Rebecca Gilbert
Rebecca Gilbert. Photo by Bill Wade.
Rebecca Gilbert. Photo by Bill Wade.

With not one, but two vegan festivals coming up in Pittsburgh (VegFest this August and The Pittsburgh Vegan Festival in October) this city is certainly seeing a boom in the movement.

Rebecca Gilbert, Shadyside resident has been campaigning for the cause for many years. The former competitive figure skater founded the popular site Yummy Plants, which along with the Yummy Plants Facebook Page —are two of the leading websites for those looking to go vegan. She is also the author of the book, It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan.

As a top vegan authority in the city, we were curious about her best meal last week.

My best meal last week was the brunch I had at Eden. I had a chocolate chip blackberry pancake with chocolate cashew butter.

 Good news and bad news. Bad news first: it was on special that day so it may not be available next week. But the good news is that all their specials are exactly that – special!

 Their menu changes seasonally and in the fall – they usually have some kind of mac and cheese and it is always amazing. I think they make it out of cashew cream. It is stunning.

 And right now, they also have this ridiculous cake—a coconut, oat and almond cake. Its so dense, filling and satisfying. They serve it at brunch but it travels nicely. I travel so much and I take every opportunity I can to swing by before a flight so I can have delicious food on the plane.

I love the food at Eden because its vegan, mostly gluten-free and very healthy—they use no refined sugars and everything that they serve they make themselves. Even the cashew butter, the sour cream, every sauce they use.

But the main reason I love it is that aside from being healthy—it is absolutely delicious. They always have really interesting food! 

Leah Lizarondo

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.