April 20th, 2019, the third annual Midwest Vegan Fest was held in Glendale, Wisconsin. I have been to each one and they seem to get better and better every year. According to their website, "Midwest Vegan Fest is a free one day event celebrating plant-based living, culture and community". This event is similar to the MKE Vegan Expo I blogged about in this post. And although this is an free event, you can donate here to support this event. As I mentioned, I love going to these expos, and this one is a must attend for me every year. There's so much to do, between the vendors, cooking demos, raffles, speakers, performers, kid zone, it's easy to stay at this event the whole day!
One of my favorite things about this event, is it was founded by a black woman. Chef Rain Truth founded the Midwest Vegan Fest in 2016 and the event has been a success since. She also is the founder of the Vegan Sol Food and Drink Expo, which will host it's annual event this fall. This event will be held on October 26, 2019, get more details here and mark your calendars! As a black woman myself, it is very inspiring to see another black woman making boss moves! I am so proud of her for creating such great events and, doing great things in our community, and spreading veganism. I hope she will consider opening a restaurant in the future!
For starters, this event is free and it even includes a free swag bag, and I love free stuff! You could also get an early access pass that included an upgraded goodie bag and meet and greet. This option is not free, but it is a good idea considering vendors can run out of their goods before you get there if you are on CP time. The swag bag itself is actually really nice and can easily be fit into your purse or backpack and can be reused for carrying groceries, reducing plastic use, which will benefit our environment. The African American Vegan Starter Guide was also inside, includes A LOT of good information if you are considering going vegan or want to eat more plant based. You can get your FREE copy here. My favorite part was the two coupons to Ian's, my favorite pizza place in Milwaukee, for a FREE slice of pizza!
After checking in, I did a walk through of the event to see which vendors were there and what they had to offer before deciding what I wanted to try. My first stop was to JustVeggiez, a black owned all vegan restaurant in Madison, WI. I LOVE trying new vegan foods, so I wanted to try their drumsticks everyone was talking about. They were $3 each and came in two flavors buffalo and barbecue. I decided to go with buffalo and they were really good! The "meat" was made from soy and potatoes, but the texture was very similar to chicken. I also tried their barbecue sandwich, which was like a pulled pork sandwich, but cruelty free and delicious. I definitely look forward to trying more things form them!
Another cool thing about this event is the cooking demos. This year was my first time going to a cooking demo and it was with Chef Cassandra Lynne, learn more about her and the other cooking demo chefs here. She showed us how to make curry chickpea dip and organic mushroom soup. I was hesitant to try the soup because it contained coconut milk and mushrooms, which I'm not a fan of, but it was actually very good! I'm so happy I liked it, I definitely want to try to recreate these recipes and experiment more with coconut milk in the future.
My next stop was to Rollicious Creamery, a vendor I had never seen before. They were serving up delicious non-dairy ice cream, in a rolled up fashion. I decided to try the Oreo flavor, it was $7 but it was definitely made for sharing, which I ended up doing. It was so good, we all liked it. If you haven't tried it, I definitely recommend. Check out a video on my Facebook page of how the ice cream is prepared!
At this point, I was full but I must've had a sweet tooth because the shenanigans didn't end there. Next I just had to try the beignets that caught my eye. My Grandma is from Louisiana and they are a very popular dessert there, typically not vegan so I was excited to try them for the first time. It is basically a fritter, fried dough and topped with powered sugar. They were messy but very tasty. I had powdered sugar everywhere lol.
Finally I stopped at East Side Ovens booth for their awesome donuts. PRO TIP: if you can stay to the end of the event you can get a whole box (6) of their donuts for $5! They were originally 2 for $3 which is still a great deal. They also had vegan cookies, cakes, brownies, pastries, and so many other sweets to offer.
I had a lot of fun and good food at this event! I'm definitely looking forward to going to this event again next year. There are more expos coming up that I plan to attend, please subscribe to my e-mail list below to get notified every time I post and other updates. Also like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram for more!
So would you try vegan buffalo chicken wings? Leave me a comment below!