Category: Sandwich

Sweet Potato Sandwiches

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Sweet potato sandwich - My New Roots

Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you’re missing all of your kitchen equipment, you get creative. We’ve been living out of a single suitcase for some months now, and although I have found a couple of major necessities in the mountain of unpacked moving boxes, I haven’t been able to locate my silicon loaf pan. As someone who makes the Life Changing Loaf of Bread on the reg, it’s been a challenge living without, but a stellar opportunity to come up with bread alternatives that don’t involve a lot of ingredients or special equipment. As I was chopping up some sweet potato for a soup a couple of weeks ago, it dawned on me: what if I cut the sweet potato the other way and turned it into a slice of bread?! It was just crazy enough to work. And it did.

Ever since then, I’ve been roasting sweet potato slices once a week, keeping them in my fridge and having a sandwich-like-thing when the mood strikes. It’s delicious! Not to mention wildly satisfying and so easy to make. I’ve experimented with different herbs and spices on the sweet potatoes, using special salts, and even drizzling with flavoured oils once they’re out of the oven. So far, I’m digging smoked salt and garlic powder, but the cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom combo was a close second at breakfast, smeared with chunky hazelnut butter.   

The spread I’ve come up with as a pairing to this sandwich sitch, is a horseradish and beetroot “schmear”. Partly because I like saying the word schmear, but mostly because it’s incredible in combination with the sweet potatoes. It’s earthy, spicy, and complex – a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the spuds. I also like the texture difference: the sweet potatoes are so smooth and creamy, while the beet schmear is chunky and toothsome. If you’ve never had fresh horseradish before, be prepared to be blown away! This stuff is so, so special and delicious, I have no idea why it’s such an under-utilized root veggie.

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A part of the Brassicaceae family, horseradish shares ties with mustard, broccoli, cabbage, and wasabi. In fact, most commercially-available wasabi is made of horseradish (along with mustard, starch, and green food dye) since wasabi is challenging to grow and therefore much more expensive. But that familiar and addictive rush of sinus-clearing pleasure-pain? That’s the action of isothiocyanate, the compound found in wasabi, horseradish, and strong mustard that gives off heat when crushed, grated, or chewed. This stuff tends to mellow out once it hits the air, which is why horseradish snobs (they exist!) insist on grating it fresh. In the case of my schmear here, it will still taste delish a day or two after you’ve made it, but you may want to grate a little fresh over the top for a boost. It’s the best way to clear out those nasal cavities this side of a neti pot!

Horseradish has been used as powerful winter medicine for hundreds of years. Widely recognized for its expectorant capabilities, it is incredibly effective at removing mucus, and aiding with bronchial and lung disorders. Horseradish is a good source of vitamin C and zinc, two key players in immune system support, so consuming it in the colder months will help ward off the seasonal bugs flying around. For sore throats and coughs, combine one tablespoon of freshly grated horseradish with one teaspoon of raw honey, and one teaspoon of ground clove to some warm water. Sip the brew slowly, or use it as a gargle.

Sweet potato sandwich - My New Roots

This is more of a concept than a recipe, and a chance to try out sweet potatoes in a new way. Cut them as thick or as thin as you like. Mine are around 1cm, but that is just my personal preference. Remember that the slices will definitely shrink a bit during cooking, so slice them a tad thicker than you would want the finished roasted slice to be. You can even make shapes with a cookie cutter – great for kids lunches! Let your imagine run with this one, and keep me posted on which spreads and seasonings you’re vibing on.

Sweet potato sandwich - My New Roots

Although the past few months of life limbo have been pretty frustrating, there are so many exciting things on the horizon that I cannot wait to share with you! First, my family and I are getting closer and closer to our new move-in date (you can watch house renovation updates on my Instagram Stories). Second, I’m heading to Palm Springs for an EPIC bloggers’ retreat organized by my friend Sasha Swerdloff at the end of this month. And I’m finishing up details on a sweet collaboration with one of my favourite juice bars in Toronto, that we will launch with a free public event! Stay tuned for more details on all the things.

Love you guys. Now go have a sandwich,
Sarah B

 

Plant-Powered Sloppy Joes

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When I was in elementary school I ate in the cafeteria. It was the “cool” thing to do after all, since homemade brown bag lunches were sooo kindergarten. At the time, I thought that the highly processed offerings behind the sneeze guard were a dream come true: pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, fish sticks, mac n’ cheese. But the very best thing of all in my first-grader opinion? Sloppy Joes.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about (ahem, mostly everyone outside North America), a Sloppy Joe is like a stew-y, wet hamburger. I’ve also heard it been called a “loose meat sandwich”. Stay with me, people – I realize how riduclously unappetizing this sounds. As a kid, eating a Sloppy Joe was like getting permission to make a mess – a rare, sanctioned moment to smear sauce all over your face, drip on your plate, and have your whole meal basically deteriorate into a pile of savoury, saucy, deliciousness that you were allowed to eat with your hands?! Isn’t this every kid’s dream? Because eating a Sloppy Joe is just that: it’s sloppy. And that is why it’s awesome.

Sloppy Joes are definitely not on top of the “sophisticated food” list, but that does not mean that they should be discriminated against. When made with plant-based, whole food ingredients, they are in fact quite the respectable meal. Perfect for chilly autumn and winter nights when all you want to do is tuck into something super cozy and comforting, Sloppy Joes are a one-way ticket to the land of savoury satisfaction. Since the temperatures have dropped here in Copenhagen, I’ve been craving this kind of meal like crazy, so I’m more than happy to have a healthy solution at hand, and of course to share it with you.

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The classic Sloppy Joe recipe includes ground beef cooked with onions and garlic, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, sugar and some spices. Sometimes there are some token carrots and celery tossed in, sometimes vinegar, mustard, or chilies, but the basic idea is a moist mixture that you pile on top of a bun. But! In my vegan Plant-Powered version, I’ve replace the ground beef with black lentils and mushrooms. I suggest using this type of lentil for this recipe since they are very small, and they maintain their shape and texture while cooking. And if you care about appearances, or perhaps “fooling” someone, they look the most like ground beef. Just sayin’.

The flavouring elements of the Plant-Powered Sloppy Joe mix are diverse and potentially strange-sounding, but trust me, altogether just right. Balsamic for a sweet hit of acidity, Sriracha for a little heat, and cumin and paprika add smoky complexity. I also tossed in some walnuts because I am a firm believer in texture, and all that mushiness needed buffering! I toasted them lightly before giving them a rough chop and a stir through the thick lentil mixture. I love how their nuttiness comes through the rich sauce and adds even more deliciousness. I also made a simple slaw from red cabbage to add more crunch and freshness, plus some token sprouts. These items are optional, but I really love the bright contrast they provide against the rich lentil filling.

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Fill up on Folate
Lentils are one of the yummiest sources of folate. Just one cup of cooked lentils provides you with almost 90% of your daily recommended intake! And why is folate so important? You’ve probably heard about this vital B-vitamin in regards to pregnancy, as it is critical in the prevention of birth defects, but folate also functions to support red blood cell production and help prevent anemia, allows nerves to function properly, helps prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures, and helps prevent dementias including Alzheimer’s disease.

Folate received its name from the Latin word folium, meaning “foliage”, so it’s not wonder that other excellent sources of folate are dark leafy greens (yum, your favorite!) – kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, beet greens, mustard greens, parsley, and collards to name a few. This may explain why North American diets seem to be on the deficient end of things when it comes to this B-vitamin, as folate is available from fresh, unprocessed food. The good news is it is easily absorbed, used, and stored by the body. Folate is also manufactured by intestinal bacteria (remember those probiotics?), so if colon flora is healthy, we have another good source of this important vitamin.

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Find the most high-vibe buns or bread you can get your hands on for this recipe. I used wholegrain sourdough buns from my local organic bakery, then toasted them lightly before drowning them in vegan sloppy goodness. You can also eat these open-faced if you’d like to cut back on the bread. Or pull an alt-bread move and wrap it in socca, a cabbage leaf, or use it to top a crispbread (although, let’s be honest: the bun rules).

I should also mention that the sloppy joe filling was totally delicious on its own as a stew, and thinned with a little water to make soup! Bonus.

Show me your Sloppy Joes on Instagram: #MNRsloppyjoes

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Dear friends!

I’ve made a super special pack of holiday recipes that you’ll get FOR FREE when you pre-order my new cookbook, Naturally Nourished. This vegan and gluten-free menu was designed with co-ordination in mind: all the dishes compliment each other perfectly to be your special dinner party start to finish, so that you don’t have to think! Just cook 🙂 The delicious dishes are Garlicky Sautéed Kale with Chili, Maple and Ginger-Roasted Carrots with Hazelnuts, Sweet Potato and Mushroom Tart, and Vegan Peppermint Truffles. Click here to read more about my cookbook, preorder, and download the PDF today. Happy Holidays from me to you, and thank you for your ongoing support of My New Roots!

xo, Sarah B


 

Birthdays, Layer Cakes, and the Truth

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bdaysandwich

I had a birthday last Friday. I’m sure that you were expecting a cake. Well, I was too.

So here’s what happened: I had my heart set on making a carrot cake this year. I wanted it to be the tastiest, not-bad-for-you carrot cake ever, chock full of awesomeness like dried pineapple chunks, walnuts, coconut, raisins – the works! And I wanted to top it all off with a vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, quinoa-based frosting (yup, you read that correctly) that would blow the pants off of any classic ol’ cream cheese number. I had all the ingredients in place, a seemingly solid recipe plan, a couple days to pull it off, and impossibly high expectations.

I knew I’d run into a problem the moment I sliced into the cake to frost it. Even though my toothpick had slid in and out without so much as a moist crumb on it just hours before, my knife was now almost stuck in a dense swamp of carrot cake glop. I panicked. I decided to open it up all the way to see what was wrong, revealing not just two halves of undercooked cake, but some bizarrely-textured sponge resembling pudding. The outside was a picture of carrot cake perfection – the inside, a confusing, sad, unsalvageable mess. Oh. My. Gourd.

I was in denial for sometime, thinking I could just “toast” it, but then it just got crusty and dry on the outside, while remaining a carrot bog in the middle. And the icing, which was so delicious, creamy and dare I say it, revolutionary, the night before, had turned into an acrid, unpalatable ointment. I thought that I could perhaps just take photos of the cake, because it could have fooled anyone from its outward appearance that great things were going on, then re-jig the recipe, go back to the store, and start over.

But what kind of person, may I ask, makes a birthday cake for themselves from a place of panic, and desperation? When I spoke to my friend, a very talented chef, about my carrot cake-tastrophe, she looked at me sympathetically and asked why I was being so hard on myself, inventing a brand-new cake recipe and thinking I could get it right on the first go? I broke down and realized that I was not in fact, a classically-trained culinary robot, but a human. A stubborn, determined, and very pregnant human at that, who feels an immense responsibility to her loyal readers to produce a dazzling recipe every week, but one who could also admit defeat. For the time being anyway.

Which leads me to the recipe. And the truth.

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For as many birthdays as I can recall, I’ve made myself a very special breakfast to start the day off right. Inspired by the infamous vice of Elvis himself, I’ve brought together the goodness of bread, banana and nut butter in a hot pan, to make a spectacularly gooey treat that would make anyone feel celebratory. When I realized with great dismay that the cake could not be saved, all I wanted was this sandwich. And so I made it. And it was perfect.

Although I have a couple recipes for nut butter up on My New Roots, I haven’t given you one for a mixed nut butter (a.k.a. Party Nut Butter) or a chocolate version yet. If you are especially into Nutella, or any variation of it, you’ll really appreciate what I’m sharing with you today.

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As a side note, I have tried making chocolate nut butter with liquid sweeteners before and it is not all that successful. You see, the fat in nuts is hydrophobic, meaning quite literally, that is afraid of water. When adding honey or maple syrup to sweeten the chocolate paste, the whole concoction seizes up and becomes an un-spreadable (however delicious) unyielding mass. This is perfect for rolling up into little truffles or something, but not for spreading on toast, or fresh fruit, or yogurt, or your finger. A dry sweetener will work however, which is why I have chosen coconut sugar. It blends perfectly into the nut butter without causing it to seize up and remain so delightfully oozy.

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So there you have it: my real birthday indulgence and the truth of it all. Food blogging is really hard sometimes. Although I always want to impress and delight you, I am just a regular gal experimenting in her kitchen, with no real background or experience in this stuff – just a steadfast obsession – and sometimes that just isn’t the right trait to make a perfect cake on the first try.

I learned a very important lesson last week, which is to be gentler with myself and to forgive my humanness. Sometimes it stings a little to face the truth – that the earth-moving carrot cake didn’t turn out just so – and all I can do is soothe it with the knowledge that I really, really tried. A grilled banana nut butter sandwich doesn’t hurt either.

Lots of love and gentle humanness,
Sarah B