The sixth annual NHVegFest

Vegfest was two weeks ago. I tried to write this blog last week on my flight to Las Vegas to attend the Arbonne conference somehow it disappeared as I wasn’t online.

I don’t know how many people were at vegfest. We had around 200 people in the big room at all times. I hired a fire fighter to keep his eye on things to make sure that we were following the rules and not putting anyone at risk. My guess is around 3,000 people. It was perfect. We had 44 vendors inside and 2 vendors outside. One outside vendor who had to leave due to equipment malfunction and another show up without the paperwork and the city asked them to leave. Otherwise, we would have had 4 food trucks. The lines for the food were long all day. Almost everyone ran out of food. It was amazing. I had a hot dog from Yeah Dawgs and a samosa from Ritu. All delicious!

The best part about vegfest, for me, is the people. I get to see a lot of people I know. Some I haven’t seen for ages and some I see everyday, and then in between. And I get to meet a lot of new people. I connected with a few people over Arbonne and that was wonderful.

Soy yogurt and other musings

Three days until NHVegFest and I’ll be able to sleep again. There are so many details and people to take care of that I find myself waking up early worrying over some detail of the event. The clock is ticking and there are a lot of things I still have to do. There is my own personal Arbonne business that I’d like to support. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to swing a booth this year. It’s too much. My husband understands, my upline does not. She has an idea so I’m waiting to hear what she has to say.

How to make soy yogurt.

I’ve always loved the taste of homemade yogurt. I also dislike throwing all that plastic away from store bought yogurt. I do try to recycle but let’s face it, plastic isn’t widely recycled even when placed in the recycling bin. Buying yogurt is so wasteful and expensive. So with a little investment of an Instapot, i learned how to make yogurt which is crazy easy to make. I also like to know what’s in the food I’m eating,

An Instapot is an appliance that is part pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, and yogurt maker. You can get them at a lot of places, even Amazon–although I hope you don’t buy from Amazon (they are the new Walmart if you ask me).

The pots come in a variety of sizes. You need at least a quart size for this recipe. After many attempts and successful methods, I now use this method which is simple and is a “no fail.”

Purchase a plain soy yogurt or a yogurt starter for non dairy milks. I purchase my yogurt starter at the local coop. Amazon and Whole Foods also carry yogurt starters. The eden soy makes the best and most consistent yogurt. Pour the milk into the pot and stir in the starter, or 1/4 cup of yogurt.

Give it a good stir and close the cover, set the lid to sealing and set the time. Use the yogurt settings and then the plus sign to the desired cooking time. The longer you cook it, the more tart it becomes. I believe you can go up to 12 hours. I like 10.5 my husband finds it too tart but he doesn’t normally eat it-plus it gives him an excuse to add maple syrup to it.

After you’ve entered your time, the machine will beep and set the time to zero. It counts time up to the desired time. Just leave it until your time is up. It will keep the yogurt warm until you open the lid. I often make yogurt overnight, or when I’m at work.

It’s delicious.

You can make yogurt with milk that isn’t in the sealed package. It’s a little more work as you have to bring it to boil (there is a boil function on the Instapot that’s tied into the yogurt function). Once boiled, you have to cool it down to 112, add the starter and put it back in the machine for 8-12 hours. Whatever time setting you like best.

Soy yogurt.

  • 1 package of starter for non dairy milk, or 1/4 plain yogurt.
  • 1 package eden soy milk
  • Put in Instapot, stir. Cover pot, set to sealing. Choose yogurt button and add desired time. Wait for the beeps and walk away.
  • When the time is up, you can enjoy perfect yogurt.

My favorite vegan pizza recipe

Stuart and I love this pizza. It started with the pizza crust which was difficult to get at the local farmers market. On Saturday mornings, we’d run the farmers market and often wouldn’t get there in time, so he bought a bread machine and I perfected the dough.

The cashew cream sauce and toppings were a “no brainer.” Luckily we have similar taste.

Usually he starts the pizza by soaking a cup of cashews in water for at least an hour while I’m still at work. When I get home I put the ingredients in the bread machine. It takes 23 minutes for the dough to process in my machine.

Then I sauté a couple of cups of wild mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, and add thyme.

I like to use a cast iron pan because it holds the heat well and adds iron to the mushrooms.

While this is sautéing, I mix the cashew cream in the vitamix. The combination of soaked cashews and high speed blender make the sauce more creamy. I preheat the oven to 450. Don’t use the convection oven, I learned that the pizza crust doesn’t get crunchy in the convection over.

By now, the dough is done and I spread it out on the pizza stone, pile in the cream sauce, the mushrooms, chopped artichoke hearts, and chopped black olives. I use a pampered chef pizza stone that does not need to be heated. Sometimes I use vegan cheese and sometimes I don’t. Lately I’ve been using kite cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Watch for doneness (brown crust). The time varies depending upon the thickness of your dough and the oven.

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