Unlikely Story

In the middle of January, we were shooting photos for my column in Lehigh Valley Style in a bookstore in Easton. I changed outfits next to the history books and me and Colin wandered into the alley. “Stand there, look happy”, he said when I crunched my way into a pile of ice-snow almost up to my knees and he took a few quick shots before the bitter biting winter air hurt too much to pretend it was Spring.

Unknown to either of us, one of those photos became the May 2015 cover of Style. It is Colin’s first cover (something he has wanted for two years), and mine too (something I didn’t think was possible?). Surprise!

lvstylemay2015 cover In a year of so much loss, of leaving behind or moving on from so many of the things that were a part of me for so long, I have spent the last six months remembering how to be alone; how to find community when you leave the town where you lived for a decade; how to take a break from creative projects and hold on to the truth that it doesn’t mean they will crumble or you will be forgotten; how to focus on love for those who mean the most to me – to allow love to change when the time for change has come, to find it in my friends and my family and my friends who have become my family, to be surprised back into passion; to remember that things change but our value doesn’t increase or lessen because of it.

It has not been easy. Important things never are.

But I have found, over and over, that just when we are about to give up on ourselves something happens that reminds us that we are enough. That we will be OK, and we are already OK.

lvstylemay2015

On Tuesday, May 12th, the magazine is having it’s monthly Insider Happy Hour, which is a FREE event and open to EVERYONE. You can wear a fancy outfit and bring a few dollars for drinks, and we can hug each other and get our pictures taken for the magazine. I hope to see you there!

You can get more information here: LV Style Insider Happy Hour

And find out more about Colin’s work: Colin Coleman Photography

FRESH PERSPECTIVES with Jaime K: Lehigh Valley Style November 2014 Issue

Snag your print copy of Lehigh Valley Style magazine for my latest column with some unique gift ideas and back stories on three of the most creative locals I know:

LVSTYLEnov14

Wendy Landiak of Shankara Vegan Restaurant, patron saint of LV vegan food since as long as I can remember! Learn about how she got started in cooking (she catered for Deepak Chopra!), the many incarnations of her eateries, and how to get hands-down the best brunch on earth right here in South Bethlehem;

Andy V. of Andy Vasquez Furniture, local skater/nice guy who makes the most jaw-dropping gorgeous handcrafted furniture and home accessories from wood. If you like midcentury modern, rustic chic, or kitchen cutting boards shaped like the state of Pennsylvania, he’s your guy;

Marissa Wetzel of Everlasting Image, miracle worker who uses photoshop to create beautiful portraits of babies who passed away before photos of them without medical tubes and wires were ever taken. I was in awe the first time I saw her work

PLUS! A vegan recipe created just for LV Style readers.

My column “Fresh Perspectives with Jaime K” is a bi-monthly column where I get to personally choose to shine the spotlight on creatives, small business owners, unique shops, community builders, and the best vegan eats in the Lehigh Valley, PA. If you know someone who would make a great fit, I’d love to hear about them.

 

 

TALKING TO PHOEBE: Podcasts and TV Shows and Vegan Body Image and Bravery

What an honor to have been interviewed by the kind and creative Phoebe of Phoebe’s Pure Food blog, print magazine, and host of a podcast and web TV show! She’s one of those people who are so genuine and good, and somehow have more time than the rest of us to tackle a ton of create projects and do all of them alarmingly well.

As I said, she has a lot going on, so below you’ll find a two-part Youtube interview (which can also be consumed in audio form), and a podcast interview with Phoebe and guest host Nan from Chubby Pickle Farm.

The People Chronicles TV Show

Part One – We discuss: Starting before you’re ready. My transition to vegan eating. Another transition to HEALTHFUL vegan eating. Choosing a blog/business name. Being vegan + body image expectations.

Part Two – We discuss: In-fighting in the vegan community. Finding lessons when people get critical (and letting go of the jerky stuff). Worrying about projecting a false image of perfection. Vulnerability and Authenticity. Making food and information accessible. Healthy bodies AND minds.

“No one ever says, ‘You’re too fat to care about marriage equality!’, but for some reason people say ‘How can you be vegan and be fat?'”

 You can listen to the 22-minute interview in audio RIGHT HERE.

2 Weird Hungry Girls Podcast 2 weird hungry girls

Oh, this was fun. Just a few ladies chattin’ about food and small business, body image and bravery. Also, summer recipes, wiener dogs and must-have kitchen tools. (I get such good energy from talking to creative, positive people and this made me want to get a jumpstart on my own podcast!) Listen HERE or download in iTunes.

2 weird hungry girls with jaime k

Technically, THREE weird hungry girls. Nan of Chubby Pickle Farm, Phoebe of Phoebe’s Pure Food, and me!

 Check out Phoebe’s website | facebook |instagram | twitter

Visit Nan’s Facebook page

 It’s so wonderful when we can support, encourage and uplift each other! I hope you’ll follow their journeys and maybe be inspired to take a leap of your own. Sincerest of thanks to Nan, and especially Phoebe. (Phoebe also gave me a gift of vegan cheesecake, and homemade lilac syrup and blackberry jam, so… Have I mentioned how much I love her?)

Raw Pineapple Upside Down Cookies

Take all the tastiness of pineapple upside-down cake, and make a healthier, no-bake, raw vegan version! Note that raw cherries would make this a truly raw dish, but you can find vegan maraschino cherries in stores or online. I think they taste a little more old school that way.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cashews (crumbled in food processor)
  • 3/4 cup dried pineapple (blended in food processor)
  • 3/4 cup dried dates (blended in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • raw coconut flakes (about 1/2 cup)
  • cherries, raw or maraschino

Put the first four ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well with your hands to create a “dough”. Roll the dough into small balls, then roll in  a plate of dried coconut to coat. Use your thumb to press into the balls and create a small space to put 1/2 of a cherry. Ta-da!

Want more videos? Watch here:

 Thai Mushroom Lettuce Wraps | Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad | Ultimate Buddha Bowl

LINKS to LOVE: Also, Lehigh Valley Yoga Festival with NEW T-SHIRTS!

This week I saw Neutral Milk Hotel live with some of those dearest to me and it was a magical extended moment. Last weekend, I went to a lake with chickpea salad sandwiches and champagne and a stack of books. The water was so welcoming and warm. I bobbed around and noticed the odd sensation of being eye level with a moving canoe. I’ve met with friends and visionaries about collaborations, crafting a career from many small parts, and how darn good it feels to have someone to talk to about it.

summer collage

Saturday is a big day for the health + wellness community as Lehigh Valley Yoga Festival is finally here! Save the Kales! is a partner along with Natural Awakenings Magazine. It’ll be a full day of many forms of yoga, live music, vendors, and more yoga. Chef Wendy of Shankara will be there selling organic vegan food, and proceeds from the event to our pals at Pratyush Sinha Foundation, which you can learn more about by watching this.

And I’ll be there selling NEW SAVE THE KALES! T-SHIRTS, design unveiled at the festival! Follow along on social media to get a first look at the new shirt, then come here next week to order one.

instagram | twitter | facebook 

LINKS to LOVE savethekales

Artist recreates his childhood drawings 20 years later. The snail!

There is nothing pretentious about being a vegan. from Vice (*sarcasm and real talk!) “I’m not sure why my nutrition is such a big concern for people I don’t know. With the exception of vegans, Live Aid, or those people who eat couches on My Strange Addiction, I don’t remember ever seeing someone show concern for another person’s nourishment.”

Having one’s corn ground in the 1800’s was probably more fun than you think.

Ashlee being a babe and talking ethical FALL FASHION, GLORY BE!, come on September!

What are you reading? Subway Book Review is a blog based on stopping to ask strangers on the subway to review, on the spot, whatever book they are reading in that moment. This speaks to the book-snoop portion of my soul.

Thank you for being a friend. A breakdown of Blanche Devereaux’s best outfits.

Trans, but not like you think.  “Gender is part of everyone’s life, we’re all negotiating the line between what we’re expected to be and who we are.”

Who wants to take a day trip to Storybook Forest?

Bethlehem Vegfest 2014, Aug 23rd

… And Bethlehem Vegfest 2014 is less than a month away! We’ve got some great speakers, retail booths, and the food this year? Oh, you guys. Let me just say there MAY OR MAY NOT *ahem* be a vegan ice cream truck. Save the Kales! TV will also be there taping a live cooking show and chatting with Fest-goers, so come say hello! Final schedule updates will be on the website very soon.

Happy weekend! xo

“Our Truthfulness Can Change Lives” – On Writing, Blogging, Sharing and the Year Ahead

On the evening of the Winter Solstice, I took a pen and scribbled tiny, torn scraps of paper with the words and ideas I wanted to let go in the year ahead. I was at the home of a friend with a handful of other folks, some I knew better than others, and we shared the very sincere and open experience of acknowledging what we no longer want (writing it down) and symbolically releasing it (burning it to ash). Passing paper and pens around and each of us, silently, taking our turns saying

g o o d b y e

to any negative untruths, what has held us back, or prevented growth.

solstice

If it sounds a little eye-rolling and new-agey, it was. In the best possible way. There’s nothing like seeing your weakness literally turn to dust to give you a new frame of mind.

. . . . .

Last night, I got an email from a sweet girl who wants to start a blog. She asked, “How do you handle putting so much of yourself out there?”, impeccable timing because I have been wondering the same thing.

2012 was the year I put less out there. Moments and experiences and opportunities, and even some of the beauty of the minutiae of day-to-day life, were kept to myself or those I shared them with. It can be so exciting to have these magical tools that you tell anyone and everyone about anything and everything… but before long your life doesn’t feel valid if not enough people “like” it, and you’ve created a weird reality-show version of yourself (albiet unintentionally).

There’s another part, too. While hate-mail and comments are inevitable for anyone with a blog (or anyone doing just about anything, thanks to the internet) and I’ve learned so much about how to handle them when they come, there’s one that continues to stick out and I’ve let it prevent me from blogging some of my most important experiences.

Without glorifying The Meanest Email I’ve Ever Received, one small part of it suggested that Save the Kales! had become what so many other “lifestyle” blogs can become: A perfectly curated illusion of a perfect life with a perfect home and perfect food and a perfect relationship along with perfect clothes, friends, social life and material goods.

Wow.

It shook me, mainly because 1) I know those blogs, I have felt that way looking at them, the way you slink around your house after reading them, feeling ho-hum and wondering how you pulled the short straw in life and 2) I didn’t want to be a part of anything that made people feel bad about themselves. Because life is beautiful, but not perfect.

oasis of health food in Maryland

So I never wrote or shared photos of the biggest experiences of the last year. (Some are too precious, even now, and I like the feeling of keeping the best secrets just between me and the stars.) But in omitting experiences, I omitted the best part of blogging: reflection and appreciation, figuring-things-out and seeing life outside your own mind.

In her book This I Know, Susannah Conway writes on blogging:

“My blog began as a simple space to share my passions and talk about my days. There was no great plan… But as I became more comfortable sharing my feelings online, the healing path wasn’t far behind.

Blogging gave me back my voice after a year of feeling mute, the daily writing as a way to measure progress, the support from my readers such a boon on the days I crumbled, a collective cheer on the days I soared. I felt seen again, that I had a purpose, that my story was helping others, while they in turn helped me.”

Looking forward, I’ll continue to mind the gap between over-sharing and shamefully hiding. Save the Kales! began as an outlet in a time of crippling anxiety and depression, and to look back on how life has changed in almost three years since it began… that really is something. And it wasn’t because anyone handed me an answer — it happened because I worked my ass off to get better and actually got out and did things. I changed my perspective, I changed my life. Easy? Nope. Essential? Oh, yes yes yes.

While this blog will always be a “vegan blog” by default, I’m thrilled to get back to the roots of why I love to write (which are not unlike why I love to read): because through shared experiences we find purpose and connection.

I hope you’ll be a part of it.

Cheers to writing and dreaming and scheming and full-heart-believing.

Happy New year!

xo Jaime K

.     .      .     .     .

in 2012:

ballerinas

For a few months, I worked for an Arts Organization/Festival and have a whole new respect for these types of nonprofits, especially with a small staff (of two) and the faint hint of a budget. The behind-the-scenes work is more than I could have thought possible if I hadn’t seen it first hand. Keep fighting the good fight.

cafe santosha

I had some truly spectacular food.

h20kitchen

Including the fanciest, prettiest, 14-course dinner of my life, with special vegan dishes made just for me. This was edible art from a dear artist/chef who I’m happy to call a friend.

somuchcoffee

… and so much coffee. So. Much. Coffee.

jaimeandryan4ever

I began the fourth year of the dearest relationship to my heart, and along the way learned so much about expectations, commitment, remaining an individual while being one-half of a partnership, and deep, soul-brightening love.

trees

I found my way back to nature, to running, and learning more about what my body (and mind) are capable of.

masonjarlightsinNYC

I embraced concepts of minimalism, and continue to get rid of what doesn’t support my vision of the most beautiful life, tossing everything from spark-dimming ideas to material possessions. Stripped down, there’s a whole lot of beauty.

veria

I found myself in places I’ve only dreamed of, for reasons I still can’t believe are… real. (Sometimes photographs serve as the pinch on the arm, the you-aren’t-dreaming reminder that life is so weird and crazy and good.)

purplehouse

I found my way to new towns.

eastonpa

And rediscovered my own town.

cavetour

And traveled through underground caves.

nycskyline

And navigated the biggest cities.

beach

And went to the ends of the earth.

Kayleigh of Deerly Beloved Bakery Interviews Save the Kales!

I love a good pun, so when I first heard of Deerly Beloved Bakery (how sweet is that!?) I was almost jealous I hadn’t thought of that name for something first.

Cutie-pie Kayleigh Read of Deerly Beloved Bakery

Deerly Beloved is owned by Kayleigh, one of the kindest souls I’ve yet to internet-meet. If one of us can ever get across the ocean to see the other (she’s in the UK), I’m sure we’d have a great conversation about which words the other pronounces funny while we stuff our faces with cake.

Kayleigh has been interviewing some of her favorite cooks throughout October, and I was so thrilled to be one of the lucky ones!

Deerly Beloved Bakery interviews Save the Kales! 

exerpt from Interview:

DBB: What advice would you give someone wanting to start a successful vegan recipe blog?

JK: “You doing your own creative pursuit is not preventing anyone else from doing their own, their way. Blogging helps you get in touch with yourself (this sounds hippy-dippy, bear with me) because choosing what to put into the world makes you pause and reflect on your life, opinions, and decisions. It’s literally the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Apple Rose Tarts with Lemon Curd Filling by Deerly Beloved Bakery

You can learn more about Deerly Beloved and drool over the food photos at the Facebook Page.

EPISODE 3: Vegetarian Summerfest, Graphic Design, Sandwiches and Raw Pie

I hope you enjoy Episode 3 of Save the Kales!

Just a heads up! These sandwiches have a lot of components – you can make most of them the day before, then simply assemble and broil when you are ready to eat. Once you know how to make the different elements, you can use them in other recipes, of course.

<div style=”height:1.4em;visibility:hidden;”>ANY CHARACTER HERE</div>

In this episode, view the “kale cam” video diary from my attendance at Vegetarian Summerfest 2012, including clips from some of the most inspirational authors, speakers, and activists in the plant-based movement.

Back at the kitchen, we make one heck of a sandwich: tempeh bacon, caramelized onion, roasted pears and a walnut-carrot spread topped with melted vegan cheese and broiled to a gooey perfection. Follow up this sweet and savory dish with a healthy, ripe raw berry pie using three kinds of fresh berries and an almond-coconut crust.

Finally, meet Save the Kales! graphic designer (among other things!) Christian Weber as he shows off the Bethlehem Vegfest 2012 posters.

Note: I will be posting longer clips from some of the talks/speakers very soon, as well as a full Summerfest wrap-up. Stay tuned!

<div style=”height:1.4em;visibility:hidden;”>ANY CHARACTER HERE</div>

.

<div style=”height:1.2em;visibility:hidden;”>.</div>

Tempeh Bacon

  • 1 block tempeh
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce or Bragg’s)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
Cut tempeh into very thin strips (use the whole block). Put the strips in a container with a lid. Use remaining ingredients to mix marinade in a bowl, then pour over tempeh. Put the lid on the container and led it marinate in the fridge, turning the container every few hours or overnight. When you are ready to make tempeh bacon, spray some cooking spray in a pan and add the bacon so it’s not overlapping (may not be able to do it all at once) so the bottom will brown and crisp, then flip over so the other side side gets brown.
Carrot Walnut + Cinnamon Spread
  •  1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Put carrots in the oven at 350 until they are soft, about 25 mins. Set aside to cool. Add all ingredients to a food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides, and blend until a thick spread is made. (Add a little water if you need to move things along in the processor.)

Caramelized Onions

  • large white onion (you can use red!)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • dash of salt

Cut onion in half, then thinly slice into half-moons. Toss in a pan with olive oil. Put on the stove on a high heat until just starting to brown, then bring the heat low. (You want them to brown, not burn.) Stir in the pan every few minutes to slowly caramelize. Add the salt at 10 minutes of cooking. At about 30-40 minutes, a minute before you take the onions off the stove,  add the brown sugar to help caramelize and flavor onions. Take onions off the stove and set aside.

Browned Pears

  • 1 bosc pear, thinly sliced (remove seeds)
  • 1 tsp vegan butter

Put pears with butter on the stove on a medium heat until pears start to brown and get soft.

… FINISHING THE SANDWICH

  • nice bakery rolls (no eggs/milk!), sliced in half
  • Daiya mozzarella piled high on top of everything else!

Turn on the broiler. Put the bottoms of the rolls on a sheet pan and start building the sandwiches using all of the above components, topping with vegan shredded cheese. Put a nice smear of the sandwich spread on the top half of the rolls, and put those on the pan.  Put in the broiler for 3-4 minutes until cheese gets melty. Don’t burn the bread!

Tempeh bacon, caramelized onion and pear sandwich.

.<div style=”height:1.4em;visibility:hidden;”>ANY CHARACTER HERE</div>

.<div style=”height:1.4em;visibility:hidden;”>ANY CHARACTER HERE</div>
CRUST
  • 2 cups soaked raw almonds (almonds soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Add everything to a food processor and blend until crumbly and sticky. (You can use a little spray oil on your pie pan to help cut the slices out easier.) Push the crust into the pan, working it against the sides and bottom evenly.
FILLING
  • 2 cups berries of choice (mixed, all one kind, whatever! I used blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 Tbsp. agave or maple syrup
Put about 1 cup of berries aside so you can use them to top the pie! (Or omit this step.) Put the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Pour into the pie crust, and put into the fridge for a minimum of two hours (a few more is better). This will allow the berries to naturally gel together.
When you are ready to eat, toss the saved berries in a bowl with 1 tsp liquid sweetner and 1 tsp water to make a simple glaze to make them shiny, then top the pie with them before serving!

Raw triple berry pie with coconut almond crust.

<div style=”height:1.4em;visibility:hidden;”>ANY CHARACTER HERE</div>
Bethlehem Vegfest will be held on Sept. 8th, 2012 from 11am-6pm on Bethlehem’s southside greenway! This is a FREE event with cooking demos, food, speakers, animal adoption groups, live music, a kid’s corner, vendors, and so much more.
Last year was the first event with over 10,000 (ten thousand!) attendees.  Stay updated by following the FACEBOOK PAGE and I’ll be sure to give more updates as it gets closer.

Bethlehem Vegfest 2012 poster by Christian Weber.

(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