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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PUMPKIN CHIA PUDDING: It’s Like Instant Tapioca Pudding!

“Yes, these are the same seeds you may have spread atop a ceramic sheep at some point in your life.”
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You can find a hundred posts about the wonders of chia seeds (dare I say, it’s the kale of 2013?), so I’ll just share this quick recipe, great for a chia seed beginner!
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This is very kid-friendly since you “cook” it by mixing stuff together. Easily altered to whatever flavors you’re enjoying at the moment: add dried fruit, play with spices, maybe live on the edge and add some dairy-free chocolate chips! Just remember the basic ratio of 1:3, 1 part chia seeds to 3 parts liquid base (almond, soy, coconut milk, etc).
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PUMPKIN CHIA PUDDING
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • sweetener if needed (maple syrup, agave nectar)
 Mix chia seeds in a bowl with almond milk. Stir every few minutes for about 20 minutes until it has gelled. Mix in remaining ingredients.
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You can garnish with shredded coconut (shown below).
pumpkin chia pudding
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pumpkin chia pudding
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Color Runs, Book Clubs, Farmer’s Markets and Links I Love

As it turned out, that weird stomach bug I thought was over when I made my last post hid itself away just long enough to trick me into thinking I was better, then woopsies I went out and got sick in a garbage can in a public place. New experiences happen all the time, right? Ew. I spent a few more days hunkered down in bed with peppermint tea and dog cuddles.

I was determined to make it to the Color Me Rad 5K, so I  laced up my sneakers and made it through feeling not just good, but strong and happy and oddly connected to the 7,000 people running along with me. It was beautiful! The Southside was  a stunning mosaic of galloping bodies and candy-colored clouds.

colormerad coop team.jpg

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And take a gander at this video Matt (STK! co-producer) made while running:

Everyone got RAD temporary tattoos, that um, seemed not-so-temporary, at least for the few days immediately following the run. I grew to love mine and briefly considered adding it to my forearm permanently. You are rad. I am rad. Life is pretty rad.

rad tattoo.jpg

These hot, hot days have been perfect for unleashing a barrage of freckles, big ol’ salads every day for lunch, and fantasizing about the mint herbal tea from Horns. In my daydreams I am backstroking through a swimming pool of this stuff, laying across a raft with the World’s Longest Straw. Get yourself over there if you’re in the area. (*Horns had new owners take over within the last year, and they are super vegan-friendly, and friendly in general. And one of the STK! interns works there, so say hello!)

horns herbal tea.jpg

I’m now part of a feminist book club with some local ladies, and our first meeting involved a delicious array of vegan cheese spreads, fig + almond cake, fresh fruit, and some wonderful insight. Our first book was Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, and it listening to the personal stories of the group about how beauty, self-image, comparisons, weight, and family relationships have affected their lives really left me more aware of how I perceive others and myself.  (It’s awfully easy to make assumptions about folks and what their lives must be like, eh?) I am thankful for the openness and vulnerability of those in attendance who talked so candidly about deeply personal experiences, and the reinforced idea that we never really know what someone is going through, or has been through, especially when we only know them on a superficial level (or not at all).

This is a list of links I love gathered from ’round the internet:

Garden gnomes attend a fancy-schmancy Garden Show (and uppity vendors got mad)

What are the standards you’ve set to measure your worth and success?

Now you can smell like Sylvia Plath or Edgar Allen Poe

The best depiction of Depression I’ve ever read/seen (it’s illustrated!)

Do you feel the need to achieve Boho Perfectionism?

Trade debt for freedom and experience

Why the “Strong is the new Skinny”  trend is damaging to our self-esteem and body perceptions

Sometimes the vegan/health community can cause you to feel self-conscious

The Onion has some insight for those with anxiety (harhar)

emmaus farmers market.jpg

Farmer’s Market season is in full-swing, and I hope you can make it out to a farmer’s market and soak in the greens, the flowers, the straw hats and tote bags. If you’re in Bethlehem, check out the new market on Southside. Not to mention all the rest in the Lehigh Valley area.

… This weekend, me and Ryan take off for a vacation. I’m looking forward to the local walking ghost tours, days spent around a pool, days spent together obligation-free. Bring. It.

Til next time,

xo Jaime K

Save the Kales TV: One Year Passed… and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Last week we taped the cooking segments of our thirteenth episode, the first episode of the second year for the Save the Kales! TV show.

Wow.

With impeccable timing, Vance Lehmkuhl (writer of V for Veg column for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com) called to interview me for an article about Vegan TV shows. I love that the column is about multiple shows – plural, thankyouverymuch – because that many exist now (!!!), and it’s an absolute honor to be included among the much-anticipated Vegan Mashup, shows by Christina Pirello, and The Vegan Black Metal Chef (who, by the way, is the nicest guy ever, and before STK! aired it’s very first show he somehow found out about it and and found me online and wrote, “Just make it whatever YOU want it to be, and it will be a success”.)

You can read the article here: TV Dinners, the Vegan Way

And STK! has some exciting news, and since it’s officially in print I can finally share it:

stk-seattle-animation

It has been so hard to keep this a secret!

IT’S TRUE. Save the Kales! episodes will start to air in Seattle & parts of Canada, to a potential audience of over two million households. That number typed out looks like this: 2,000,000. *gulp*

I’ll give more info as everything unfolds, but if you live there or have any friends in Seattle, put in a good word for us, will you? I’m excited about it airing in Canada since I already sort of have the accent, eh?

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Our show, the Little Show That Could, has come a long way in the first year. I’ve had some chuckles with the crew about that first episode (parts of it cringe-worthy), the way creating each DIY episode completely on our own has been such a wonderful lesson in getting more comfortable talking on camera, slowing down, tightening the editing, bringing in more cameras, utilizing help of assistants and interns… and I’ve made some very, very good friends.

There's his name in the credits! Yay, Matt!

There’s his name in the credits! Yay, Matt!

Matt is my right-hand-man, and without his help the show would not exist. He’s a co-producer, the main camera man, the director, and editor. It’s a shame you don’t get to see him in every episode because he puts a tremendous amount of time and work into every single one.

A few days ago, I received this email from Matt (shared with permission):

“This past Wednesday I was reflecting on the fact that the STK! show was a year old.  I was thinking of how the quality keeps getting better, how it seems to be growing in popularity and all the positive things that have come out of it.   Then I realized something that came out of the show I hadn’t considered…it’s been slowly changing me too.
 
Obviously, since my daughter came along eight months ago, my whole role in life has been re-evaluated, re-organized and restructured.  All though it has all been wonderful it hasn’t always been easy.  Somehow, Save the Kales! became this goal…something positive, something that I felt needed to get out to the world…something that would make people more empowered about themselves and happy about who they are (or in my case, happy about who I was becoming).
 
I’m a pretty sure I’m a different person than I was a year ago.  I know a big part of that is my daughter, but I know it wouldn’t have been such a positive, empowering change if it wasn’t for Save the Kales!  My transition into fatherhood has been eased a little bit and I’m not as afraid moving forward….and I’m also finding myself eating a lot healthier then I did a year ago 🙂
 
So, as I was saying, this past Wednesday I was reflecting on all of that and and then suddenly the universe threw me a surprise, as it does from time to time.  The blog you wrote at the 10th anniversary of your father’s passing popped up on Facebook somewhere.  I only knew what you had told my wife and I in the past, but I had never read the post.  I was reminded of a lot of things…emotionally and spiritually…and was very touched.  It also reminded me of why we started the show in the first place.  You’re a very good, honest person that exudes positivity and somehow makes people comfortable with themselves at the same time.  I know we saw that spark in you and thought, “other people need to experience this.”
 
I know life isn’t always easy and we still have a ways to go with the show, but you should be very proud of yourself…you can and ARE changing peoples lives for the better.  There is far too little good in the world that gets exposed and I feel it is our mission to get more good out there to the public.
 
With that all being said…thank you, thank you, thank you.  I’m glad there are people like you in the world and I’m very excited that we’re working with you to make it better.
 
  Happy 1 year STK!TV”
Me, Sarah and Matt thee Christmases ago because I can't find a more recent photo of the three of us together (!). THEY MAKE DREAMS HAPPEN.

Me, Sarah and Matt three Christmases ago because I can’t find a more recent photo of the three of us together (!). THEY MAKE DREAMS HAPPEN.

And it’s true. We make this show because we believe in it. 
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Listen, if I was a painter, I’d paint. If I was a musician, I’d make music. Or draw, or sculpt, or create whatever it is my abilities lent themselves to in order to do the work that expresses our mission: be kind to yourself, animals, and each other.
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…As it is, we have equipment and an outlet to make a show on TV and we do our best to make it welcoming and informative while being friendly and inclusive. We make a show because that’s what we can do. We recently got a new sponsor who reached out to us because “the show isn’t pretentious, and [they] like that”. What a compliment!
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At the end of the day, this isn’t about me, or Matt, or our crew. It really is about wanting to make some positive difference, in whatever way we can, however big or small that turns out to be. Doing something is better than doing nothing. And when I run into people at the supermarket who say “Excuse me, do you host that Kales show?” or get emails from people who are, at the very least, incorporating more vegan meals into their cooking, it’s proof that what we do matters. (“We”, as in, all of us. You too.)
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On the set of our third episode, performing the ritual of clearing kitties out of the kitchen.

On the set of our third episode, performing the ritual of clearing kitties out of the kitchen.

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Thank you for watching or reading or supporting Save the Kales! in your own way, and supporting what we stand for. Matt said, There is far too little good in the world that gets exposed, and I feel it is our mission to get more good out there to the public.” Yes, yes, a thousand times YES.
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We’re so happy to continue to do just that.  Cheers to Season Two and heading to the west coast! xo
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… and this outtake video of our second episode, because it makes me laugh every time I see it, and who couldn’t use a good, contagious laugh?

 

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PUMPKIN PIE ENERGY BARS: Homemade Raw Snacks on the Go

One of my most popular recipes got a little tweak and now a video.

You can watch the half-hour episode of the Save the Kales! RIGHT HERE, which also features a recipe for Raw Peanut Noodles and a visit to Brad’s Raw Foods Chip Factory!

Here’s the first segment where I quickly make Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars:


(Raw) Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars

  • 1 and 1/4 cups medjool dates (no pits)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups dried apricots
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

larabars2

Pulse the dried fruit in a food processor until it becomes gummy and mixed together. Add that to a mixing bowl. Put the rest of the ingredients in the food processor until the nuts are finely chopped and crumbly (not turned to almond butter). Add those to the same bowl.

Mix everything by hand to form a “dough”. Line an 8 x 8 baking sheet with parchment paper. Press the dough evenly into all areas of the pan with your hands. Freeze for at least 30 minutes (overnight is fine).

Take the pan out of the freezer and turn over, then peel off the parchment paper. You can cut the bars into whatever shape/size you want, but this will make about nine snack sized bars.

larabars1

Bars should stay in a cool place (the fridge is best!) until you’re ready to eat them, or wrap them individually and they will carry well inside a purse or bag for a snack in the middle of the day.

Think of it as blended-up trail mix!

(psssttt – there’s still time to vote!)

Blog Awards

Save the Kales! Vegan TV Show: Behind-The-Scenes at Brad’s Raw Foods

We visited the wonderful folks at Brad’s Raw Foods Chip Factory, located just a short drive outside of the Lehigh Valley, PA. Some of the sweetheart ladies on his staff made this little behind-the-scenes video on our filming day:


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Save the Kales! relies on co-producers, camera crew and interns to make each show (a team that has grown over the year and they are my little TV show family!), and now you get to see what some of these guys look like. The Brad’s Raw Foods episode will be on television and online in March. Check it out!

 

 

 

(Allegedly) Raw Marinated Mushrooms and Kale with Walnut Cheese

If you’re trying to eat healthier, but still want a filling comfort-food meal, give this a try! You can watch the whole half-hour episode by going to this Youtube Playlist.

rawmushrooms and kale  I wanted to make this recipe after hearing someone talk about a walnut-based vegan “cheese”. It’s one of those recipes with simple, tasty ingredients that can’t help but be delicious when they are combined.

Watch the video:

Mushroom Marinade

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Bragg’s Aminos (or soy, or tamari sauce)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • *1 tsp. maple syrup or agave, added later only to the kale!

Veggies

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 cups packed kale, torn into bite-size pieces (or as much as you have in a bunch)

In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients except maple syrup. Use the 1/4cup measuring cup and scoop out some marinade, then set aside for later use.

Use a damp paper towel to wipe the dirt off the top of the mushroom caps (this cleans them). In a rimmed baking dish or tupperware container, place the mushrooms gill side up. Brush the marinade into the mushroom gills, then place in the fridge for  at least 1-2 hours.

Get a large mixing bowl, and add the raw kale to the bowl. Pour the reserved mushroom marinade over the kale, and add the maple syrup. Use clean hands to massage the marinade into the kale for a few minutes, and kale will break down in size.

Vegan Walnut Cheese

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/8 cup miso paste
  • 1/8 cup water

Blend all walnut cheese ingredients in a food processor until it’s a chunky spread consistency.

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Raw Marinated Mushrooms and Kale with Walnut Cheese

Raw Marinated Mushrooms and Kale with Walnut Cheese

I plated the dish with the kale on the bottom of a large platter, topped with the mushrooms gill side up, and then filled the mushrooms with the walnut cheese. You can garnish with kalmata olives, sesame seeds, or smoked paprika. 

… and if you’re looking to make some healthy changes in the New Year and want to eat more plant-based dishes or go vegan but don’t know where to start, I’d love to work with you!