FOOD

Jenné Claiborne’s Easy Vegan Recipes & Tips for Baby

July 24th, 2020

Welcome to What I Eat in a Day, a blog series that showcases the daily lives and meals of Thrive Market members like you. Today we’re talking with Jenné Claiborne, a vegan chef, health coach, and creator of Sweet Potato Soul. Born and raised in Atlanta, Claiborne came into the world as a self-proclaimed “true food lover,” thanks in part to her grandmother. Fast-forward two decades and she still loves letting her imagination run wild in the kitchen—especially now with her 17-month-old daughter.

She’s sharing her go-to vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and how she uses her platform to evoke kindness and compassion.

Hi, Jenné! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a vegan chef, cookbook author, and chef. I’m also a new mom to a 17-month-old little girl!

What does mealtime look like for you?

My daughter and I eat all of our meals together in the kitchen. Baby in her highchair, and me at the kitchen counter. I usually prepare her something simple and wholesome like sweet potato with rice, beans, and avocado, and I eat something a little more interesting. Sometimes she has a baby version of my meal, like tofu stir fry with rice or noodles.

What advice can you give others in a similar scenario?

It’s definitely easier to prepare meals that you and your baby can both eat. When I give her a baby version of my own meal, I make sure to mash it or mince it well (unless it’s something like pasta). I also don’t over-spice or salt my meals that she’ll be eating. I make the dish, set some aside for her, then spice the dish that my husband and I will eat.

How do you make meal-time feel special?

I turn on music, and we dance a little before sitting down to eat. I try to stay off my phone, unless taking a photo or video of baby, and stay present with her. We chat and laugh the whole time we’re eating together.

Take us through what you eat in a day!

Breakfast

I’ll usually have teff porridge with fresh fruit and an iced matcha latte. I have a video on my YouTube channel for how to make it!

Lunch

One of my go-to Buddha bowls! This blog post has five delicious and easy recipes.

Snack

Typically fresh fruit.

Dinner

Tempeh Tikka Masala using an Instant Pot—full of non-dairy yogurt, tempeh, roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and more.

Dessert

I hardly ever eat dessert, or have sweet cravings, but when I do I like to eat something with chocolate like this Oatmilk Chocolate Tart or Chocolate Sweet Potato Muffins.

Drink

I drink lots of water all day, matcha latte, and occasionally a glass of wine after baby goes to bed.

What are some of your daughter’s favorite foods and meals?

She loves all fruit, and anything with avocado, beans, lentils, peas, and tofu. She also loves pasta and bread—I mostly give her legume pasta and Ezekiel bread, rather than wheat pasta and processed bread. But avocado on pretty much anything, and she’ll eat it. Sadly, she doesn’t love sweet potatoes as much as I do.

What is inspiring you today—to keep creating, filming, and engaging with your audience?

I just moved into a new apartment with a really large kitchen! It’s been so inspiring to create in this new, bright, and beautiful space.

Your platform embodies kindness and compassion, why are those values important to you?

I think kindness, compassion, and humility, make the world a better place for all living beings.

You’ve mentioned that, “When everything in our world seems bad and hopeless, it is my protest to take care of myself”—can you explain that a bit more?

Taking care of myself and making sure that my family is healthy and grateful for what we have gives me energy to keep doing this work that I find so important. And I hope it inspires other people to do the same. When you let the weight of the world get you down, you stop trying to make the world a better place.

Why is healthy living important to you?

It’s important to me because I believe that health is our greatest wealth. We can enjoy life, help others, and be the best version of ourselves when we are healthy. It’s not just about physical health, but also mental health.

What’s your biggest challenge with healthy eating and/or healthy living?

My biggest challenge is meal prep. Even though I create free meal prep guides for my audience, I do find it hard to make the time each week to make all of the meals. I’m constantly cooking and recipe testing for my blog, so it’s difficult to cook even more.

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Lily CombaLily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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