Talking with Jenné Claiborne

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Infusing the world of vegan eating with a fresh twist, blogger and chef Jenné Claiborne pays tribute to Southern and soul food cleverly re-imagining classic dishes. Her creative take on plant-based cuisine has earned her a devoted following. While on tour promoting her first cookbook Sweet Potato Soul, Jenné checked in to talk about the benefits of eating vegan and her favorite beauty food.

Big Break:

I moved to NYC to pursue acting and I starting working at a vegan restaurant. I met all these ethical vegans and I realized all the horrible things animals are going through for food and for fashion. I switched from vegetarian to vegan. I felt so charged and it gave me so much direction and meaning. I decided to become a resource for people becoming vegan. I am very passionate about it.

Food philosophy:

100% vegan, mainly because we don’t need animals to be healthy and to thrive and eat delicious food. Being vegan is better for the environment and better for our health. I believe we should be eating mostly whole foods—leafy greens and vegetables as opposed to processed foods.

Favorite recipe:

My oyster mushroom étouffée is getting a lot of love. It is a typical New Orleans Creole Cajun dish. My version utilizes the same bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and celery and all the same flavors of the traditional dish. However, I used oyster mushrooms instead of the animal products and it is just as delicious. It has made people realize it wasn’t the animal meat they loved about it, it was the flavors.

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I stay strong mentally by following my intuition and and being kind to myself and patient with myself.

Fuel:

The passion I have for my work. I really love what I do, offering resources, recipes and inspiration and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. My audience really motivates me.

Strength training:

I stay strong mentally by following my intuition and and being kind to myself and patient with myself. Physically, I am very active. I walk a lot, I practice yoga, and I go hiking. I try to stay moving as much as possible.

Beauty from the inside out:

The best beauty food is sweet potatoes for all the beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Inspiration:

I was just in New Orleans, which is my favorite city the South, and is a big inspiration for my cooking. I am also inspired by my life in LA. I’ve never lived on the West Coast before and now I spend time more outdoors. The weather, the nature, just the whole vibe helps me slow down and relax.

Mantra:

The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s simple and it’s so powerful.

Currently working on:

I am on book tour right now for Sweet Potato Soul. I am trying to get the word out! I am also busy planning my wedding.

Goals:

One thing I would love to do and strive for is to help change people’s minds about eating vegan. I want to reach a bigger audience who maybe don’t know the joys and benefits of eating a vegan diet.

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