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VegKitchen, the next generation: Building our mobile and tablet app

Asian flavored quinoa wraps

With exploding interest in plant-based foods, a VegKitchen.com app is being planned. Help us make vegan meals easier and more fun for even the busiest of cooks! Visit our Indiegogo campaign for details. Cool rewards at every donation level. more→

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Mother’s Day Book Giveaway: A trio of books to help mom go vegan!

Never too late to go vegan; I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to eat it any more; quick-fix vegan

This giveaway is now closed … thanks to all for having entered! Are you interested in helping your mom — or wife, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt, or esteemed friend (or even for yourself!) — enjoy a more plant-based diet? Here’s a giveaway featuring three books that will help immensely to that end. And even if it’s someone who doesn’t want to go full-on vegan, these books will help them achieve a healthier lifestyle. more→

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12/6/13 Giveaway Friday: The Lucky Ones and Vegan Express

The lucky ones by Jenny Brown adn Vegan Express by Nava AtlasToday’s giveaway features two very different books that go very well together. If you’re on the fence about going vegan and are looking forward to something that might serve as your tipping point, I highly recommend The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals by Jenny Brown with Gretchen Primack. It’s not a graphic exposé of the factory farm industry (though it does touch on that nightmare) buy one woman’s journey from surviving childhood cancer (to which she lost a leg) to founding the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. As described on the back cover, only her ever-loyal cat kept her from the depths of despair. Some years later, Jenny made the connection between the pet she so loved, and the animals on her plate.

The only reason I’m giving away this heartfelt, highly readable book is because I still have the hardcover copy, and the publisher very kindly sent me the paperback edition not too long ago. The original stays in my personal library! What I love most about this book are the descriptions of the rescued farm animals, and their distinctive personalities — a reminder that these animals aren’t “meat” but social beings who give and receive love, much like any dog or cat that we might consider part of our family.

So what to do and what to eat once you’ve decided to stop eating sentient beings and their byproducts? Vegan Express is a good way to start, featuring more than 160 recipes, plus lots of tips and menus for meals that can be made with ordinary ingredients in no time flat.

To enter to win both of these books, which will come to the winner as a set, simply leave a comment below, telling us why you’d like to have these books in your personal library. Make sure to leave your e-mail address in the field that requests it, so that I have a way to reach you. Entries will be accepted from 2:30 pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, December 6, 2013, to 9:30 am Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Good luck!

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Nava’s Fall 2013 Speaking and Exhibit Schedule

Unlike this past spring, when I traversed the US from one end to another, this fall’s talks and appearances will keep me close to my slightly upstate NY home. I’ll be wearing all my various hats for these events — nonfiction writer, vegan cookbook author, and artist, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Friday, Oct. 4 – 26 – Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY – Opening reception for I Do? — a group exhibit about marriage equality. Alas, I won’t actually be at this opening, but it promises to be a fascinating exhibit exploring this hot-button issue. My most recent limited edition book, Why You Can’t Get Married: An Unwedding Album, will be part of this exhibit.

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Saturday, October 5 – Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Saugerties, NY – CAS’s annual Shindig will be filled with farm animals, food, speakers, demos, and lots more. I’ll be demonstrating how to tame kale, from Wild About Greens at 2:30.

31923_10151467498174859_1910602025_nOctober 14, 2013 – February 21, 2014 - University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, WA: “Under the Wings of  Artemis: Scholars, Artists and the Places Between.” This beautifully titled of exhibit of artists’ books from the U of W special collections will include one of my signature pieces, Sluts & Studs,which will also be discussed in a book that accompanies the exhibition. I don’t know if there will be a formal opening for the exhibit, but, since I’ve already traveled to the west coast twice this year, chances are I won’t be attending.

Friday, November 1 – Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY – A reading by several of the contributors to the anthology A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley. I’ll be reading my essay, “Self-Acceptance: A Hard-Fought Battle.” I believe this event begins at 7:00 but please confirm at Nava’ Fall Speaking and Exhibit Schedulecloser to the date.

Wild About Greens by Nava AtlasSunday, November 3 - Pine Plains Library, Pine Plains, NY – This will be my only solo talk this fall; an in-depth but fun demo of recipes and tips from Wild About Greens. The event runs from 2pm to 4pm.

Saturday, November 9 - Millbrook Winery, Millbrook, NY – Sip & Sign, a local author booksigning event. Sample local wines, and get a little tipsy while exploring books by Hudson Valley authors. I’ll be there with several of my titles, including Wild About Greens,  Vegan Holiday Kitchen, and The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life.

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The Next Big Thing: A Cookbook Authors’ Blog Hop

Chocolate Peanut butter truffles

Wild About Greens by Nava AtlasI was invited by the wonderful and prolific Robin Asbell to participate in this game of cookbook author tag, in which we each choose a few of our colleagues and answer the same questions about our foodie lives. Such fun to be in this great company! Aside from working on a new cookbook, I’m also traveling around like a crazy person, still promoting my previous two cookbooks, Wild About Greens and Vegan Holiday Kitchen; working on some juicy art projects which include my limited edition artist’s books (I’m excited and honored to be speaking on the subject at Duke University’s Perkins Library later this month); I just relaunched The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life web site; and when I’m finished with my next cookbook manuscript I want to get back to an engrossing nonfiction project I’ve been working on forever. more→

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Nava’s Spring and Early Summer Speaking Schedule

Wild About Greens by Nava AtlasThis spring you will find me all over the map, traveling to various venues to speak about my personal work as well as to demo the joys of healthy plant-based food. Please join me if you are in the California bay area, suburban NYC, Raleigh-Durham NC, slightly upstate NY, or Portland, OR:

February 10-13, Richmond, CA: Codex International Book Fair

March 3: NY VegFest, NYC (past)

March 10, Great Neck Library, Great Neck, NY: A plant-strong plan for the spring holidays — a demo and discussion of Vegan Holiday Kitchen  and Wild About Greens- 2 pm.  (past)

March 23, Raleigh, NC: Wild About Greens — food demo, discussion, and potluck, co-sponsored by the Kadampa Center and the Triangle Vegetarian Society. 6 pm.

March 25, Durham, NC: Presentation and talk for the academic community and public at Duke University:  Clarissa Sligh and Nava Atlas in Conversation: Race, Gender, and Identity in Artists’ Books. 6:30 pm, Perkins Library, room 318.

April 12-14, New Paltz, NY: Mohonk Mountain House — Healthy Living: Culinary Tips for a Plant-Based Palate, a weekend of food demos and tastings with Nava Atlas, Fran Costigan, Leslie Cerier, and Whitecliff Winery. My demos will feature recipes and tips from Wild About Greens.

May 24-26, Portland, OR: Vida Vegan Conference — I’ll be speaking on several panels at this annual vegan food and lifestyle blogger’s event.

June 15, Guilderland, NY: Guilderland Public Library — Demo and discussion featuring Wild About Greens as part of Guilderland LIbrary’s Tastes Good/Get Healthy Series. 11 am

July 3-7, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PAVegetarian Summerfest, at the grande dame of Veg Conferences, I’m a mere part of this amazing line-up of experts in the field of veg cuisine and nutrition.

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Nava’s Late Winter – Spring 2013 Speaking Schedule — Food, Books, and Art

Postal Angst by Nava AtlasThis spring you will find me all over the map, traveling to various venues to speak about my personal work as well as to demo the joys of healthy plant-based food. Please join me if you are in the California bay area, suburban NYC, Raleigh-Durham NC, slightly upstate NY, or Portland, OR:

Feb. 10 – 13, Richmond, CA: Codex International Book Fair — I will be exhibiting my limited edition books (including Sluts & Studs, Dear Literary Ladies, Mislabeling Hillary, Postal Angst, Why You Can’t Get Married: An Unwedding Album, and more), as well as the trade editions of The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life, and Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife.

March 10, Great Neck, NY:  Great Neck Library — A plant-strong plan for the spring holidays — a demo and discussion of Vegan Holiday Kitchen  - 2 pm.

Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas - coverMarch 23, Raleigh, NC: Wild About Greens — food demo, discussion, and potluck, co-sponsored by the Kadampa Center and the Triangle Vegetarian Society. 6 pm.

March 25, Durham, NC: Presentation and talk for the academic community and public at Duke University’s Rubenstein Library with Nava Atlas and Clarissa Sligh, tentative subject: gender, race, and identity in artist’s books. Time TBA

April 12-14, New Paltz, NY: Mohonk Mountain House — Food and Wine Festival -”The Plant-Based Palate,” a weekend of food demos and tastings with Nava Atlas, Fran Costigan, Leslie Cerier, and Whitecliff Winery. My demos will feature Wild About Greens.

May 24-26, Portland, OR: Vida Vegan Conference — Speaking on two panels at this annual vegan food and lifestyle blogger’s event.

June 15, Guilderland, NY: Guilderland Public Library — Demo and discussion featuring Wild About Greens as part of Guilderland LIbrary’s Tastes Good/Get Healthy Series. 11 am

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VegKitchen is Seventeen Years Old!

Spanish vegetable stew

Veggies2smIt just dawned on me that VegKitchen.com went live in January, 1996 — seventeen years ago, and ancient history in internet terms. Of course, it started small, but that’s how things usually start, right? And it has changed and grown ever since. I remember chatting with Mollie Katzen back then, comparing notes, as we seemed to be among the first food authors to go online with our own sites. We marveled at the prospect of having 500 visitors per day; now VegKitchen receives more than 5,000 visitors per day on average, and much higher in the fall due to the popularity of the vegan Thanksgiving area. The numbers continue to mount as interest in healthy, plant-based eating grows.

The biggest change to VegKitchen happened in November 2010, when we switched to the WordPress platform and went from vegetarian to vegan (lagging way behind my actual lifestyle change, as I had gone vegan in 2001). Not that I’m doing a commercial for WordPress, but it made it so much easier to grow the site rapidly and edit at will. We also began incorporating a lot more contributors from the food world, who share articles and recipes on the site, adding other voices to this fast-growing area. And by the way, when I say “we,” I’m basically referring to myself, my webmaster Allen Jezouit at Berkshire Direct, and my assistant, Rachael Braun, who tends to the site almost daily. I thank them for their contributions to VegKitchen’s recent growth.

VegKitchen is but one of three major careers I juggle simultaneously — the others include writing cookbooks and other non-fiction; and visual art (mostly text-driven — I guess I really like words!). It has become a great way to connect with others in the healthy food and vegan communities, and a platform for sharing information that people are seeking these days. It still boggles my mind that VegKitchen is seventeen, and I look forward to celebrating twenty years online in just three years from now.

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