SEPTEMBER EVENTS: with Save the Kales!

September actually is about more than cardigans and boots and pumpkins and birthdays (if you can believe that!).

I’m so excited to be a part of several great events, most of which are open to the public, and many which will also feature some of my favorite writers/public speakers ever, so make sure you check out the full line-ups, cause these are gonna be good. 

Save the Kales! September 2012 Events

Sept. 8th: Bethlehem Vegfest, Speakers Tent (time TBA)

Sept. 16th: Emmaus Farmer’s Market  Noon-1pm, Cooking Demo

Sept 20th: Keynote Speaker at Cedar Crest College “Leadership Launch” (private event but I know some of my readers are students there, so come say hello if you can!)

Sept 29th: on discussion panel for “Using Media Effectively” at the NEPA (NorthEast Pennsylvania) Blog Conference

You can learn more about each of these events by going the links above, and if you have any specific questions I’ll do my best to help you! See you soon. xo

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BETHLEHEM FOOD CO-OP: Guest Post in a Series exploring needs of Various Diets

The beloved Bethlehem Food Co-op is making (seriously impressive) strides, and just launched a new promotional poster series to raise community awareness. In conjunction, they have asked members with various dietary needs to contribute to the Co-op Blog with short essays about why the Co-op would address their specific needs.

I was happy to contribute a little something for Vegan diets (click to read). 

Bethlehem Food Co-op Poster

If you live in the Lehigh Valley and are not familiar with this project, take a few moments to poke around the website and learn about how this can GREATLY impact our community in so many ways it would take a day to list them all.

Or say hello in person when you find us at a farmer’s market or event local event. The local residents, businesses, farmers and economy will benefit from this and, as a member of the community, YOU directly benefit as well. Talk about win-win!

Visit the Bethlehem Food Co-op website to learn more and get involved.

Work/Life Balance; Great Podcast from Grace Bonney

I’ve taken a few days off from work in general. I have started, restarted, and edited (many times) some posts that explore some deeper topics, not necessarily related to food or veganism. Even those I feel are written at their best (until I edit again) are about topics I wonder if I should post publicly or save for a private handwritten journal tucked into my nightstand.

The blurred line of sharing VS oversharing, being open and maintaining boundaries is on my mind a lot lately. Especially when part of your job or your “brand” (it always feels uncomfortable to say that) relies on exploring the things you are passionate about and spend time on when you’re not working.  Or are you still working? I guess that’s the whole idea in question…

In any case, if you haven’t already listened to this podcast by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, I very much recommend it. Find the 30 minutes it takes to listen and absorb, especially if you’re the sort of person who has trouble finding those 30 minutes.

AFTER THE JUMP Podcast: Work/Life Balance 

I’ll save my own in-depth thoughts on the topic for a later time. For now, I wish you happy and enjoyable weekend. Even if you have to work, take some time to watch a movie, visit with a friend, and leave your computer and cell phone and ipad at home. 

I promise, twitter and Facebook and Pinterest will still be there the next day.

Thankful Thursday (On Monday): 20 August 2012

Last week’s “Thankful Thursday” was postponed because we were shooting Episode 5 all day, then I got home and (accidentally) passed out on the couch. Woopsies. Better late than never! 

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

.     .     .     .     .

LoveList August 20, 2012.

{The film Ruby Sparks. Where do I begin? It follows a young author (dressed in cardigans and glasses, as Ryan dubbed it “nerd girl porn”) who writes about his ideal girlfriend, manifesting her into real life. She is equally adorable, sings while she cooks, wears the best outfits, etc… Imagine a low-budget 500 Days of Summer meets Eternal Sunshine and you get the idea. Below the surface, it explores the idea of what makes an ideal partner in a relationship — and how it can be unrealistic and unhealthy. It also explores the Zooey Deschanel-archetype that so many love to hate. One of my favorites of 2012. Go see it.

Oh, and this quote from the film: “Quirky, messy women whose problems only make them endearing are not real”, which made my boyfriend laugh good and hard.}

{There is a teenager-sized kitten on the STK! set. What is it about the heads of tiny creatures that make you compelled to kiss and kiss them? It’s like a lips-to-head magnetization occurs, and it’s irresistable.}

and, this direct quote that a woman said about the shirt I’m wearing in the above photo (literally so wonderful and weird that I wrote it down immediately):

“That shirt looks like a psychedelic spider let loose all over it.”

{Once a year, Bethlehem puts on the largest free music festival in the country, and for 10 days you can drink wine in the streets and see hundreds of free concerts. This was March Fourth Marching Band, a group from Portland, OR that put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. Stilt dancers, spandex costumes, burlesque, fire hooping, hand-claps… it was amazing to turn around and see thousands of people in the audience smiling and sharing the whole experience.}

also

{pumpkin drinks / fire pits with friends until it’s nearly light outside / pulling out your supply of tights for the cooler weather / nutritional yeast on everything / long neighborhood walks / the magic of Skype / the library having the John Adams HBO mini-series in stock — I’ve been trying for weeks! / planning an October weekend getaway / Sunday Mornings, always + forever}

EPISODE 4: Farmer’s Markets, Tofu Plush Toys, Coconut Kale Salad and Veggie Quinoa Patties

Plush tofu dolls!

 Now we have interns and a third camera! Look at us, growing up so fast! Thank you for everyone involved, and for your support! 

Check out our guest at the end of the show to learn how to get these Save the Kales! plush tofu dolls! They are handmade by a local lady, along with some other adorable, smiling veggies!  Enjoy Episode 4. xo

Join me as I stop by the local Farmer’s Market to pick up some beautiful fresh veggies, two bags full for less than $10. Vegetables are so pretty!

In the kitchen, we are celebrating coconut with Vegetable Chickpea Quinoa patties with Coconut Chipotle Dipping Sauce, followed with a bright and healthful Coconut Curry Kale Salad.

Finally, meet our guest Jaime from Crinoline as she shows off her handmade, super-adorable and eco-friendly felt plush veggies and exclusive STK! stuffed toy tofu. They are smiling!

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Veggie Quinoa Chickpea Patties

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 and 1/2 cups chickpeas (or two cans)
  • 1 cup packed spinach (“packed” means packed tightly into the cup while measuring)
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use the “shred” blade of your food processor to quickly shred carrot. (Or you can do it by hand.) Set aside.

Put the “S” blade (the regular blade) back into the food processor and add chickpeas, spinach, green onions roughly chopped, and process everything until blended well into a dough-like consistency.

Put dough into the largest mixing bowl you have. Add coconut milk, quinoa, dry spices, bread crumbs and salt,  and mix everything together.

Get a baking sheet and spray with cooking oil to prevent sticking. Use your hands to form patties and place on the sheet. (You may need more than one baking sheet.) Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Coconut Chipotle Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 10-12 sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 or 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2-1 cup water, until desired thickness is achieved

Blend everything in a blender until smooth.

(This makes a LOT of sauce. You can use leftovers for other dishes as a dip or spread, and play around with adding other spices or herbs to mix it up!)

Vegan Chickpea, Vegetable and Quinoa Patties with Coconut Chipotle Dipping Sauce

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  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage, cut into thin ribbons

Remove stems from kale, and tear kale leaves into bite sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Add coconut oil and massage oil into the kale for a few minutes to break the kale down. Set cabbage aside, but add carrots and toss.

*NOTE: Coconut oil is usually in a solid form (mine melted in the hot kitchen), so scoop out the amount you need and it will melt with the warmth of your hands.

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp tamari sauce (or soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Add dressing to bowl with kale and carrots, and massage dressing into veggies.

*NOTE: You can add 1 tsp curry powder and purple cabbage at this point, mix through, and be finished with the salad. But check below for extra topping ideas to make it fancier!

Toppings and Garnishes (Optional)

  • 1 mango, chopped (check the 19-minute mark to see how to cut one easily!)
  • lime wedges
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • chopped cilantro
  • dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • dried red pepper flakes

(You can use all of these, some of these, or none of these! I do recommend the coconut flakes, as they bring out the tropical flavors of the salad.)

If using, mix in cut mango and curry powder, mixing curry powder well.  Add the purple cabbage and toss.  Using remaining ingredients to top and garnish the salad before serving.

Coconut Curry Kale Salad

.     .      .      .     .

Save the Kales! Plush Tofu dolls now available!

This is an exclusive, handmade plush tofu doll made of eco-friendly material from recycled bottes. This comes from Jaime of Crinoline, made with love. Put this little lady in your kitchen to watch you as you cook, bringing a smile to all who see her.

Because everything is better with eyeliner and glasses, yes?

Jaime from Crinoline and Jaime K from Save the Kales!

The plush tofu and the rest of Crinoline’s plush veggies will be available at her booth at Bethlehem Vegfest, or at her online shop HERE. Stop by and say hello!

Plush tofu dolls and veggies from Crinoline!

Special thanks to Christy Morgan, The Blissful Chef, for inspiring me to add extra veggies to everything the day we made some tasty veggie patties together. And to Kim Barnouin of the Skinny Bitch Cookbook for a great chickpea-based patty recipe, the first I ever made!

SUGAR DUMPLIN’, YOU’RE MY BABY: Prince Palace Dumpling House

One of the sweetest ladies I’ve met through working with The Bethlehem Food Co-op is moving to Asia to teach (lucky duck!), and some really tasty dumplings were brought to her going-away party.

My friend Colleen is one of my favorite people to talk to about food, and one of the first few to tell me about Prince Palace Dumpling House, but she ties winning the Food Friend award  with Cathy because she brought a million of them to the party and we stood around the kitchen, trying to be polite and only taking one at a time instead of doing what we all wanted to do, which was take an entire container into another room and lock the door.

I’m getting ahead of myself… But I can tell you that the very next day, after the party, I couldn’t stop thinking about these crack-dumplings so I set off to find the place myself.

Prince Palace Dumpling House

It’s located about a mile past the Bethlehem Wegman’s on Center Street in a building that could have been an Italian restaurant (?).  It’s not fancy, but it’s good, particularly evident as they have the large size bottle of sriracha on the table at all times.

The veg options are few, but mighty.  But here’s the thing: You go here for the dumplings and steamed buns. Even if the menu had a few more items, those are the things I would order.

Vegetable steamed bun

The vegetable dumplings are thick and doughy and and full of cabbage, mushrooms and vermicelli noodles.  The vegetable steamed buns have the same filling, but the texture is a fluffy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth airy dough that is slightly sweet. Note to self: This will be great comfort food in the middle of winter.

Wait, wait… not only are these homemade and completely authentic, they are CHEAP. No, like… CHEAP cheap. The steamed buns and the dumplings were each about $4.00 per order. Hot tea (which was a delicious jasmine) is free.

To break that down, two people ate a delicious filling meal for EIGHT DOLLARS. $8.00!!! You almost feel guilty like you are somehow ripping them off? Also note, you can buy bags of frozen steamed buns with 50 buns for about $18.00 — a great idea next time you’re having a party.

They also have bubble tea (ask for soy or coconut milk), udon soup, and smattering of other goodies. I’m not sure about the ingredients for every dish, so of course, ask questions about fish sauce or eggs if you order something else.

They have juicy buns on the menu which are made with meat and gelatin, but just TRY to stop saying “juicy buns” the rest of the day. I dare you.

Check out their Facebook Page, and reviews and photos on Yelp. 

Thankful Thursday: 09 August 2012

I’ve had some experiences in the last week that I am beyond grateful for, which warrant their own posts and attention, which I believe may be one of the best “problems” to have when writing a gratitude list. Those are on the way…

“Learn to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want” – Jim Rohn

.     .     .     .     .

LoveList: August 09, 2012.

Colorful sky bubbles

{This ceiling full of paper lanterns on my trip to Montclair, NJ. We passed through a commercial commons building while walking around and this was a pleasant and colorful surprise. What a great reminder to stop and look around a little. Tunnel vision is boring.}

“Reads like Henry James on speed.”

{This description of a David Foster Wallace book by an employee at Watchung Booksellers.}

{THIS VIDEO/PROJECT. How fitting that I’m putting it on a gratitude list. Give yourself the four minutes of time to watch the video – get some tissues when she shares that story about her husband – and then eagerly anticipate this as it continues to grow. Heck, get involved right now.}

Gala Darling + pup

{Gala Darling is having a HALF OFF sale on her ‘Love and Sequins  Radical Self Love e-book/audiobook. I have been waiting for this to happen and this morning I (literally) hopped out of bed to take advantage. The sale goes on until next Wednesday! You can also buy chapters for just $6/each. Learn the practical “Smart Girl’s Guide to Business” to the joy-inducing “Manifesting and Magic-Making”. My evening will be spent devouring as much as possible.}

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.
– Sarah Ban Breathnach

{This quote posted online today by my friend Harold Brown.}

Melon Gazpacho

{Going on a lunch date with my designer to discuss website/postcard ideas, and the Fiestaware and the melon gazpacho and the good, good coffee.}

Vegan Treats, what a treat.

{… and making a stop at Vegan Treats to admire the beautiful cake sculptures, the sweet smells and the blood organge + vanilla bean swirl soft serve. Maybe this is why Bethlehem makes people think of heavenly things.}

and

{making personal connections with personal heroes / loud, gray thunderstorms / feeling supported and empowered by women instead of weird competitiveness / SUPPORTING and EMPOWERING WOMEN instead of being in competition / buying flowers for yourself (or picking some) / anthropomorphic vegetable art / cats named after food /     friends who aren’t afraid to tell you when you’re being ridiculous}

… til next week. xo