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Sanibel Sprout owner to discuss plant-based diet at monthly Community Potluck

By Staff | Mar 28, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED Nikki Rood, owner and executive chef of The Sanibel Sprout, is the presenter for the monthly Community Potluck on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Community House on Sanibel.

Plant-based power meals is the topic of the next Community Potluck at The Community House.

Every month, the venue invites the public to a neighborhood gathering of sorts, filled with food, fun and a guest speaker. Hosted by the Sanibel Community Association, the March event will be held today from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature Nikki Rood, the owner and executive chef for The Sanibel Sprout.

“We’re a vegan plant-based cafe and an organic juice bar. We also sell organic natural groceries,” she said of her business. “It’s basically a cafe that’s centered around a healthy lifestyle – optimizing health and vitality.”

Having presented at one of the Community Potlucks before, Rood expressed excitement.

“Chef Jarred (Harris) and I work really well together,” she said. “I’ve also done other projects for The Community House.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Coconut “bacon” BLT

One was teaching a youth workshop on plants and soil.

For today’s event, Rood will demonstrate how to cook four different vegan items.

“I’m trying to demystify the whole vegan thing,” she said.

One item will be a coconut “bacon” BLT.

“Cause everybody loves a good BLT,” Rood said.

PHOTO PROVIDED Carrot “smoked salmon” and lox bagels

Marinated coconut replaces the bacon.

“It’s so easy,” she said of the recipe. “And it looks like bacon, it tastes like bacon, it’s crunchy and it’s satisfying.”

Rood will also whip up carrot “smoked salmon” and lox on bagels.

“It literally looks like lox and bagels, and it costs a fraction of the amount because we use carrots instead of fish,” she said.

The other items will be Thai spring rolls with carrot ginger sauce and a vegan brownie.

PHOTO PROVIDED Thai spring rolls with carrot ginger sauce

“No refined sugar, no dairy, no gluten,” Rood said of the dessert.

Following the demonstrations, she will discuss why plant-based meals are healthy.

“We’re going to talk about the benefits of a plant-based diet versus an animal-based diet,” Rood said, noting that science is finding red meat, poultry, dairy, saturated fat and such are linked to health issues. “We’re going to talk about how to create really fun healthy substitutes to foods that are animal-based.”

She noted that attendees had a great discussion at her last potluck.

“It became a really lively question-and-answer,” Rood said. “Amazing dialogue.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Gluten-free vegan brownie

She explained that it is one of the reasons why she participates in them.

“I’m truly passionate about turning people on to bettering their chances for enjoying their lives without disease,” Rood said, adding the goal is to create awareness and to educate by sharing information.

She quoted Albert Einstein.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet,” Rood said.

Participants will receive handouts on the recipes and additional information.

For anyone unable to attend, the packet will be available at her cafe.

“I’m very accessible,” Rood said of those with questions. “I’m always available for consultation.”

She also offered some advice for those looking to make a switch to a vegan diet.

“It’s never easy to change one’s lifestyle and especially one’s diet,” Rood said. “What I encourage people to do is baby steps. Even if they try one day a week – meatless Monday is a big thing.”

“Just to dip a toe in and see how it feels,” she added.

Attendees are asked to bring a dish, whether it be an appetizer, entree, side dish or dessert, that can serve at least eight. For those without time to make a dish, a $10 donation is always appreciated.

For more information, call 239-472-2155.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

The Sanibel Sprout is at 2463 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.