…and busier than ever!

Turns out, I’ve been to Weston, FL as a featured chef at an exclusive resort. While I was there, I got a great opportunity to prepare a specialized dish for a major ‘mover and shaker’ which could result in a wonderful opportunity as I move forward in my career. (Will keep you posted as progress is made.)

I’ve also been ‘mad busy’ on the upcoming holiday season. Several folks have placed orders already to share with family and friends. (See my Facebook page for more on what’s available.)

…and then there’s my upcoming TV interview, which takes place on Tues the 19th at noon. If you’re able, please watch me (and my delectable dishes) on Philadelphia’s “Talk Philly” program, CBS affiliate channel 3. Again, that’s Tuesday at noon.”

My “This Too Is Vegan” campaign has garnered much interest among traditional foodies. It’s amazing how many THOUGHT vegan (or vegetarian) was non fulfilling – until they were privy to trying my creative dishes. Lately I’ve incorporated a vegan crabcake into my arsenal of culinary dishes, and the results are AMAZING!!!

Vegan Crabcake

Vegan crab cake — BIG HIT!

It gives me great pleasure to know that I have opened the minds of some who could benefit from a vegan lifestyle.

That’s NOT all…but that IS it for now. Gotta run. Lots to do.

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

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National Vegan Month brings vegan holiday dishes
By Philadelphia celebrity vegan Chef KESS


‘With more vegans now than ever, holiday planning must offer more options,”
says Chef KESS

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Nov 1, 2013) – With the holidays fast approaching, Philadelphia-based celebrity vegan Chef KESS (nee Kurt E. Smith) will emphasize vegan dishes that will give every member of the family delectable options at mealtime.

“With more and more individuals thinking of going vegan,” says Chef KESS, “it’s important to share vegan meals that can substitute for the traditional meal usually offered during holiday dinners.”
Such meals include ‘vegan’ turkey dinners (with all the trimmings), as well as baked ham, well-prepared steak, pasta dishes, and the like.

In the midst of his national “This Too Is Vegan” campaign, which began during October’s National Vegetarian Month, Chef KESS will continue to offer methods on how to— safely and reasonably—segue from a meat-filled diet to a vegetarian-based or vegan diet.

The “This Too Is Vegan” campaign is so named as a tongue-in-cheek response to those who claim that a plant-based diet is unappealing. But the celebrity chef says that “no meal is appealing if not prepared properly…which is why it’s important to learn proper technique.”

A practicing vegan since he was a child, Chef KESS prepared his first meal at age eight. He’s been in demand ever since. In fact, he’s prepared dishes for the likes of rap mogul Russell Simmons, the PETA organization, neo-soul artist Erykah Badu, best-selling author John Robbins, and several other noted individuals, and shows no signs of stopping.

“With more people interested in changing their dietary habits, and the added pressure of maintaining steadfastness during the holidays, we want them to succeed by having viable options. In this way they can be pleased that they did not have to compromise on their vegan lifestyle.”

Received an update from our friend Susan. She’s really going through it these days. Here’s what she writes:

Chef Kess, I’m really struggling at this point. Here’s why…I just started working for a friend at her restaurant. There is NO salad foods in the restaurant. In fact, the whole menu is filled with meats and a few vegetables, but nothing that I could even make a side salad with for my break. Needless to say I have been giving in. The real problem is that not only have I picked back up the weight I lost, but I’m excessively tired, my body is achy (more than the norm), and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m thinking of quitting the restaurant, but it does keep a little money in my pocket, so I don’t wanna do that, really. HELP! Should I just nix the vegan thing and try it at another time – when I can follow it more closely? I just feel like a failure at this point.

MY REPLY:

Dear, dear Susan! Don’t you dare give up! The fact that you are still writing and participating in sharing your story means that you really want to continue on this journey. I understand your plight, truly I do. But giving up is NOT the answer.

How about trying a “day off” vegan diet? In other words, if you implement a vegan diet on the days when you’re not in the restaurant, that would be a help…not the ultimate help that you’d benefit fully from, but at least it will keep that “vegan mentality” in your psyche to give you an added boost.

The other thing is this: you can always pack a lunch for days when you’re working at the restaurant. More importantly though you might want to mention to your friend that adding a salad dish is just plain ol’ good business sense! I can’t imagine any restaurant without some kind of house salad on the menu. Even folks who aren’t vegetarians or vegans want some kind of salad from time to time.

But back to you, Susan. You didn’t mention how many hours you work. If you work less than four hours, perhaps eating a light vegan snack prior to work, or eating just after your shift will help. On the other hand, again, packing a lunch for a longer shift will also do. The point is that you’ve already started your journey and need to do whatever’s necessary to keep it up. And don’t forget: there will be days when you might stumble a bit, and even give into temptation…that’s expected! Don’t be so hard on yourself. The best thing about it is that you can always ‘start all over.’

Remember to drink plenty of water, pay attention to your protein intake (with legumes, beans, etc), and if you can, get in a good brisk walk. Just starting out with a 10=minute walk will do you good mentally as well as physically.

I’m glad you wrote in, Susan. Please keep me post on your journey. We’re all rooting for you on this end.I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

Here’s something sure to perk up any party. It’s tasty, healthy, and easy to make.

It’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad! Follow these simple instructions and you’ll be more than satisfied.

Ingredients:

2 large bunches of fresh broccoli
1 large head of fresh cauliflower
1 cup of Vegan Mayo (Vegenaise)
1 small Vidalia onion
1 pound of smoked tempeh
2 tablespoon of Agave Nectar
Sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven at 425 degrees.

Bake the smoked tempeh in the oven until crisp and meaty.

While tempeh is in the over, wash and rinse the broccoli and cauliflower.

Once the Tempeh is removed from the oven, set aside to cool.

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into medium size crowns.

Mince the small vidalia onion.

Add the broccoli, cauliflower, minced onion, and tempeh to a large mixing bowl.

Add the cup of vegan mayo.

Add the 2 tablespoons of Agave Nectar.

Add sea salt for taste.

Mix salad thoroughly.Place in refrigerator to cool before serving.

This is a wet salad; therefore, add mayo, agave, or sea salt according to your own preference.

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

Robin Quivers, sidekick and second banana to shock jock Howard Stern, recently appeared on the Dr Oz Show. If you got the chance to see the segment, no doubt, you felt like I did: there were certain revelations that struck me personally because Robin is a full-fledged vegan and has been for the past few years.

Robin introduced her new book, “The Vegucation of Robin,” a journal of her current lifestyle in veganism.

the vegucation of robin

The interview was a slam dunk! But the one thing that stood out, for me, was what Dr. Oz stated. He said that it was likely that Robin survived the cancerous ordeal because she had prepared her body to fight it when she improved her dietary habits, namely, once she became a vegan! In other words: she had prepared her body to be proactive by implementing her vegan diet even before the cancer appeared.

Naturally, that impressed upon me the importance of proaction as opposed to reaction. I hope it impresses that need among all of us.

You can get a view of Robin’s book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It’s a great read. I really am enjoying it…I’m sure you will, too.

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

I received an email recently from a man I’ll call “Walter.” In the email, Walter asked why I was anti-fruit when studies show that daily intake of fruits, along with vegetables, showed the ultimate benefit to humans.

I was taken aback by the question because I am NOT anti-fruit in any sense. In fact, I eat quite a lot of fruits myself. I guess the question is raised because I DO emphasize plant-based diets an awful lot…but only because I AM A VEGAN! It’s no more unusual for me to emphasize that which I believe in as it would be for BMW to showcase ONLY  its own cars, or Johnson & Johnson to advertise ONLY J&J products. Get me?

To be clear, “Walter,” certain studies show that fruits and vegetables, along with dairy products and meats are recommended. But as a vegan, I cannot promote something that conflicts with veganism. So…yes, fruits are great, as are nuts and other non-veggies. It is, therefore, each person’s responsibility to do their own research and implement what’s necessary for their particular dietary needs. However, if someone claims to be vegan, that would insist on a plant-based diet.

Great question, “Walter.” Keep ’em coming, everyone!

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

First, I must state that this is NOT a political post (not in the least). However, I was truly impressed with an article I read recently in a journal regarding the past president’s new dietary lifestyle. Yes, former president Bill Clinton has gone vegan.

I guess I’m taken aback because of all those pictures of the (then-) president on his daily jogs…to a famous fast food joint, of all places.

clinton at mcdonalds                           clinton at mcdonalds1
To be clear, this is NO slam on Mr. Clinton – or fast food for that matter. My point is this: if the former President of the United States, a man who has arguably the best healthcare plan on the planet, finds the need to make drastic changes to his diet (due to emergency quadruple-bypass surgery caused by poor eating habits), are the rest of us too far behind if we don’t follow suit?

I’m not assuming that your eating habits are ANYTHING like Mr. Clinton’s. But I AM urging you to consider what those eating habits are – and make adjustments accordingly. In fact, if you’d like to read all about the amazing changes in Mr. Clinton’s diet, read the latest issue of AARP. It’s truly a great piece.

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

As with “Susan” (see her story above), several people have asked how to segue into a vegan lifestyle. One of the things that concern me with most people is that they tend to give up when things don’t go their way. So I try to figure out different ways to help them to STAY in the vegan mode…or at least (in this case) segue SLOWLY into veganism.

Because this is Vegetarian Month, one of the things that I suggest is to transform from the traditional meat-filled diet to vegetarian. Once you’re comfortable with a vegetarian diet, take the necessary steps to veganism.

On the other hand, for those who aren’t sure they’re up to the challenge of veganism, a “weekend vegan” schedule might work. (Of course, for the die-hards, just jumping right into veganism might work, too.)

‘Weekend vegans’ begin their vegan diet at 5pm Friday and, all day Saturday and Sunday. There’s NO CHEATING for the weekend vegan; they’re serious about their purpose, which is to ultimately become full-fledged vegans. In fact, eventually, the weekend vegan will incorporate a Monday or Friday into their schedule, then another day of the week, until they’re totally vegan — SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

As I mentioned, weekend vegans are “serious about their purpose.” So ask yourself “Why would I want to be vegan?” Is it the latest trend that you’re following? Do you know the health benefits associated with veganism? Are you against cruelty to animals? Exactly WHY are you interested in becoming vegan? Once you can answer these questions, you may find it much easier to make the transition.

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Blog:
https://celebchefkess.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

It stands to reason that the best way to adapt to and continue a vegetarian or vegan diet is to start at the beginning. And today that’s where we start: at the beginning.

picky eater

We always hear parents complain about “little Johnny” not eating his veggies. The unfortunate part is that sometimes “little Johnny” eventually wears down his parents and is soon feasting on cookies, chocolate and chips. How sad! But this post isn’t about reprimanding parents – it’s about how to convince children to eat their vegetables. So following are a few suggestions parents, grandparents and other caregivers can use in order to convince the little tykes to HAPPILY partake of the greenery that most absolutely despise:

1. Eat veggies yourself! Did you know that young children mimic parents at every wake and turn? That’s why we’re advised to watch what we say and do in their presence. And it doesn’t end at toddler-hood (is that even a word??). Thing about it: doctors often raise children who in turn become doctors; mechanics’ kids learn all about cars and in turn become mechanics; etc. So…if you want your kids to eat veggies, start munchin’ and crunchin’ on some carrots, celery, and broccoli!

2. Make it interesting! Don’t simply put the veggies on a plate and hope for the best; play the ‘airplane coming in to land’ game with peas on a spoon. Or cut soft carrots in an interesting shape and tell a story while you’re feeding the child. If there’s no fear of allergies, use an interesting spread on the veggies to liven them up. Truth is a little creativity goes a long way.

3. Combine a mixture of the tyke’s favorite snacks (in a baggie or plastic container) and toss in some sliced vegetables for good measure. They’ll likely not even know the difference.

…finally…

4. Be consistent! DON’T GIVE IN AND DON’T GIVE OUT! It really doesn’t matter that your child doesn’t like veggies: THEY’RE GOOD FOR THEM! Just as you’d administer a prescribed med for your child’s health, a consistent diet of veggies will give your child a boost in healthy living well into adulthood. So don’t compromise as if to say, “Okay…we’ll feed you veggies three days a week.” No! Veggies (and fruit) are necessary EVERY SINGLE DAY — FOR LIFE! (And isn’t that what it’s really all about?)

These are just a few thoughts to convince your child to grow to love veggies with the end goal of growing up healthy and strong.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN GETTING YOUR KIDS TO EAT VEGGIES? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Do tell by sending me an email, leaving a post on my FB page, or connecting with me on Twitter and sending a post there.

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

NOTE: I am NOT a doctor! The following post is informational only and in no way should be used as a means to make any serious decisions regarding ridding one’s self of any form of cancer or any form of treatment of such. ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A PHYSICIAN BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISIONS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH!

October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As with any illness, one’s diet is of utmost importance. But more importantly, being proactive against dreaded illnesses is a far cry better than having to react after getting ill. That said, studies have shown that women who ate “cruciferous” vegetables had a lower rate of breast cancer than women who didn’t each such veggies. So the question then is: what are cruciferous vegetables and why are they so important?

carciferous veggiesCruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and watercress are all in the cruciferous family. (There are more, but these are the main veggies.)

In addition to being loaded with vitamins and minerals, many of these contain phytochemicals, which has been credited with combating certain diseases, including cancers (breast, cervix, colorectal, liver, lung, prostate), heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. For the most benefit, each as many varieties of vegetables at least three times a week since each vegetable offers varied physical benefits. In fact, it’s of utmost importance to remember that NOT EVERY VEGETABLE TREATS EVERY TYPE OF CANCER; therefore, it is imperative that you see the proper medical expert on the topic.

Finally, please remember to conduct monthly breast self-examinations (Guys…this means YOU , TOO!…Yes, MEN DO GET BREAST CANCER!); see your doctor on a routine basis; and under NO circumstances allow anyone else to tell you HOW AND WHAT YOU SHOULD FEEL! You know your body; therefore YOU KNOW YOU like no one else.

To your continued health!

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

EMAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

Veggies make it all better!

  Veggies make it all better!

It’s a great day anytime we can feature the benefits of eating more veggies. Hence “National Vegetarian Month.” In fact, today, Oct 1st, is known as World Vegetarian Day. Why? Because as we’ve become a more civilized, technologically-advanced, medically-sophisticated society, we’ve also become much more lax in our physical awareness. As a result, humanity has become severely unbalanced in its physical health.

Think about it: there are more obese CHILDREN in the U.S. today than ever…all the while across the globe children are dying every single day due to lack of nutrition. So what’s happening here? We need to go back to basics. And one of the very basics of humanity is FOOD.

So what does this all mean? Simply this: if we’re going back to basic foods, we cannot ignore the benefits of vegetables. That said, throughout the month of October (while I’ll ALWAYS promote a vegan lifestyle), I’ll toss in some vegetarian dietary ideas as well. It’s all a part of my “This Too Is Vegan!” campaign, which will culminate in November with National Vegan Month.

As a side note: we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a “shout out” to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which also begins today. How appropriate: Breast Cancer awareness in the same month at Vegetarian. Coincidence? I think not. [Insert your own thinking abilities here.]

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

MAIL: celebchefkess@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Chef-KESS/539533769429142
Twitter: @veganchefkess

 

 

 

If you’ve read “Susan’s Story” (see link above) you know that she’s stepping out on faith on the veganism front. Today we follow her journey and give her some insight to help her succeed.

Susan’s email:
“Hello again, Chef! I admit it’s been a struggle for me because I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the things I feel I need to go full vegan yet, so I had to ‘cheat’ a little. But I’m more concerned with my diabetes. I have to keep up with my protein and I’m not sure how to go about that. What can I eat to get in my protein without ‘cheating’ again?”

My reply:
Hi Susan. First: Congratulations for not giving up! That’s the first thing we must remember: yes, it can be challenging, but with any change in diet, perseverance is key. I won’t go as far as saying that cheating is good, but the bright side is that you can start all over. So with that said, let’s get some ideas for you to incorporate more protein in your diet – to end that cheating for good.

Quinoa in its natural state

Quinoa in its natural state

Quinoa is a crop (somewhat like grain) that’s filled with protein.

Quinoa cooked

Quinoa cooked

I’ll post quinoa recipes at a later date, but in the meantime look online (reputable sites!) and you’ll find some delicious dishes that will keep you coming back for more. But there’s also beans (pinto, black, kidney, lima, etc.), lentils, soybeans, and more. And don’t forget good old-fashioned peanut butter!

Truth is, Susan, that while traditional dieters focus solely on meats, there are a LOT of natural foods that are filled with as much protein as you’d find in a steak.. Just one of these is a half a cup of beans! The added benefit with the beans of course is that you also get your daily intake of fiber, which means you’ll feel full and satisfied.

Susan, this is just the beginning of a lifelong journey for you. And I’ll be here every step of way. For now, just focus on ONE thing to improve your diet, and the rest will fall into place.

‘Til next time…

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan!

 

Celebrity vegan chef kicks off campaign in lieu of November’s National Vegan Month

 

The Philadelphia-based chef, who has prepared meals for Russell Simmons, Erykah Badu, and other notable figures, will bring awareness to the benefits of veganism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PRLog (Press Release)
Sep. 26, 2013PHILADELPHIAPhiladelphia-based celebrity vegan Chef KESS (nee Kurt E. Smith) officially kicks off his ‘vegan awareness’ campaign in hopes of bringing awareness to the benefits for living a vegan lifestyle. Titled “This Too Is Vegan,” the campaign will emphasize the long-term benefits of adapting a vegan lifestyle. The name is a tongue-in-cheek response to those who believe that plant-based foods are tasteless and boring.

“I often hear, ‘I don’t like vegan because it has no taste,’ or worse still, ‘Vegan tastes like cardboard,’ which couldn’t be further from the truth. When prepared correctly, vegan foods are comparable to meat-based dishes, but much healthier.”

He ought to know: Chef KESS, who is an in-demand culinary vegan expert, prepares foods for well-known clientele, as well as corporate clients from both the east and west coasts. He is also a lifelong vegan due to health issues as a child, which became obsolete once he made the adjustment to veganism.

For Chef KESS, the campaign is no mere gimmick, but a complete lifestyle. And he’s not alone: there are nearly 12 million vegetarians and vegans in North America alone. However, adapting to the change can have drawbacks if not done correctly.

“Each year, more and more folks jump into vegetarian or veganism without a plan. But it’s important to prepare your mind and body for the transition. That’s where I come in. I focus on making a healthy transition to a new lifestyle.

“It’s important to note that veganism isn’t some fad or trend; it’s a beneficial way of life.”

To learn more about making a smooth transition into veganism, follow Chef KESS’ blog at: http://www.celebchefkess.wordpress.com (http://www.celebchefkess.wordpress.com/).

In my previous post, we discussed the benefits of using grains as a regular part of our daily diet. In this post we continue with an additional FIVE GREAT GRAINS that you’ll want to include as well.

Bon appetite!

bulgur

1. Bulgur: A traditional Arab grain, bulgur is used to prepare tabbouleh salad. Often considered cracked wheat, this partially cooked grain comes in various sizes and can be purchased in a small- or medium-coarse grind.

2. Kamut: This wheat grain from Egypt is rather large and should be soaked ahead of time, which helps to reduce preparation time.

3. Amaranth: I consider this grain to be multi-platinum. It comes from the Incas (a region in Peru) and due to its Lysine content (which is an essential amino acid), it is also a great gluten-free source of protein. Amaranth is great for baking or preparing hot cereals.

4. Teff: A wonderful grain! When cooked properly, teff offers a sweet, pleasant flavor. It can be used as a gelatin, or for baking breads and other foods.

5. Barley: Widely known in the western regions of the world, barley is used in soups, pilafs, and cereals. Some forms of barley may contain less nutritional value due to the outer layers being removed. Keep in mind: unrefined barley is most beneficial.

So there you have it: ten GREAT affordable grains that will benefit your body as well as your wallet.
Do YOU have a favorite? If so, send me an email and let me know which grain is your favorite and why. My email is celebchefkess@gmail.com.

Until next time,

I’m Chef KESS
iVegan! 

grains1

Grains are great resources for a well-balanced meal. One of the best things about grains is that, while some grains are restricted to a particular land or region, nearly every inhabitable area of the planet offers a wide variety of grains.

The other great thing about grains is, for the most part, they’re inexpensive. So you can build your body’s resistance, gain much needed nutrition, and satisfy hunger by simply eating the right types of grain.

 grains

Below is a list of grains that I highly recommend:

Rice: I recommend brown, basmati, and Jasmine rices. According to sources, eating two or more servings of brown rice each week is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (NOTE While white rice can fill you up, is lacks the nutritional or beneficial value as does the others. In fact, white rice is manufactured through the process of removing the bran and germ from brown rice.)

Millet: Filled with great nutrition, millet is high in protein, iron, calcium, vitamins, and potassium.  You can make some wonderful healthy dishes with millet (such as pilafs). And with the holidays coming, a delicious millet-based stuffing could be in the works.

Spelt: This grain is an important staple for people around the world who suffer with wheat/gluten allergies. Its nutty, robust flavor is perfect for gluten-free baking (breads, etc). Suggestion: Due to its large size, it’s best to soak this grain overnight.

Oats: There are a variety of oats (raw, whole, rolled, quick, steel-cut, etc.) thus a variety of ways to prepare them. Oats can be ground into a powdery substance that’s great for baking. But most importantly, oats are a perfect blend of carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, and protein.

Quinoa: This is absolutely my favorite grain of all! It is awesome. The nutrition one gets from quinoa is comparable to the nutrition found in meat, due to its high protein and amino acids. In addition, it also contains iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E.

To add to the enthusiasm: most grains can be found in your local stores or specialty supermarkets. In the Philadelphia and surrounding areas, such outlets include Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Trader Joes,

In my next post, we’ll discuss other great grains such as bulgur, kamut, amaranth, teff, and barley.

‘Til next time,

I’m Chef KESS

iVegan!

So…why am I congratulating Susan? Well if you read her story (see “Susan’s Story” at the tab above), you know that Susan began her journey on Sept 1st. And while it’s way too soon to tell what the outcome will be we’re just sending a note of encouragement Susan’s way.

Here’s what she had to say in her recent email to me:
“Dear Chef KESS,
I know it’s just been a day or so, but I wanted to tell you that I really stuck to my guns today. I had NO MEAT WHATSOEVER, and in fact, went to the grocery store to pick up some veggie burgers. I know this might not sound like a big deal to you, but YOU DO REALIZE IT WAS LABOR DAY, RIGHT?! That means PICNICS, HOT DOGS, CHEESEBURGERS, RIBS – all the succulent no-nos I decided to give up for the next several weeks.

Anyway, thanks for inspiring me to take better care of me.

Yours very truly, Susan”

MY FEEDBACK:

Susan, thank YOU for trusting me with helping you on your vegan journey. It must have been hard turning down all those ‘no’no’ foods – but you did it. AND SURVIVED! And therein  lies the key: you’re willing to try. That’s all that’s required. Keep up the great work, remember to HYDRATE throughout the day (which helps release the toxins from your body while you replace them with healthy nutrients), and keep us posted.

Great things will come to you, Susan. And remember: YOU DESERVE THEM ALL!

Sincerely ~ Chef KESS
iVegan!

Hello all!

Some of you have contacted me personally, asking when I’d start posting again. Ok, so here’s the rub (…heard that in a movie once and always wanted to say it):

As I continue to cater, run my business, encourage others in their quests for improved health, I sometimes have to weigh which tasks are more important. Well, as much as I LOVE this blog, I JUST HAVE TO SOMETIMES HUNKER DOWN AND GET THE WORK DONE and unfortunately that might mean not posting for awhile.

But don’t fret! I am now back on track and am pushing ahead with new and exciting endeavors. That said, one of the bigger tasks I’ve been working on during the past several weeks is my upcoming YouTube channel which will feature ME preparing some delectable dishes so that YOU can enjoy even MORE mouth-watering vegan dishes.

YouTube, baby!

YouTube, baby!

So please be patient with me as we delve into a new and exciting direction that will benefit us all

I’m Chef KESS.iVegan!

…well, not quite. Truth is: I’m just starting to get the hang of this whole “digital” world. I’m excited and irritated all at once: I enjoy the outreach that it brings – but I’m truly a chef at heart, and anything that takes me away from my kitchen tends to annoy me. Still, it’s a new day and new age…and from my understanding, if one is not ‘digital’ one is not relevant (the pundits’ word, not mine).

All this to say: please follow me on Twitter (@veganchefkess) and be sure to connect with me on Facebook to keep up with all the exciting news coming up (and there’s PLENTY)! Of course, you’re also welcome to send me an email directly: celebchefkess@gmail.com.

Looking forward to “connecting” with you all!

‘Til next time…

Chef KESS
iVegan!

I get a lot of questions about ‘how to start a vegan diet.’

I wish it was that simple. I wish I could give a rundown of foods to stock in the fridge and cupboards and be done with it. But our minds and bodies are much more complex than a mere “how-to” list of living the vegan lifestyle.

There is one thing, though, that one could do in order to prepare for the vegan diet. It’s among the most basic of elements, and it’s essential to a balanced and healthy lifestyle – for everyone.

It’s water.

Good for the body... and the soul.

Good for the body…
and the soul.

By simply increasing your daily water intake, the body can become replenished and refreshed, and operate a lot more efficiently. Of course, that’s not all that’s needed to get on the road to veganism; but it’s an important step.

So start today with clean, clear drinking water (plain…not the flavored kind). If you can’t drink 8 cups a day, try 7, or 6. The point is…start. Today.

Until next time…I’m Chef KESS

iVegan

 

 

 

I remember when I was a young man in my teens; I had just left my mother’s home to live with my father. It was liberating. (Anytime you move out of mother’s house, it can be a freeing experience, for sure.) But there was just one problem: I had become so over anxious of gaining freedom that I had forgotten what my Mama taught me. It was this: my body was a vegan temple.

You see, as a child, in addition to asthma, I was susceptible to extreme bouts of eczema. The only way for my mother to keep me healthy was to implement a vegan diet. Worked like a charm…until I moved out of the house and lost my ever-loving mind! That was when my skin broke out in the worst kind of eczema I’d ever experienced. Truth be told: it was a humbling experience – not simply because of the eczema – no, my humility came as a result of KNOWING what I should have done and STILL NOT DOING IT, which in turn brought about the extreme eczema (and we know how teenagers feel about their appearance!). I was devastated.

In a spirit of defiance and in an effort to prove my mother wrong (apparently I HAD lost my mind!), I continued to put the ‘poisons’ into my body. Due to that foolish tendency, I have pictures today which will NEVER be made public – simply because I tried with every fiber of my being to eat whatever was in front of me. As Mother puts it, I ‘ate anything that didn’t eat me first!’ And I paid a high price for it.

Now this is MY story…but it doesn’t have to be yours. That’s why I’m writing this post, will continue to write it, and am in the process of writing a book…to help YOU in becoming the healthiest individual you can become.

I hope you’ll continue to take this journey with me…and share your story as well. Let’s encourage one another! I’m ready…are you?

Chef KESS, Vegan Chef

iVegan!

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Greetings. I am KESS, vegan chef from Philadelphia, PA. If you’re reading this post you’re probably one of three people: (1) someone who benefits from the vegan lifestyle; (2) someone who has no clue what the term “vegan” really means; or (3) someone who ‘just might’ be interested in knowing a little more.

Regardless of which group you’re in, you’ve come to the right place. I have something for all of you. So whether you’re a vegan (and have been for years), have no clue why you ended here in the first place, or are ready to ‘give the vegan life a try,’ this blog will help you in one way or another.

Each week I’ll present a new and exciting way to prepare foods (vegan style of course). Now I know what some of you are thinking:

Will it taste like cardboard?
Does it feel natural?
What’s the texture like?

Let me assure you that I’ve had no complaints to date whatsoever! And I’ve prepared foods for some of the most famous (and, yes, infamous) personalities around. But more on that later. In the meantime…prepare to be amazed.

~ Sincerely,

Vegan Chef KESS