This moment of tenderness brought to you by our friends at Lehigh Valley with Love:

“I think when you reach 30 you can truly start to realize what makes a woman ‘beautiful’ and what makes her ‘hot.’ Then choose beautiful.”

Right on. We love LV with Love.


SWEATER WEATHER: Pretending It’s Fall Makes Me Happier than Most Things

 (If you like this Fall post, see also: The Noise of Failure Growing Beautiful; and Books, Leaves and Campfires)

.     .     .

I could never live anywhere that didn’t have Fall as one of the seasons. I’ll gladly take blizzards in the winter, and sticky hot humidity in the summer, if it means I get to experience the in-between.

Love love love love love this.

The past few days when I’ve gone outside, it’s been… chilly. Not cold, but enough to wear layers and long sleeves and still feel perfectly comfortable. Taking long walks is more appealing than usual, and I feel so lucky to live in a town that is beautiful and full of such history.

This morning I am positively giddy about what this change of the seasons will bring:

  • butternut squash, pumpkin, apple and cinnamon everything
  • creepy 1970’s books
  • the way orange and yellow and brown leaves smell
  • pumpkin patches with little shops that sell apple cider
  • apple cider in general
  • neutral milk hotel records
  • the 4million festivals in the Lehigh Valley
  • a good excuse to have a backyard firepit any night
  • reading on the couch while Ryan watches a football game (a display of domesticity that I love and count on)

“Happiness is being content with little.”

  NOTE: Literally as I’m on the sidewalk typing this, a car pulls up by the curb and yells out “Save the Kales!”, and here is is my former internet-only friend Amy! She’s been a reader for a long time, and I’m not sure if we first bonded over this blog or her excellent choice of eyewear, but nonetheless, we finally got to meet and MAN IT’S REALLY JUST THE BEST DAY! (Hi again, Amy!)


Here are some upcoming events and things I hope you’ll be excited about  – and with any luck I’ll get to see you there, too!

– Wednesday, Aug. 31st 6pm-8pm  Stacks in the City: Ladies Night – All About Vegan! I’ll be there doing a cooking demo, along with the amazing Wendy of Balasia/Honey Underground, and possibly a few more folks in the local Vegan community. Not just for ladies! FREE event at SteelSatcks. Find out more here:

Saturday, Sept. 3rd 7pm – ???   Screening of Forks Over Knives with Discussion to Follow  Holy moly, I have been waiting for this to come to the Valley for a long time! What Food Inc. did for food politics, Forkes Over Knives does for food and health/sickness. I’ll be on the discussion panel along with some other folks! Come see it! Talk! Ahh!

Find out more about the weekend-long Eco-Film Fest here:

Wednesday, Sept 7  Get your Free copy of The Mix weekly paper! Bethlehem Vegfest is the feature this week. These are, like, everywhere in the Valley and will be out until the following Wednesday.

Saturday, Sept 10th Noon-5pm  Bethlehem Vegfest  WOW, IT’S HERE! I’ll see you on the Greenway!


… In the mean time, I’ll be working on perfecting some new Fall recipes. See you soon!

NEW VIDEO: Chickpea + Strawberry Summer Salad (on Steelstacks Live!)

Once again my pals at Steelstacks Live! and Greenleaf Productions let me do some cooking with Jon Lunger.

Jon is a goofball but also just gave one of the sweetest, nicest, most flattering write-ups about me over on the webpage. You can see it here. Bring tissues, it’s so nice. People are lovely, aren’t they?

Annnnd for the video:


  • chickpeas (2 cans, or about 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • olive oil, enough to coat salad lightly
  • about 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch scallions/green onions, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. dried mint
  • juice of 2 medium lemons
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Seriously, these are the directions: Add the chickpeas and strawberries to a mixing bowl. Coat lightly in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and mix. DONE! EASY!

You can garnish with some whole strawberries or parsley sprigs to make it look extra beautiful.

Save the Kales! on Steelstacks Live! Exclamation points!

RAW TACO SALAD: Ultra-Healthy Spin on a Typically Unhealthy Dish

After Musikfest ended, Ryan and I both noticed our bellies seemed unhappy with us. Just sort of puffy and full-feeling but always hungry, and just… blehhhh. I guess eating a lot of fried, starchy food and mugs of beer can do that to you. (Really, Jaime, you should know better.)

 So I’ve made a point to incorporate not only more whole foods into our meals following the ‘Fest, but more raw foods. I have a fascination with raw foods – mainly, the incredibly creative recipes that raw foodists and cooks dream up. When you can make pumpkin cheese ravioli WITHOUT butter, eggs, milk, pasta or COOKING, you have my attention.

I went to my first Raw Foods class back when I worked at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY and would pilgrimage to Ithaca every chance I got, to the Mecca that was: Green Star Food CoOp.  About 30 of us huddled together for our cooking class where I got to sample raw zucchini pasta with raw tomato-basil sauce. Amazing. 

(Note: The time I lived in Watkins Glen and frequented Ithaca, Ryan was also living in Ithaca. I like to think we met many years ago in that wonderfully progressive oasis of a town.)

I was searching web cooking videos when I came across the blog Girl Gone Raw. It’s very professional, friendly, colorful and packed full of information about health, the benefits of raw foods, and of course the RECIPES.  Right there on the main page was a recipe for a raw taco salad. One glance and I realized I have everything needed to make it, so off I went to work on a salad so good – so tasty and healthy – I’ve had it four times in the last week.

This is not my recipe, but these are my photos and my praise and endorsements. Make this as soon as you possibly can. (I did alter the dressing recipe slightly, but it’s still raw.)

RAW TACO SALAD via Girl Gone Raw blog

Taco meat:
1 cup of walnuts
5-6 sundried tomatoes, soaked 1-2 hours
1 clove of garlic
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of sea salt
Blend ingredients together in a food processor until it looks like taco meat. Place in the center of a platter & surround with salad toppings.

Taco "meat" before processed.

Taco "meat" after. Looks convincing, right?

Salad part: 
1 head of green or red leaf lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 ears or corn, corn removed
¼ cup of diced onion
1 avocado, diced
½ lemon or lime juiced

Surround taco meat with shredded lettuce & top with remaining salad ingredients,

1 cup of cashews
1 1/4 cups of water
zest from 1 lime
juice from 1 lime
pinch of sea salt

***I added some tahini and nutritional yeast to the dressing! -JK

Blend everything in a high speed until smooth & creamy. Pour into a 16 oz jar. Drizzle some over top of the salad & save the rest for later. Store in refrigerator.

Raw Taco Salad with cashew-lime dressing.

Dinner, then lunch (then dinner again then lunch again) is served!

I’ll have to include more raw recipes here. Not only are they tasty and creative, but you feel GOOD and powerful after eating them.

Hop over to GIRL GONE RAW and see what else Elizabeth is not cooking up! 

VIDEO: Veggie Stacks inspired by the Bethlehem Vegfest Posters!

Bethlehem Vegfest is less than a month away (holy moly!), and I’ve been looking at the poster design by Christian Weber Creatives and got inspired to make this dish.

I also hope you’ll give a round of applause, once again, to Matt and Sarah of Lehigh Valley Mirror for turning this video into a Save the Kales web cooking show – which will become a monthly feature! This is the first one and I am so excited to get better, share more recipes and little tips called “Food For Thought” (an homage to Colleen-Patrick Goudreau’s amazing podcasts, but also a fun play on words).

This is some of great poster art for Bethlehem Vegfest, six designs in total, and you can find all the designs on the facebook event page!

You’re going to be there, right? “Yes, of course!”  That’s what I thought. On to the recipe…



*This recipe makes enough for 2-3 stacks, but you can make a hundred more depending on how many veggies you use and how big they are.

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into inform rounds about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into uniform rounds about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 refrigerated polenta, sliced into rounds 1/2 inch thick
  • about 1/2 cup olive oil (may not use all of it)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray, and lay out cut zucchini and eggplant. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with a little sea salt and pepper. Put in the oven for about 25 minutes, until veggies are cooked and tender.
When you have about 10 minutes of cooking time left, put the cherry tomatoes in the oven (use the same cookie sheet if you have room).
Heat olive oil in a pan, enough to coat the bottom. Add the polenta slices and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side. One side is done when it’s golden in color. Move to a plate covered in paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
In a small saucepan, add about 1/4 cup olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the grated garlic until it starts to just brown, but not burn. (Make sure the heat is not too high.) Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes becoming very fragrant. Remove from heat.
Allow oil to cool a bit, or just be careful not to burn yourself for this next step! Add garlic oil to a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup fresh basil, and blend on high until oil becomes green.
Start stacking! I used polenta on the bottom since it’s a little sturdier, but go in any order. Top with a drizzle of the garlic and basil oil, some of the roasted tomatoes, and a leaf or two of fresh basil. PRETTY!

Vegetable and Polenta stack

Go check out Lehigh Valley Mirror, check back for more Save the Kales! videos, and we’ll see you at Bethlehem Vegfest! 

Turmeric and Mustard Seed Cabbage over Rice

I’ve been devouring cookbooks in all this rainy weather, and one I’ve spent a lot of time with is an Indian cookbook. It’s given me a great excuse to go to the Indian market and buy tons of spices. Cumin powder, cumin seeds, besan flour, dried red chilis and fresh green chilis.

This is a very easy dish that is VERY low in calories. The flavor is mild with spices not overbearing, but enhancing the flavor of the vegetables. This dish also uses some frozen veggies, so it’s very easy to whip it up if you’re in a rush to get something on the table.


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped/shredded
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen carrots, peas and beans mixture
  • 1 small potato, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • juice of 1/2 lime (or more to taste)

Have all the veggies cut and ready to go.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them cook for a moment until they “pop” and become brown. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until just translucent. Add ginger and stir through.

Mustard seeds are cute!

Add cabbage, frozen veggies, and potatoes. Sprinkle turmeric, salt, coriander, and cayenne over the veggies. Add the water and stir. Simmer 8-10 minutes (with a lid to help steam everything) until the potatoes are tender.

So colorful!

Squeeze lime juice on top, and transfer to a serving bowl. Cut the other half of the lime in wedges to be served alongside the dish, as a garnish and/or to be squeezed over the serving. This can be served over basmati rice as shown, or over another grain of choice.  You can also garnish with fresh cilantro.

It makes your house smell good, too.

This can all be made with ingredients you already have in the cupboard (spices) or in the freezer (some veggies). Add inexpensive cabbage, onion and potato and you’re all set!

VEG FOOD AND MUSIKFEST 2011: You Won’t Starve!

Among all the turkey legs and gyro meat spinning six feet in the air, there are some vegetarian and vegan meals to be found among the Musikfest vendors.

This this is in no way comprehensive – you can find fried things all over the place so I didn’t highlight the obvious stuff (french fries).

Overall, I found that the areas that have the most veg-friendly food are Broad Street around the Boyd Theatre, Main Street, and the area down the hill right behind Hotel Bethlehem. Once you’re down the hill but start moving under the bridge toward Plaza Tropical, you’re options get limited to mostly aforementioned fried things.

**As of the time of this post, I haven’t been in the kid’s area or to the vendors around the back of it, so I’ll check that out soon. In the mean time, if there’s something great over there that I’m missing, please let me know!

On Broad Street, there is Hello Burrito open for business as usual (look for the guy at front handing out 10% off coupons!). Most burritos start vegetarian, and can be made vegan upon request. Something new is Istanbul Grille, mediterranean food that is very inexpensive: grape leaves 2/$1.00, falafel, etc… And it looks like a brick-and-mortar restaurant is coming soon.

Istanbul Grille, Broad Street

Main Street has a good amount of offerings, as all the usual restaurants are open, plus a lot of food stands. The Tiki Bar is hard to miss with it’s bright decorations. Here you can find almost 20 different kinds of fresh smoothies, as well as soft pretzels. (*Ask for pretzels to be made without butter. They can do it for you no problem, especially when there isn’t s huge line of people.)

Tiki Bar, Main Street

Across from that, Stations has a stand set up for their organic soft pretzels that are VERY TASTY. They have a brick-and-mortar business in the Main Street Commons, and will also be vending at VegFest. Show some support!

Stations, Main Street

Keep an eye on Main Street for Take-A-Taco, serving vegetarian quesadillas (and I’m sure they’d leave the cheese out if asked). In front of Johnny’s Bagels you’ll find veg*n gyros, veggie burgers (not sure if these are vegan), and falafel.

Thai Thai II, one of my favorite local restaurants, also has vendor food in front of their place on Main Street. EVERYTHING they are serving is vegetarian. I stupidly forgot to ask if their food includes eggs, so I don’t know if it’s vegan or not. I’m hoping so, because nothing is over $5 (cash only, no tickets here) and they have pad thai and drunken noodles. I LOVE DRUNKEN NOODLES. SO MUCH. (They don’t actually have alcohol in them for my straight edge buds.) Also spring rolls and edamame.

Thai Thai II, Main Street


Don’t miss the little gem hiding at the Sun Inn Courtyard, just off Main Street. There you’ll find the always pleasant and wonderful Gail of The Back Door Bakeshop with her awesome vegan black bean brownies! She’s great, local, and cooking up some new vegan recipes in time for VegFest. If you’re really lucky, the fabulous Dina Hall will be there too when she’s not playing a show.

Thanks for feeding us, Gail!

Once you get down the hill behind the Hotel Bethlehem, stay to the right if you’re hungry. You’ll find the vendor offering pickle on a stick (not fried), which is a mere dollar but the pickles are tiny. It’s still fun to eat them off a stick, though.

What may arguably be one of the other biggest veg-food saviors of Musikfest is Alando’s Kenyan Cuisine, just look for the giant zebra. While their restaurant on Main Street is open during Musikfest, at their booth you can pick up some awesome lentil samosas (make sure you get the spicy pili pili sauce on the side!), and vegetable masala wraps (ask for no Ranch dressing). 

Alando's Kenyan food

Stroll around and you’ll also find Chan’s chinese food, with veggie lo mein. There’s also a Greek Food stand with grape leaves, a hummus platter, and spinach pies (not sure if they have cheese or not).

Greek Food

If you get over to Steelstacks, there is a bright shiny star of food stands on that campus too. Cactus Blue mexican food is very vegetarian and vegan friendly. And more than that, it’s really important to them to be a veg-destination. One of the owners, Liz, is one of my former college professors. She told a story about her vegetarian mother having such a hard time finding food as Liz was growing up, people always wanting to give her mom chicken or fish as a “vegetarian” dish. So when Cactus Blue opened their restaurant, they made sure that everything (except a blatant meat dish) could be made vegetarian or vegan.

Cactus Blue Mexican Food, Steelstacks

Beans and rice are free of animal products and broth, and they have yummy fresh salsa and my favorite, a variety of hot sauces to use. You can get this tasty plate of rice and beans for $5 worth of tickets.

Cactus Blue dinner, $5!

I’ll continue to update this post as you or I find things to add to it, so don’t be shy about sharing your favorite places to grab some food, and photos are great too. Happy Festing!

STK Guide to MUSIKFEST 2011: Bethlehem is a Giant Free Concert for 10 Days

Hello, one million people.

For those of you living outside the Lehigh Valley, here’s the thing: My little town of Bethlehem, PA becomes a MASSIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL every August. It’s 10 days long, (mostly) free performances, has over 10 stages (called “platzes”), food and art vendors everywhere, AND for those of you who imbibe now and again, you can drink beer, wine and alcohol in the streets.

If you live downtown (I do), you can gripe about finding parking in front of your house and how annoying the mobs of teenagers are. Or you can shift your perspective and take advantage of the fact that you get to see free live music from across the country (and the world, in some cases) and join the party!

 It’s true that I’m not familiar with 90% of the bands. But to help you out, I’ve poked around online to find some highlights. Not sure if you’ll like them – I’ve been into jazz and bluegrassy/old-timey stuff in the last year – but if you are wandering among the masses, here’s a guide to what musicians sparked my interest the most. EVERY ONE of these performances is FREE!

*NOTE: Please grab a Musikfest guide or check the website for platz locations. Also, check out the bands yourself online since it’s a lot of work to come up with descriptions of them. All are intriguing, but the bands/musicians in bold are REALLY FANTASTIC! Like, I’m sort of mad that I didn’t know about them earlier. Or, if you don’t go you are missing out and you can’t ever complain about Musikfest.


  • 6pm: Frankenpine; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 7pm and 8:30pm: Sarah Donner (opened for Lisa Loeb last week); Air Products Town Square (Steelstacks)
  • 9pm Deigo’s Umbrella


  • 2:30pm Moonshine Society; Plaza Tropical
  • 5:30pm Love in Stolkholm; Levitt Pavilion (Steelstacks)
  • 6pm Great White Caps; Plaza Tropical
  • 7pm Trouble City All Stars; Volksplatz
  • 7pm Dina Hall and the Backbeat; DBA Liederplatz
  • 10:30pm Jim Tews – StandUp Comedy; Musikfest Cafe (Steelstacks) Comedy not free, but worth it


  • 3:30pm Freak Owls; Main Street Bethlehem (ALSO 8pm; Lyrikplatz)
  • 5:30pm Parkington Sisters; DBA Leiderplatz
  • 7pm The Headers: DBA Leiderplatz
  • 10:30pm Panic Years; Air Products Town Square (Steelstacks)


  • 5pm blueVENUS; DBA Main Street
  • 6pm Bellflur; Plaza Tropical
  • 9pm The Low Anthem; Levitt Pavilion (Steelstacks)


  • 7:30pm Cheers Elephant; Plaza Tropical
  • 9pm: Sweetback Sisters; Leiderplatz


  • 5pm Joshua Popejoy; Leiderplatz
  • 5pm Massy Ferguson; Main Street Bethlehem


  • 5pm Daisy Jug Band; Volksplatz
  • 6:30pm Cello Fury; Air Products Town Square (ALSO at 8pm, same place)
  • 7pm Trailer Park Troubadors; Volksplatz
  • 10:30pm The Big Dirty
  • 10:30pm Pat House – StandUp Comedy; Musikfest Cafe (Steelstacks) Not free but GO IF YOU CAN, HE IS SO GOOD


  • 1:30pm Float Parade: Volksplatz
  • 5pm Exter vs. Kimock; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 6:30pm Lunic; Air Products Town Square (ALSO at 8:30pm, same place)
  • 9pm Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution

Please check out the girl in this video the Love Revival Revolution – oh my gosh!!!


  • NOON Bronze Radio Return; Plaza Tropical (ALSO at 5:30pm)
  • 5pm Rosie Burgess Trio; Leiderplatz (also at NOON, Main Street Bethlehem)
  • 9pm Start Making Sense; Volksplatz TALKING HEADS TRIBUTE, OH MY GOSH AMAZING AND LOCAL!!!!
  • 10:30pm Chip Chantry – StandUp Comedy; Musikfest Cafe (Steelstacks) Paid show


  • NOON Kagero; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 5pm Zaire; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 9pm Up the Chain; Lyrikplatz

I’m going to work on a guide to vegan food once I get there and check it out. PLEASE let me know if you have any tips on vegan food, and photos would be great, too! You can post them on FACEBOOK and I’ll add them to a blog post!

DINNER IMPROV: Creamy Spicy Cauliflower Snacks

I’m pretty sure you can take almost any vegetable, cover it in cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast, roast it, and it will be undeniably delicious. Such is the case with cauliflower.

Kale chips addiction enabling.

I’m an admitted kale chip addict. Note the photo; I’ve learned to keep it on hand at all times because I’ve gone to the store in the middle of the night to ease a kale chip craving and they have been ALL OUT OF KALE which is an abomination! I’ve decided to branch out to other cruciferous veggies so I can be prepared on nights if this should happen again (for shame!).

Here is a super-duper easy peasy recipe for roasted cauliflower that has a surprising sweetness, and I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s white, but cauliflower is so creamy when roasted. It takes 3 minutes to put together and stick in the oven, so you have no excuse NOT to make this.


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or enough to very lightly coat cauliflower)
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Put cauliflower into a mixing bowl, and toss with olive oil first, then dry ingredients. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then place the cauliflower on the sheet in an even layer (don’t pile it up!). Bake until it starts to brown slightly on the tips, about 30 minutes (possibly a little longer).


I promise the sweetness of the cauliflower and cheesy-type flavor of the nutritional yeast completely balance out the cayenne, so they have a mild spiciness. These are so simple to make, it’s almost kind ridiculous how tasty they are. 
<p> See? Cooking doesn’t have to be time-consuming, complicated, or expensive. It’s kind of stupid how easy this is. If you can cut things into small pieces, add stuff to a bowl, and extend your arm to put something in an oven, you can do this. The most difficult part is waiting for them to finish cooking. </p>
<p> Cauliflower is crrrraaazzzyyyy packed with vitamin C, too. So eat it up! </p>