium heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Add salt as needed.
 
2. Whisk in the vegetable stock, pumpkin, maple syrup, and lemon juice.  Simmer 15 minutes.
 
3. Stir in the milk, and then puree the soup in a blender in two or three batches until very smooth.  You may also use an immersion blender to achieve the same results. DO NOT ALLOW SOUP TO BOIL!

Om Cafe

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An Interview with Om Cafe

By Renee Ratliff

DSC_0098Anyone who thinks vegan food consists of only granola and salad has never been to Om Café. Nestled in the heart of Ferndale, the restaurant was started in 1985 with the idea and hopes of bringing healthy tasting food to the community, healing from the inside out. Om Café offers many vegan menu items, including beloved standards like the el mexicano entrée salad with tofu and option of seitan, and ever-changing specials like vegan mac-n-cheese.

DSC_0113Right now we are witnessing a transition period in which people are becoming more aware of the benifits of good nutrition. Om Café believes in the importance of continuing to push the envelope to offer cuisine that is both nutritious and delicious. They believe that it is a blessing to be able to serve meals based on whole natural foods, minimizing processed foods so that customers are able to know the exact ingredients that were put into their order.  Om Café has also been offering macrobiotic menu selections from the start.

The key to their delicious menu is to knowing every ingredient, and its source.

“It’s about the people; if nobody here cared then no one would come.” Said Jessica Norwood, General Manager  “We are here and waiting for people to try the delicious food, answer any questions, and meet any dietary concerns.”

DSC_0117For the employees it’s more than just a job. Everyone that works there has the inspiration and fire in them, it is part of their life and they want to share that. The manager also acts as the hostess when you enter the restaurant, thrilled to answer any question that you might have.  Any of the employees are happy to stop what they are doing to connect with someone in a special way. Even if that person never comes back, they just want to share that energy with them. 

DSC_0152Much of the food is organic, from markets including Westborn and Eastern Market. Specials are seasonal, focusing on salads and fruits in the summer, and soups and stews in the fall and winter. The buddhist priest stir fry is a menu favorite that has been around for 30 years, with rice or noodles sautéed with with a colorful assortment of six fresh vegetables, topped with basil, tamari and scallions. The Nori Rolls have been on the menu since the beginning, and are the perfect start to a meal or filling enough for the main feature. A more recent favorite is the house made cremini mushroom burger, a blend of mushrooms, walnuts and brown rice.   The soups are excellent, with one or two offerings that change daily. Finish off any meal with a selection of desserts, made special in house and practically impossible to pass on. New to the restaurant are the vegan pancakes which are featured on the Saturday breakfast menu. With so many options it is hard to choose.

Baked Acorn Squash Wedges

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Baked Acorn Squash Wedges

  • 2 medium acorn squashes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tsps. vegan butter spread

Using a sharp knife, cut each squash lengthwise in half and remove seeds and stringly membrane. Cut these in half for a total of 8 wedges. Sprinkle flesh side lightly with salt and pepper. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place squash wedges, flesh side up, in a large roasting pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the brown sugar mixture, followed by 1/2 teaspoon of vegan butter into the cavities of each. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil and serve.

Thanks-Living Stuffing Casserole

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Thanks-Living Stuffing Casserole

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cashews, finely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 2 cups seasoning dry stuffing (Pepperidge Farm brand is fine)
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute’ celery and onion until softened. Pour into a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Spread evenly into an oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cranberry Chutney Salad

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Cranberry Chutney Salad

  • 1  12-ounce back fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1  18-ounce jar orange marmalade
  • 1  8-ounce can crushed pineapple with liquid
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar 

Place cranberries and marmalade into a food processor and pulse until you get a course texture. Do not over-process into a sauce. Pour into a bowl and stir in the pineapple and sugar. Cover the bowl and allow to chill a day or two before serving. (Do not serve right away after preparing it – the flavors need time to develop).

AMBROSIA FRUIT SALAD

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AMBROSIA FRUIT SALAD 

· 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
· 1 naval orange, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite-sized pieces
· 1 ½ cups chopped organic strawberries
· 1 cup organic green grapes, halved
· 1 cup small vegan marshmallows (e.g. Dandee brand)
· ½ cup flaked coconut
· ¼ cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts)
· 1 6-ounce container vanilla Coconut Bliss yogurt
· 1 Tab. confectioners sugar
· 1 banana, sliced
 
Combine all ingredients together.
 
Chill before serving for best flavor.  Add bananas just before serving so they don’t turn brown.

The Lunch Room

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The Lunch Room

by Renee Ratliff

DSC_0016Ann Arbor’s popular eatery, The Lunch Room, sprung from the desire to offer quality vegan food at economical prices. Phillis Englebert and Joel Panozzo wanted to show that there is a market for an all-vegan restaurant and that vegan food can have wide appeal among the public.

A fast casual restaurant, orders are placed at the counter and food is brought to the tables. Mouthwatering baked goods greet you as you walk in the door. Recipes, made with quality local ingredients, grace the menu. With a staff that is friendly and eager to answer any questions, The Lunch Room demonstrates the perfect balance of atmosphere, service and quality food.  DSC_0005

The Lunch Room started as a pop-up restaurant around the Ann Arbor area. Englebert and Panozzo would prepare meals in Phyllis’ kitchen and then transport them to a local business, morphing it into a restaurant for several hours. The pop-up meals were offered in all different settings including homes, a floral shop and a tattoo parlor. Cafeteria trays were used to serve the food, providing a casual and fun way to present five different courses in each section on the tray.

Engelbert and Panozzo started their food cart May 2011 at Mark’s Carts. Leaving the food cart scene after the 2012 season, they decided on a restaurant as their next step. The restaurant officially opened in August 2013 in Kerrytown. Engelbert and Panozzo put their hearts into this completely custom space with 35 seats inside and 20 outside. An inviting atmosphere, a lot of the elements you see in the restaurant were carefully hand-crafted including cutting table tops, dipping skewers for decorations and painting.

“The best-part or the restaurant is the customers. Having people eat our food, watching the joy it brings.” says Panozzo “It makes all the difference to have hand-made food, and having people recognize that.”

DSC_0018On this completely vegan menu, some of the favorites include BBQ tofu sliders, tempeh Ruben, pad thai and the southwestern salad. All sandwiches can be made gluten-free, and so can many other menu items. Panozzo and Englebert strive to feature a dinner special each night of the week. Specials so far have included a UP night with pasties, sushi night, pizza night and sliders night. Located next to Ann Arbors farmers’ market, there is a commitment to purchase local food and produce. Dinner specials are adjusted to what is in season. Local fruit ends up in the bakery for seasonal creations.  On farmers-market days breakfast is served and there is brunch on Sundays.

The Lunch Room is a community place for all to come and enjoy really tasty, made-from-scratch vegan food. VegMichigan members receive a 10% discount by showing their membership card.

SMASHED SPLIT PEA AND BARLEY SOUP

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SMASHED SPLIT PEA AND BARLEY SOUP 

  • 3 Tabs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp. tamari
  • 1 Tab. dry white wine
  • 2 cups dried green split peas
  • 1/3 cup dry pearl barley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

 Saute onion, carrots and celery in the olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

 Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until everything is tender.

 Remove bay leaves.  With an immersion blender, “smash” half of the soup to make it creamy but leave some texture.

Jazzy Veggie gets creative without the meat

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Jazzy Veggie gets creative without the meat

by Renee Ratliff

DSC_0010Since the restaurant opened in November 2010 Jazzy Veggie has offered Ann Arbor typical American favorites without the meat. The goal was to open a restaurant that appeals to vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. A casual family place that offers typical favorites you grew up with, without having to worry what it is made from.

With a unique collection of items that are main-stream, the restaurant provides many options at an affordable price. “I wanted to jazz up the food,” said Ananth

Pullela, Jazzy Veggie owner, “Life is too short for bland food!” It is the comfort food you crave, without meat, that doesn’t look or sound “weird.”Brown Rice & Spinach Salad - JV

More of a café, this is the place to go if you are looking for somewhere to have a quick bite with burgers and sandwiches.  The restaurant provides a variety of vegan soups, salads, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and more. Place an order at the counter, then find a seat and the food is brought to you at your table. Menu favorites include vegan krab cakes, black bean burgers, sweet potato fries and a variety of pasta, grain and bean entrees.  Everything is cooked to order and never fried. What’s next for the restaurant… gluten free pizza!

Jazzy veggie is a unique option for the veggie community. Even better, VegMichigan members get 10% off with their membership card.

Jazzy Veggie is located at 108 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

October 12 Group Run, Breakfast and Book Signing with No Meat Athlete

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October 12 Group Run, Breakfast and Book Signing with No Meat Athlete

by Renee Ratliff

no meat athleteWhether the thought of participating in a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon or more excites you or makes you cringe, there’s no question that running takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Good nutrition and diet are key components in any runner’s training plan, and for some, that means a plant-based diet.

Vegan ultramarathoner and blogger Matt Frazier visits Ann Arbor, Saturday, October 12 to discuss his new book “No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self”, as well as talk about his active, vegan lifestyle. Copies of the book will be for sale, and the event includes a book signing.

Matt Frazier started nomeatathlete.com in 2009 to introduce people to this incredible, healthy, compassionate, sustainable way of life. Roughly around the same time he transitioned to a vegetarian diet, and qualified for the Boston Marathon six months later. In 2010, he ran his first 50-mile ultramarathon, and has since run several other marathons and ultras, including the recent 100-mile Burning River Endurance Run in Ohio. He credits his success and good health to a plant-based diet.

“I want to show athletes who aren’t yet vegetarian — but who are just curious enough that the title of the book intrigues them to pick it up — that this diet can absolutely work for sports.” Matt Frazier, “I want to help people who are already vegetarian/vegan/raw, but not active, to get in shape and discover the tremendous power in doing something they used to think impossible, and I want to give people who are already plant-based, already athletes, more tools to take both pursuits to the next level”

This free event is sponsored by VegMichigan, a nonprofit organization promoting awareness of the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. In conjunction with the October 12 event, local business Running Fit (at the corner of 4th Ave and E. Liberty) will be hosting group runs with Matt at 7:00 a.m. (for distances over 10 miles) and 7:30 a.m. (for distances under 10 miles). Anyone interested in running is invited to lace up and join them, no registration required! A vegan breakfast will be available at The Running Institute (connected next door to Running Fit) from 7:30-9:30 a.m. There will also be a discussion on his book and lifestyle at the Ann Arbor District Library starting at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Q & A session and book signing.

Event Details

Event Sponsors: Rnning Fit, The Running Institute, Ann Arbor District Library, Arbor Brewing Company, Whole Foods, Shimmy Shack, Jazzy Veggie, The Lunch Room, Seva

Please Visit our Restaurant of the Month

 

On Main St. in downtown Ann Arbor

You will surely find something wonderful.

Give them a try in August.

Save room for dessert!

Upcoming Events

Sep
1
Thu
all-day VegMichigan’s September Mason, M... @ Mason MI. Library
VegMichigan’s September Mason, M... @ Mason MI. Library
Sep 1 all-day
VegMichigan is expanding its reach promoting a plant-based diet at the Mason, MI. branch of the Capital area district libraries.
all-day VegMichigan’s September Royal Oa... @ Royal Oak Public Library
VegMichigan’s September Royal Oa... @ Royal Oak Public Library
Sep 1 all-day
Please check out our library display located at the Royal Oak Public Library, 222 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, ... Read More >
all-day VegMichigan’s September Southgat... @ Southgate Veterans Memorial Library
VegMichigan’s September Southgat... @ Southgate Veterans Memorial Library
Sep 1 all-day
Please check out our library display located at the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library 14680 Dix-Toledo Southgate, Mi. 48195. Contact: Joyce ... Read More >
Sep
5
Mon
4:00 pm College Outreach @ Eastern Michigan University
College Outreach @ Eastern Michigan University
Sep 5 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
 
Sep
10
Sat
6:00 pm Homegrown Festival @ Farmers Market in Kerrytown, Ann arbor
Homegrown Festival @ Farmers Market in Kerrytown, Ann arbor
Sep 10 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
VegMichigan will be participating in this event promoting educational material concerning the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. http://homegrownfestival.org/  

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