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Pinch Me!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Whether you’re Catholic or Irish or Irish Catholic, or none of the above-you probably partake in some kind of Paddy’s Day festivities! We certainly do in New Orleans! Any excuse to celebrate and have fun, and our city is there! So before you head out to your green party of choice, we just wanted to leave you with a green juice Cheers! and an Irish blessing!

photo(8)

(celery, parsley, ginger, broccoli stems, handful of spring mix salad greens, and sweet potato)

May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 


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Eating Out New Orleans: Sukho Thai

Over the course of the past 2 years, Sukho Thai in New Orleans on Magazine St. (there is also another location downtown) has become one of our go-to spots for our family celebrations from birthdays to graduations to just simply eating out together. Since most of us share a plant-based vegan diet now, we’ve found that ethnic restaurants are the best bet when it comes to offering a variety of delicious veggie dishes that will please us all (including the omnivores among us) and Sukho Thai is no exception. Until recently, they had an entirely “Vegetarian” menu section-with the option to veganize any of the dishes. Easy enough! Well, they have re-vamped their menu and have decided to create an entirely “Vegan” menu section instead of just “Vegetarian”! I imagine the popularity of vegan requests has brought this great change on. Their food is consistently delicious and flavorful! One issue we noticed, however, was that in the “vegan” pad thai, my husband found egg. I am assuming that it must be because it’s newer to them to omit the egg and they aren’t as used to having to do that-so just be sure to specify/double check if you order that. Everything else was vegan as it should be. If you are in the New Orleans area looking for some tasty Thai food – be sure check them out! Here is the menu plus the dishes that we most recently got.

5

6Eggplant Lover

2Veggie Pad Thai

1Veggie Yellow Curry

4

Garden Soup

3

Peppery Garlic Tofu

Have you been to New Orleans?

If so, were you able to easily find delicious plant-based food wherever you ate?

We’d love to hear about it!


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Treading Lightly; My Thoughts on Simplifying

The quieter you become, the more you hear. -Ram Dass

I took the picture above last Friday after work when my family decided to take a little evening ride on my mom and step-dad’s boat. Isn’t life just simply beautiful? All we need is clean food and water, shelter, sunshine, and some good love-and if you know someone with a boat-even a dingy, take advantage :). And if not, find yourself a body of water and have a seat . Which brings me to this post. I struggle with the urge to live simpler; to appreciate the small things-which are actually the big things. I feel like I constantly have this tendency inside of me that needs to break free from so many of my physical attachments. The idea seems like a relief, and also, natural and more meaningful. Sometimes, I’ve thought, if my house burned down, would I truly miss everything in it? Would I even be able to know what was missing enough TO miss it? I bet I could wear a different shirt every day of the month-or even 2 months. And yet I still want more clothes? I realize the game in all of this, and it is definitely fun to buy new trendy things. I guess I’m just trying to take a step back and see things as they really are and gain some perspective. And why do I need so many different shirts?! And who cares?!

We’re constantly bombarded with commercials for new products, the most current fashion, the latest technology, cheap quick food, and more, more, and even MORE things. We’re bred to be consumers, and this idea of what life is supposed to look like is imposed on us. The competition to have more possessions than others, or to have the best and latest products, or even being embarrassed when you don’t have these things is so stressful and uncool. I hate when I find myself judging someone else based on whether they have a smart phone or not, or something similar. That’s insane! Whose thoughts are these that have been put in my head? I am not that person.

I have been a good consumer and have bought more than my share. The thought has even crossed my mind thousands of times, “If I just buy THIS, I’d be happy and satisfied and won’t need anything else!” Talk about the feeling of an addiction…just ONE more time…. But that’s where I’ve started to question myself more and more, “Do I need or want this?”, and then I think, “If I really want this (thing) for my home, I’ll find a way to make it myself-which is more rewarding anyways” or just simply, “Nah”-realizing this was a fleeting, impulsive feeling. I can’t kid myself any more. The small “fix” of satisfaction or joy that I get from buying things simply because I’m just used to buying is short-lived and then I’m back to square one-needing to fill that void again with something else. But why? Why do we need to accumulate so much stuff in order to move through life? Or rather, to keep us stuck… Why do I need so much, when so many can live happily with so little? This is what I’ve been working on. It has been a little journey unfolding inside of me that has gradually become something that I think is important in my life and my understanding of life. And maybe some of you feel this way too.

Once you have so much stuff surrounding you, your life can become cluttered. And maybe that physical clutter is blocking other real and good things from coming into your life. I believe that what you put into the universe is what you get back. So maybe by removing some of the clutter in your personal universe, you’ll be open to accepting a new experience, a new friend, or new idea. REAL things. The stuff of life. These are just my thoughts.

Something that has grounded me in this whenever I feel like I am needing more stuff is the exciting idea of living more minimally. I imagine that a lot of people in New York City have to do this since their spaces are so small. And that’s always seemed like a fun challenge to me. Something else I think about are so many people around the world, who just live simply on this earth. They tread lightly. Every thing they own has a purpose or some special meaning-or else why would they want it? Because it’s a popular designer brand purse? No way. That sounds laughable when I think about it from the perspective of someone who is really here to live life. These thrills are cheap in the grand perspective. So maybe, if you are feeling this way too, or not, try to think of some things in your life you’re truly grateful for.
Some of the happiest people on this planet live in modest homes and don’t have very many possessions, and yet they want for nothing. Some of the most miserable people can be considered “rich”. It’s just about perspective. Being truly rich in life doesn’t come from owning things. It comes from being grateful for and enjoying whatever it is that you do have-whether you have a lot or a little. Stop stressing. Start living. As the saying goes, the best things in life are free. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this-and other times, well, there’s that sunset.
Here are some tips to help you tread more lightly:
1. Donate clothes and things you no longer use. Goodwill. Vietnam Veterans of America. Salvation Army. Local Churches.
Your stuff will help someone else in need, and you’ll be free of it.
2. Think about what you’re buying and where it came from and who might have participated in making it. Buy second-hand more often. Our society demands new stuff constantly and it burdens our people, animals, and planet. Just step back and think more before buying.
Check out www.fairtradeusa.org and www.lovingeco.com for cruetly-free and fair trade brands and items. Where you put your money matters.
3. Recycle and Reuse. Instead of buying a new, for example, headboard-you may be able to find some old shutters you can paint and mount behind your bed, or you can find a used one you can refurbish and make your own.
Find garage sales and take notice what people are putting out for the trash. If you’re in New Orleans, check out www.thegreenproject.org .

And, last but not least, here are a few quotes that have inspired me in trying to simplify my life.

I am learning…that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.  Richard E. Byrd

Live simply so that others may simply live.  Mahatma Gandhi

Happiness only real when shared.  Into The Wild

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  Mother Teresa

All real and wholesome enjoyments possible to man have been just as possible to him since first he was made of the earth.  John Ruskin

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.  Hans Hofmann

The quieter you become, the more you hear. Ram Dass


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Cilantro Hummus and Mexican Dip!

Hey guys and gals! We hope y’all had a good Easter weekend! For ours, my mom and step-dad threw together a last minute family gathering at their house. It was really fun and full of flavorful food! Since my mom and step-dad decided to go plant-based over 2 months ago, most of the food we served was vegan-and scrumptious :). My mom made her famous red beans and brown rice, a veggie pad thai, vegan spinach “cream cheese” dip, vegan potato salad, and a vegan seven-layer dip, among other things like veggie dogs with veggie chili. I added to the mix by making Cilantro Hummus and a Mexican Corn and Bean Dip. Everything was so good! A few other members of our family even brought over a veggie dish or 2! While not everyone may understand or is very keen on this lifestyle and way of eating, most people really enjoyed all the dishes.

I got the idea for cilantro hummus from the New Orleans Farmer’s Market on Saturday. My mom and I went early that morning to get some fresh produce and one vendor, a Lebanese woman who we always see there, made a cilantro hummus dip that she was selling. We tasted it and thought it had such a fun, flavorful kick! So I decided I’d try to replicate the idea. This makes a yummy dip for chips or carrots and veggies. Also, I think it would be a great addition to a veggie sandwich! Nix the mayo-add the hummus! Here’s what I sorta did!

Cilantro Hummus Dip (serves 6-10)

I am approximating a bit here, as I added and tasted as I blended-which I recommend you do as well.

3 cans garbonzo beans
half an avocado
1 tsp ground cumin
2 lemons squeezed
3 large garlic cloves
fresh cilantro leaves torn off the stems-I’d add this as you go to see how much you want. I added then blended then tasted a lot so I don’t know how much I really used.
olive oil-as needed but I wouldn’t use a lot since it’s fatty…
water as needed for whatever consistency you want

Blend all together!

Also, below I am giving you the recipe for an easy, tasty, affordable dip that you can bring to any party and people will love you for it!

Mexican Bean & Corn Dip (serves 6-10)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can rotel (I used lime & cilantro-but any should work fine)

1 can shoepeg corn, drained

1 avocado, chopped up

1/3 purple onion

2-3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all together! Ole!


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Erin Go Green! Veggie Parade!

Hey y’all! So this past weekend was St. Patty’s Day! I always welcome the opportunity to wear a festive color in my wardrobe! While I didn’t wear green on the actual St. Patrick’s Day, I did wear a green shirt to work the day before…intentionally…so that counts right? Right! I thought so! I’m not Irish (although I’ll assume my first name of Kelli will get me at least into the door)-but I have always been drawn to the Irish heritage from the accent to the music to the heart and soul of it-pure love from me.

Anywho, New Orleans is a fun place to be for St. Patty’s Day weekend. We have the Irish Channel parade on Saturday-which is in Uptown, Nola. And we have the Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade on Sunday in Metry. We didn’t get a chance to make it to the Irish Channel parade uptown due to other things we had going on (Jason played golf while I laid in the sun in my mom’s back yard with my sister watching my pups run around and swim). We did, however, make it to the LAIT parade on Sunday which is just 2 blocks down from my mom’s house. It was really nice and fun! We laid out a blanket and just hung out as the parade passed. Well, mostly Jenn and I hung out–everyone else ran to the floats for throws that included cabbage, carrots, onions, lemons, oranges, heads of garlic, potatoes, and even some apples and bananas! We guarded the loot as our mom, step-dad, and Jason all kept running back and forth from the floats to us delivering the goods. We felt like veggie goddesses guarding our domain! It’s been a few years since we have gone to this parade and the last time we did, we didn’t quite appreciate vegetables as much! For one, we didn’t appreciate the pure awesomeness of FREE food! And, secondly, we were vegetarians-but ones who didn’t eat vegetables like we do now. The Irish Channel parade also throws vegetables as well, FYI. Anywho, here are a few pictures from the day!

Mom, me, and Jenn with our fancy loot! And some Cabbage!

Jenn and I.

And finally, a very colorful display of our booty! (haha)

Erin Go Bragh! (or Green!)

By the way, we are on Pinterest! Come follow us! (http://pinterest.com/sproutnewroots/)


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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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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