Who + What is sprouting zen
A vegan food blog with tasty plant based recipes.
Welcome to our internet space. We're the humans behind sprouting zen. My name is Jen and I do all of the cooking, recipe development, food photography, writing, trip planning, social media management, basically-everything-there-is-to-do around here and I absolutely loveeee it! I'm also a part-time yoga teacher, and full time Veghead. 😛 I love everything about plant based foods and feel very passionate about the subject.
My other half (let's call him babe) helps with important behind-the-scenes stuff like test tasting, rating my recipes, and asking for seconds because... he takes his job very seriously. Also big props to him for always waiting patiently for me to snap some good photos before nibbling into the food. I know! It's hard to wait when the food is *that* good, but he does! <3 Also, from time to time you might just find the rare occasion when one of his own recipe creations makes an appearance on sproutingzen, like for example this yummy cashew based cilantro sauce was all him! And boy, that recipe is good!
Our first born (the cutest chihuahua-dachshund mixed dog you'll ever meet) is in charge of eating all of the scraps that messy mama drops on the kitchen floor. Oh and he has *no* idea that he's a dog, and not a human, so please... don't tell him. Check him out below. Isn't he adorbs? ↓
Our plant based story
Just like many of you... there was a time when we were not 'vegan' or 'plant based' .. We ate the standard american diet. We ate fast food too many times to count. We hated veggies. And we lovedddd sugar. Coming from a Hispanic culture, our food was basically *always* fried and the more it dripped with oil, the better it was! We did not see the correlation between the foods we ate and the health of our bodies. We didn't know, or maybe we just didn't care, that there was a connection.
But around three years ago, we came across several Netflix documentaries that really opened our eyes, and exposed us to the reality of the food industry... It wasn't long before we were doing our own research and began learning about GMO's (genetically modified organisms), organic foods, pesticides, artificial flavors... and so on so forth.
At around the same time, we were in the early stages of developing a yoga practice. We were finding a deeper connection with our bodies, and our well being. It wasn't long before we knew that we had to start feeding our bodies with healthier, vibrant, colorful living foods such as fruits and veggies! We discovered what veganism was and saw many people thriving on this diet. And after one night after watching Forks Over Knives, we decided to make the switch, cold turkey.
That first year wasn't easy. It was a huge learning curve. We faced a lot of doubt from family who thought we were insane to give up meat and dairy. Most people probably thought it was only a temporary fad. And maybe I did too from time to time.
But, what did we have to lose by trying? Nothing. And we had so much more to gain...
A few weeks turned into months, and months turned into years.
And now I'm a certified raw vegan chef with a vegan food blog! Who'da thunk it?!
and also, I like to hug trees →
purpose of this blog
All of the recipes featured on sprouting zen are totally vegan, 100%. We absolutely love raw foods and so you can expect a TON of raw vegan recipes to make their way onto sprouting zen. Most of my recipes are made using whole foods and don't include ingredients that are processed such as refined sugars and oils.
Throughout the years we learned that just because it's "vegan" doesn't make it healthy. For example, a cookie filled with processed sugar, a ton of saturated fatty oils and chemically processed ingredients can be branded and marketed as vegan (because it is) but it's not exactly good for your health!
We've noticed a hugeee increase in vegan food and recipes being made accessible to the public, and while that's all good and dandy, a lot of those foods and recipes are *still* filled with yucky ingredients, processed junk, and way too much sugar and oil. Sugar is vegan, but it ain't no superfood.
At Sprouting Zen, we want to bring you recipes that you can easily make at home, wow your friends and family, enjoy eating it to the point that you are licking your fingers, AND make this all happen with clean and simple ingredients that you can probably get from your garden. Most of the time. Sometimes. Not always. 😛 We want to make it easier for you to make delicious vegan food at home with simple steps and no fuss recipes.
Most of the recipes featured on here are creations of my own that have been influenced by cook books, TV shows, restaurants that I have visited, products that I see in stores, other food bloggers, and/or chef courses that I have been a part of throughout the past few years. Every now and then I might feature a recipe from a favorite food blogger and you will see words such as "adapted from" or "influenced by". Some are Sprouting Zen originals such as our favorite cake recipe that's called the best vegan matcha cake ever.
Please note I do not, in any way, consider myself a "professional" chef or cook by any means. I'm just a regular gal doing something that I love - cooking delicious vegan food in my kitchen and sharing it with you all for fun. I have taken several raw vegan chef courses online and I am certified as a raw vegan chef by Pure Joy Culinary Academy where I have learned a few tips and tricks and recipes for raw vegan cooking only.
I have also completed E-Cornell's Plant Based Nutrition Course by Dr. Colin T Campbell but that in no way certifies or qualifies me to give out nutritional or dietary advice. However, what I can do is share a bunch of cool facts that I learned from that course with you all!
cooking as meditation
Cooking, or "uncooking" in the case of raw foods, has become a sort of meditation for me. I can easily spend hours in the kitchen cooking up a storm and not even realize five hours have gone by. Sometimes that is 'no bueno', but I guess it beats being on Instagram 😛 Using vibrant living foods such as fruits and veggies has added so much color and vibrancy, not only to our plates, but to our lives. I prepare every meal with intention and good energy. One of my favorite things to experience (or watch) is when a non-vegan tries a vegan dish and absolutely loves it and can't believe that it's vegan and healthy! Ha! So exciting. #kitchennerd
And we want to share that with you. We hope you enjoy what you find here in this sacred space, and if you do go ahead and try some of our recipes, I hope you find them lovely...
p.s. some of our favorite things in the world include traveling, hiking, mountains, national parks, yoga, crystals, and vegan food (duh!), so you can expect articles on those topics as well throughout this site.
*Always remember... The experiences detailed in this blog are MY experiences. Always listen to YOUR body, and do what works for YOU. And always always, speak to an advanced health care provider such as a medical doctor regarding your change of diet so that you can have the necessary blood work done on a yearly basis to monitor your health and your body's response to a change in diet. For a full text of our terms and conditions, disclaimers, disclosures, and privacy practices you can visit this page.