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August 31, 2022

Plant-Based Perfection!

Summer is best to add more fruits and veggies to your diet! They are the most appetizing this time of year and so easy to access.

We hear so much about the health benefits of eating more vegetables and fruits. This newsletter honors folks who have taken the leap into plant-based eating. And, it is also perfect for those of us who are considering upping our plant intake in the most delicious way possible.

We will begin with some product recommendations to inspire you.

What about protein?

This is the question that vegetarians and vegans get all the time. And, here are some great answers.

Simulate NUGGS replace chicken nuggets with a yummy vegan version that uses wheat protein dipped in a crunchy batter. We love the spicy variety. You can find them in the freezer section.

Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods Chick'n Fajita is made with black beans, corn, and peppers over cauliflower rice with a tangy tomatillo poblano sauce.

Hodo Foods Tofu Veggie Burgers are hearty, tasty, and made with nutty, protein-packed organic tofu, organic veggies, and shiitake mushrooms for an umami-rich flavor punch. Plus, they are ready in a flash. We have their Veggie Burger, Cajun Burger, and Mexican Crumbles.

If you are in need of something both speedy and delicious, Yumbini turns beans and rice into an instant meal. Try their Cowboy BBQ instant pinto beans and rice, Curried Turmeric instant lentils and rice, and Smoky Chipotle instant black beans and rice.


We fell in love with Zürsun Idaho Heirloom Beans for their tremendous variety and color. They’re just amazing to even look at, let alone taste! And, they make a tasty addition to your winter soups and stews.

TruRoots Sprouted Organic Mung Beans are nutty and sweet. Mung beans can complement the flavors of other ingredients or stand alone as a fresh-tasting side dish.

Rancho Gordo might just ruin you for other beans—these beans cook up faster, taste creamier, and have such rich flavor. Rancho Gordo grows beautiful, quality, dried heirloom beans that are fresh and have fantastic varieties. Because they are fresh, they take less time to soak. We carry many of their heirloom beans as well as their White Corn Posole. 

Patagonia Provisions makes some amazing instant soup for camping or when you simply need to make a quick meal at home, Patagonia Provisions are absolutely top quality. Try their Green Lentil Soup, Red Bean Chili, and Black Bean Soup.

The Good Bean makes Crunchy Chickpeas that are great for snacking and a tasty protein to sprinkle on your salad. We have their Chili Lime, Classic Hummus, and Sea Salt in stock.


Oatley Oat Milk has taken the world by storm. And, for good reason. It is a tasty alternative to traditional dairy and is great on cereal, in coffee and tea, and for cooking and baking. We carry both low and full-fat varieties.

Forager Project Probiotic Cashewmilk Yogurt is a creamy, delicious non-dairy yogurt alternative that is rich in probiotic goodness. Try their vanilla bean and unsweetened plain.

Vanilla Bean, Unsweetened Plain

Field Roast Mac 'n Chao does not disappoint. Tender pasta is covered in a delicious cheesy sauce made from Creamy Original Chao slices. It’s a flavorful, satisfying, and comforting bite every time.


Coconut Bliss Bars are creamy and rich with excellent flavor—and just the right amount of sweetness. And, for those of you who can eat dairy? These bars are still for you, because of their sheer deliciousness. We have Coconut Almond Crunch and Sea Salt Caramel Swirl

Chomply's Plant-Based Scoops are made from our favorite plant, chocolate—the plant that melts in your mouth. Chomply has gotten rid of the milk and embraced the cocoa bean for all of its glorious power. This rich, creamy, intensely chocolatey dessert comes in Mocha Chip, Chocolate Hazelnut, Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate Marzipan Crunch.

To go

Need to grab something on the run? We have these suggestions from our deli department.

Epicurean Solutions Plant-Based Asian Chic'n Salad is made by an Oakland-based company. Vegan chick'n is tossed with crunchy napa cabbage, red peppers, water chestnuts, fresh cilantro, and black sesame seeds and mixed with a homemade hoisin dressing.

Cafe Karla is on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, and their Authentic Burmese Tea Leaf Salad is to die for. If you can't get to the restaurant, pick up a ready-made salad in our store.

Chabot Free Telescope Viewings

News & Events

Visit the Chabot Space and Science Center for free telescope viewings on clear Friday and Saturday evenings.

Join Chabot astronomers on the Observatory Deck for free telescope viewing! Weather permitting, this is a chance to explore the celestial bodies through Chabot’s historic telescopes. Chabot’s three large historic telescopes offer a unique way to experience the awe and wonder of the Universe.

Their observatory deck offers breathtaking views 1,500 feet above the Bay. Three observatory domes house the Center’s 8-inch and 20-inc refracting telescopes, along with a 36-inch reflecting telescope.

About Chabot's Telescopes

Chabot houses three telescopes on its observatory deck. Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope, is a 36-inch reflector telescope, housed in a rolling roof observatory that allows access to 180 degrees of sky. This modern, research-quality telescope offers breathtaking views of the cosmos.

Get all the details and the links…

Violife Just Like Feta

A Staff Favorite

The world of alternative cheese sure has matured in recent years. And, Violife Just Like Feta is our most recent discovery. You don't need to be vegan or dairy-free to enjoy it. It is creamy, delicious, and full of possibilities!

Violife Just Like Feta is salty and sour—just like feta. Because it is made from coconut, it is extra-creamy like a Bulgarian feta cheese. We love it in salads, sandwiches and toast, pizzas, eggs, and any traditional Greek dishes. You can do anything with it that you do with feta. It is great melted.

About Violife

Violife is a vegan-dedicated community-based in the beautiful surroundings of Thessalonica in Greece. They have been making great-tasting vegan alternatives to cheese products since the 90s.

The name Violife comes from the Greek word Vios, which means life. So it actually means, life squared—life lived to the fullest. With more than 30 years of crafting vegan products, Violife is a world leader in plant-based food. All of their products are 100% vegan and free from dairy, soy, gluten, lactose, nuts, GMOs, and preservatives. Plus, their cheeses are enriched with Vitamin B12…

We also carry Violife's Epic Mature Cheddar Block, Smoked Provolone Slices, Just like Parmesan, and Original Cream Cheese. Sample them all!

Read more and get great feta recipes…

Gammy Salad

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Gam’s Tomato “Salad”

My grandmother was a fool for summer tomatoes. She grew them in her giant garden. And, what she didn’t eat fresh she then canned to have them all throughout the year. I could be wrong, but I think she really grew them so that she could have a sliced tomato sandwich. My mother had the same addiction. The two of them would go bananas over sliced ripe tomatoes on white bread.

I will say that they had it right in one respect. When it comes to fresh homegrown tomatoes, the simpler the better. Why would you hide all that fresh tomato flavor (that you have been craving for the past year) under way too much sauce? Nowhere was this more apparent than when my grandmother would make what my sister and I refer to as Gammy Salad.

To call it a salad would be stretching the truth quite a bit. She would slice fresh tomatoes and layer them on one side of a plate. On the other side, she would slice up avocados and arrange them artfully. She would then sprinkle a little bit of Italian dressing over both sides and finish it all off with a big dollop of mayonnaise in the center and some salt and pepper. I know what you are thinking, "You had me up until the mayonnaise." The truth is, it’s kinda good.

Better yet…one bite of this and I am immediately transported back to summer Sunday night dinners when I was nine.

For the past week or so I have been making various versions of the Gammy salad because it’s August and my tomatoes are all turning ripe at the same time. The mayonnaise version has definitely made an appearance. But, I think my new favorite version replaces the mayo with some fresh burrata. Sometimes I include some sweet cantaloupe if I am feeling sassy.

Get the recipe…

Romano Beans

A Staff Faorite

Romano Beans are in season, and we've got them from Brentwood in the market!

Romano beans are an Italian flat bean in the same family as the string bean. They’re broad and flat with a juicy, sweet flavor and great crunch. They come in green, yellow, and sometimes purple. They’re usually around four to six inches long and can get much larger at the peak of the season.

You can snack on these crunchy beans raw. And, they also taste delicious when cooked. Try them quickly blanched for crudités, charred on the grill, or slow-braised in a tasty broth so they plump up and soak up all that flavor. You can use them in any recipe that calls for green beans, snap beans, or other similarly crunchy veggies like sugar snap peas. They’ll keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Get our recipe for Grilled Romano Beans With Garlic and Herbs…

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Steak Your Veggies

My relationship with cauliflower is difficult. I have only just recently started to eat it because my daughter can’t stand broccoli and cauliflower is a fairly easy substitute. My difficulties started when I was a kid when my mom would make cauliflower with a cheese sauce. And, for a long time, I was okay with it. I’m not sure exactly what went wrong. But, after having it one night I got sick. No one else got sick. Just me. From that day forward, in much the same way that college tequila shots have ruined margaritas for many people, I never wanted to eat cauliflower again.

It has taken 40 years but I have tried cauliflower—just a little bit now and then. Cauliflower has that great attribute of not having a strong flavor and therefore will soak up the flavor of anything it’s in. This is why I can handle cauliflower in Indian food, for example. But, large amounts of cauliflower on its own is a hurdle I haven’t cleared…yet.

I am intrigued by cauliflower steaks. There is something about this concept that appeals to me. The idea makes so much sense. A beautifully roasted or sautéed caramelized steak with a flavor-filled sauce of choice sounds so good in my head. So, I have been researching recipes so that I can take the leap…

While this version by Gordon Ramsay with salsa verde seems like it would be right up my alley, I have begun with something more basic as I dip my toe into these waters.

Get the recipe…

The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook: 500 Inspired, Flexible Recipes for Eating Well Without Meat

A Cookbook Recommendation

by America's Test Kitchen

Make any recipe vegan or vegetarian to suit your preference.

2021 IACP Award Winner in the Health & Nutrition Category.

America's Test Kitchen's (ATK) diverse, modern guide offers foolproof recipes for every occasion that you can tailor to suit your own needs—choosing whether to make any dish vegan or vegetarian. From building a plant-centric plate to cooking with plant-based meat and dairy, you'll find everything you need here to create varied, satisfying meals.

The 500-plus recipes are vegan but flexible. You can choose whether to make the Rancheros with Avocado with tofu or eggs, the Farro Salad with Cucumber, Yogurt, and Mint with plant-based or dairy yogurt, the Vegetable Fried Rice with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms with or without eggs, and the No-Bake Cherry-Almond Crisp using coconut oil or butter.

The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook is packed with ingenious tips for cooking with plant-forward ingredients and also showcases ATK's practical techniques. Rethink how you use vegetables (blend leeks into a silky pasta sauce, use beets to transform a burger from the "vegan option" into the best option); discover how to boost umami flavor using tomato paste, dried mushrooms, and miso; and more.

Califa Barista Blend Oat Milk Milk

A Staff Favorite

Add a little love to your latte.

Califa Barista Blend Oat Milk froths, foams, and steams perfectly, just like regular milk, for all your coffee creations. Or simply stir into hot or iced coffee. It blends beautifully without dairy, soy, or gluten. Just smooth and creamy plant-based goodness.

Califa Barista Blend Oat Milk blends beautifully into both hot and iced coffee, for a smooth and creamy cup every time. It is favored by professional baristas across the country for their ability to froth, steam, and form latte art.

Califa Barista Blend Oat Milk is made from only five simple plant-based ingredients: water, oats, sunflower oil, mineral blend, and sea salt. All ingredients are Non-GMO Certified, Kosher, vegan, and free from carrageenan.

Read more on our website…

BAMPFA Open Art Lab

News & Events

Drop-in Art Making at your local museum.

The BAMPFA museum’s popular Fisher Family Art Lab welcomes drop-in visitors of all ages to explore their creativity through hands-on artmaking. To help you get started, an Art Lab Facilitator is on hand with activities ranging from collage and artist’s stamps to ones inspired by the museum’s current exhibitions.

The BAMPFA Open Art Lab happens every week

Fridays from 2 to 7 PM

Saturdays from 11 to 7 PM

Sundays from 11 to 7 PM

And, the cost of the lab is Included with the price of admission.

Get the details and links…

Amy's Summer Stone Fruit Salad

From our blog, The Kitchen Table


I have a thing for fruit trees. When we first moved into our house 12 years ago, we planted rootstock for 14 different fruit trees. I had this bucolic vision of walking through my orchard with my children, laughing and snacking while picking the seasonal fruit we found there. Life, water issues, and bad soil said hold my beer…

The orchard failed.

Two years ago, my wonderful children gave me a peach tree for my birthday. We planted it in the now vacant chicken area of our property. It goes without saying that the previous occupants helped make the soil much better on this part of “the farm”. We had peaches the first year—though they never matured. The tree was too young to support their growth. The second year was the same. This year was bonkers.

We had at least a bushel of softball-sized sweet peaches. It was glorious. I use the past tense here because they are now all gone. Some we ate right off the tree. Some were used in Saturday morning scones. Some were shared with appreciative friends and family. Others were quartered and put in the freezer. Many of these beauties found their way into evening salads. Sometimes we grilled them, sometimes we didn’t. You be you…

One of my favorite summer salads is a recipe for my Summer Stone Fruit Salad that I posted a while ago—it is still a good one. I have since updated things a bit.

Peaches are still going strong in the marketplace. So, give this updated version a go if you find yourself with some ripe sweet peaches.

Get the recipe…

21 Seeds Tequila

A Staff Favorite

21 Seeds Blanco Tequila is infused with the juice of real fruits—a true sensory experience. Unlike other flavored tequilas on the market, these infused tequilas are not overly sweet. They simply offer a clean beverage that’s easy to drink and makes for some delicious cocktails!

About 21 Seeds

21 Seeds is an award-winning, all-natural, real fruit-infused tequila founded by 2 sisters plus 1 girlfriend looking to make a flavored tequila that was as approachable as a glass of wine. They partnered with the most celebrated female-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, to develop an ultra-smooth Blanco, infused with the ripest and juiciest fruits, resulting in an easy-to-use, perfectly balanced infused tequila that has won numerous awards.

We carry all three award-winning flavors of 21 Seeds Tequila: Grapefruit Hibiscus, Cucumber Jalapeño, and Valencia Orange.

Learn more about the flavors…

The Gin Rocket

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

Muddled arugula gives The Gin Rocket, a spin on a gimlet, a bright green color and a peppery bite. And, the fennel adds anise tones. These flavors are subtle and go wonderfully with food. You might want to pair it with seafood or a light pasta dish.

This cocktail originated with Portland and Bay Area bartender Kate Bolton.

Get the recipe…

California State Parks Library Pass

News & Events

Did you know you only need to visit your local library to get a parking pass?

The California State Parks Library Pass lends free day-use passes to over 200 participating state parks. And, all you need is a library card! The Library Parks Pass is valid for entry of one passenger vehicle with a capacity of up to nine people or one highway-licensed motorcycle.

California public library-card holders can check out the State Library Parks Pass via their local public library. The library card and park pass are free!

Each library location (including mobile libraries) holds passes for checkout. You can check out the pass for the allotted number of days allowed by the local library. (For example, it is seven days in Oakland and two weeks in Berkeley.) Check with your local library for guidelines and policies.

Get the details and links…

Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Lotsa Squash

If you have a zucchini plant in your backyard, chances are you are running out of ideas for how to use your bounty. In my house, we are partial to this Zucchini Bread recipe from The New York Times. It’s ridiculously good. The problem is we can’t go around eating nothing but cake—much to the disappointment of our inner ten-year-old.

There are plenty of non-baked good ways of using your zucchini. You could spiral it and use it like pasta, or you could pickle it for a new twist on a summer favorite. Mediterranean cuisine is an excellent place to look for zucchini recipes. Yotam Ottolenghi has some really tasty ideas in his collection of books and/or online.

I found the recipe for Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts on The New York Times website. I can’t quite call it Mediterranean cuisine—although the flavors and ingredients would suggest that it might be.

I have modified it to my own tastes in that I like a little bit more cumin and I felt it needed a little garlic. Also, the original called for Sumac. I prefer to use Za’atar which has Sumac in it as well as other warming spices.

Get the recipe…

The California Academy of Sciences Bugs

News & Events

It’s a bug’s world.

Accounting for up to 90% of all animal species on Earth, the multi-legged, exoskeleton-encased wonders under our feet and over our heads keep our planet buzzing in more ways than one. Visit The California Academy of Sciences Bugs exhibition, and you may find yourself metamorphosing into an amateur entomologist.

Bugs reveals the secrets of insects and arthropods in delightful, dazzling ways. From immersive activities that get you thinking to hands-on games that get you moving, Bugs inspires us to be curious about the tiny-but-mighty creatures among us, appreciative of the vital role they play in the natural world and energized to help them thrive.

Let your geek flag fly at the exhibition’s multimedia stations, where you can interact with real scientists, test out insect aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, and manually control the speed of insect flight videos to see the beat of every wing in extreme slo-mo.

Get the details and links…

Tomato Paloma

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

Summer tomatoes are at their prime. And, if you are picking fresh tomatoes from your garden or purchasing heirlooms at the store, the flavors are out of this world. Our recipe for the Tomato Paloma is perfect for this time of year.

This innovative use of tomatoes to infuse tequila is brilliant. Mario Garcia, the Executive Chef at the Hilton Chicago and creator of this recipe, explains, “The tomato adds an element of umami to the drink, helping to create a balance between sweetness and acuity and toning down the bite that comes from the tequila,”

The infused tequila is also delicious in a Bloody Mary.

Get the recipe…

Veggie-Forward Recipes from Our Archives

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Here is an extensive list of recipes from our archives that highlight plant-based eating. If your goal is to increase the amount of vegetables you are eating, this is a fantastic start.

If your goal is to eliminate all animal products, each of these recipes lends itself to simple substitutions—such as vegetable broth for chicken; egg sbustitue, vegan cheeses, milks, and butter for dairy; and veggie sausages for meat.


Tri-Colored Orzo Salad

Green Pea Salad with Pea Shoots and Tarragon

Cucumber Dill Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Jumbo Pico Salad

Backyard Tomato Salad

Roman Summer Salad

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Platter Salad

Fresh Elote Salad

Grilled Corn Salad

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

Tomato Chile Melon Salad

Persimmon, Asian Pear, and Toasted Almond Salad

Cucumber and Honeydew Salad

Summer Watermelon Salad


Chilled Tomato, Cucumber, and Pepper Soup

Corn Chowder


Watermelon Gazpacho With Chile and Feta Cheese

Red Lentil Soup


Asparagus and Leek Risotto

Rizzo e Zucca (Rice and Butternut Squash)

Barley and Pine Nut Pilaf

Farro with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs

Farro with Cranberries and Pecans


Homemade Naan

Easy Self-Rising Biscuits

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Classic Beer Bread

Hearty White Sandwich Bread

No-Knead Rustic Bread


Tomato, Peach, and Avocado Bruschetta

Julie & Julia’s Bruschetta

Amy’s Quick and Easy Green Beans

Weeknight Favorite Grilled Mixed Vegetables

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Kebobs

Gam’s Zucchini Fritters

Tian de Courgettes au Riz (Zucchini Tian)

Eggplant and Squash Tian


Confetti Corn

Green Beans with Hazelnut Gremolata

Moroccan Caramelized Carrots

Grilled Baby Bok Choy Stalks with Miso Butter

Slow-Cooker Braised Butternut Squash


Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Spicy Veggie Hash

Focaccia-Style Sheet Pan Pizza

Mushroom Poblano Tortas

Spicy Mushroom Tamales

Red Beans and Rice

Southwestern Charro Beans (skip the bacon)

South Indian Mixed Vegetable Curry

Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry

Pumpkin Pasta with Sage Butter

Fresh Homemade Pasta

Lentils with Onion and Garlic

Sesame Ginger Noodle Salad

Tahini Noodles with Green Beans and Carrots

Vietnamese Banh Mi (Sandwiches)


Fast Favorite Garlic Dill Pickles

Zucchini Pickles

Turmeric Pickles

Apple Pickle

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Roasted Peppers


Spicy Garden Salsa

George’s Garden Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Peach and Cucumber Salsa

Avocado Melon Salsa

Mango-Papaya Salsa

Blueberry Salsa à la Amy

Watermelon Salsa

Sauces and Spreads

Favorite Marinara Sauce

Roasted Tomato Ketchup

Kitty’s Roasted Pepper, Tomato, and Salted Lemon Relish

Almost Gam's Applesauce

Gam's Apple Chutney

Amy's Hummus

Jams and Jellies

Lavender and Lemon Jelly

Red Onion Marmalade

Fresh Strawberry Chia Jam

I CAN’T WAIT for Blackberry Jam!


Home Made Granola

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

Iced Cinnamon Rolls

Avocado Toast

Desserts and Sweets

On the Fly Blackberry Pie

Amy’s Apple Crisp

Peach Cobbler

Quick and Easy Fruit Cobbler

Classic Apple Pie

Classic Apple Dumplings

Peach Hand Pies

Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Coffee and Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream

Avocado Gelato


Baked Apples Filled with Fruit and Nuts

Bananas Foster Fondue

Dark Chocolate Toffee

Miyoko's Creamery

Vendor of the Month

A new generation of plant-based dairy

Times are changing. And, one delightful boon of the plant-based food trend is some genuinely delicious non-dairy products. Miyoko's Creamery butter and cheeses are darn good. They are fantastic for our vegan and dairy-free friends. And, inspiring for everyone else who wants to add a little more plants into your meal time.

About Miyoko's Creamery

Miyoko’s, based in Petaluma, is a vegan dairy company that produces vegan cheeses and butter using traditional creamery cultures, old cheese-making techniques, and modern technology. All of its products are also made with organic ingredients.

What We Carry

European Style Cultured Butter

This vegan butter makes everything taste better. It tastes and performs like traditional fine dairy butter. You won't believe it's made from plants. It melts, browns, bakes, and spreads phenomenally. And, it is loved by chefs and foodies, Miyoko's butter is perfect for all culinary and baking applications.

We carry both varieties: Hint of Sea Salt and Unsalted.

Organic Cashew Milk Mozzarella

Just like traditional buffalo mozzarella, Miyoko's cashew-based vegan version is the perfect answer for everything from pizzas to Caprese salads and paninis. Creamy, smooth, and perfect. It melts and browns beautifully and is delicious hot or cold.

Organic Cashew Milk Artisan Cheese Wheels

These are crafted with organic cashew milk using traditional cheese-making techniques such as culturing and aging, Miyoko's award-winning vegan cheese wheels have revolutionized the gourmet cheese world. We are carrying their Smoked English Farmhouse Cheddar, Herbes de Provence, Double Cream Classic Chive, Double Cream Garlic Herb, and Sundried Tomato Garlic Cashew Milk Cheese.

Read this article on our website…

Store Hours

Monday through Saturday from
9 AM to 8 PM & Sunday from
9 AM to 7 PM.
Free Parking 

4038 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 653-8181

Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.  

Blueberry Mojito Popsicles

Classic Chocolate Mousse

Amy’s Lemon Icebox Cake

Strawberry Ice Cream

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

Peach Hand Pies

Apple Apple Pickle

Spicy Marinated Chicken Tacos with Watermelon Salsa

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Kebobs

Tri-Colored Orzo Salad

Cucumber Dill Salad

No-Knead Rustic Bread

Gam’s Zucchini Fritters

Roasted Tomato Ketchup

Cranberry Grapefruit Frosé