Sprout New Roots


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Butternut Squash “Mac ‘n Cheeze”

I really love Fall. And everything that comes along with it. The changing colors of the leaves, pumpkins, cool weather, and BUTTERNUT SQUASH!

I have been experimenting with “cheese” sauces lately, since it is that comfort food that everyone loves. I have grown to really love nutritional yeast, as it has that “cheesy” flavor. I tried a nutritional yeast and bell pepper based sauce that was really good (recipe to come!). So I figured a butternut squash and nutritional yeast based recipe would be equally as delicious and very “fall” tasting! And it was!

I based this recipe off of Oh She Glows Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour (to thicken sauce)
  • 10 or so (to taste) tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • black pepper, to taste
  • pasta of choice (this time, I used a veggie rotini pasta)

 

– Preheat oven to 425F. Place chopped butternut squash on pan to bake. Sprinkle with water to wet the butternut squash so it does not stick. Roast for about 40 minutes or so uncovered.

– Put olive oil in pot over low heat. Mix in milk & flour until there are no clumps. Mix in nutritional yeast, Dijon, garlic, pepper and stir over low heat for about 5 minutes

– Once the butternut squash is done roasting, blend sauce and butternut squash together in a blender.

– Mix sauce & pasta

– Eat up!

Does anyone else have any GREAT butternut squash recipes to share? I have a whole other half of this butternut squash and of course I want to try something new and tasty!

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather!

 


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Our 1 Year Veganniversary!

We have officially been vegan for a whole year! To celebrate, we figured we would each write a little letter to all of our followers! We also included the two recipes that we recently made for our dinner celebration!

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Jenn

Wow! I cannot believe it has already been a year. But then again, I feel as if I don’t quite remember life before I made became vegan. Being vegan has been so amazing and life changing, yet I feel as if this is how I have always lived – or always should have lived.

There have been many changes I have noticed about myself, both physically and mentally, since going from vegetarian to vegan. I feel physically well and energized and mentally more connected to the world and animals. I look at other animals as equals, simply beings we share the earth with. We are each on our own journey, one not better than the other. What kind of a human feels it is right to stop another living creature from living out their life, so he can live his a certain way? I am proud to say that my lifestyle does not prevent another being from living.

I am so thankful to have had my sister, Kelli, along the way. It has been such a learning experience, from learning new recipes to nutrition. I love that we have been able to document our journey and share this blog together!

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Kelli

I am so proud of myself and the changes I’ve made in this last year. Going from a 10 year vegetarian to one year as a vegan feels amazing!! I always say that my diet and lifestyle has been a journey-but just this last year-that journey got kicked up a few notches into a new level of appreciation and compassion for life, people, animals, food and this planet. It’s a new awareness that I have about the world and the way it connects and vibrates outward and inward. I feel like a child seeing things for the first time, wide-eyed and awestruck. I want to live my life as thoughtfully and as peacefully as I can choose to and the choices are mine to live out-which is incredibly freeing once you realize that.

Becoming vegan has made me feel great-inside and out. There is a lightness about my body. I can’t describe this except to say that I don’t feel like I have a weight in stomach that I used to feel . And, I have not had a stomach ache in a year! ONE WHOLE YEAR! I had no idea how much my stomach ached slightly or badly until it didn’t anymore. That was my “normal” before I gave up dairy. Also, I don’t get sick as often! I usually catch at least 2 colds during the year. I think I was one of the only people at my work to not catch any of the seasonal colds that got spread around me-my immunity is up in a big, noticeable way!  I look at all animals now with a newfound respect and compassion. I see the same life force in each and every animal’s eyes and cannot separate a cow or a pig from my own dogs. My periods are light and easy! My nails are stronger and prettier! It’s so many little things and big things that I continue to notice about myself and the world that confirm that what I’m doing is building a healthier body, mindset and planet. I could not have made this step in my life had it not been for my sister, Jenn by my side. We have been passionate about this lifestyle for as long as we can remember and now we can finally say that we are living out our values.

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We’d also like thank fellow vegan bloggers. We are so thankful to have a
community of people to refer to who think and feel the same way that we
do. And in case no one has thanked you for doing what you do for the
animals, we’d like to. So thank you – each and every one of you. You
are making an unbelievable difference in the lives of animals.

– Jenn and Kelli

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Now, on to the recipes! We have been on the hunt for jackfruit ever since we tasted it last year! Finally, Jenn found it in an asian market in Memphis.

I bought 2 cases – thats 58 cans! (We split it between us, Jenn and Kelli, and our Mom). You can imagine how crazy the cashier thought I was! As the guy at the market was helping me bring the boxes to my car, he asked what possessed me to buy so many cans of jackfruit. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I was going to smother it in barbecue sauce!

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*When buying jackfruit to make these dishes, remember to buy young green jackfruit in salt or water, not sugar. The canned jackfruit that is soaked in sugar is ripe and and used desserts.

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Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • canned young green jackfruit in brine or water
  • garlic (about 2 cloves per can used)
  • olive oil (about a tablespoon for each can used)
  • barbecue sauce

– Drain and wash the jackfruit several times.

– Squeeze each piece of jackfruit to remove excess water.

– In a pan, saute garlic and oil.

– Add jackfruit, and continue to saute for about 5 minutes.

– Transfer jackfruit into slow cooker with barbecue sauce and mix. Let it sit for an hour or two, depending on how much you are making. ( We made a good bit, about 5 cans worth. So we let it sit in the slow cooker for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more barbecue sauce along the way. You will know when it is ready when you are able to easily shred the jackfruit with a fork.)

– Serve on a bun and enjoy! We also made some coleslaw to put on top of it – perfection!

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Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes

We used this recipe. (But we quadrupled it, of course!) And served it with spicy remoulade sauce (recipe below).

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 can young green jackfruit in water or brine, rinsed & well drained
  • 14 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons dried arame 
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning 
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (quick or regular oats)
  • Bread crumbs

– Chop the onion finely in food processor and place it in a medium bowl. Drain the jackfruit and rinse it well and add it to the processor. Pulse until it is broken into rough pieces about 1/2-inch in size; keep it fairly coarse and be careful not to grind it into a paste. Add it to the onions.

– Place the tofu or white beans into the processor along with all remaining ingredients except oatmeal and breading. Pulse to crumble the tofu finely and distribute the seasonings. Add the tofu mixture to the bowl along with the oatmeal, and stir well to combine with the jackfruit and onions. Refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes.
– Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spread breadcrumbs on a large plate.
– Scoop up about 1/3 cup of the mixture and shape it into a patty. Place it into the breading, if desired, sprinkle a little breading on top, and gently pat into the top and sides. Carefully place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully turn over each cake and bake for another 20 minutes.
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Spicy Remoulade (credit)

1/2 cup vegan mayo
1 T ketchup
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t minced dried onion
1/2 t minced dried parsley
1 T capers with brine
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t sea salt
Combine all ingredients until well mixed.


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Homemade Lara Bar Bites!

Hello all! I have a sweet AND healthy snack for you today! Anyone here like Lara Bars as much as I do? I love love love them!  They taste so yummy and are great to keep on hand for on-the-go quick snacks.

Whenever I buy them (which is rare because they can be a bit pricey), I get the “Cashew Cookie” flavor. I love it for its simplicity: it is simply made of dates and cashews. I have always thought it must be easy enough to copy and cheaper to make on my own, so I decided to give it a go. I found a great resource here. This blog lays out the recipes for tons of different Lara Bar flavors.

I kept it simple and made the “Cashew Cookie” one as well as another made of dates and almonds. They  turned out delicious! I can’t wait to try some different ingredient combinations.

“Cashew Cookie” 

  • 1/2 cup Pitted medjool Dates
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews

Almond/Date 

  • 1/2 cup Pitted medjool Dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds

Directions:

  • Blend pitted dates in food processor until it becomes a paste; place in bowl.
  • Pulse nuts in food processor until chopped to your desired size.
  • Mix date paste and chopped nuts with hands until mixed, and roll mixture into balls.
  • Place on a plate and let it sit in a refrigerator for about a half hour.
  • Eat up!


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Pizza Pizza!

I’ll admit – one of my favorite foods has always been pizza. I mean, what’s better than hot cheesy pizza? Ultimate comfort food.

When I decided to stop eating dairy, I though pizza was going to be the hardest to resist. Surprisingly, it wasn’t! And I guess it helped that I discovered Daiya – a vegan cheese substitute. Heres an easy pizza recipe we make when we have those pizza cravings.
  • pizza dough (Whole Foods all natural preservative free frozen dough)
  • pizza sauce
  • sundried tomato paste (I forget the brand, I’ll update this later when I can check!)
  • Daiya mozzeralla shreds (optional)
  • veggies! I usually use kalamata olives, black olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and green bell peppers.
Roll out pizza dough, toss on veggies and daiya, throw in the oven and bake until delicious (about 10 minutes or so)!
– Jenn


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Eating Out New Orleans: Santa Fe Tapas Vegan Brunch

This past Saturday, we spent the entire day out and about with our mom. For lunch, we decided to be adventurous and try out a restaurant that we had heard about through the New Orleans vegan community grapevine.

Every Saturday, Santa Fe Tapas on St. Charles has a vegan brunch. Everything was absolutely delicious! Probably one of the best meals any of us have ever eaten! As soon as they brought us our meals, all 3 of us immediately whipped out our iPhone’s to take pictures! Everything was so pretty and looked incredible and we had to document this! The tamales were our favorite, though, hands down. And the bananas foster – oh my goodness! To die for!

Here’s what we ordered:

Roasted Vegetables Vegan Tamales, Poblano Mole, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole

Crisp marinated Tofu, Piquillo Roasted Corn Spinach Shallot Orzo (Risotto)

Panneed “Scallopini” Parsnip Potato Latke, Asparagus Amandine

Bananas Foster (with house made vegan ice cream!)

If anyone has a delicious vegan tamale recipe, please share it with us! We’ve been dreaming about it ever since!


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goodbye, headaches!

There is this one moment that every vegan has, I think. Or so I have read. That moment when you realize how much the change of diet has affected you positively. Ever since switching from vegetarian to vegan 3 months ago, I have been waiting for that moment. Well people, I finally had it!

You see, I used to get horrible headaches regularly. Like, a few times a week type of regular.  And as much as I hate taking medicine, I would always reach for the Tylenol. Even when I would try to stick it out, I would always end up popping 2 tylenols at a time just to numb the migraine pain.

So, back to my life-changing moment. The other night, my boyfriend turned to me and said “its been a while since you had a headache.” And BAM, my socks were knocked off. “It HAS been a while!” I screamed as suddenly it all hit me.

Chris and I moved to Memphis in August, and I became a vegan in September. I honestly say that I have never had a headache while living in Memphis, (well, there was that one time I drank one wine glass too many, but thats not what we are talking about here ;))  In fact, I don’t think we even have Tylenol in the apartment. But I wouldn’t know, because I have yet to even think about taking any.

Y’all, this is huge. You have no idea how happy realizing this made me! It has been amazing living headache free – and cruelty free! 🙂

And its not just me who has had this revelation! I’ve done a bit of googling and came across several others saying how they used to constantly have headaches and no longer do since becoming vegan.

What about you guys? Any similar situations with headaches? Or anything else? I’m so curious to hear what changes others have noticed about themselves once they became vegan.

– Jenn