Sunday, August 29, 2010

Birthday Weekend

So this weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday and my 1st ever birthday as a vegan! The birthday cake showed a strong resemblance to my favorite peanut butter cups. I know, you’re shocked, right? The company was good and the weather was beautiful. All in all, a successful way to ring in 25 years of Beanz ; )

Pat and I spent Friday evening in because we knew we would be leaving early in the am to head down to Virginia, where his family lives. Because I have a week off before school starts and work wasn’t too busy for Pat, we decided to use this time to do some family visiting. He took Monday and Tuesday off so we could spend some time down here and then my mom will be visiting over the Labor Day weekend. We were both very excited at the idea of a mini-vacation. So excited in fact that we decided to try some new recipes in between the packing…

Dinner was “cheese stuffed burgers” from one of my favorite food blogs. I also figured out something to do with my purple turnips.

Creamy Mashed Turnips:

5 purple turnips, peeled and quartered

2 apples, peeled and cored

1 cup soy milk

¼ cup Earth Balance

1 tablespoon sea salt

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Drop in turnip pieces and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Add apples and simmer for another 20 minutes.

3. Drain apples and turnips. Mash together with soy milk, Earth Balance and salt (or mix in food processor/blender if you’re looking for the quick and dirty version)

4. Put mixture into baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Dinner was good but not great. I had to make a few substitutions on the burgers. Although they tasted good, they did not look as pretty as they could have and some of the cheese oozed out during the cooking process. The turnips were yummy though. Purple turnips? Who knew?

The next morning we were supposed to be on the road early but the snooze button made one too many appearances. After sleeping in two hours later than projected and enjoying some breakfast, we were ready to go…

Coconut yogurt with Galaxy Granola and Kiwi
I couldn't ignore the way my shirt matched the meal. Pure coincidence I swear.

Lunch on the road was a vegan “egg salad” wrap. Recipe to come.

Sorry for the blurry factor. Difficult to eat and take pictures in a moving vehicle.

Pat enjoying a mid-drive snack.

When we arrived in Virginia, we got to see Patrick’s younger brother Sean play in his soccer tournament and then headed over to the Mellow Mushroom for some birthday dinner.

Patrick and his dad at the soccer game.

Veggie loaded pizza with soy cheese
The pizza was good but the cheese was not. Another unfortunate fact, the soy cheese is not actually vegan. It contains small amounts of milk protien. Oops. It would have been better cheeseless.

Patrick's brother Sean gave his BBQ chicken pizza the thumbs up!

Patrick and Debbie

About to lick the melted chocolate spoon from birthday "cake" preparation

Today was a perfect blend of reading, napping and relaxing. I did manage to get in a workout from Health magazine though before the relaxation commenced.

Oatmeal with fresh peaches

Lunch was leftover pizza and some delicious salad that my mother-in-law, Debbie, made with pine nuts, grapes and blueberries. The combination was fresh and unique. I think I have discovered a new love for pine nuts. Yummy.

For dinner, I had a pasta dish mixed with veggies and vegan bean dip. I have to admit, I didn’t do ANY of the cooking. The colorful looking dinner you see below was also prepared by Debbie and was made even more delicious by the fact that I did not prepare it myself ; )

Debbie’s Black Bean Dip (which she has now dubbed Beanz’s Beans)

1 can black beans

1 tsp veg oil

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup diced tomato

1/3 cup picante sauce

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp chili powder

1 tablespoon lime juice

Fresh cilantro for garnish

  1. Partially mash beans and set aside.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in oil about 4 minutes or until tender.
  3. Combine beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Garnish with cilantro.

Now I think it is time for some leftover birthday PB cups and some more vacationing : )


  1. Just a disclaimer - Beanz WAS allowed to choose what "birthday cake" was to be had (there may have been some encouragement to go the way of peanut butter cups)

  2. Where is the picture of the chicken parm??


  4. I promise they're not "Be Hungry" books. There are even recipes for mac & cheese and chocolate cake! : )