Bethlehem, PA Parade of ShamROCKS!

Oh my, that was fun!

Bethlehem Vegfest 2012! September 8th!

I was a little disappointed in myself for not having made my Veggie Princess costume a full-length ballgown as I intended, but it may have turned out for the best. It was a GORGEOUS warm day – and got rather hot standing on the trailer bed in the direct sun for a couple of hours, plus my hair weighs 8,000 pounds.  My apron-esque skirt did the job just fine and kept me from passing out!

We had a nice little turnout of vegetable-walkers, and let’s give thanks to the hard work of the DBA (Downtown Bethlehem Association) for ensuring we had the best stuff to hand out: Vegfest 2011 cookbooks (yes, cookbooks!); Bethlehem wall calendars with all the events of the year marked; and several varieties of apples from a local farm. YUM!

Downtown Bethlehem Association. Festival-thrower extraordinaires.

But really, what a lovely day, all around. I was so impressed with the DIY vegetable costumes. True artisan craft(wo)manship!  I wish these folks would consider holding sewing classes and we could all walk around dressed like food every Saturday. Why not?

What a beautiful salad! Bethlehem Vegfest parade walkers.

See that cute little cucumber? He said, “I’m a PICKLE.” Ha!

Me and tofu, getting an early start on our sunburns.

"Mr. Green Peas", miraculously he stayed cool as a cucumber.

The parade started at 1pm, but we were in the last group and didn’t get moving until probably closer to 2pm. But we got to watch the whole parade go right past us! Marching bands, elaborate floats, DOGS!!!!, so many irish dancers and their curly wigs… everyone was so happy and smiley and in great spirits!

Mr. Green Peas and Tina's truly impressive, gorgeous, stunning Broccoli costume, all made from leftover material scraps she had in her house. IT WAS AMAZING.

My friends Alex and Misi showed up before we took off, and Alex caught this candid photo as I was running to the end of the truck to hug them. Just pure happiness, pure elation. Friends, and community members coming together, and creativity, and sunshine… I was a happy, happy girl. This is as real as a smile gets.

Smiley-face!

Our float got moving in the long line of floats and wow, it was so fun to see the street and sidewalks flooded with people waving, smiling, enjoying being in the moment. I found a bunch of my friends in the crowd – some I hadn’t seen in YEARS (hello, Jessie!) – and some blog readers even yelled out “We love Save the Kales!” when the float went by. I also saw two women realize they were handed cookbooks and one slapped her friend and said, “WHOA, HEY LOOK, A VEGGIE COOKBOOK, THAT IS AWESOME!” So cute!

Ryan and some friends were perched three stories over Main Street in Ryan’s old apartment/Steve and Adam’s current apartment, giving them all a great bird’s eye view.

Bethlehem Vegfest Parade float.

Brent and Ryan - hi guys! Be careful!

Emily and Rachel.

THANK YOU, everyone involved, for making it such a fun day and event! Thank you Bethlehem Pennsylvania for being my home… you truly are where MY heart is.

After all, why do we choose our towns and communities if not to dig in with both hands and really become a part of them?

*Almost* everyone from the Vegfest float. What a delicious bunch.

…. and once the parade ended, I wandered back up Main Street (after stopping to hug a lot of friends along the way) to get to the apartment to meet my friends. We went to the library book sale, tiara and all, and then Ryan took me to Vegan Treats for ice cream. CHOCOLATE MINT TWIST! What a lucky lady I am!

Save the Kales! inside Vegan treats with a giant tofu. Typical day. No big deal.

By then it was 4pm and I had forgotten to eat anything all day (oopsies) and the sun gave me a headache. We gobbled up our ice cream cones in less than five minutes, then went home and promptly fell asleep together on the couch. I had no idea St. Patrick’s Day could be so much fun! Cheers!

Thanks to Miko, Christian, Adam and Alex… I snagged some of your photos. Thanks for capturing this fun day!

NEW VIDEO: “SteelStacks Salad” on SteelStacks Live! with Jon Lunger

Cooking with people is fun!
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Here’s the newest STK video from my pals at SteelStacks Live!
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Me and host Jon Lunger make a cold soba noodle salad aptly named “SteelStacks Salad”.  Watch the video and check out the recipe below!
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STEELSTACKS SALAD RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • cooked Soba Noodles (2 “bundles” from one package)
  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into half-circle shapes
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut any shape you like!)
  • 6-8 raw radishes, cut in circles
DRESSING and GARNISH:
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce OR tamari OR Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 or 2 cloves fresh grated garlic
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped

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Boil the soba noodles as per package directions and set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl. Steam the carrots and broccoli until crisp tender. Add steamed broccoli, carrots and cucumbers and radishes to the soba noodle bowl.
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In a small mixing bowl, whisk together *soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, garlic and agave nectar. Add the dressing to the bowl of salad and mix through. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
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*You can use soy sauce (look for low sodium varieties), tamari sauce (which is like soy sauce but with a little more flavor), or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (which can be found in most health food stores!). 
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Additions: Try some fresh grated ginger, red pepper flakes or seasoned rice vinegar for more variety!

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Gigantic THANK YOU’S to ArtsQuest and GreenLeaf Productions! See you all soon!

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LEHIGH VALLEY VEGFEST!

Wait, let me make this announcement with something closer to the correct amount of excitement:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE ARE HAVING A VEGFEST IN BETHLEHEM THIS SUMMER!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lehigh Valley, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

We are going to host the first ever Lehigh Valley VegFest – a vegetarian and vegan STREET FESTIVAL on September 17th!

*The date on the poster above is incorrect – new date is SEPT. 17th. This poster is a mock-up and we will soon get our own fancy schmancy posters by an amazingly talented local graphic designer!

We’re going big (as we should). You’ll see everything from health networks toting the benefits of plant-based diets and eating, lots of cute adoptable pets from local shelters, cooking demos, interactive stations, green and eco-friendly businesses and crafters, live music, nutrition information, animal welfare/rights street teams, and FOOD!

This is a JUST ANNOUNCED event! There are so many ways for YOU to be involved. If you have a veg-group, contact me so we can see how to get you there. If you are crafter, musician, or someone with amazing ideas that you’d love to share, let’s do this.

We are taking over the Southside and celebrating it’s new GreenWay – a public green space currently being constructed for community enjoyment and awesome events like THIS!

*This will also be pet friendly event! Bring your best four-legged bud and make a day of it!

PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP IN ANY WAY: savethekales@gmail.com

And I mean that about helping. You DO NOT have to be a brick-and-mortar business (or a business at all), a certain group affiliate, etc. If you are someone that loves animals, the earth and all the awesome beauty of Veg-Everything, we WELCOME you to get involved, even if it’s just to offer ideas! I know so many of you have vested interests and strong opinions about many different aspects of a Veg lifestyle – please get involved and share your insight and resources. The more the merrier!

I WATCHED OPRAH GO VEGAN: Now What!?

This afternoon The Oprah Show devoted an entire episode to veganism. Her staff was issued a 1-week challenge to go vegan at work and at home. Reporter Lisa Ling went inside a slaughterhouse to show everyone where meat comes from. Author Kathy Freston (one of my all-time favorite vegan authors – she ties in the spiritual aspect of eating a plant-based diet which I love) was on the show promoting her new book Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Change the World – and helping everyone at Harpo get adjusted.

You don’t need to commit to being vegetarian or vegan 100% of the time to reap the benefits and still help yourself, animals and the earth. But every time you make a plant-based diet decision, you benefit ALL of those things!

Pizza tart with broccoli almond-walnut pesto and fresh tomatoes on whole wheat crust.

If you saw this show and are thinking of ways to “lean into” vegan eating, or just go “vegan-ish” a few times a week and don’t know how to start – let me help you!

I am available to:

  • take you food shopping! I’ve been on a budget my whole life, and know the importance of saving money and making healthy meals that taste good on a limited amount of money. Supermarkets can be overwhelming and hard to navigate. I can work with you by going to your grocery store (it’s okay that we don’t have Whole Foods!) and showing you how to shop the store, as well as introduce some new local stores (like ethnic markets and farmers markets).

    Marinated mushroom and mixed greens sandwich on whole grain bread; grilled asparagus with peanut sauce

  • help you with the basics of cooking. This includes everything from getting the right kitchen tools to basic pantry staples. The right tools will make cooking EASY and FAST, and you don’t need to spend  hundreds of dollars on fancy appliances. Learning basic cooking methods like how to roast veggies and make tofu delicious will help you infinitely! By having some herbs and spices on hand and knowing how to blend them, you can make very inexpensive, low-fat  meals any time.

    Chilled berry mousse dessert (dairy-free)

  • help you learn about plant-based diets and nutrition. If you want to ask the tiresome “Where do you get your protien?”, I’d be happy to retort with “Where do you get your fiber, B-vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron…. shall I go on?” You can get ALL THE PROTEIN YOU NEED from a plant-based diet. Did you know, ounce for ounce, broccoli has TWICE AS MUCH protein as steak? It’s true!  There are so many wacky food myths – we can set the record straight!

    Spicy veggie stir fry with wide rice noodles and peanuts.

I believe in welcoming, informative and fun education and would love to help you incorporate vegan cooking into your life in a way that feels right for you. You will save money, increase your health and help the earth and animals as well as yourself.

Please comment here or contact me to get started! savethekales@gmail.com

*Here is the disclaimer where I tell you that veganism is NOT only about food, but a lifestyle and for many, a belief system that shines through in day-to-day life, decision making, etc… There are MANY wonderful resources and people educated on helping you learn more about those aspects.
I’m happy to help with the food since I am most confident in my abilities on that topic. If you’d like help finding more information, me or other readers would love to assist in any way we can! Just ask!