Orange and Fennel Salad with Avocado

The past several weeks have seemed like the weather-equivalent of Eeyore: sad and gray.

If you need a burst of fresh, sunny brightness, try this orange and fennel salad. Juicy citrus and crunchy raw fennel will, at least for the moment, transport you to an afternoon of running through spinklers and strolling through Farmer’s Markets.

 

Orange and Fennel Salad

Vegetables

  • 2 raw fennel bulbs, sliced very thin (use mandolin if you have one)
  • 6 navel oranges, all but one peeled and sliced into chunks
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 avocado, cubed
*Note: A mandolin is not necessary, but it’s a great time to use one if you have it. If not, carefully slice veggies as thin as you can with a knife.
Add all but one navel orange to a large bowl. Put one orange aside to use for the dressing.
Dressing 
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Whisk in small bowl, pour over vegetables, and mix.
orange and fennel salad

Watch more episodes of Save the Kales! online (click here)

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Vegans & Valentine’s Day, Like Peas and Carrots (GET IT!?)

One of the most comforting things about being in the vegan community is that, when you’re lucky, it really is a community. Sure, we have the occasional naysayer, the “mean angry neighbor” type, yelling loudly that everyone is doing everything wrong, but most of us know that guy has just been through some hard things, so we embrace him with a knowing nod and continue to live in a way that expresses the infinite benefits of being vegan – especially the part of showing love.

JaimeKSaveTheKales-V-day

When I was asked to spill my Valentine’s Day plans as part of Meet the Shannons’ annual “Vegans on Valentine’s Day” post,  oooh girl (in RuPaul voice), I was thrilled. Besides the fact that this year, for me, is a week-long romantic/celebratory extravaganza, and aside from having an admiration-crush on The Shannons (individually and collectively), this round-up includes vegan ladies who are Compassion Powerhouses, woman I admire and respect so much, and to be included among them is humbling and, frankly, made me squeal.

Pop on over to the Vegans on Valentine’s Day post, and get romantic holiday plans from:

And because we’re sharing the love, allow me a moment to gush about my oodles of respect for Annie Shannon. She is someone I had been following online forever, and when I finally got to meet her and husband Dan at an event in New Jersey (hosted by Montclair Vegans) a year or two ago, I was nervous and excited.

It can be hard to remember that the people you look up to are REAL people. Not only do they live and breathe among us, they are humble and smart and witty, and work damn hard to make their personal dreams happen. True activists at heart, Annie and Dan found their way into homes across the world with The Betty Crocker Project, in which they veganized nearly every recipe in the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook.

meettheshannonsbooksigning

Me, Dianne of VeggieGirl.com, Dan and Annie Shannon at their book signing at Watchung Booksellers in NJ

I am forever and always inspired by people who feel compelled to do work that helps others, human or animal, a selfless drive to make the world a little better, and you can’t help but admire someone even more for when their intentions are pure.  Annie is hilarious and wonderful, and I saved and still revisit a conversation we had about plowing past negative online commenters and doing the hard work.

Love love love, it’s in the air.

Reviews and follow-up posts will be made about each of my plans. How lucky that so many things are happening in and around the Lehigh Valley! Mwah. xo

 

DIY Jewelry Holder Display Using an Old Frame

This is the perfect snow day craft because it’s useful, beautiful, only cost $3.00 (THREE DOLLARS!) and took fifteen minutes to create.

DIY Jewelry Holder from a frame

After seeing some super simple DIY jewelry holder displays on Pinterest (which you can make out of just about anything you can put a nail into), I remembered I had this old wooden frame from some thrift art. Years ago, I painted it dark pink and then put it away in the basement when we moved last year. It would be the perfect thing to help me organize my necklaces and earrings, and surprise! bonus: it looks gorgeous, too.

Here’s how I made it for only $3:

Supplies

  • wooden frame, already painted, 2′ 6″ wide and 2′ tall, about 1/2 inch thick
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • power drill with the smallest drill bit
  • twisting screw hooks / a pack of 36 Utility Hooks or “cup hooks” by Arrow in 7/8″

Because I had everything else, I only bought the hooks for $3.00 at Target.

The frame seemed large at first, but once I finished, I realized one of my longer necklaces just fit inside perfectly, so make sure your frame is at least two feet tall if you have long jewelry!

You can find wooden frames in thrift stores for super-cheap, and a small container of paint in a craft store for about $0.69, so even if you have to seek out those supplies, you should be able to do this for under $5.00.

Or, ditch the frame altogether and try one of these great ideas: slice of tree + coat hooks | thin tree branches | clothes hanger + hooks | antique garden rake | thick tree branch + hooks 

diy jewelry holder from wooden frame

Step 1: I measured 1-inch increments across the back of the frame, making small pencil marks. One inch increments was enough to keep my jewelry separated and, because the frame is large, allowed me to fit 27 hooks.

Step 2: I used a power drill to make make small holes in the frame. You don’t have to drill very deep, just enough to let the hooks catch so you can twist them into the wood.

*Note: Make sure you drill in the middle of the wood, not too close to the edge, or the wood will split when you screw in your hooks.

Step 3: Twist in hooks, making sure the open ends face the front side of the frame (to hang your necklaces over them).

That’s all!

DIY jewelry holder from a frame

It’s OK if the hooks are a spaced a little uneven. Once you have your jewelry on, you won’t notice if something is off by a centimeter. Arrange your jewelry so it looks visually pretty and prevents the frame from being too heavy on one side.

(Obviously, this only works for earrings that don’t have post backs.)

This helps me to see what I have and makes it easier to put together an outfit, keeps everything untangled, and ensures I don’t spend money on a piece very similar to one I already have. Plus, I think it looks pretty.

Not bad for three dollars and fifteen minutes!

That Clean Bright White

Pennsylvania has been smacked over and over again with winter storms, an almost abusive relationship. Neighbors help each other shovel, I boil water and sample nearly every kind of tea in kitchen cabinet that needs another coat of paint. One day the snow came down continuously, the world stopped and still, the view from the living room windows the same at 10am and 3pm and 5pm, the natural light glowing from within and constant. There are books and journals scattered everywhere.

chubby dog on moravian college campus

“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath