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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HOT ROASTED CABBAGE WEDGE SALAD: Healthful Vegan Winter-Inspired Twist on a Wedge Salad

Here’s our latest video, produced exclusively for VegNews TV via Vegnews Magazine. I love those guys.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into wedges through the core
  • 1 yam or sweet potato
  • 1 apple (honeycrisp is the BEST!)
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
DRESSING:
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (the real kind!)

TEMPEH BACON:

  • 1 block tempeh, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 liquid smoke
CANDIED SEEDS/NUTS:
  • vegan butter melted in a pan, about 2 Tbsp.
  • enough brown sugar to make a carmelized paste
  •  about 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (or nuts of choice)
  • a dash of allspice

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the cabbage wedges on the sheet, then lightly brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until starting to brown, about 25 minutes.

Cut the yam and apple into small dices. You can leave the peels on. Put them in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and add it to the oven with the cabbage when you have 15 minutes left of cook time. (Both should get done at the same time.)

To make tempeh bacon, dd the tempeh to a shallow dish with a lid, and whisk all marinade ingredients together. Pour over the tempeh, and marinate in the fridge while veggies finished roasting (or overnight if you want to make this ahead of time.) When ready, pan fry until crispy.

For the candied seeds, melt the vegan butter in a pan on low heat. Add brown sugar and mix until it’s thick and caramelized. Add seeds and stir to coat – add more seeds if mixture is still really wet. Add a dash of allspice, and spread mixture out on a sheet of wax or parchment paper to cool.

To make the dressing, whisk the mustard, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup together in a small bowl.

When all components are ready, plate by putting the cabbage on the bottom then topped with the tempeh bacon, then the apple and yam mix. Finish by drizzling some dressing over the dish and top with the candied seeds.

Save the Kales! Vegan Cabbage Wedge Salad

There you go! This makes an awful lot of food, and would be a great addition to a Holiday meal or potluck. Enjoy!

(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!

“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.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche

To learn more about the Save the Kales! half-hour television show, click here. STK! is a vegan cooking + lifestyle show which airs in Pennsylvania, and full episodes are available online.

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Sometimes you just want to indulge, ya know?

This is a (vegan!) quiche inspired by a luscious, creamy spinach artichoke dip. If you need to impress Holiday guests, tofu-fear-mongers, or just want a hearty dinner reminiscent of an old comfort food — we’ve got you covered.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche (makes 2)

  • 2 pre-baked vegan pie crusts (*baked about 15 minutes)
  • 1 block firm tofu, water drained
  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese (one container of Tofutti brand)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, to sautee veggies
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (not in oil)
  • 1 bag spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend tofu, cream cheese, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and almond milk. Add mixture to a large bowl.

In a pan, sautee the red onion in a little olive oil until soft, about 2-3 minutes. While thats cooking, chop the artichoke hearts into halves or fourths. (Don’t cut too small; you want big chunks of artichoke!) Add to the pan with onion for 1-2 minutes. Rough chop the spinach, unless you’re using baby spinach. Add spinach to the pan and cook at medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. The spinach will get much smaller in volume once it cooks.

Add the veggies to the creamy mixture, and mix everything well. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into each pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, and the top of the quiche will start to turn golden-brown.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche by Save the Kales!

*I used a pack of two pre-made, frozen vegan pie crusts. Check your freezer section and read ingredients. I pre-baked these for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Do this in the beginning and leave the oven at 350 to bake the assembled quiche.

Save the Kales! makes a vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche

CAN BE MADE GLUTEN-FREE using a gluten-free pie crust!  One viewer wrote:

“I made two and took one to a Thanksgiving party Wed night and nobody knew it was gluten-free or vegan. In fact, a few ladies asked me for the recipe so gave them your blog address. 

The second one I froze and baked it for brunch today where there were a lot of meat eaters, and the first thing gone was the quiche 🙂 They almost fainted when I told them it was vegan.”

… Hey, now that’s nice to hear.

A little slice of heaven! I mean, Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche.

You can watch the whole half-hour episode on my Youtube Channel, which includes:

… Watch all half-hour episodes HERE.

.     .     xo     .     .

From A to Vegan interviews Save the Kales!

From A to Vegan is a well-designed online resource with a little of everything: recipes, videos, news stories, animal rights, health issues, and any other category you can come up with.

It’s run by a passionate group of folks from Bucks County, PA who I had the pleasure to meet for the first time at Bethlehem Vegfest, 2011.  Since then, we’ve been able to see each other at various events and potlucks and I love the collaborative effort of this very informative group.

from a to vegan blog, from a to vegan save the kales

From A to Vegan blog interviews Save the Kales!

I was thrilled to be video-interviewed for their website! Make sure you take a peek — they have quite a roster of interviews with many dedicated, thriving vegans all over the country, many of whom I’m certain you’re familiar with. It can be so nice to watch a casual video interview of someone you may only know from the pages of a book or still computer screen.

(Isn’t it weird to think some of your biggest heroes are just talking, breathing people?)

Read the article and watch the video HERE. 

 

(EXTRA SPECIAL warm, fluffy hugs to my friends at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA for kindly offering the use of their outdoor courtyard space to hold the interview. Anthony and Alice, co-owners, are wonderful forces within the local art world, and there’s a good chance you’ll see more collaborations with them and their gallery in the future.)

From A to Vegan on Facebook

Connexions Gallery on Facebook

VEGAN BEER AND CHEESE SOUP: Creamy, Hearty… and Full of Vegetables!?

beer soup Not to toot my own horn, but this is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. Ever. 

Believe it or not, this soup is actually quite healthful. It does contain alcohol (so I can’t claim that it’s outright “healthy”), but the entire recipe only calls for one cup of beer, among four full servings, and the rest of the ingredients are actually whole foods or spices.

Imagine the thick, creamy, bisque-like qualities of a beer and cheese soup, with the benefits of vegetables and no added oil. Oh, and no cheese or milk. (*Easily made soy-free by using chickpea miso rather than soybean miso.)

If it sounds impossible, I need you to 1) trust me, and 2) make this and see for yourself.

Behold…

VEGAN BEER + CHEESE SOUP by Save the Kales

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water (or veg broth)
  • 1 Tbsp veg broth paste (if using water)
  • 1 cup dark vegan beer (Go to Barnivore.com for vegan beers)
  • 1 can white beans (Northern White or Cannellini), drained
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast

Put carrots, potatoes, onions, broth/water and beer in a large soup pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are tender and some liquid evaporates.

Pour contents of soup pot into a blender. (You may need to do this in two batches so you have enough room. If you have a Vitamix, everything can go in.)

Add the beans, almond milk, miso paste and nutritional yeast. Blend well until very smooth. This will be thick, so you may need to stop and scrape the sides of the blender.

That’s it!

Vegan Beer and Cheese Soup

Vegan Beer and Cheese Soup

You can serve in a bread bowl, in a regular bowl, or as a dip for veggies or pretzels. Or why not try a fondue?

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This was part of our “Football Foods” themed episode of our half-hour vegan cooking show, Save the Kales!, airing in Pennsylvania and online everywhere. New episodes each month.

Check back for our Vegan Hot Wings recipe!