LAUGHING TIL YOU CAN’T BREATHE: Behind the Scenes of the Save the Kales!

Episode 3 airs THIS SUNDAY NIGHT (July 8th) at 9:30pm on RCN Channel 4 in the Lehigh Valley, PA. It’ll air another 9-12 times in July and be on Demand as well (dates/times to come), so keep your eyes open! And the episode will go online in another week!

They say laughter is contagious. I hope so, and I hope this can help you today, especially if you really need it.

Here’s a short behind the scenes video of a very typical day on the set:

This is why I used to get detention in elementary school. Really.

“Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.” Yakov Smirnoff

“Little Spoon” Guest Post for Lehigh Valley Style: Finding Easton

Here’s the latest “Little Spoon” post over at LehighValleyStyle.com

Beautious table and chairs from Salvage Goods.

I traveled to Easton, PA for midcentury chairs and my favorite candles in the world (obsessed, no joke)then head back home to make Browned Bok Choy and Potsticker Salad.

Baby bok choy and potsticker salad.

But you have to GO HERE to read all about it!

Potato, Apple and Kale Salad with Whole Grain Mustard Dressing

Yesterday had the sort of humidity that felt like you put your head in an oven upon walking outside. I don’t know why I bothered to cook a salad that required boiling stuff, but trust me, it was worth it hours later when the salad was nice and chilled in the fridge.

I used a bunch of kale I had that was starting to wilt, but feel free to substitute or add other green things, like asparagus, green beans, or some peppery lettuces.

Once again, this was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day.

POTATO APPLE AND KALE SALAD WITH MUSTARD DRESSING

  • About 10 medium sized red potatoes, cut into large chunks (about 6-8 peices each)
  • One bunch kale chopped/torn into bite sized pieces
  • some salt to add to the boiling water
  • 1 gala apple, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
DRESSING
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard (dijon would work too)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. agave

Add potatoes to a large pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, not mushy, about 8-12 minutes depending on how big you cut them. With just 2 minutes of cook time left, add the kale. Strain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Put the rest of veggies and herbs into a large mixing bowl. Prepare the dressing in a bowl, or put in an old jar with a lid and shake up. (Double the recipe and have some left for other things!)

Put the potatoes and kale into the mixing bowl, add dressing, and mix with your hands gently as not to smush the potatoes.

Potato, Kale and Apple salad

Potato, Kale and Apple salad

Let this chill a few hours before eating, overnight may be best. You can eat it as soon as you’re done, but it is so much better once it’s chilled. Patience is a virtue!

SAVE THE KALES: Episode 1, Tofu Factory. Vegan Cooking Show with Jaime K

Here it is! The first full episode! Wow!

In this episode, we go to the Fresh Tofu, Inc. factory. President of the company, Gary, tells us about how they got started (a vegan food truck in the 1970’s – this guy is awesome) and you can buy their products in and around Pennsylvania, and they also supply to some “high profile” NYC restaurants and businesses.

Then back at the kitchen, we make a Tofu Garlic and Basil “Ricotta” Pizza with Fresh Arugula and Lemon. PLUS my Sunday Morning Tofu Scramble — a true weekend staple in the Karpovich/Hill household.

Finally, our friend Johnny Gee from the blog Johnnysized joins us to share the meal and talk about how going on a plant-based diet has helped him lose over 70 pounds (to date, currently) and get off ALL medications.

You can find the recipes below.

RECIPES

BASIL “RICOTTA” PIZZA

  • pizza crust of choice, cooked
  • 1 block firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • salt to taste
  • fresh arugula
  • fresh lemon wedges to squeeze on pizza
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Have a pizza crust already cooked and ready to go!

Cut tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices, lay on a clean towel, and press with your hands to get the water out.

Put tofu in a food processor. Take all the leaves of a bunch of basil and add to the food processor, along with garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed.

Spread the mixture on top of the pizza dough. (Mixture and any leftovers can be put in the fridge for a few days.)

Drizzle olive oil on the pizza, then top with fresh arugula. Serve with a wedge of fresh lemon and guests can use it to add fresh lemon jucie to their own pizzas (or do this yourself ahead of time). Fresh cracked black pepper and some salt finish the dish.

.           .           .           .           .

SUNDAY MORNING TOFU SCRAMBLE

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 small yellow or white onions, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper and 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2-3 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos(or tamari or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • garnish with fresh herbs or avocado slices

Press the water out of the tofu and set aside.

Cut up the onion, mushrooms and peppers and set aside.

In a large pan or skillet, heat up the onion and olive oil until onion is translucent, about three minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for about three more minutes. Then add the peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Once veggies are cooked, use your hands to crumble the tofu into the pan. Add Bragg’s (or soy or tamari sauce), garlic powder, turmeric, and dried basil. Mix everything. Add nutritional yeast and mix again. Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with avocado or fresh herbs, and this can be stored in the fridge for several days and eaten as-is or as part of a sandwich, salad or burrito.

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Come back for Episode Two which will be on air/online in June! We go to a local community garden, give some hearty comfort foods a healthier vegan makeover, and learn more about The Bethlehem Food Co-op. 

If you’re interested in advertising on the show, send an email to postsputnik@postsputnik.com

Teaser/Commercial

Here’s the 30 second commercial spot for the full show!  I’ll have the whole half-hour online within the next two days. Until then, here’s a peek…

***I need to mention that before we used the “Making a world a kinder place, one recipe at a time” tagline, I googled it and tried to see if anyone else had used it. I couldn’t find anything. However, after Episode One was shot, I found another vegan cook had used “Making the world a better place…” I never intended to rip off anyone’s (super awesome) line, and I will no longer use it in furture episodes. Sorry for the mix-up!

(RAW VEGAN) PIZZA SPREAD: No, Seriously, It Tastes Like Pizza

I plagiarised myself… But this recipe is just so freakin’ good I had to give it it’s own post here on STK!.

This is a “pizza spread” that also happens to be a raw foods recipe. (*Note: It does contain nutritional yeast which isn’t technically raw but has been embraced by the raw community. If I’m misleading in calling it “raw” let me know and I’ll edit.)

Whatever you want to call it, it’s SO DELICIOUS and makes a lot of food. Need something interesting to take to a summer picnic? Make this and bring some bread or veggies along. Everyone is going to think you’re a rockstar, it’s practically guaranteed. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

(RAW VEGAN) PIZZA SPREAD

1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (shelled)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (acts as a Parmesan cheese substitute; horrible name, delicious ingredient!)
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbsp fresh basil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a food processor. Process until everything is mixed into a thick spread. You can add some hot red pepper flakes if they suit your taste.  That’s all!

I swear this tastes like a delicious, fresh Margherita pizza. Plate and serve with bread or fresh veggies. People that usually don’t like veggies will eat them, if for no other reason then that they are merely a vehicle with which to get this spread into their mouths. YUM.

It may turn somewhat brown in color, which happens when you blend red and green. It’s natural. Embrace it. (Though it helps if you garnish with some leftover basil or parsley.)

From my guest blog, Little Spoon, on LVStyle.com

PIZZA DIP and “Little Spoon” GUEST BLOG for Lehigh Valley Style Magazine!

Last May, I had the joy (and admittedly, the flattery and somewhat shock) of being asked to be the “In the Kitchen With…” feature of Lehigh Valley Style magazine. A bunch of glossy pages of color photos of my food, and an interview and recipes printed. It was humbling, joyful and a lesson in believing that what we do is valuable.

A few months ago, Lisa from LVStyle contacted me to see if I’d be interested (!!! if I’d be interested, ha!) in blogging for the magazine’s new website. HECK YES. I decided to go with a “live local, day in the life, plus a recipe” format for content.

The first one went live yesterday, along with the unveiling of their new website. Go look! There’s also a recipe for a RAW VEGAN PIZZA DIP (a spread, really) but you have to get it on their site for now!

You’ll want this one, it’s delicious and would be GREAT for summery picnics. Or to eat on your sofa watching Mad Men, whichever.

I’ve decided to name the blog “Little Spoon” because 1) it’s about food, 2) it’s sort of a subdivision of STK! and 3) I think that name is freakin’ adorable and I’ve been wanting to use it for something. Hooray!

GO HERE TO READ THE BLOG AND GET THE RECIPE

Thank you Lehigh Valley Style! You are the kindest bunch of souls and it’s a pleasure to know you and work with you! As Lisa said, “I love this partnership!” xoxo!

SAVE THE KALES!: New Half Hour Vegan Cooking/Lifestyle/Travel Show airs in May

Hey. You like watching things, right? Watch this:

Maybe The Law of Attraction is real after all.

Starting in May, Save the Kales! will be airing as a half hour television show of the same name. We’ll be cooking in a beautiful “studio” kitchen. We’ll be traveling to different locations (most in or around the Lehigh Valley) to meet the people and tour the places bringing plant-based food, and  sustainable and healthy living ideas to the masses.

Add in a mix of vintage thrift stores, farmer’s markets, animal sanctuaries, and more… and you get Save the Kales! Show. It will essentially be this blog in television format. 

(Wow. Wow. I still can’t believe it.)

ADG Photography

A new episode will air every month, multiple times a month, on RCN Cable – and be stored in the “On Demand” files so you can tune in any time. We will also air commercials leading up to each new show… which means you could be watching HGTV and see a Save the Kales! commercial. Isn’t that crazy!?

Don’t have RCN cable? Fear not. After a week of airtime, all episodes will go online to live indefinitely. My mother would never allow me to make a show that she wouldn’t be able to view from home. 🙂

(I have spent a lot of time in these last two months worrying about what could go wrong: the inevitable anonymous mean passive aggressive comments, the “She’s not as good of a cook as so-and-so, why does she get this?” speculations, the general vulnerability that comes when you put yourself in a vulnerable place… I was going to write about all of these because I haven’t been able to think about this show without thinking about them.

But for now, I’ll leave them aside. This is too good to tarnish with worry and anxiety. Besides, there is a lesson in everything and even the “bad stuff” can be a great teacher. I continue to learn all the time.)

ADG Photography

And I also have more faith in it now (and in myself, and maybe that was the trickiest hurdle of all). My goal isn’t to pretend I’m the most inventive cook, or the most knowledgable about vegan living and issues…

My goal is: to make this lifestyle accessible to people. Especially those who don’t know anything about it and feel it’s too difficult, overwhelming, or expensive. It’s not any of those things, but I don’t just want to TELL people, I want to SHOW them.

And at the end of each episode, if I can provide some knowledge and ideas for eating delicious plant-based meals on a budget, and hopefully entertain and highlight the people and places doing positive things along the way, it will be a success.

And here’s the best part: In a year from now, we will have so much experience and so many episodes under our belt. Perhaps by then a major network will be willing to pick up a show like this in it’s roster of meat-centric programming. While that’s not my driving force, it would be a very Cinderella-magical outcome.

One thing I’ve learned about trying to imagine the future: you can’t. So work hard, smile, and see what happens.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been more nervous or excited for anything in my whole life. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

–               –               –                  –               –                –              –

It would be impossible to talk about this show without mentioning Matt and Sarah of Lehigh Valley Mirror, my co-producers, directors, camera crew and editors. Lehigh Valley Mirror will also be airing as a half hour show starting in April, featuring independent and creative people and businesses in the LV. 

Matt and Sarah, I could never possibly thank you enough for believing in me to invest your time, skills, and friendship. I’d lasso the moon for you both if I could. You are dreams-come-true to work with. Thank you.

SECRETS REVEALED

Okay, guys, the time has come… For two months I’ve had to keep the BIGGEST, BEST, MOST EXCITING, MOST INCREDIBLE SECRET ABOUT SAVE THE KALES! EVERRRRR under wraps…

But tomorrow, Friday March 30th 2012, all will be revealed. Check back! 

And I’m incredibly flattered and humbled to tell you that the blog awards just ended an hour ago, and Save the Kales! won Best Food Blog — AND, holy gosh, Best Overall Blog.

Save the Kales! Best of Blogs contest

Our community is full of people doing incredibly creative things with passion and drive and a desire to show that what we do and say DOES matter, our actions CAN make a difference in our communities, and if you’re lucky enough (I am; we are) you make great friends along the way.

I am incredibly thankful. My vocabulary isn’t advanced enough to tell you how much it means to me. With a full heart, thank you.

*Before anyone has a heart attack, that jacket is faux-leather.

Anxiety, Marilyn Monroe, Eating Breakfast and Embracing the Process

Maybe it’s the gray overcast days that come along with December, but I’ve been more instrospective than usual (and unfortunately, lazier). As someone who has a brain constantly thinking, thinking, overthinking, this can be a blessing and a curse.

Journal.

Anxiety can be summed up, in simplest terms, as worrying about the future or what could happen without a solid foundation or evidence that it will happen. Creating “what if” scenarios that cause sadness or hurt is a strange and unwelcome past time for someone who, really truly in the core of my guts and soul, is an optimist.

For every hopeful person excited to make (and keep? fingers crossed? invocation of willpower?) New Year Resolutions, there is someone saying “I don’t need to wait til the New Year, I just change something any time I need to.” While I subscribe to the latter sentiment, I also look forward to the collective fresh start. When time rolls into a New Year – this thing that will happen, worldwide, whether we want it or not – it’s one of the few small things that every single person on earth experiences together. 

That is truly inspiring. It’s a positive energy , an ambient background that hums and buzzes, lending encouragement to us which in turns let’s us give that support back to others.

The trouble with worrying, aside from the obvious wasted time on things that don’t exist, is it takes you away from the present moment and past accomplishments. If we can pause for reflection, we can search the last year and recognize how far we’ve come, the lessons learned, the people met, the goals achieved.

Maybe it’s the word “resolution” that doesn’t sit well with people. Last night on facebook, a friend posted that she prefers to set goals. I like this thought. A resolution made seems a bit concrete. If you resolve to eat healthier, it’s just going to take one piece of cake before you feel like you’ve failed or broken this promise of betterment. But a goal… that is expansive. “I will eat healthier” allows for cake, for the occasional vegan buffet, for the cozy winter night when you woopsies! finish off the whole bottle of wine. Because you will get a lot more chances.

Last week, I saw the film “My Week with Marilyn”, the story of one man’s week spent in a friendship and love affair with Marilyn Monroe (true story) while she was shooting a film. I was excited to see the lovely Michelle Williams transformed into Marilyn. (I’m not someone who follows actors or actresses, have no celebrity crushes, or know much about pop culture, BUT Michelle Williams always gives the most fascinating interviews in magazines and is a woman I look up to as someone classy, intelligent and poised in a field that gives a lot of credit folks who have the opposite of those traits.)

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I didn’t expect to be so emotionally moved by the film. I had no idea the personal internal struggle Marilyn dealt with, locking herself in her room to cry or sleep off drugs, her desire to be a perfect actress, the pressure of living up to the idea of a perfect actress that everyone saw her as. Marilyn Monroe was actually “Marilyn Monroe” – a role she played in public. A deliberate character. In one moving scene of the film, she is walking with Colin (love interest) through a castle, marveling at the library and architecture, the two of them having rare intimate time together. She comes down a hallway to find all the servents of the castle waiting for her as they heard Marilyn Monroe was there! As she moved down the hall approaching the crowd, she whispers to Colin, “Should I be her?”  And as she descends the stairs to the crowd of fans, she does so with a signature wiggle while blowing lipsticked kisses.

I had a sinking feeling the rest of the day, and I’ve thought a lot about the film since. How can it be that a true icon, arguably one of the most beautiful and beloved women to have ever lived, a celebrity with fans who span generations, could feel so lousy about herself? How can someone who seems to have everything feel like nothing? 

It got me thinking about the strange duality between who we are in our private lives versus who we show people we are in our public lives.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If everyone believes in you but you don’t believe in yourself, does it matter?

The goals I have set for the year include many things. Some simple: make more crafts and handmade items, eat breakfast every day. Some complex: Maybe to take on the responsibility of becoming a dog-Mom; to write a book.

Though the main goal is to focus less on the ultimate outcome and just enjoy the process, no matter how mundane or overwhelming the process may be. I want to slow down and deliberately focus on the process itself – if it’s cooking, stop rushing to chop and boil and assemble and instead notice the textures and flavors, transformations and shapes. Use time folding laundry (actually fold laundry) to listen to an inspiring podcast or indulge in a guilty-pleasure TV show, without feeling guilty. Write a book without thinking about finding an agent, will it get published, how many rejections will I get, how many people could go online and leaving horrible reviews where they will exist on the internet forever…. JUST WRITE THE BOOK. None of those things can even happen unless I write first.

Today's reading.

This morning I woke feeling over whelmed (as I often do first thing in the morning), the vastness of a day off and the time to be filled and spent well. But then I remembered to enjoy the process… so I’m spending the day reading inspiring books, cleaning the house and planning for a shake-up in the decor (I am finding myself more and more drawn to simple, old-timey domestic looks and not so much the harsh lines and colors of modern design… how things change!), cooking a thick stew that can boil on the stove for hours filling the house with the delicious scent of a home-cooked meal. And for today, that will be enough.

Day 1 of remembering to eat breakfast: successful.