November 17

Nekter Juice Bar is 100% Vegan!!

Our local all vegan Juice bar!
Our local all vegan Juice bar!

 

This weekend I found the first all vegan restaurant in Napa Valley! Nekter Juice Bar offers freshly blended Juices, Smoothies and Acai Bowls all free of animal products. The base for the fresh juices ranges from carrot to orange to celery to apple juice. You can then add your choice of nutrient rich kale, spinach, parsley, ginger, lemon, cucumber, beets, broccoli and grapes. The juices range from 120 to 380 calories so are perfect for a snack or a light meal. The smoothie can be made with apple or orange juice, delicious housemade vanilla cashew milk or coconut water. There are many delicious add-ins including strawberries, blueberries, banana, pineapple, dates, acai and pitaya. You can also tempt your taste buds by adding agave nectar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao or cayenne. The smoothies range from 210 to 480 calories and are perfect for an energy-packed meal replacement. The Acai Bowls are made with either vanilla cashew milk or coconut water blended with many different healthy ingredients like fruits, coconut butter, peanut butter, dates and raw coconut and then topped with hempseed granola and a drizzle of agave nectar. The Bowls range from 390 to 520 calories and will keep you going all day long! The smoothies and bowls are delicious, satisfying and very filling! The juices are packed full of nutrient rich vegetables that naturally rid your body of toxins, give you a caffeine-free pep to your step, give your skin a refreshed glow, or load your body with antioxidants so you can embrace the day!

Founders of Nekter Juice Bar
Founders of Nekter Juice Bar

Steve and Alexis Schulze are a couple who have a passion for healthy living and wanted to bring goodness into our world of unhealthy consumption. Their quest began in trying to find the perfect nutritious and tasty alternative to coffee to start their day. What they found were juice bars claiming their juices were good for you but were nothing more than sugar filled, preservative laden substitutes. Instead of giving up and resigning themselves to a lifetime of home juicing, they went to work creating a simple blueprint for a vibrant, neighborhood juice bar overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables! Thinking outside the juice box, they went to work creating delicious recipes for the Nekter menu. In 2010, Steve and Alexis opened their very first Nekter Juice Bar in Costa Mesa, California offering their fresh juice and smoothies packed with robust greens, an assortment of nutritious snacks, the acai bowls and prebottled Nekter Grab-n-Go. They also included the 1, 2, 3 or 5-day Nekter Cleanse Program to those of us who love to cleanse but don’t have the time to cold press 15 lbs. of fruits and vegetables a day! Before they knew it, their customers were retiring their coffee mugs for fresh juice instead. Steve and Alexis have since expanded throughout Southern California into Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. And thankfully into Napa Valley!!

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I visited Nekter Juice Bar with my husband Steve and ordered the 24 ounce Tropical Cooler full of spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, coconut butter and coconut water. It was absolutely delicious and the smoothies’ 310 calories filled me and kept me satisfied for hours! Steve ordered the PB Bowl which was packed full of Acai, banana, strawberries, dates, peanut butter and their delicious housemade vanilla cashew milk all blended together and topped with hempseed granola, fresh strawberries, banana and a drizzle of agave nectar. This filling meal is packed with 520 calories and kept Steve going all afternoon! He didn’t want to share but he gave me a few bites for the good of my blog and it was amazing! This all cost us only about $13, was very nutrient dense and as filling and satisfying as many of the much more expensive meals I’ve had lately!

Tropical Cooler Smoothie & pb bowl!
Tropical Cooler Smoothie & pb bowl!
Bright, open space with free WiFi! And Steve coveting his pb bowl...
Bright, open space with free WiFi! And Steve coveting his pb bowl…

Nekter Juice Bar just opened at 3900 Bel Aire Plaza in September. They are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located between Pier 1 Imports and Yo Belle so it is the perfect spot to stop in when you need a quick healthy meal or snack to rejuvenate you for the rest of your shopping! Give your taste buds a treat and embrace the green juice. You will not only be thrilled with how delicious it is but will also offer yourself the priceless gift of improved health and well-being. And don’t we all need a little more of that!? Go nekter!!

Nektar sign

September 23

Napa Valley Vegan Competing in the Vegan Sammich Throwdown!!

Your vote will send me to the 3rd Annual Vegan Iron Chef contest!!
Your vote will send me to the 3rd Annual Vegan Iron Chef contest!!

This has been one epic week! My Mom came to visit for a week, Napa Valley Vegan starred in my first live streaming episode on Tout Suite Social Club, my Facebook page reached 100 Likes (thanks a bunch for that) and on Sunday I will be competing with fellow home and professional chefs for the best Vegan Sammich chef title!

I want to thank Dan Butler with Butler Foods who is generously providing me with a case of Soy Curls for the Sammich Throwdown. Because of his generosity and support, I will be able to compete and provide 150 tasting samples of my delicious Cheezy Herb ChickUN Salad to those attending and voting.

My absolute new favorite food!
My absolute new favorite food!

I also want to thank all of you that are following my blog whether it is through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or right here on my website. You are all invited to join me on Sunday, September 28th from 2-5 p.m. at the Finnish Brotherhood Hall in Berkeley, California. I would love to meet you in person. Thanks to all of you followers from right here in the U.S. including Alaska. I am beyond excited that there may be a vegan or 2 in Alaska!! And to those of you from around the world who are viewing my blog from the U.K., Australia, Brazil, India, Romania, Mexico, Netherlands and Brunei Darussalam (I had to google that one but I am really thrilled that someone from “the Abode of Peace” in Southeast Asia is following me!) many thanks!! I know you guys can’t join me on Sunday but I will be thinking of you as I compete for the Title!

The Vegan Sammich Throwdown  is produced by Karine Brighten Events at the Finnish Brotherhood Hall located at 1970 Chestnut Street in Berkeley. The tickets to attend the competition are only $15 each (day of the event they go up to $20 so get your tix now!) and will provide you with a tasting from all of the chefs – there are currently 7 of us and room for a couple more if you are feeling competitive, sampling of 6 flavors of Genuto – a delicious nut based vegan gelato, a bag of chips from BeanFields, a coconut water from Vita Coco, a cookie from Alternative Baking Company, a chance to win raffle prizes and the opportunity to vote for your favorite sammich (mine) and your favorite new Genuto flavor!

Ahh many vegan delights!
Ahh many vegan delights!

Beanfields genuto vita coco

In addition to all the great eats, $3 from every ticket will be given to Factory Farming Awareness Coalition! FFAC’s cause is to end Factory Farming for the good of the environment, the animals, the worker’s rights and our public health. Pretty awesome causes to protect!

Let's End Factory Farming Together!
Let’s End Factory Farming Together!

 I’m counting on you guys to get me to the Winner’s Circle so click the link below to get your tickets now! See you on Sunday.

Tickets to the Sammich Throwdown!

September 8

Vegan Paradice – In early 2015 the restaurant closed permanently! So sad…

I know I promised to eat, drink and shop my way through Napa Valley but I just could not resist the opportunity to include our neighbor to the east. Less than 20 miles from Napa, you will find Vegan Paradice Gourmet Café in downtown Fairfield. Now that you have a wonderful reason to visit Fairfield often, aren’t you so glad construction on Jameson Canyon Road is almost complete?!

Vegan Café in downtown Fairfield!
Vegan Café in downtown Fairfield!

Kim Brown has been a vegan for over 16 years. Her religion and love for God motivates her to love all fellowman making the health and wellbeing of others a big concern.  And because so many illnesses can be improved or even prevented by lifestyle changes, she was excited to share this good news with the rest of us! And so by following her passion for a plant based diet and her desire to demonstrate to others that healthy and humane eating is very do-able Kim and her husband Gerald debuted their vegan café in April 2012. And since there is nothing like Vegan Paradice Gourmet Café in North Bay, I can promise you that you will be very glad that she and Gerald decided to fill that void.

Kim's got that vegan glow!
Kim’s got that vegan glow!

When Kim was just 9 years old, her family converted to a vegetarian lifestyle. And a year later, thank goodness for the rest of us, her mother began to teach her how to cook vegetarian dishes. As an adult, Kim then made the decision to become 100% plant based. Using all of the skills she learned as a child, she began baking cakes and catering for small events. Later she and Gerald began selling their vegan soft serve at summer events. The success of the soft serve helped build their momentum and slowly the idea for the Café began to develop. It was just a matter of time that Vegan Paradice Gourmet Café would soon follow.

The incredibly delicious housemade beafy burger!
The incredibly delicious housemade beafy burger!

Kim and Gerald make all of their sauces, salad dressings and condiments from scratch. And the amazing beafy patty is also made in-house. This allows them to conscientiously produce quality, flavor-rich foods that promote a healthy body!

In addition to my favorite – the beafy burger – their menu includes the Ranchy Chik’n Wrap (which can be made gluten-free upon request), the Surprise Me! Chili Dog, the BBQ tofu burger, pizza slices, soups & salads and much more! And though they are not listed on the menu, Vegan Paradice Gourmet Café also offers the vegan soft serve and baked sweet treats that include cookies and cupcakes. My favorite is the coconut cupcakes!

Vegan cookies and cupcakes!
Vegan cookies and cupcakes!
Soft Serve Ice Creme
Soft Serve Ice Crème

Vegan Paradice Gourmet Café is located in downtown Fairfield at 846 Texas Street at the corner of Texas & Jackson Street. You will know you are there when you see the banana tree! Vegan Paradice is open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Friday and Saturday. If you would like to place your order for pick-up, Kim and Gerald can be reached at (707) 428-0110. If you call, you may get to speak to their son Philip who helps out with the family business!

The Brown family working hard to make Vegan Paradice a success!
The Brown family working hard to make Vegan Paradice a success!

The first chance you have, please head over to Fairfield and enjoy an amazing vegan meal. We need to support the Brown family and help their passion for vegan food in North Bay succeed! And be sure to mention that you heard about them through my blog! Enjoy!