Have you ever wanted, after enjoying a fabulous gourmet meal at your favorite vegan restaurant, to find that same meal in your supermarket as a frozen entree? The owners of Candle Café and Candle 79 in New York City have recently established a line of great-tasting entrees that will excite the palate of vegans and non-vegans alike.
Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson, the restaurants’ owners and life partners, are dedicated vegans who also believe in making the planet green. “I initially became vegan for the health benefits,” Potenza told me. “Then I realized being vegan meant compassion for animals and more eco-friendly practices for the planet.”
“We believe that eating a plant-based diet and choosing local organic foods is the most direct and simplest way to create a more peaceful, sustainable world,” says their website.
Planning for Candle Café Frozen Meals has been in the works for a couple of years now. The line was launched about two weeks ago. Currently, Whole Foods Markets are the only place these gourmet vegan frozen entrees are available. There are four varieties to choose from: Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, Ginger Miso Stir-Fry, Tofu Spinach Ravioli, and Mac & Vegan Cheese.
I’ll admit my research for this article included tasting the meals with friends for feedback. We all liked them a lot. Potenza tells me the feedback he has received so far is overwhelmingly positive. They will continue to monitor the sales with a goal of expanding the menu line in the future. They are also toying with the idea of bulk packaging — like a large bag of the tofu spinach raviolis — for convenience sake.
Candle Café and Hain Celestial Group, Inc. produce the frozen meals and both companies are dedicated to animal welfare and eco-friendly practices. This is evidenced on the packaging: “We share our passion by proudly supporting the Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary, two animal protection organizations.”
According to its website, “Farm Sanctuary rescues animals, educates the public about the centrality of the vegan diet to compassionate living, and advocates for animals through investigation, prosecution, legislation and litigation.” That’s my definition of a higher purpose.
“The frozen food aisle has traditionally been a pretty chilly place for farm animals,” says Potenza. “We wanted to prove that not a single animal needs to suffer for you to enjoy the decadence of a gourmet meal and the convenience of a frozen dinner.”
“Candle Cafe is a renowned leader in fine vegan dining, and its commitment to making the world a more compassionate place through the distribution of delicious, convenient and affordable vegan food is inspiring,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur. “The vegan movement is going mainstream.”
Candle Café and Candle 79 also have cookbooks published where you can get recipes for some fabulous vegan dishes. Have you tried vegan food yet?
Photo from Candle Cafe Facebook page.