Vegan – Plant Based (or close to it!) at Disney’s EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Oh wait, wrong season. But it is Food & Wine Festival time which is one of the best times to be at Disney World. The 2016 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival has begun. The Traveling Gals have made their first visit of hopefully many! Every year seems to get better and better. No matter how many times I visit, I still feel a thrill walking from the Beach Club through the International Gateway and into France. It’s even better during the Fest!
There are new offerings and returning favorites this year! All together there are 25 booths in the freshly branded “Global Marketplaces”. The Chew Collective, Chocolate Studio, Islands of the Caribbean and Wine and Dine Studio are all new. My focus is on the healthier fare. Here are our picks for staying plant based at EPCOT during Food & Wine!
Vegan Loaded Greek “Nachos” – Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles and Vegan Tzatziki Sauce ($4.50)
This dish was an innovative reinvention of so many people’s favorite snack of nachos. It was full of flavor, crunchy and completely satisfying. The portion was large and well worth the price. This should be the new staple of Greek restaurants everywhere!
Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomato, Onions and Tzatziki Sauce ($5.00)
I love fries! Who doesn’t?!? I have seen several recipes for hummus fries, but this is the first time I tried them. They were fantastic! The crunch and texture mixed with the spicy flavors worked very well. I look forward to playing around with making plant based hummus fries at home. Stay tuned for a quick and easy recipe!
Vegan Korean Barbecue – Gardein Beefless Tips, Steamed Rice and Kimchi Cucumber ($4.75)
This is a solid choice that was also on the menu last year. It is a large portion and very filling. It has just the right amount of spice and the kimchi.
Traveling Gals Tip: Vegan Barbecue is a very quick and easy recipe to recreate at home when you are in a time crunch. I only choose pre-made vegan food very sparingly, but a couple times a year works for me. Paired with brown rice or quinoa and a delicious meal is ready in minutes! Check out our recipe here.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Aged Balsamic and Micro Basil ($4.00)
Not quite vegan, but worth the splurge! As I mention often, I love goat cheese and feta cheese. I only indulge a couple times a year and this dish was worth it. The basic ingredients really allow the goat cheese to be front and center!
Now we can’t forget the wine!
Justin Cabernet Sauvignon ($5.50)
Although tempted to try the chocolate, I decided to consume my sugar via wine! I usually only like Cabs in the cooler weather. Although it is officially fall, it is 90 degrees at Disney. I still wanted to try the Cab because it is new. I did like it, but would definitely enjoy it more when there is a bit of a chill in the air. Justin Cabernet Sauvignon is a California red that is moderately priced in the $25 range. It is not as heavy as some Cabs and would pair well with most typical red wine dishes.
Bodega Noemia A Lisa Malbec ($4.50)
I am very interested in traveling to Patagonia so this was wine was an easy choice for me. From Argentina, this wine is priced in the low $20 range. It was fragrant and slightly fruity and tasted great with the Vegan Barbecue!
Festival Chardonnay ($4.50)
Every year I like to try the festival Chardonnay. Chardonnay is the favorite of Traveling Gal Carol! This year the private label California chardonnay paired great with the Heirloom Tomato Salad and was refreshing on the hot, autumn day!
The wine selections were good and great basic pairings for the dishes offered. The wine prices are steadily increasing over the years and gone are the days where you could get a nice sized tasting for $2.50. It is a still a great place to try new wines and there are more beer/cider and mixed drink options that ever. I thought the food selections this year on the healthy side were the best so far and I had a hard time picking my favorites. I settled on a tie between the Vegan Loaded Greek “Nachos” and the Spicy Hummus Fries. The portions were very large for both and they were so good I went back the next day for a second taste!
Disney Food Blog has the full menu for Food & Wine here.
Have you been to Food & Wine Festival yet? What were your favorites? Also, please share your favorite vegan recipes with us in the comments! We would love to try them!
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