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Friday, September 15, 2006

Birthday Week Busyness

Whew! I can’t believe it’s been so long since we last posted. It’s also been awhile since we have been in the kitchen cooking a proper meal, but it happened last night!

First, let’s jump back a couple days. We did go raspberry picking on Saturday morning and it was fun, but quite chilly out. We picked about 5 pounds of raspberries and most of them went straight into the freezer. Of course some went straight into our mouths, but I also made a raspberry puree with pomegranate-cherry juice and poured a pina colada over it. Yum!

Tuesday was my birthday and Ryan was in charge of the surprise outing. He took me on a drive through many cities and side roads and eventually ended up at Midtown Global Market. This place has been on my to-do list all summer, so it was the perfect surprise! Midtown Global Market is in Minneapolis and was opened a few months ago. It’s an open setting for many global vendors to sell clothes, jewelry, groceries, produce, and even has food vendors. We split a vegetarian tamale and a strawberry smoothie before heading to Pepitos for my birthday meal. Here are our goods from the market:

Last night we were finally organized enough to make a meal. We had a bunch of beets that needed to be cooked, so we roasted them per Melody’s suggestion in orange juice, thyme, Dijon mustard, and red onion.

They turned out okay. I guess I wasn’t really clear on how to roast them. Was I supposed to cook them in the liquid, or roast them and then pour the liquid over them? Any insight? They took a long time to cook, so I’ll be trying them with some blue cheese for lunch today.

Then, I used a recipe from Real Food Daily for Blackened Tempeh and Caesar Salad. The tempeh was marinated all day in soy sauce, brown rice syrup and herbs. Then it was dusted with spelt flour and spices and baked.

The Caesar dressing was made with silken tofu, miso, lemon juice, capers, veganaise, olive oil and nori sheets (for the anchovy flavor).

This turned out really well. The dressing was great and we had almost all ingredients except for the miso. I also picked up some veganaise and I am amazed – the previous vegan mayo that I had was the texture of silken tofu and didn’t spread. I’m so excited to use the veganaise more.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!! We’re off to Bar Abilene for yet another birthday celebration for me tonight. The tequila is calling my name.


  1. Those asian gummi candies are the best. They actually taste like the fruit they represent.

  2. Your ceasar salad looks awesome! Vegenaise makes everything good...

    Sorry about the beets.. yeah..
    to roast them just toss in a bit of olive oil, salt/pepper and dried spices and roast until they are tender, then pour the vinaigrette over them..


  3. Didn't you tell me a few weeks back you were veg*n? jw because you sure do eat a lot of great veg*n foods!!! I LOVE IT! :)

    I will have to make a late night post with the "Cheese" Sauce - I couldn't find it online today but I know it's at home somewhere.

    I'm going to the market today so I will have a lot of new stuff to post about next week.

  4. I’ve heard such wonderful things about he midtown global market, maybe I’ll get a chance to visit while I’m in town. Our schedule is already pretty packed but depending on when we get back to the area from our Madison side trip we may have most of a day to bum around before we head home. Is the parking there a total pain?

    That salad has me salivating, I love tempeh. Happy birthday, hope you have fun tonight!

  5. That tempeh looks amazing! I'm going to have to try that recipe.

    Oh, the pina colada looks really good too!

    Jennifer C.

  6. Hi Crystal and Ryan,

    I just found your blog and as it turns out we almost share a birthday. Mine was last weekend. So happy birthday to you! The raspeberry pina colada looks incredible. I noticed your beet woes. I agree that they go really well with oranges (try roasted beet, orange segments, and blue cheese salad sometimes), but I prefer to cook them with dry heat. Cut beets into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, spread on a baking sheet, and cook in 400F oven for 45-60 minutes depending on their size. Stir them after the first 30 minutes. To test for doneness, piece them with a knife. They should feel as tender as cooked potatoes.

    Happy cooking :)

  7. Hi Crystal. I can't settle on one chili recipe. I keep searching for "the one." This one was an odd one where I used equal amounts of chili powder and cocoa powder. It was good, but there was something (one of the other spices I'm sure) that was a little off. I can't quite put my finger on it.

    The raspberry pina colada looks so good. Mmmm. I could go for one right now.

    I couldn't help but notice the spinach in your pic, but I just saw something on the news last night where they were saying that there was an outbreak of E.Coli over 10 states and it came from spinach and they hadn't identified a specific source and were warning people not to eat any pre-packaged spinach (even organic) for a while. Just thought I'd share...

  8. So glad to see you posting again, and that you got back into the kitchen. Good things always happen when yer there, both of you!!

    Raspberries are so awesome. I love that you went out and picked fresh guys!! So fun. When i was up in Humboldt County, they wuz growin' wild everywhere and i wuz lovin' it! Neat that you picked so much. That must have taken a looooong time! Raspberry puree... is that like the Prince song?! The pomegranate and cherry juices mixed with it AND pina colada? YUM!

    Again, happy birthday to you! (Belated...) That sure sounds like a nice outing you were surprised with. How awesome. And i love your goods. Those bananas look so chubby and tamales!!??? YOWZA!!

    And Crystal, i am sorry but that is NOT tofu in that last photo?! IS IT?! Holy non-cow, that does not look like tofu at all!

    Keep on celebratin'! Here's to a great year ahead for you, with good health and lotsa ***vegetarian*** (hee hee, no pressure!) goodies to be created by both of you!

  9. Had lots of fun with you last night. You always pick the most awesome spots for your birthday dinner.

    Can't wait to have a tofu workshop with you. You have learned how to work wonders with that stuff :)

    That raspberry puree pina colada looks delicious. I'd probably drink it too fast and get a cold headache!

    Where do you purchase the veganaise? I'm going to have to try that because mayonaise and me don't always get along.

    Love You Tons -


  10. Ok, I had to come back. Please please please DON'T EAT the spinach (if you haven't already). I was just over at Susan's blog and she had an informative post about the affected spinach and Earthbound Farms is one of the brands they are saying DO NOT EAT.

  11. wow - it all looks fantastic. I just bought some raspberries. mmm...raspberry pina colata??

    I heard that Earthbound is a no-no with the e.coli too. Toss it! I'm staying away from all spinach just to be safe.

    Megan the Vegan

  12. That raspberry drink looks really good...nice to have ya back

  13. the raspberry-colata could be the new world wide sensation. I'm serious. It looks amazing



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