Vegan Earth Day Festival – Sun, June 21st

Image from VeganEarthDay.org

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st. Also this Sunday is Vegan Earth Day and its first annual festival at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills. I am told there will be lots of vegan food, live music, celebrity speakers (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn! 😮 OMG you guyz!!!1!) and activities for the kids. Free barbecue for Dads, so if you don’t have plans for Father’s day then there is some incentive. Also, admission is FREE but parking is $10 so I’m guessing carpooling is encouraged. This is an Earth Day Festival, after all; did I mention the event is solar-powered!

Looks like it will be fun, check out their website for more info on the musical acts, celebrity guests and more. Did the Santa Clarita Earth Day Festival have vegan food? Something to work on for next year!

Vegan Earth Day Celebration
Sunday, June 21st 2009
10am to 8pm

LA Pierce College
6201 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91371

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FREE Vegan Cooking Class in the SCV!

The Valencia Library, being the hip and supportive institution it is will be hosting another vegan cooking class to be lead by our good friends Zel and Reuben Allen; authors of The Nut Gourmet and the Vegetarians in Paradise internet magazine. The class will be at the Valencia Library (that’s the library near the Sheriffs Station on Valencia Blvd.) on Saturday, May 23rd at 1pm. If you missed the last cooking class, then think of this as your second chance. The theme for this class will be “Appetizers From Around the World“. No registration required, just show up on time and be ready to cook; then get ready to eat!

Vegans and Vegetarians of Santa Clarita, it is important to support these events happening in our own back yard. The turnout was decent for the last class but we can do better. As long as people keep showing up and showing interest in these events then we can keep having them.

The class is FREE, and after the cooking lesson we all get to eat for free too! How cool is that? Speaking of cool, can I mention my appreciation for some very cool people for getting this thing going? First I want to thank Sue Yamamoto the Library manager for supporting, scheduling and organizing these events for the city of Santa Clarita. Also a big thanks to Zel and Reuben Allen for bringing their entire kitchen to the library and teaching such fun and instructive classes. While we’re at it, why not go visit Zel’s NutGourmet Blog for lots of great recipes featuring almonds, walnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pistachios and more.

Appetizers From Around the World (opens PDF flier)
Saturday, May 23rd 2009
1:00pm – 4:00pm

@ The Valencia Library Meeting Room
23743 W. Valencia Blvd
Santa Clarita, CA 91355

The library’s meeting room is located on the left hand side once you pass the first set of doors entering the library, opposite the drinking fountain and bathrooms.

Vegan Breakfast with the Gibbons

Yet another Vegan Breakfast with the Gibbons is happening right here in the SCV. Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 9th from 9am to 1pm. The proceeds go to help the move of the Gibbon conservatory out of the Santa Clarita Valley where sprawl and construction are threatening the health of these amazing and endangered little guys. If you have never gone, you really should go for a visit before they are gone. If you’re lucky, you may even hear them sing!

Here’s the information that was provded to me:

Breakfast with the Gibbons
at

Gibbon Conservation Center
19100 Esguerra Road

Santa Clarita, California

Saturday, May 9, 2009, 9am to 1pm

An amazing opportunity to view this endangered species of apes up close and hear their songs.

Learn about the endangered gibbons (small apes) and how you can help save the species.

Special fundraising event includes guided tours of gibbon families (some with infants), a vegan breakfast, talks at 10 and 11:30 with founder Alan Mootnick, children’s activities, silent auction, and special gift boutique.

Optional early morning bird walk with LA Zoo curator emeritus Harvey Fischer at 8am.

Donations:

Seniors (65 & up) $30

Adults (20-64) $35

Teens (13-19) $15

Kids (6-12) $10

Families (2 adults; 2 children, any age) $80

Kids (5 & under) free

Groups of 10 or more (advanced purchase only) 15% off

— $5 more per-person if purchased at the gate —


Please send (tax deductible) checks to

GCC, PO Box 800249, Santa Clarita, CA 91380.
Or pay online with PayPal at www.gibboncenter.org/fundraiser.htm

For more info, email: gibboncenter@earthlink.net or call 661-296-2737.
Directions at www.gibboncenter.org.  (Click on “Tours”.)

All proceeds benefit gibbons.

Pom Wonderful – Thanks Dudes!

Pom Wonderful sent me some FREE pomegranate juice in the mail; obviously because they are huge fans of this Santa Clarita vegan blog. Well, perhaps “huge fans” is a bit of an overstatement, but I did receive an e-mail saying that they liked what my blog was about and wanted to send me some of their juice. Hey, who am I to turn down free stuff?

Not even two weeks later I had a box of juice waiting for me, along with some cold packs keeping them cool and an envelope of health information on the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice. Not to give the impression that I have something special going on, as Pom Wonderful has sent some of their juice to other bloggers as well; albeit some were more grateful than others. Though, it is worth noting that Pom Wonderful did not ask me for a blog posting, I was only told that they like what my blog is about and that they would like to send me some of their juice. Pretty nice I think, thanks Pom Wonderful! Oh, and I also want to thank Molly from Pom Wonderful for sending me that first e-mail.

Now the question is what should I do with all of this pomegranate juice? I know I could just drink it, but where is the fun in that? On Pom’s website they have a recipe section, so I am thinking creativity is encouraged. Any thoughts? I notice that they have a category for mixed drinks and cocktails, but no beer. Right now I am heavily leaning towards a Pom Wheat Beer, or maybe a Pom infused (Reddish) Blonde Ale. Other beer-syle suggestions are welcome!

Happy Birthday SCVegan.com!

One year ago, today I made that first official post to Santa Clarita’s vegan blog. For those first several months hardly any hits made their way to this site, but things eventually picked up; everything included I am averaging about 1,000 hits a month. It’s a nice start, don’t you think?

Through this blog I have made some great discoveries that I otherwise would have never known about. From great places to eat, events to attend, blogs to read, even other vegans are making themselves known in our valley. Thanks to everyone that reads this blog, and especially to those of you that have left comments and sent e-mails to me. Your kind words and helpful suggestions have been greatly appreciated and encouraging. Also, a big thanks to the businesses of Santa Clarita that are kind enough to cater to vegans and the select few that go above and beyond by offering vegan-labeled menu items. Without you, I would hardly have anything to write about. While I have to say that I still don’t know exactly how many vegans are in the SCV, it’s certainly a lot more than I expected; new names are showing up all the time!

Next year, we should have a proper birthday party with local vegan catering and entertainment. I even know where to get the birthday cake.

Tomato Joe’s – Vegan Pepperoni!!!

Tomato Joe’s, now offering vegan pepperoni as an option for their pizzas!

Tomato Joes: Large, Beer Crust--Garden Combo with Vegan Mozz and Vegan Pepperoni

Tomato Joe's: Large Garden Combo on Beer Crust with Vegan Mozz' and Vegan Pepperoni

The Garden Combo and Sally’s Secret Garden are both great pizzas to be made vegan, but if these are all you order then you are really missing out on some of their other delicious options. Ever had a Vegan Barbecue pizza?

Tomato Joes: Medium Barbecue Pizza on thin crust with red onions, mushrooms, cilantro and vegan mozz

Tomato Joe's: Medium Bar-B-Que Pizza on thin crust with red onions, mushrooms, cilantro and vegan mozz'. As you can see, I couldn't even get my camera out of the case before people started digging in.

This is an amazing combination; the barbecue sauce goes really well with the thin crust and selected toppings. If any of you have a favorite custom vegan pizza from Tomato Joe’s, snap a picture and send it my way or post it in the SCVegan forums under the Tomato Joe’s topic.

Grace & Mittie’s – Vegan Bakery in Newhall

A while back I came across a flier from a vegan baker located right here in Santa Clarita. The next day I tracked this bakery down; the day after that I was eating some yummy vegan cookies and cake. Grace & Mittie’s is not only a completely vegan bakery, but also everything is gluten-free while maintaining a high standard of quality by using wholesome ingredients.

Not a walk-in store, actually I haven’t even been to the location but the baker Taura was nice enough to deliver some goods for me to try.

I first tasted the Blueberry Cheesecake cookie; my initial reaction was, WOW! The German Chocolate Chip cookie, the Oatmeal Raisin & Cranberry — both delicious as well. Come on, vegan and gluten-free? YES! Everything on the menu, everything they bake is vegan and gluten-free. Not just cookies but pies, cobblers, brownies, truffles and of course cakes.

Speaking of cake, the one I tasted was pretty awesome.

So now the question is; where can we get them? Well, here’s the thing… It does look like you can order from their website, so that is one option. Remember this is a professional bakery and not a store front. While Grace & Mittie’s do distribute to some locations such as Native Foods in West Wood, none of these places are in Santa Clarita. At the very least I think Whole Foods — Valencia should carry vegan, gluten-free deserts from a local vegan and gluten-free baker. I will be sending requests to our local Whole Foods Market for Grace & Mittie’s deserts, and I think you guys should do the same. Helping Grace & Mittie’s not only helps a friendly, local vegan baker but it helps all other vegans in Santa Clarita along with those who have gluten sensitivities.

Until then, you can check out the Grace & Mittie’s website and place an order, or even give them a call. Taura is very friendly and you will not be disappointed by the desserts.