Sprout New Roots


Halloween! give PEAS a chance! & a Bloody Mary!

So this past weekend we went to The Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans AKA Voodoo Fest! The last few years it’s taken place on Halloween weekend, which is perfect because it’s just so appropriate for New Orleans. We house a city of music-loving, festival-going, animated freaks and this just gives us all a place to go listen to music, eat some awesome food, and dress up! Luckily for me, when it comes to food, New Orleans has gotten way better at accomodating veggie-sauruses! I was able to grab some yummy veg. black beans and yellow rice, topped with cilantro and jalapenos, and also some hummus and pita bread. So all was well in the magical world of VooDoo. Jason and I went with my brother, Dusten and his girlfriend Mariam. It was a blast! Jason dressed as a sock monkey, and Dusten and Mariam tag-teamed it as the late Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. They all looked awesome and tried to get into character for pictures! I decided to make my own costume. I dressed as a giant hippie pea pod and held a sign that said “give PEAS a chance”! This went over so well at VooDoo! People all over were wanting to take my picture or have their picture taken with me. My ego was officially boosted! I even got used to it and as soon as people took pictures, I fell in step and did my signature peace sign/hold the sign up quick pose! I got to hear stories about people who loved peas and also one about a guy’s roommate who hates peas so much so he wanted my picture to send to him to help him change his mind. I was a therapist pea pod in some cases. You wouldn’t believe you could actually have multiple conversations a day about how people feel about peas. Also, puns were flying all over the place between me and my brother. We kept saying things like “Man, I have to PEA!’ and if anyone got rough, I’d say something like “Stay away, I’m a PEAceful Pea!”and other ridiculous fun things like that-all day-we couldn’t stop.

At one point, while walking, we came across the Jolly Green Giant! So I had to take a picture with him! People stopped and saw us posing together and started taking pictures of us as well! Oh the life of a celebrity pea pod…

And then, I spotted my soul mate! The carrot! So I took a photo with her as well! And THEN we spotted my husband’s sister-in-law, Lisa. She was dressed as a supermarket meat inspector! So here’s a photo of her inspecting my innocent little peas while I look afraid haha! Love it. Too perfect!

Well, I figured I would leave you off with a Bloody Mary that my husband made for me last weekend. That ties into New Orleans and also scariness (bloody mary) so we’ll go with that to end this post! I recently realized (thanks to my sister and co-blogger, Jenn) that a lot of Bloody Mary mixes and worcestershire sauces have anchovies in them. So, when we wanted bloody mary’s last weekend, I had to find something without. And I found Smirnoff! No sign of fishies there! And we just left out the worcestershire sauce. Oh and the okra, olives, and green beans are all local New Orleans brands! And the glass it’s in is our local Mignon Faget 🙂

Here’s how we did it!

  • 3 parts Smirnoff Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 shot of vodka if you want to add alcohol, mine was a virgin Mary hehe
  • cracked pepper over the top
  • a dab of olive juice
  • olives, pickled okra, and spicy pickled green beans to your liking

Shaken, not stirred.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

-Kelli the Pea Pod



Ole’ Ole’ Ole’! Veg-head Mexican Tortilla Soup

Ok guys, THIS is my FAVORITE soup ever! I came across it while surfing through vegetarian food blogs and posts a long time ago and it’s officially my top dish at home! If it were a website, it would have the most hits, let’s put it that way. Mexican is one of my favorite flavors of food and I’m almost always up for it-so this soup is a major staple in our home. Plus it makes a big pot so I can eat on it all through the work week!

I had to have portraits taken with my favorite soup!

It’s seriously AMAZING! The original recipe suggests cheese, sour cream, chips and avocado as garnishes to the dish. So that was all that I had to alter in order to vegan-ify it! -just use whole grain chips and avocado-cilantro would be great too!

Let’s get cooking!

You’ll need:

Water for sautéing
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chiles, drained
2 (10 ounce) cans RoTel Diced Tomatoes with Lime & Cilantro
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (32 ounce) containers Organic Vegetable Broth
2 (15 ounce) cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 a lime


1. In a small bowl mix together cumin, sweet paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, coriander, and black pepper. Set aside.

2. In a large pot heat the water over medium high. Add the onions and bell peppers. Sauté until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the spices and garlic; cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add the green chile peppers, RoTel, corn and vegetable broth. Cook until warmed through. Add the black beans and cook for 2 minutes before serving. Squeeze in lime juice. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.

This original recipe is linked here: http://www.thecookingphotographer.com/2010/11/spicy-vegetarian-tortilla-soup-giveaway.html (Thanks, Cooking Photographer!!!)

Happy Eating! Ole!

-Kelli 🙂


Bell Pepper and Corn soup!

 Let me start off by saying how AMAZING this soup smelled when it was cooking. OMG. I wish I could bottle this smell and wear it as perfume. Really. I was dying, it was so yummy smelling.

This soup is perfect for the cold weather that has been currently taunting Memphis. It is warm, creamy, hearty, mild, but has a spicy bite to it.

AND it is super easy to make. This batch I made a few days ago is all gone, and I totally plan on making another, much larger, batch very soon. The boyfriend, who usually hates any kind of soup, LOVED it. So that right there says how good it is!

  • 2 TBS olive oil or vegetable broth
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 cups chopped red & yellow bell peppers
  • 3 chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot. When it simmers, add red onion, bell peppers & garlic.  Cook 5 minutes until softened.  Add frozen corn, stir, & cook another 3 minutes.

Add vegetable stock & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat & let simmer 10 minutes.

Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree with a blender (I used my trusty magic bullet :)).  Add red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to the puree.

Return puree to the soup pot and stir.

Eat up!

I found the original recipe for this soup here.

– Jenn


All Hail the Kale (butter)! An Engine-2 Recipe

I recently read “The Engine 2 Diet” by Rip Esselstyn. I even got to meet him at a Whole Foods Engine 2 Diet kickoff! He was really great and what he’s doing for Americans is wonderful! For those of you not familiar, he is the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. Dr. Esselstyn Jr. is a heart doctor who, for the last 30 years, has been reversing and curing heart disease in some of the absolute worst patients in America simply through a plant-based diet. Along with reversing their heart disease, most people find great relief, if not cure, all their other diseases as well. If you watch the documentary “Forks Over Knives” you can learn more about this amazing diet and what it has done/is doing for people. Former President Clinton has been on this diet for the last 2 years or so and it has changed his health tremendously. Anywho, Rip is his firefighter, tri-athlete son who helped his Austin, TX firefighting troop reverse their heart disease and other issues they were having by starting a firehouse “Plant Strong” diet. The firefighters would come together for breakfast, lunch and dinner on their shift and create yummy meals together and supported each other in their endeavor. His movement spread through the community and more and more people became “Plant Strong” and majorly improved their health! Well, this post is about one of his “spreads” in his cookbook-Kale Butter. When you go vegan there are a few things that will change when it comes to dips and finding something to wet/dress your sandwich etc. One thing that has replaced mayo for me is hummus. Another is this kale butter. I use it as a vegetable dip, on my veggie wraps, and on my Sloppy Jasons (haha) too! It’s delicious and is very healthy and, something I like, VERY quick and easy to make! So here we go, let’s make it!!

(recipe copied from his cookbook)

You will need:

  • 1bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Salt to taste

Steam the kale for 5 minutes, until tender. Blend the cooked kale with the walnuts and 1/2 cup of the green water from steaming. Add salt to taste if desired (I, personally, did not and didn’t feel it needed it). Process in blender until smooth.


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Tofu Lettuce Wraps!

A few weeks ago, I was CRAVING P. F. Changs tofu lettuce wraps. I figured that they couldn’t be too difficult to make, and decided I should give it a try. I found this recipe and got to work. It was so easy and SO delicious! I am definitely going to be cooking this regularly.

  • cooked brown rice
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu
  • 2 – 3 cups chopped shitake mushrooms (we have used 1.5 portobello mushrooms chopped up and that works great too)
  • 4 tbsp chopped garlic (fresh)
  • 1.5 tbsp ginger (if you have fresh, then grate 1 tsp. of grated fresh ginger for every ÂĽ tsp. of dry ground ginger-we use both options depending on if we have fresh or not, if you’re new to ginger, ground up may be a better option)
  • 1/2 to 1 can chopped water chestnuts (8 oz)
  • red pepper flakes
  • soy sauce or tamari
  • pepper
  • onion powder

Chop tofu into tiny squares. Spread out the tofu on cookie sheet. Top with pepper, red pepper flakes (don’t over sprinkle because it could get too spicy) , soy/tamari sauce, and onion powder. Bake on 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Saute chopped up garlic and ginger in a little water for 5 minutes until they soften, then add the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and a dash of soy sauce, onion powder and sprinkle a bit of the red pepper flakes.  Cook for another 10 minutes.

Once the tofu is finished, add the tofu and some rice to the pan and mix all ingredients together and cook for another few minutes to mix the flavors.

Wrap mixture in pieces of lettuce, and enjoy!