The Seed: A Vegan Experience

On Saturday, June 16, I was able to steal a few hours for myself so I hustled off to check out “The Seed” at 82 Mercer Street in Soho. “The Seed” was an event that happened on June 16 and 17 for the benefit of anyone interested in learning about a plant-based lifestyle. I found out about this event at the last minute so I apologize for not posting about it in advance for those of you who may have wanted to attend; however, I will take this opportunity to tell you about my “Seed Experience” and the highlights for me. For your interest, two non-profit organizations benefitted from the event’s proceeds: The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food and Mercy For Animals.

When I arrived at 82 Mercer Street at about 12:30 PM, I was stunned by the incredibly long lines on the street for the two food trucks: “The Cinnamon Snail” and “Mac ‘N Soul Good…Miami’s Original Vegan Food Truck.” I was dying to try food from “The Cinnamon Snail” since it is, apparently, all the rage  in NJ and NYC. For those of you who are not familiar with it, “The Cinnamon Snail” (which serves vegan food only) parks its truck at different locations each day throughout NYC and NJ. I believe the truck is at a midtown NYC location every Friday but I’m not quite sure. To find out where to find the truck, you have to check them out on Facebook and Twitter. Since I was eager to go into the event, I decided to order food from the truck on my way out since I knew it would be there all afternoon. I heard a lot of positive feedback about the food from both food trucks that day. At the end of this post, I will tell you about the food I ordered from “The Cinnamon Snail” (which was yummy) and show you pictures. Again, everyone was also raving about “Mac “N Soul Good’s” food, as well, but I did not try it. Here are photos of both food trucks.

When I first arrived at the event (which was on the 2nd floor of 82 Mercer Street), I was excited to see all the food and product vendors with their samples displayed throughout the space. I had just missed the film screening of the movie “Vegucated” and I was disappointed. I heard it was great and I will order the DVD from Amazon.com at a later time. I walked around the space and was immediately drawn to the table set up by “Vegan Bodega”. “Vegan Bodega” sells many fabulous vegan food products which I was lucky enough to sample that day. I was so taken with them that I bought a jar of their Chia Nut Butter (chia and peanut butter), Vegan Queso (a creamy, spicy dip) and an all natural plant-based “Bee Free” honey which was made primarily from apples. I was super-impressed with the “Bee Free” honey since I am always skipping over recipes which call for honey and now I don’t have to. “Vegan Bodega” is in the process of opening up a store on the lower east side of NYC. Here is a photo of some of the products I came home with on Saturday.

Next to “Vegan Bodega’s” table was an area set up by the young and beautiful Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, founder of celebrity favorite “Vaute Couture.”  For those of you who are not familiar with “Vaute Couture”, let me tell you that they make the most amazing chic vegan jackets and coats. They also have some adorable tee-shirts, sweatshirts, headbands and a cute new line of jewelry. I will definitely be purchasing a new coat this year from “Vaute Couture’s” new shop in Williamsburg, New York. In the photo above, you could see the cute heart patch I walked away with stating “no fur for this girl.” I have to think of a strategic place to sew it on a carefully picked article of clothing. Inspirational Leanne radiates sweetness and beauty as you can see from the photo below. Some of her cool jewelry is also shown below.

While I was tasting the delicious Smoked Paprika Hummus from Candle 79’s table (the recipe is in the new Candle 79 cookbook), the amazing Colleen Patrick-Goudreau took center stage to address the “blocks and excuses that keep us from making changes.” Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is (to me and to many others) a “rock-star” in the vegan community. She wrote some amazing vegan cookbooks, including “The Vegan Table”, “Color Me Vegan” and “The Joy of Vegan Baking.” “The Vegan Table” happens to be one of my favorite’s and I intend to purchase Ms. Goudreau’s other cookbooks in the near future. Her other popular books include “The Vegan’s Daily Companion” and “The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.” While listening to Ms. Goudreau’s inspirational lecture, during which she debunked some of the most common nutritional myths, it became clear to me why her immensely popular podcast “Vegetarian Food For Thought” is so successful. Ms. Goudreau generously signed her books and took photos with a very long line of her fans. The photo below shows Ms. Goudreau with happy fan DJ Sherdina Straughn (ie.”The Girl”) after Ms. Goudreau signed several of Sherdina’s books.

After Ms. Goudreau’s exhilarating lecture, I had the opportunity to try some vegan mac ‘n cheese and soy chicken drumsticks from the “Foodswings” station. Amazingly satisfying!!! “Foodswings” is an eatery located at 295 Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which serves vegan comfort food including burgers, heros, fries and sides. They also have quite an assortment of shakes, desserts and floats!!! I also tasted a delicious “BLT” sandwich from the “Loving Hut” station. “Loving Hut” is a wonderful vegan fast food eatery located on 7th Ave in NYC between 29th and 30th Streets. I was also lucky enough to sample some delicious raw vegan pastries, including a “molten cheddar jalapeno cornbread” and a “chocolate coconut cornbread,” from “Lovebug Kitchen.”

I really enjoyed looking at the many fabulous and interesting products displayed at the event. I bought a nice “Chai Soap” from “The Fuzzy Bunny” which sold a variety of great products including vegan “yarn” (which I would have bought if I were a knitter). Check out the following photo.

I bought a soft, lovely headband from “Djuna Shay” which sold beautiful eco-friendly scarves, headbands, wraps and other gorgeous items with the most outstanding colors and patterns. They will soon be making maxi-dresses too!!!

I also enjoyed testing the samples from “Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays.” The aromatherapy oils used for these sprays are custom blended to produce positive emotional responses. They are organically sourced whenever possible and certified vegan. Their most popular sprays are “Apathy” and “The Antidote for Ego.”

Some gorgeous custom jewelry was displayed by “Lux Alchemy.” Check out the interesting piece worn by its creator, Dawn, in the photo below.

There were some great natural artisan makeup products (including fabulous lip glosses) by a company called “Kookla.” I tried some great samples of really delicious organic vegan raw food bars by a company called “Core.” My favorite flavor was the raw walnut banana. I fell in love with the “Red Jacket” juices which you can find at Whole Foods and other supermarkets.

Although I was only at “The Seed” for a few hours, I enjoyed every minute sampling the foods, checking out the products and watching Colleen Patrick-Goudreau in action. I wish I could have stayed for Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s lecture, but I had other obligations. The icing on the cake of my day was eating the food from “The Cinnamon Snail” truck.” I sampled the Tempeh Sandwich with Maple Mustard, the Korean BBQ Seitan on a huge pita pocket, the freshly squeezed lemonade with agave nectar, and an assortment of pastries including a toasted coconut donut!! YUM!!!! The following are photos of my “Cinnamon Snail” food. Everything looks a little messy but tasted awesome!! You may be wondering how I ate so much food in a few hours. In my defense, I only sampled here and there (except for the food from “The Cinnamon Snail” which I devoured). Okay, so I’m a bit of a pig! Whatever!!

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