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!

August 28

Napa Farmers Market – Vegan style!

Napa Humane Mobile Adoption Unit
Napa Humane Mobile Adoption Unit

Napa Humane is a local non-profit that offers humane education, low cost spay/neutering, a weekly vaccination clinic and the Mobile Adoption Unit for our Napa Valley dogs, cats and bunnies. The Mobile Adoption Unit debuted in May 2005 and has been partnering with local animal welfare groups including the Napa County Animal Shelter ever since! I have been volunteering for Napa Humane since their first annual Walk for Animals in 2012. if you have been to any of their exciting fundraisers, you have probably seen me there too. I do always love a good party. And you can always find me on Fridays at the vaccination clinic holding puppies and kissing dogs. I got to spend my morning Tuesday in the Mobile Adoption Unit with Wendi Piscia, Program Administrator of Napa Humane, Emily the Chihuahua mix and four adorable bunny rabbits at the Napa Farmers Market. You can find the Mobile Adoption Unit on the first and last Tuesdays and second Saturday each month through October from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. When it was time for a snack, I wandered around the Market and chatted with some really friendly and helpful people. I was really excited by the many vegan options available!

You can't miss this fresh and delicious granola!
You can’t miss this fresh and delicious granola!

 

My first stop was The Handmade Pantry. Jane Bell creates the freshest, most delicious granola I have every tasted. Almost all of the granola is vegan ( a couple flavors contain honey), and there are gluten and wheat-free options as well as nut-free options. There is a granola flavor that will satisfy everyone! Jane offers generous samples of each of her granola masterpieces. I brought home a bag of the gingerbread granola and I sprinkle it on everything!

 

FM Granola

 

 

Stop by Duck Duck Goose Farms!
Stop by Duck Duck Goose Farms!

My next stop was Duck Duck Goose Farms a pesticide-free, biodynamic farm with crops in Napa. They offer premade salads so you can keep your energy up while shopping the Market. They always offer a vegan option on their menu!

 

Duck Duck Goose Farms' menu board!
Duck Duck Goose Farms’ menu board!

 

Love the Field Blend vegan salad!
Love the Field Blend vegan salad!

 

There are also several farms that offer pesticide free and organic fruits and vegetables including Rodriguez Farms, The Patch, J&M Ibarra Farm and Long Meadow Ranch. Be sure to stop by and thank them for choosing to go organic!

 

Long Meadow Ranch organic produce
Long Meadow Ranch organic produce

 

Rodriguez Farms organic strawberries!
Rodriguez Farms organic strawberries!

 

More organic produce!
More organic produce!

 

And finally after finding all of this amazing produce and vegan food… I found the chocolate!

Desmond with Wine Country Chocolates
Desmond with Wine Country Chocolates

 

Many of these delicious chocolates are dairy-free! Desmond offered me many samples and they were all so good I couldn’t decide on my favorite. I guess I will just have to keep visiting Wine Country Chocolates and tasting the chocolate to make up my mind!

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate! Yum...
Dark Chocolate! Yum…

 

 

Wine Country Chocolates' non-dairy artisan sweet
Wine Country Chocolates’ non-dairy artisan sweets

 

I would have to say for such a meat and cheese centric city I had incredible success finding delicious and varied vegan options at the Napa Farmers Market. Be sure to come by every Tuesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through October and support the vendors that provide vegan options! I hope to see you there soon!

 

Links:

http://www.napafarmersmarket.com/

http://www.napahumane.org

http://ddgfarms.com

http://www.winecountrychocolates.com

http://www.longmeadowranch.com

http://www.rodriguezfarms.com/