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Vegan Dishes Get Their Own Competition At The Fair

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — The State Fair offers no shortage of food options like meat-on-a-stick, fried food and goodies made from butter, but there aren’t many to choose from at the fair if you’re vegan.

Unless you check out a competition in the Creative Activities Building, where contestants are putting their vegan recipes to the test.

Vegan recipes are made completely free from any animal products.

This year’s blue ribbon-winning main dish recipe didn’t even come on a stick, which one fairgoer pointed out is “unusual for the State Fair,” to say the least.

Janel Schliemann won the award for her spicy couscous. Schliemann said she started perusing the fair’s competitions back in May.

“When I saw that one, I was all over it. I was like, ‘Woo-hoo!,'” she said.

Schliemann’s spicy couscous was made with such anti-cheese curd ingredients as garbanzo beans, cashews, zucchini.

Judge Christine Seppanen said the dish excelled in both appearance and flavor.

“It was just really excellent because it was a good blend of flavors, and the nice spiciness it had to it,” she said.

“It looks awesome, It’s been a long time I’ve been waiting for a blue ribbon.”

She’s waited 18 years to be named the best at the fair, and this year, she took home two blue ribbons. She also won an award for her chocolate chip cookies.

“All my neighbors keep saying ‘They’re the best, they’re the best,'” said Schliemann.

Along with getting her name in the paper and bragging rights, Schliemann also won a Vegan cookbook and $10 for winning the blue ribbon.

Without meat, cheese or butter, Schliemann relied on spices for flavor. Ironically, her 8-year-old son Ben, who wasn’t a fan of the spices, was competing in the Spam contest this year.

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