Sprout New Roots


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A Very Veggie Thanksgiving!

Hey there! We hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! We sure did! While it makes us sad about the brutal truths of Thanksgiving (excessive turkey/pig slaughter, etc.), we do love everything else about this holiday. Family, friends, and food! What could be better? One question we often get about Thanksgiving is “Well what do YOU eat at Thanksgiving since you don’t eat turkey?” The funny thing about this holiday is the amount of yummy veggies that show up on our tables that usually don’t ever make it to any of our plates on a regular basis! So yes, we indulge! Jenn was able to come in from Memphis so we took advantage and cooked together while we could! We made quite a few dishes but will share 2 with you in this post. First, we chose Happy Herbivore’s Butternut Squash Soup! This soup was very warming and colorful and just nice! It’s more of a curry butternut squash soup-bc it had a very strong curry taste! When we make it again, we will probably knock down a notch the amount of curry we used.  We both loved it – and so did our brother. However, curry isn’t a flavor that everyone takes to immediately, so when making this for a large group of people, take that into consideration. Just a little lesson learned. But still-very yummy soup!

(http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/butternut-squash-soup/)

Also, we made a favorite-mashed potatoes! Kelli found a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes on another vegan blog that looked yummy-so we used that! Here’s the link to her recipe: (http://whattheheckareyoueating.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/vegan-garlic-mashed-potatoes/). Neither of us had never used watercress leaves before and they definitely gave this dish a little something extra special and tasty! We love garlic so we over-indulged in that! We basically used russet potatoes, garlic, soy milk, vegan butter, and chopped up watercress.

We had so much fun cooking for Thanksgiving! We have been experimenting a lot lately so look forward to more holiday cooking and craft posts!

– Kelli & Jenn

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Po-Boy Fest 2011 & BBQ Jackfruit? WTF?!

Hello All!

I wanted to share with you guys about my weekend! Jason and I went to Po-Boy Fest on Oak St. Uptown New Orleans this past Sunday with my mom, step-dad, brother and his girlfriend. It’s a festival a few blocks long of music, art and-you guessed it-different po-boy stands from local restaurants set up all along the street! The past few years I’d always wanted to go but something always came up-plus there really wasn’t going to be a po-boy I could eat most likely. First of all, do ya’ll know what a po-boy is? Let me learn ya a lil sumthin’ in case you don’t! I’m stealing this from FrenchQuarter.com by the way. “…the most widely accepted story holds that the sandwich was invented by Clovis and Benjamin Martin, brothers and former streetcar drivers who opened a restaurant on St. Claude Avenue in the 1920s. When streetcar drivers went on strike in 1929, the brothers took up their cause and created an inexpensive sandwich of gravy and spare bits of roast beef on French bread they would serve the unemployed workers out of the rear of their restaurant. When a worker came to get one, the cry would go up in the kitchen that “here comes another poor boy!,” and the name was transferred to the sandwich, eventually becoming “po-boy” in common usage.” So there you have it! Just a lil ‘ole sandwich for dem poor boys that became such a tradition in New Orleans! Today we have all different kinds of po-boys-roast beef, fried shrimp, oyster, crawfish, eggplant-you name it! If you ever visit, find yourself a po-boy and grab a little taste of New Orleans. The problem for me is the obvious–I very very rarely eat anything fried, and if I want to get an eggplant po-boy, most all people/restaurants use egg in their fry batter. But that’s about to change!

So, back to my Sunday at Po-Boy Fest! I heard through the grapevine that is Facebook that 2 local vegan catering companies – “Dream A Little Green” (http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/dreamalittlegreen) and “O! Vegasm” (http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/ovegasm?sk=wall) had teamed up to provide plant-based po-boys for the festival! I was so excited and immediately decided that nothing was going to come between me and eating a po-boy this year! And so we went and oh my goodness-their po-boys were amazing! Jason and I split 2. They used an Asian fruit called “Jackfruit” for both recipes I believe. One was a BBQ jackfruit po-boy with vegan cole slaw on top and it was to-die for! It was smothered in BBQ sauce and was meant to resemble a pulled pork sandwhich. I personally haven’t eaten pork since I was under 10 years old, but my brother and meat-loving my step-dad both said they thought it was amazing and it definitely resembled that flavor. The other po-boy they served was a Maryland Save-the-Crab Cake. This was also awesome, dressed with lettuce and tomato and pickle and maybe a little sauce of some kind–I can’t be sure–we scarfed it down so quickly! My mom ate both of these herself and stood by their stand advertising how awesome they were. She was quite enthusiastic and very impressed with them! After this, I decided that I needed a little more Jackfruit in my life, so I’ve been researching. I even found a recipe that I’m hoping and thinking is similar to their BBQ style po-boy. (http://chowvegan.com/2008/05/28/bbq-pulled-jackfruit-sandwich/). Also, it seems to be a fruit that you can buy fresh, frozen, or canned and that if you can’t find it anywhere else, Asian markets tend to sell them. I’ve read that peeling it yourself can be difficult-so for my first attempt I may try canned or frozen. I’ll post once I get to this! Have any of you heard of or tried jackfruit? If so, send some recipes my way! A whole new world has opened up to me!

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving week!

-Kelli


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craft: giving that paint-chipping antique feel to furniture!

Hello everyone! Jenn here! It has been a while since I have posted – school has been keeping me pretty busy!

Anywho, today I want to share with you guys a fun project I did.

I love the way antique, old, paint-peeling wood looks. I had seen on another website a neat way of recreating this look and decided to give it a try.

I have used this technique twice – on an old pair of shutters (that I scored for $3 at a yard sale off of Magazine St. in NOLA!) and on our coffee table (that we found out by the dumpster at our apartment complex – fo free! hehe).

The process is really so simple!

Step 1: Pick two paint colors – one for the bottom coat, and one for the top.

Step 2: Paint the bottom coat color.

Step 3: Then, once it has dried, apply Elmers glue on top. Wait 2 – 3 minutes for it to start drying.

Step 4: When it feels tacky, apply the top coat of paint. As the glue continues to dry, it will crack the top layer of paint, exposing the bottom color and giving it that old worn down look! SO NEAT LOOKING!

 Excuse my silly little photo shoot with the finished product! So happy with how these turned out!

They are perfect for on top of our fireplace!

Now on to the coffee table!

As it dried, a lime green color appeared. Was not too happy about that! So weird! What I think happened was when I applied to glue, it picked up some of the mustard color underneath and mixed it with the teal color. Boo 😦 It looks better in person than this photo, also. The color is more of a teal peacock color, not so “primary blue.” And there is much less of that nasty green color in person, thank god!

Here it is – adding some much needed color into our living room!

– Jenn


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Dry Body Brushing 101

Hello again! So were you starting to think this blog was solely about recipes? Fear not, there’s much more to a happy healthy lifestyle besides amazing nutritious food!-although that’s a huge fun part! I want to know- have any of you heard of body brushing or dry brushing? I hadn’t until I started reading Kris Carr’s blog. She’s amazing by the way-you should check her out. (crazysexylife.com). You’ll be inspired to make a healthy change in your life! You might remember her from Oprah’s show or from her TLC documentary “Crazy, Sexy, Cancer”-which I totally, completely, and infinitely recommend. Kris’ spirit and attitude are incredible as she goes on a journey to health after being diagnosed with a rare Cancer that has no known cure.  On her website she has an entire community that you can join in and discuss life/love/health/food related things with her and others seeking a similar kind of positive energy! This leads to my topic-dry brushing! She dry brushes her body and swears that your skin will glow like never before! First-buy a loofa/shower brush/shower gloves or mitt etc. and you basically exfoliate your body in the morning before you shower. Here are some body brushes: here The technique is to start at the bottom of your right foot and work your way up with your gloves/mitt/brush in a circular motion towards your heart. Then you move onto the left leg up. Then your right arm, left arm, and in a figure 8 around your breasts (don’t brush your nipples! lol) and finally your belly button out in a circular motion, finishing off in stokes up towards your heart. Also, don’t brush too harshly on your skin-it’s supposed to be a comfortable amount of pressure and brushing-so if you’re skin is sensitive, take it easy-especially at first! There are books and techniques on this that seem to get very specific about how you are supposed to do this–but I basically do as I’ve told you and as Kris talks about in her article on it (http://crazysexylife.com/2008/dry-brushing/). The main idea is to have fun, get funky with your naked self, and get your brushing groove on! Some people put coconut oil on their skin afterwards and swear by it. I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds heavenly! Here’s another very helpful, detailed blog post by Vegalicious! (http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/benefits-of-dry-brushing-your-skin-detox/)

I’ve definitely felt the amazing benefits after starting this around a month ago! Dry brushing basically wakes you up (better than that coffee!) by stimulating your circulatory system and lymph nodes and therefore gets your immune system going! It removes the toxins that your body unloads each and every day off of you-hence the glowing smooth skin! This also opens up pores and allows your body to breathe! My skin has never felt naturally softer and I definitely notice a difference in my alertness in the mornings! I try to dry brush around 3-4 times a week to keep a consistency of removing toxins off my skin. All I can say is that every year I catch a cold when the weather changes but so far this Fall season at work, there have been 3-4 major colds that have swept threw our office in the last few months and I have yet to catch one of them! This is actually a goal of mine this year–to NOT catch the cold I usually do! So, I’m arming up my immune system through nutrition, dry brushing, and also this magic little Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis throat spray! Any time that I have felt any slight change in my body that signaled I may be catching something, I immediately sprayed this in my throat a few times that day as instructed. And so far so good! Let me know if any of you dry brush or if you try it!

Thanks, guys and gals!

-Kelli


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Cupcakes! Muffins! Oh my!

I have always had a HUGE sweet tooth. I love anything involving chocolate. So, I declared today vegan cupcake/muffin baking day! This was my first time making vegan cupcakes. Actually, this was my first time making cupcakes that did not come from a box! Since this was uncharted territory, I figured I would test the waters and try out 4 different types. I found inspiration for these on blogs like Happy Herbivore and Chocolate Covered Katie.

As you’ll notice, I did not use any icing. While I have a super sweet tooth, icing has always been too sweet for me. I always end up picking that part off.

This first type I made was pumpkin chocolate chip. It was YUMMY. SO GOOD. But then again, anything involving chocolate or pumpkin is good, so the two together is HEAVEN!

I then tried out a super chocolaty muffin. The boyfriend liked this one the best. It was good, but had more of a bitter chocolate taste because I did not add too much extra sugar.

The next is my favorite. It is a simple vanilla peach cupcake. MMMM! This one I will definitely be making again.

The last, to say the least, was a complete failure. I tried to make a blueberry lemon muffin, but it just turned out bland and pretty tasteless. Anyone have a great vegan blueberry muffin recipe?! eh?!

Since I was testing these out, I made random amounts of each kind. If you want to make more, just double/triple/quadruple,/you get the idea, the recipe. Or just eye-ball it like I do. 😉

Note: When I cook, I have a hard time sticking to specific measurements, and usually end up eyeballing the amount of each ingredient. Eek! I am going to start trying to keep track of the exact measurements I use! Promise!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip (makes 4 cupcakes)

  • 12 tsp flour
  • 3 or 4 tsp pumpkin (i used a canned pumpkin pie mix because i could not find plain pumpkin)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • as many vegan chocolate chips as you like! ( i got mine from whole foods)
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp almond milk (or another non dairy milk)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Peach Jam (makes 2 cupcakes)

  • 6 tsp flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar (more or less depending on how sweet your teeth are)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 tsp peach jam (or any other fruit jam)
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (or any other non dairy milk)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip (makes 3 cupcakes)

  • 4 tsp flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp almond milk (or another non dairy milk)
  • as many vegan chocolate chips you like!

Directions: Mix ingredients and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

– Jenn