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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

APPLIANCE ADOPTION: Welcome Home Vita-Mix!

I arrived home from Vegetarian Summerfest 2011 a changed woman. A better one.

Welcome to the family, we already love you as if we had you forever.

I am still processing and reflecting on everything that happened in the week, so until I can give you a proper update, let me share some good news: After watching several vita-mix demos per day at Summerfest, I decided to finally purchase one. These bad boys have a seven year warranty, and will make cooking for commercial occasions so much simpler. Plus, you know, I want smoothies.

So far today I’ve been eating all my food in liquid form. It’s too hot to chew things.

Breakfast

 BREAKFAST was shared with Ryan. This smoothie included apple, pineapple, grapes, orange, cucumber and carrot. Tasty and filling. It also gave me a ton of energy – I’ve been cooking and cleaning like a domestic goddess and not until 2:15pm did I start to feel hungry!

Lunch on a hot day

So for LUNCH I made a green smoothie, heavier on the veggies. This included celery, cucumber, orange, romaine lettuce, spinach, avocado, cilantro and lemon. The color is so gorgeous I can’t stop staring at it, and being able to drink all these goodies in liquid form means it’s like giving yourself a shot of vitamins.

Last night I made an excellent dinner with the help of the vita-mix, and I am so excited about the nachos I think I’ll sell them at an event at the end of the month! (See: “Decade of Dumb Decisions” on July 31st! Square of Opposition Records has been around for as long as I’ve lived in the Lehigh Valley!)

Dinner last night was: Vegan nachos with jalepeno salsa and smoked cheddar “cheese” sauce, and Black Bean Tortilla soup! Everything homemade except the tortilla chips!

Vegan Nachos and Tortilla Soup

Homemade salsa and smoked cheddar "cheese". HEAVEN.

Black Bean Tortilla soup with avocado and cilantro garnish!

I know, I know, the Vita-mix isn’t cheap, but this is truly an example of “you get what you pay for”. I have also made Coconut Lemon ice cream and another green drink that Ryan said tasted like pickles… Woopsies.

I promise those of you in my area will get to reap the benefits of this machine when it helps to make your future Save the Kales! food orders!

And go HERE to see the facebook page of one of the awesome guys who kept me vita-mix nourished last week! He is awesome, knowledgeable, and can give you some recipe ideas.

People Sanctuary: Summerfest Update

Bitten by bugs. Oh the irony.

I’m briefly updating from the steps of my dorm at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus. I just got back from an hour long hike and the sun is setting.

I imagine it will take me some time to find the words to convey what it’s like to be here, this place that has transformed from regular (albeit quite beautiful) college campus to vegan sanctuary/utopia/life education center for a week. One thing all the speakers keep talking about is this notion of continuing to be an ambassador when this week is over: to take the tools and knowledge gathered here to share with as many people as will listen. And to those who don’t want to listen, to plant the seed of compassion.

During the past month, I felt as though I hit… not a wall, but a plateau in my own cooking and recipe developing, my desire to consistently improve myself mentally and physically, and in general motivation to use time efficiently. Don’t get me wrong, great things have happened – getting my food in a local cafe for customers to purchase, making an offer on a home for me and Ryan (dogs! babies! maybe! I don’t know!), building stronger relationships with beautiful people, and so much more – all of which I am grateful for and do not take for granted.

But I needed something and I believe I am finding it here, or I am finding the pieces here that help me put more of it together. We have a responsibility to ourselves to live with intent.

And I feel inspired, hopeful. I feel it when I see the children, vegan since birth, so happy and healthy running around talking about how much they love their dogs. I feel it when I talk to the couple in their late 60’s who started plant-based diets seven years ago and have since been able to get off all medications. Or when I meet the people from my own community and we plan potlucks and outings to take once we are back home. I feel it in the enthusiasm of cookbook authors and personal chefs, talking about their personal journeys and telling myself “I can do this”.

And right now, literally just seconds before I typed this sentence, a woman walking into the building stopped near me and said, “You look so peaceful right now”.

When I’m done here, I’m going to meet some folks for a Skywatching class. People wish on stars on I have so many new wishes to make, while remembering that it is us who have the real power to make things happen. And we will.

Sleep well,

Jaime K

 

 

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION: Off to Vegan Summer Camp!

For many years, I’ve seen the full page ads for Vegetarian Summerfest in VegNews and Vegetarian Times magazines. Somehow this incredible several-day conference was held not in California, or NYC…  but just a few hours away on the other side of Pennsylvania.

 This conference which I’ve affectionately dubbed “Vegan summer camp” is five days living at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus, in the dorms, attending workshops, listening to speakers, watching cooking demos, joining workout classes, meeting new people (including lots of families – veg kids are my favorite!), brainstorming world betterment, and rubbing elbows with personal heroes.

Here is an excellent blog post chronicling someone’s experience last year. 

Oh, and guys? Every single meal is an all vegan buffet that includes pizza (daiya cheese heaven!), two well-stocked salad bars, gluten free foods AND raw foods, and ever-changing entrees.

So, on that note, I hear they have a 6am bootcamp workout class…

What I am most looking forward to is being able to meet, hug, and converse with my biggest personal hero and likewise main inspiration for starting Save the Kales, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  Here is Colleen’s website, and here’s a video of her talking about her new book coming out next month. I have so much love in my heart for her and for the wonderful work she does every day.

I’ll be back next week with so much goodness to share. Check in on the STK facebook page to get Summerfest updates in real time! 


FORKS OVER KNIVES: Film Featured on Dr. Oz and Coming to Theaters This Summer

If you’ve ever studied or even remotely looked into plant based diets in terms of sustaining or improving health, you have likely read or consumed something that cited The China Study. In short, The China Study is one of the most comprehensive studies EVER about diet and it’s effects on health.

  The thought is: If we in America have access to a billion diet and weight loss plans, any all the food we could ever want and the best doctors and most information, WHY are we getting sicker and sicker?

Likely because we have some messed up ideas about food and nutrition, thanks to years of schooling and misinformation (Do you know those “Food Pyramid” charts from your elementary school cafeteria were invented by meat and dairy companies? Yup, it was an ad), a fear of being fat so we rush to fad diets instead of actual health (A diet that says it’s OK to eat cheese and ham for lunch, but claims fruit is bad? WHAT?) – so many rational people in our country have no idea at all what to eat! No wonder.

So when we get sick, and boy are we, we simply can’t figure out why.

I pose a question: If you dropped a slice of apple on the ground outside, you’d likely not pick it up and eat because it’s “dirty”. But how many times a year do you eat a hot dog, of which 25% of it’s ingredients are (and are allowed to be!) unknown… something which you literally do not know what you are eating? 

 “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.

What he found is that people in Asian countries, and often times in undeveloped areas, had no histories of heart diease, breat cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc…. Because they ate mostly plant-based diets. Plain and simple.

This summer, a new documentary will be released nationally about Campbell’s work. Forks over Knives talks with folks in the plant-based nutrition movement about preventing and even reversing things like cancer and diabetes. It can begin with food.

Eating a plant-based diet sounds crazy? Why is the other alternative, taking a ton of pills, injecting our bodies with drugs every day, and cutting our bodies open more normal? When did everything get so backwards?


This summer we finally (FIIIINNAAAALLLYYYYY!!!!) get to view Forks Over Knives. The film was discussed on the Dr. Oz show yesterday, and screenings are happening across the country and slated to open in coming months.

Lehigh Valley Residents: I’m working with the cinema manager (harhar) at SteelStacks to get this film as soon as humanely possible! Count on me to let you know as soon as that happens!

AND, if anyone wants to come along on a road trip this summer, a lot of the doctors featured in this film and on the Dr. Oz show will be speakers at Vegetarian Summerfest this year (I’m going! Let’s carpool or meet up!).