One year ago, exactly, I purchased a website domain with the purpose of starting a blog. This blog; It's Vibrant & Veganful's birthday today! No longer a baby, it has moved into toddlerhood and I couldn't be more proud of the evolution that the words, my website and our conversations have taken in this first year of V&V's "life" amongst the digital landscape.
It has been challenging, but rewarding. Of course there have been times I have thought, WHY am I doing this? And there have been plenty of failure recipes in this first year. The best though, has yet to come, because I found my voice. I found the structure, the creativity and the passion to have succeeded (to my metrics) this year. I have found community, engagement, new ideas, and fresh perspectives. I have a recipe cookbook for myself and I have made them over and over and over again with joy.
Through it all, I kept my hope, and that is more valuable than anything else associated with this blog.
I gave myself one year - one year to explore and to craft. As the year drew to a close, I considered whether I wanted to continue; whether I felt I should or needed to continue.
Lucky for you, I have more things to say, more thoughts to share and more sustainability spotlights to impart. So...ready for year 2?
Sustainability Spotlight: On V&V's birthday, I thought I should have something memorable, something outrageously clever, and something truly characteristic of what I'm trying to accomplish. Then, I remembered, I try to do that with every blog post, every recipe, and every topic I cover in these sustainability discussions. The blog is rife with concepts, ideas, challenges, futurist ways to live better, and always attempts to understand how we can do better, be better on this Earth.
So, I thought today, V&V should blow out the candles of the cake of fortune and distill everything down to the one wish I have for Year 2 of this blog. That wish is this: We will learn to embrace being stewards of the Earth. Light will be shined even more brightly on how we interact with the planet, and maybe we can begin to truly shed the superiority of human thoughts that have laid waste to some of the world's most precious ecosystem and resources. I will we will just "be better" for the planet.
I always sign off my blogs "With love & hope for a better future for all of us" and so, on V&V's birthday, the sustainability spotlight is to enumerate why. To really understand the purpose I feel through this blog, my words, and what I'm trying to accomplish. No matter how small my reach.
I write these words, make vegan recipes, and share my ideas for what a better future will look like on Earth. I offer the words with love - for the planet, for humankind. I do everything under an umbrella of hope that we can do better, be better for this planet. And, I want the better future for all of us because it will take all of us to get there and to make life better for all flora and fauna on Earth; including humans.
So, anyone and everyone reading these words, help me wish "Happy Birthday to V&V" with love & hope for a better future for all of us!
1 large sweet potato (chunked)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 tbsp avocado oil
1/4 tsp smoked salt
7 brussels sprouts (halved then sliced on the bias)
2 cups trimmed green beans
1/2 red onion (sliced then halved into quarter moon shapes)
3 garlic cloves (sliced thin - Mandoline Level 1)
2 spicy plant-based sausages (I used Beyond Spicy Italian)
8 oz oyster mushrooms (broken into "florets" - separate the mushroom petals like a flower)
Creamy Garlic Sauce: from my Smokey Southwest Millet Skillet
3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (Veganise)
1/4 cup plain cashewmilk yogurt (I use Forager brand)
3-4 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 green onion (trimmed & chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1/4 cup filtered water (to thin)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss sweet potato, lemon, oil and salt together to combine. Dump potato onto a silpat lined jelly roll (lipped baking sheet) pan and slide into the oven. Put 25 minutes on the timer.
While your potatoes are cooking, to the same large bowl as you mixed your sweet potato, add brussels, beans, onion and garlic - toss to mix together.
Once sweet potatoes are done with their initial roast time, remove pan from oven (Carefully! it's hot), add the veggies from your large bowl (beans, etc.) to the sheet pan and stir with a spatula to mix. Redistribute into as much of an even layer as you can and slide the pan back into the oven for 20 minutes.
During the second roast time, in a large dry skillet over medium heat, add your sausage pieces (I like to cut them with a knife directly from the fridge into bite sized pieces) to the pan. As the sausage starts to cook, add your mushrooms on top. Saute (stirring infrequently for the first 5-7 minutes). Once the sausages have released some oils and your mushrooms are releasing their juices, saute another ~3 minutes till both have become crisp in the pan. Set aside.
Still during the second roast time, add all ingredients of Creamy Garlic Sauce above to a personal blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Once your veggies are done, remove from the oven (Carefully! very hot). You will know when the veggies are done when you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork and the beans are still crisp tender and vibrant green.
Top your veggie tray evenly with the mushrooms & sausage, then drizzle the whole thing with the creamy garlic sauce (Note, you won't use it all! Make my Smokey Southwest Millet Skillet to finish it off).
Serve portions of the veggies with the drizzle directly from the pan (it's it lovely!)
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie