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Reviews of Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge dishes show lots of yummy options

If you are like many of us, it was a mad rush to try and sample as many of the 29 dishes entered in the Vegan Chef Challenge by the end of the challenge. There were so many fantastic entries and so little time! We hope you got to try lots of them!

Now is the time to weigh in on the competition. Who will be the top dog in the challenge? What other prizes will we give out? You get to help make the call. You have until September 5 to rate your meals. Join the 1,000 plus votes already received. We will tally them up and announce the winner at the Twin Cities Veg Fest on September 18.

There are other benefits to rating your dish. For every vote you will be entered to win a gift card from our participating restaurants. We will randomly select a winner each of the first five days of September. And the person who votes for the most dishes by the end will also get a prize. Might you be a winner? Vote now and see.

In addition to the ratings we often get comments on the dishes. We share them with the restaurants to give them feedback. Here are a few of the comments to give you a taste of the many yummy options in the competition:

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Indigenous Wild Rice dishes | September 2022 |Vegan Recipe Club

If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

You may download the recipes using the link below or pick them up at East Lake Library, 2727 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Printed recipe packets are available at the library’s Safe Pick-Up Station. Simply check in with the greeter and ask for the Vegan Recipe Club packet. If you would like contactless pick-up, please call the library during open hours and request curbside service.

The cookbook selection for September is The Good Berry Cookbook by Tashia Hart

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Meet some of the Twin Cities Veg Fest volunteers

Over the last several months we have done blogs on some of our Twin Cities Veg Fest volunteers. Now that the time is coming close to the big day (September 18!) we want to recognize a few more of this hard working team: 

Nathan Gaut

Nathan Gaut is currently assisting the Chairs of the Festival. After 5 years of festival planning and as a past chair for several years (and a current board member), Nathan is perfectly suited to help support the two Chairs for this year: Breanna Knutson and Katelyn Maddox.

When asked about what he loved about volunteering with CAA he cites the CAA community with its many “cool people who are just as passionate about animal welfare as me.” Planning the festival is a lot of work but he states that  “To be together working towards a common goal of inspiring people and building a sense of community makes all the work worth it.”

Lisa Goddard

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2022 Farmaste Sanctuary Tour Creates Bonds Across Species

On August 14 ten CAA friends were given a personalized tour of Farmaste Animal Sanctuary. We got to meet their 22 residents and see first hand their special personalities! Their residents include goats, cows, sheep and pigs. Our guide Shannon told us their personal stories. We were also among the first to get to see their new location in Lindstrom, MN.

We appreciate Farmaste for setting up this tour and all the other great support and partnership. Including their support of our Explore Veg 21 Day Veg Challenge program and Silver level sponsorship of Twin Cities Veg Fest this year!

Farmaste rescues abused, neglected and unwanted farm animals and brings them to their 30-acre farm. There they are allowed to roam in the pastures, and live out their days free from cruelty. Farmaste is the only Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries verified sanctuary in Minnesota. They are a federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization fully funded through donations.

Thanks for the great tour and all the support, Farmaste!

July 2022 FUNraiser for Twin Cities Veg Fest raises funds and fun for many!

Over fifty people joined us at the July 31 Twin Cities Veg Fest FUNraiser. More than $500 was raised to help make this, the 10th Anniversary festival (September 18), the best one ever. This is a great start toward our goal of $10,000 to be raised by August 31. The festival costs over $60,000 each year and our sponsorships and exhibitor fees only cover a portion of that. To make up for the difference and enable us to keep the festival free for all we do fundraising events and campaigns such as this one.

The event was held on July 31 from 2-4 at Lake Monster Brewing. We had fabulous food from Vegan Byy Nature! And, of course beers and other brews by Lake Monster.

Entry level tickets were $35 for event admissions and a meal. A VIP $60 ticket scored a tote bag and a limited-edition 10th Anniversary festival t-shirt! For those who set up their donation to be recurring they got a special button “I helped make this possible!” – for extra bragging rights! And a free Fastmeal at the Festival!

There was a photo booth with animal themed items, a photo board and bags (cornhole) games to play. All in the lovely patio of Lake Monster. If you were there relive the experience with these photos. For others, get a taste of what you missed. And join us for the next FUNraiser!

Thanks to all who came and contributed and to Vegan Byy Nature and Lake Monster for their support. Special thanks to the volunteers who helped make this all possible.

If you would like to donate to help keep Twin Cities Veg Fest free for all go to https://www.givemn.org/story/1fc9ag. Take advantage of a match going on for August!

A fond farewell to the Kenny Feldman Animal Advocate Award

Commemorating the Kenny Feldman Animal Advocate Award and its winners

For the past eight years the Kenny Feldman Animal Advocate Award has recognized outstanding work in helping farmed animals. Stan and Carole Feldman established the award, in cooperation with CAA, to honor the memory of their son, Kenny, an animal lover and advocate.

Recently the Feldmans informed us that they would not be continuing the award. We appreciate their many years of support and laud the tremendous impact this award has made in helping spare farmed animals from lives of suffering. The impact will carry into the future through the continued work of the ten individuals who have been honored.

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One-Pot Dishes | August 2022 |Vegan Recipe Club

If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

You may download the recipes using the link below or pick them up at East Lake Library, 2727 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Printed recipe packets are available at the library’s Safe Pick-Up Station. Simply check in with the greeter and ask for the Vegan Recipe Club packet. If you would like contactless pick-up, please call the library during open hours and request curbside service.

The cookbook selection for August is Weeknight One-Pot Vegan Cooking, 2019 by Nicole Malik

The publisher describes the book:

“Exciting Plant-Based Meals without the Mess. Plant-based cooking just got easier than ever. Cleanup is a snap when your dinner cooks in one dish, and getting more plants into your diet is downright delicious. With approachable yet inspired recipes…Perfect for vegans, vegetarians and veggie-loving omnivores alike, this book centers on whole food recipes for more nutritious, satisfying meals without sacrificing flavor. Even on your busiest weeknights, these simple yet delicious meals will please the whole family with time to spare.”

In the recipe club this month we will discuss these recipes:

  • Raisin-glazed Stuffed Acorn Squash—pg 10
  • Sheet-pan Sesame Garlic Tempeh—pg 29
  • Vietnamese Veggie Pho—pg138

optional:

  • White bean & Tomato Bruschetta—pg 62
  • Indian-spiced Sweet Potato Stew—pg 118

Download August Recipes Here

Facilitated by Henry Patterson of Compassionate Action for Animals.

View additional information and previous recipes here.

Topic: Vegan Recipe Club
Time: Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 6:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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Meet our newest Board Member—Julie Reiter

Julie with Luna on (left) and Kaia. Luna’s a rescue from Standing Rock and Kaia’s a rescue from Alabama.

We are pleased to welcome Julie Reiter to the CAA Board of Directors. Julie (she/her) has been involved in education and nonprofit work for over 15 years. She currently serves as the director of a program focused on nonprofits and volunteerism for students at the University of St. Thomas.

For her own activism, she was drawn to CAA because of its positive and inclusive approach to supporting folks on their journey toward plant-based eating. She started volunteering with CAA through the Vegan Chef Challenge, and joined the board in 2022.

We asked her some questions so that we can get to know her better. Below are her replies.

What about CAA appeals to you?

I’m excited to be involved in a grassroots nonprofit working in positive ways to reduce harmful factory farming practices. The Twin Cities Veg Fest is such a good example of that – it’s a fun celebration of delicious food where everyone is welcome, where the ultimate benefactors are the animals. (The focus on food is definitely a plus, since I really love to eat!)

I really appreciate that CAA supports people wherever they are in their plant-based journey, and doesn’t take an “all or nothing” approach to veganism. I think that approach is so productive and uplifting. I also especially appreciate the anti-racist stance the organization has taken.

What are your hopes for CAA and for the animal protection movement?

CAA has so many great programs that all support its ultimate goal of increasing empathy towards animals and moving people towards a plant-based lifestyle. I hope that the organization can continue to grow so it can reach more people through these programs, and create new innovative ways to meet its mission. I’m excited that it seems more and more people are being inspired to give up animal products. As it becomes more accessible and acceptable to be vegan, CAA is in a great position to help folks make the change.

Speaking of compassionate living, what are your favorite vegan foods?

It’s so amazing to me how many delicious vegan food options there are! I love the challenge of finding healthy plant-based food while traveling. At home, nothing is better than a big buddha bowl thrown together with some veggies, quinoa, air-fried tofu, roasted potatoes and a creamy vegan sauce.

How do you spend your time when you’re not advocating for animals?

I’ve got a really active family with two teenagers and two rescue pups, and they keep me busy!

Previous Vegan Recipe Club recipes now available!

Since 2019 CAA has been hosting a monthly Vegan Recipe Club. The club meets online and discusses a few recipes that had been selected for the month. These recipes are available for download before the class. You can make them ahead of time, or not, and then join in the discussion about them.

We have collected these recipes over the years. They can be found here. Each month’s recipes are listed by subject/type of food. There are a wide variety of meals to choose from. All selected to be great tasting and support the health of participants. Best of all, they also help the animals and the environment!

Check them out! And come to one of the ongoing monthly Vegan Recipe Club meetings. The club meets monthly on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. Meetings are held via zoom.

Find Previous Recipes: exploreveg.org/VRCarchives

Great food and friends at CAA’s 2022 4th of July Picnic!

Over 70 people joined us for our annual 4th of July Vegan Picnic! Despite the rainy weather people gathered to share their culinary creations and try new dishes!

We had a table chock full of entrees, another with salads, one with gluten free options and perhaps most importantly a desert table! The food kept coming as people joined us throughout the day.

Many were at their first vegan meal! Others were long time vegans who loved to show off their creations. All reported having so much food they couldn’t fit it all—on their plate or in their stomach! The creativity was amazing! We even had “hard-boiled deviled eggs”—no hens involved!

It was a great chance to renew old friendships and make new friends. All people who share a common desire to explore a more compassionate way of eating.

In keeping with our other goal of environmental stewardship, the event used compostable plates and utensils. And many brought their own to be even more “green.”

If you attended the event we’d love your feedback here.

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Upcoming Events

Monday, October 3, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting

Friday, October 7, 2022

UMN Student Group Vegan Food Giveaway

Monday, October 10, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting

Monday, October 17, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

October Vegan Recipe Club via Zoom