Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vegan Spotlight on Pennsic and Vegan Camping Food

Remember me saying that I travel a lot, since I'm a musician? Well, I just got back from Pennsic (an SCA event in Slippery Rock, PA), and though I bought very little food while I was there (we packed more than enough food for the entire run), I wanted to mention that Rose's Bread Boule (in the Pennsic food court) has vegan chili and vegan stew in bread bowls (I had the vegan stew last year, and it was very good), Pennsic Produce (also in the food court) has lots of fresh veggies and fruits, including a chopped raw veggie mix in their cooler, and Your Inner Vagabond (at the end of the isle with Calontir Trim, next to the Market Stage) has lots of coffee and non-coffee drinks which are vegan as-is or can be made with soymilk, as well as several vegan food options (all of which are marked V on the menu), such as dolmas, baba ganouj, tabouli, and a couple of sweet deserts.

Mark (my boyfriend/musical partner) and I performed inside Your Inner Vagabond (and got a great response), and decided to order a coffee drink (one with iced coffee, soy milk, and pearls like you get in bubble tea). We went to the counter and ordered it, but when the gal found out that we wanted it for there instead of to go, she gave us a menu and told us to sit down. I thought perhaps she was giving us the chance to figure out what food we might want to order to go along with the drink, but about 30 minutes later, when the drink never came out (and no one came over to us to take our order), we finally gave up and left. The drink sounded like it would be delicious; I'll just have to try again next year.

Since Mark and I were trying to conserve money, we did a couple of shopping trips at Wheatsville Co-Op to prepare our camping food. We bought two jars of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter for sandwiches, two boxes of Clif Bars (for future reference, I like the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut bars, and am not nearly as fond of the Oatmeal Rasin or Crunchy Peanut Butter), several packets of Tasty Bite vegan Indian food, and some containers of food from the bulk section - rice, orzo, TVP (both "chicken" and "beef"), chili mix, and refried beans mix. We also bought a few packets of Chreese sauce and a box of instant mashed potatoes. Along with our soy milk powder, oil, and spices, we were able to make some decent dinners - "cheesy" orzo and TVP, "cheesy" mashed potatoes, and bean/chili mix with rice. For dinner the first night, we had thin rice noodles (donated by one of my friends who was cleaning out her pantry before moving), pasta sauce, and sliced Sweet Italian with Tomato and Basil sausages by Tofurky. Since that meal only used two of the four sausages, we sliced the other two length-wise and had them on sandwiches for lunch the next day. Another dinner was made with the rice noodles, pasta sauce, canned sliced mushrooms, and a yellow squash that we bought from the produce section. We also bought a couple cans of Amy's vegan soups, a can of green beans, a can of organic peas, and a can of vegan dolmas to round things out. For breakfast, we had either oatmeal (also bought from the bulk isle) or breakfast rice or orzo (rice or orzo with soymilk, raisins, and a little raw sugar). The one thing that we were missing was bread - we were worried that the regular bread I get (with very little or no preservatives) wouldn't travel well - so we bought a bag of potato bread from the Cooper's General Store at Pennsic (which happened to be vegan - yay!) Speaking of the General Store - they also have frozen strawberry bars (which seem to be relatively healthy) for about $1.30 or so. These are *wonderful* when the weather is hot outside!

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