BETHLEHEM VEGFEST 2012: Date Announced + Win $100 by Dressing Like an Artichoke (or whatever)

Consider this your “Save the Kales – Save the Date” for Bethlehem Vegfest 2012!

September 8th from 11am-6pm, we’re bringing back what was resoundingly called one of the best festivals Bethlehem ever had. With record numbers (over 10,000 people, ya’ll), this one will be bigger and better as we have the figure-stuff-out year one under our belts to move forward with expanding on the great things and adding more elements!

Making friends with neighbors and folks of 'From A to Vegan' blog

This is one thing that will not change: The Vegfest committee invites anyone who would like to be involved to come to planning meetings or to share ideas to do exactly that! You can be a part of making this festival the best — so come to meetings, offer ideas, or offer your time. You’re invited. It’s an unbelievable amount of fun, and you get to meet so many friends and neighbors.  Party time, all the time.

In the meantime….

Impressive Vegetable Float I found on Google, not ours, but it illustrates the idea. Somewhat.

Bethlehem’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is happening on Saturday, March 17th and Vegfest is having a float! Here’s where it gets interesting – I was voted (unbeknownst to me) to be the Garden Fairy Princess, and the float still needs vegetables to follow me into the magical garden.

This feels silly to type!

If that isn’t enticing enough on it’s own (heh), the BEST vegetable in the parade will win $100 cash and become the official 2012 Vegfest Mascot. 

GO HERE TO LEARN MORE about becoming a walking vegetable in the parade!

Check out the Bethlehem Vegfest FACEBOOK PAGE to stay updated. 

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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…

WATCH THIS VIDEO, OH MY GOSH!

EGGPLANT ZUCCHINI AND POLENTA VEGGIE STACKS

*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! 

Vegan Chili and Community: Spring Is Here

Saturday was one of my favorite days of the year as a resident of Bethlehem, PA. Spring on Fourth (Street) and the annual chili cookoff bring out the entire city – and their DOGS! – to enjoy the beginning of spring and celebrate our community and local artists and businesses.

Save the Kales! was there with vegan chili, more of a thick soup made with whole ingredients, and it was so well received. Lucky for me I got some of the great reactions on tape, and also captured the vibe of the day.

This day was a celebration of our town, and the way it is so open to letting young, creative people explore ideas and create new businesses, art and community. Yesterday what I strongly felt was that the people here are here intentionally. We are making things happen, we support each other, and we see the potential  – not to mention that which we’ve already turned into something.

*If you’re interested in knowing more about something/someone you see in the video, please ask and I’ll be happy to point you in the direction of their business or their projects.

You Can Do It! (We Did It!)

Last weekend was the sort of weekend that encourages and supports exactly where you are in life.

I remember meeting with Alison (photographer for WINK Pinup and Magazine, and owner Eskandalo! salon) a few months ago and wanting to plan this cool event for local artists and businesses with an eco-friendly theme. What started with a tote bag became an all-day fun festival with live music, awesome vendors, and community building at the most basic level.

(Thank you so much to Alex for this candid shot of me at my booth! I took pictures of everything but my own table, sheesh!)

The day before I was running around to health food stores and the restaurant supply store for ingredients and take-out containers. I was a woman on a mission, staying up so late on Friday night to make sure my food would taste as delicious as possible.

Once everyone got their booths set up and people came and walked around, my heart felt so full to know that we did this. We created this event, this day. I looked around and saw the smiles on the faces of everyone, friends and neighbors, and it reminded  me just how powerful all of us are in the creation of our own lives.

As for  my food, the biggest compliment came from the people that said “Wow – I have hated tofu every time I tried it, but this is awesome!”, or the people who didn’t believe you could make something decadent without the use of dairy and meat but are now believers! Everyone was so friendly, kind and wonderful. At the end of the day, I had next to nothing left!

That night, I had another dream in which I clearly visualized the future of Save the Kales! A gorgeous restaurant/cafe, a space in the back for cooking classes, an office for nutrition consulting… While I don’t know where I’ll end up, or how my plans will play out, last weekend gave me nudge to keep moving forward with optimism and seizing all opportunities.

The biggest, most heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who came out that day. It means so much to me, personally, even if I never met you before!

Now that my new house is just about in order, I’m going to pick a date for the next cooking class soon! I hope you’ll attend. Til then, enjoy some photos from the weekend:

Vegan Stuffed Shells with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce (stuffed w/ tofu, walnuts, sage, cranberries, other yummy things)

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