Optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) is a scalable technology for ultrashort pulse amplification. Its major advantages include design simplicity, broad bandwidth, tunability, low B-integral, high contrast, and high beam quality. OPCPA is suitable both for scaling to high peak power as well as high average power. We describe the amplification of stretched 100 fs oscillator pulses in a three-stage OPCPA system pumped by a commercial, single- longitudinal-mode, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. The stretched pulses were centered around 1054 nm with a FWHm bandwidth of 16.5 nm and had an energy of 0.5nJ. Using our OPCPA system, we obtained an amplified pulse energy of up to 31 mJ at a 10 Hz repetition rate. The overall conversion efficiency from pump to signal is 6%, which is the highest efficiency obtained with a commercial tabletop pump laser to date. The overall conversion efficiency is limited due to the finite temporal overlap of the seed (3 ns) with respect to the duration of the pump (8.5 ns). Within the temporal window of the seed pulse the pump to signal conversion efficiency exceeds 20%. Recompression of the amplified signal was demonstrated to 310 fs, limited by the aberrations initially present in the low energy seed imparted by the pulse stretcher. The maximum gain in our OPCPA system is 6x107, obtained through single passing of 40 mm of beta- barium borate. We present data on the beam quality obtained from our system (M2=1.1). This relatively simple system replaces a significantly more complex Ti:sapphire regenerative amplifier-based CPA system used in the front end of a high energy short pulse laser. Future improvement will include obtaining shorter amplified pulses and higher average power.