Celebrate all things plant-based at VegFest, April 24

Are you ready for a celebration of all things veggie? VegFest is happening this weekend, Sunday, April 24 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. VegFest is the state's premier celebration of a plant-based lifestyle.

Visitors can sample plant-based cuisine from dozens of local restaurants, bakeries, caterers and national brands; and they can explore the tasty, eco-friendly, cruelty-free and/or healthy products and services of more than 100 exhibitors. Cooking demonstrations, children's activities, cookbooks, literature and more provide plenty of ways to learn about the hows and whys of a plant-based lifestyle.

The event is from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Admission is $12 prepaid or $15 at the door; free for children under 6 and free for VegMichigan members. For more information, visit www.vegmichigan.org.

You can also hear more about the festival from Suzy Silvestre from Chive Kitchen, who joined us in the FOX 2 Cooking School to give us a little cooking preview. You can find her recipe for vegan taco chili below.

Vegan Taco Chili
Compliments of Chive Kitchen
Yield: approx. 12 cups

3 c. red lentils
1.5 c. chopped spanish onions
8 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
1/4 c. cumin powder
2 T. coriander
2 T. chili powder
2 T. onion powder
3 vegan bouillon cubes
10+ c. water
1/2 c. tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté chopped onions in olive oil until golden in color.  While the onion is sautéing add the minced garlic.  You do not want to add the garlic too early so that it burns or becomes bitter.

Add water as needed to avoid burning onions and garlic.  With a bit of moisture in the onions and garlic add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, onion powder and bouillon. 

Add a cup of water, stir and bring to quick boil for flavors to meld.  Add the red lentils and stir into spice mix.  Add water so that it covers lentils by 2”.

No need to cover, bring to a boil and let simmer.  The lentils will begin to soak up the water and they will pop.  Red lentils do not keep their form and you will know that they are close to being done as they all pop open.  Keep stirring the mixture so that it does not stick to the bottom and to assure all lentils are being cooked properly.  Add more water as needed so that the mixture does not dry out.

You will know when they are ready when the lentils are popped and when the water/sauce has turned into a light gravy verses a watery liquid.

Add the tomato sauce and salt/pepper to your liking and stir.