There are so many great vegan snacks, treats and sweets available these days that it's hard to try them all. So, come join us at the Milwaukee Vegan Meetup on Saturday June 14th at 5pm to try a huge variety of delicious vegan treats! It'll be a casual meetup where you'll be able to snack at your own pace and mingle with others. The event will go until about 8pm, so you don't have to arrive right at 5pm, but make sure to check in when you get there. To cover the snacks, it's only a $5.46 charge--what a deal! Make sure to RSVP by Friday night at midnight!
We'll have something for everyone there--sweet, savory and healthy! Here are some of the items we have in store for you....
First, a selection of Larsen donuts--Bavarian Cream, Raspberry-filled and frosted rings. Larsen Bakery is located in Racine, but you can also order their donuts through VeganEssentials.com. You prep them at home in the oven and spread the frosting on yourself and you have delicious, fresh donuts on the spot! Also from Larsen we'll have vegan kringle--everyone from Wisconsin knows about kringle, but did you know you can pick these up at your local Outpost Foods? The vegan ones taste just like the original!
Earth Balance, famous for their buttery sticks, has been releasing all kinds of snacks lately. The cheddar squares are the latest, but they also have flavored potato chips, aged white cheddar puffs (kind of like a healthy Cheeto), and P.B. Popps, which are "popcorn cuddled in peanut butter and a bustle of oats"--trust me, these things are addictive.
We'll also have some Cedar's Hommus served with fresh baby carrots and Flamous Organic Falafel Chips--these are pretty amazing too.
If you don't make kale chips at home, Brad's Raw Cruncy Kale chips are the next best thing...and they come in different flavors if you're feeling adventurous. A friend of mine recently brought home some "dang" toasted coconut chips back from her trip to New York, along with a bunch of other snacks, but these were the winner. Outstanding. And...I happened to order the salted caramel variety from VeganEssentials...I can't wait.
You can find these next two snacks all over the city--Kettle brand Maple Bacon potato chips are vegan and they taste like breakfast! Find them at Outpost, Riverwest Coop, Whole Foods and some mainstream stores too. You know those cookies they serve on the plane called "Biscoff?" Well, imagine a bunch of those made into a spread...wow. This is a favorite of many of my friends and can be served on bread, crackers, chocolate or get crazy and spread it on a Biscoff cookie! You can find this at Target and I believe a bunch of other local stores--you may also see it under another brand, "Speculoos." (I know--weird name, but it tastes just as good!)
To drink, we'll have a variety of Santa Cruz organic lemonades--cherry (my absolute favorite), raspberry, mango, strawberry and more. You can find these at Outpost and Whole Foods and probably some other local stores too.
We were lucky enough to find a vegan-friendly place to host our snack-o-rama. Halo Soap is a local company run by Stacie Cherubini--she has locations in Cudahy and Bay View, but also sells online. She has been making soap and other skincare products for over 11 years, so she really knows what she's doing! Plus, she and everyone who works there is super-nice.
The majority of Halo products are vegan, with the only exceptions being some products that contain beeswax or honey. There are products for everyone--women, children and men! Here are just a small selection, but you can browse her entire store online as well. Stacie is offering all of the attendees a 10% discount on the day of the meetup, so if you need some soap or skincare products, support a vegan-friendly local company! If not, no worries--there's no pressure to buy anything! :)
Recently I got to spend a long weekend in Wisconsin Dells and was lucky enough to hit The Cheese Factory all-vegan restaurant three times while we were there. The Cheese Factory was previously a vegetarian restaurant (with some vegan options) with an emphasis on their old fashioned ice cream parlor offerings. They briefly closed last year (temporarily breaking my heart), but have re-opened as an all-vegan, non-GMO restaurant (making me fall in love all over again). They still have a wide variety of entrees and a delicious selection of bakery, vegan ice cream desserts and fancy coffee drinks. I am so thrilled that they were brave enough to make that change and stand out in a town full of standard American (non-vegan) food.
For our first visit, it was dinnertime and we started off with the hummus appetizer. The hummus was very good and the pita bread was outstanding. I ordered the "Our Daily Flatbread," which was described as "seasoned soy and roasted nut spread with fresh herbs, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, grilled veggies and balsamic reduction on toasted flatbread." The spread was incredible and the marinated veggies were very flavorful. My boyfriend had the "What a Wiener"...haha...it's a "flame-broiled jumbo frankfurter served on a grilled bun with our home-made sauerkraut, house bbq sauce, house coleslaw and dill pickle." He really enjoyed it. For dessert we tried the Caramel Crunch Cake, "almond coffee cake with vanilla cookie crunch filling and chocolate ganache." I loved this!
We headed back for dinner on our second night there and started with the "Chicken Nuggets" with BBQ sauce. They are exactly what they look like and they had a great flavor and texture. Kids would love these! For his entree, by boyfriend ordered the Asian Medly--"rice noodles, grilled broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, baby corn, onions, kale, bean sprouts, and seasoned tofu tossed in mildly spicy coconut curry sauce, garnished with roasted cashews, coconut and pineapple." It had amazing flavors and he loved it. I ordered the Southwest Platter, which was "layers of organic brown rice, seasoned tofu, chipotle black beans, grilled veggies and red chili sauce served with spinach quesadilla and fresh fruit salsa." In a healthy dish that could have been bland, they really dressed it up with outstanding flavor and the spinach quesadillas were so delicious that even my boyfriend (who hates vegan cheese) loved these. We both ended up taking some home so that we could fit dessert--this time the Cocoa Mousse Cake. Amazing!
Our last trip to The Cheese Factory was for brunch. I ordered the Granola Griddle Cakes, "two organic home-made pancakes filled with home-made granola, served with Earth Balance “butter,” organic agave-maple syrup blend and fruit garnish." I hardly ever order pancakes, but I'm so happy I did! With a little help from my boyfriend, we polished these off! This time, he went for something more unique--The Mushroom Lover's Skillet--"five varieties of locally grown organic mushrooms including portobello, shitakii, porcini, oyster and button all slowly simmered in “sour cream” and burgundy wine sauce. Served with grilled ciabatta bun, sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper and small salad." Again, the spices and flavors were outstanding on everything. Where else in the area can you get vegan, organic, non-GMO food like this with tons of Gluten-Free options as well? The Cheese Factory makes me want to visit Wisconsin Dells just so I can dine on incredible food! So, if you find yourself out that way, make sure to check them out--they are located in the heart of The Dells!