Interview with Cowgirls & Collard Greens

Kayle Martin of Cowgirls and Collard Greens

Kayle Martin of Cowgirls and Collard Greens

Kayle's Summertime Pizza with Grilled Veggies - Recipe recreated and photographed by Anna Pelzer

Kayle’s Summertime Pizza with Grilled Veggies – Recipe recreated and photographed by Anna Pelzer

We have to start of this week’s interview with a good ole yeehaw!  We are so excited to share our interview with Kayle Martin of Cowgirls & Collard Greens!
In addition to the interview, Kayle has shared her recipe for her homemade Summertime Pizza With Grilled Veggies.

Kayle Martin is a two-time breast cancer survivor, a graduate of the Living Foods Institute and the Founder and Chief Cowgirl of Cowgirls and Collard Greens, a cowgirl themed vegan lifestyle website and blog. A wellness advocate, Kayle shares her cancer story at conferences, universities, on national radio programs and has been featured in Keep A Breast magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, and most recently was on the cover of both Insight magazine as well as Inspire Health magazine. In herfree time, Kayle juices greens, counsels breast cancer patients, travels in search of new vegan restaurants, and lives an active life in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California.

How did you get the name Collard Cowgirl?

Collard Cowgirl is my handle on Instagram and Twitter (@collardcowgirl). It’s really just a shortened version of my website, blog and brand name, Cowgirls & Collard Greens, though I’m not sure that my followers are aware of that.

How did you decide to transition from vegetarianism
to veganism?

I became a vegan overnight after being vegetarian for about 19 years. I received a breast cancer diagnosis when I was 30 (and then again a year later at age 31) and after watching several alternative cancer films (all suggesting to cutting out animal products) I decided that was my path to aid in my wellness. I went vegan for a short time before becoming a 100% raw vegan after attending raw food school. I wanted to clean up my diet and alkalize my body. I remained on a raw food diet for 1.5 years during my journey with cancer and treatments for the disease. Though I no longer eat a complete raw food diet, I have remained totally vegan for nearly eight years.

You’ve said in previous interviews that having cancer was one
of the best things to have happened to you. Do you feel some door were opened to you that you would have never known
of otherwise?

Yes, indeed it was. I believe that I likely would not be vegan if it weren’t for my initial diagnosis. Becoming vegan and living a vegan lifestyle has become not only a huge part of my life, but it’s given me purpose and drives me to help others. I feel better, I look better eating a plant based diet and, I am motivated to make things better for people, the planet and the animals.

How did you come to start speaking at conferences?

I think that the speaking engagements just happened out of circumstance due to my blog and social media presence. I have spoken at hospitals, conferences as well as universities. While I don’t give as many talks as I’d like, I’m motivated to do more of them because I can practice my public speaking skills and (fingers crossed) all the while help people and animals at the same time.

Who is one of the best friends you’ve made on your vegan journey and how did you meet them?

I have made so many incredible friends on this journey, and as much as I’d like to express how amazing vegan food is (and it really is), it’s the people who have made all the difference. I’ve met most of my vegan friends online through social media initially and then have met them in person at a vegan event at a later date– such as Eat Drink Vegan, FARM Animal Rights Conference, Natural Products Expo West or a vegan meetup. My two closest vegan friends are Chris Cooney from The Vegan Zombie and Cindy Ford of Silly Little Vegan.

Tell us about an inspiring animal in your life.

Fez was one of the many horses who lived in my backyard as a child. Fez was a beautiful chestnut colored Morgan Arabian (also called a Morab) who we acquired when I was seven. Fez was also seven. He was our wonder horse. He’d come galloping to you when called, loved eating watermelon rinds, and so the story goes, he actually got down on his “knees” to go underneath a fallen tree out in the wilderness when there was no other way to go but through.

He was a good listener (I would frequently visit him out in our pasture when I was sad or having a bad day) too. Fez lived an exciting life filled with lots of adventure. He spent his final days pasturing in a meadow outside of Reno, Nevada and passed away when he was close to thirty years old.

What is the vegan scene like in Nevada?

I actually live in Nevada City which is in California. Most people think it’s in Nevada. I live between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains and while I’m in a rural small town, I still can find many vegan food options. I eat out a lot and find myself at my local co-op which has a surprising array of vegan-friendly eats.

I can’t really say that we have a “vegan scene” going on but there are other vegans who I know in the area including Allison Rivers-Samson of Allison’s Vegan Gourmet.

What is your favorite go to recipe?

I am on the go most all of the time. It’s very rare that I turn on the stove or even create a meal for myself as I eat out a lot, but that doesn’t stop me from making an occasional easy and delicious treat (I do love sweets) in my Vitamix.

My favorite easy recipe is my veganized Chunky Monkey ice cream which can also double as a smoothie (add nut milk) or smoothie bowl. You can find the recipe in Gene Baur’s book called Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.

We’ve heard of your love for juicing — what are your top 3 favorite ingredients?

That’s easy! Cucumber, watermelon and romaine lettuce– all of them are super tasty, but they all have a high water content which yields more delicious juice!

Thank you Kayle for answering all our questions and for being such an inspiration. For our readers who would like to learn more about Cowgirls and Collard Greens – Visit Kayle’s website at cowgirlsandcollardgreens.com and follow her on social media on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |Youtube | Pinterest

 

Cowgirls and Collard Greens Summertime Pizza with grilled veggies

 

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Hand full of cornmeal (helps the dough from sticking and also adds nice crunchy texture)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface

Pizza Ingredients
You can purchase your favorite veggies for toppings. Buying organic & seasonal is best.
These are only suggested veggie toppings, use your favorites; plan for about 1 cup of fresh veggies per pizza.

  • Red peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Artichoke hearts (canned ok)
  • Diced garlic (fresh or canned)
  • 1 package of dairy-free cheese (I prefer Daiya Mozzarella shreds)
  • 1 jar of vegan tomato sauce (such as Muir Glen or make your own). If tomato sauce is too rich, use diced tomatoes instead or pesto
  • Canola oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh oregano
  • A few springs of basil

Pizza Dough

In order to make this delicious pizza you must make the dough first:

  1. Put 1 1/4 cups warm water in a measuring cup
  2. Add yeast and sugar and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until frothy
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center
  4. Gradually pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil
  5. Mix to make a smooth dough
  6. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 1o minutes
  7. Place the dough in a floured bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours
  8. Roll the dough
  9. Let dough rise in a bowl

Veggie Preparation & Grilling Instructions

  1. Wash & dry red peppers, zucchini and eggplant
  2. Brush veggies with canola oil (or vegan oil of your choice)
  3. Slice zucchini to grill
  4. Place veggies on grill on medium heat
  5. Salt veggies once off the grill
  6. Dice up veggies small enough for toppings on pizza
  7. Chop mushrooms for toppings (don’t grill)

Peppers
Place hot grilled peppers inside a paper bag straight off the grill to steam (makes skins easy to remove)
Peel the skin off the grilled red peppers
Red peppers hot off the grill, perfectly peeled & ready to be diced for topping

Pizza Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Knead the dough for 2 minutes and then divide into 4 equal pieces
  3. Sprinkle a small hand full of cornmeal onto surface you’ll use to roll dough
  4. Roll out each piece to a 10 inch round and place onto four lightly oiled baking sheets
  5. Spoon the tomato sauce onto each dough round Brush the edges of the rounds with olive oil
  6. Add Daiya cheese, diced grilled veggies, fresh mushrooms, artichoke hearts and diced garlic
  7. Bake for ~15 minutes until golden brown and crisp (note: baking time depends on how doughy/crunchy you like your pizza crust)
  8. Sprinkle oregano leaves & slice fresh basil on top
  9. Slice pizza up and EAT!

 

Makes 4-8 personal pizzas depending on the thickness of the crust.

 

 

Have any comments or questions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

 

 

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