My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Wishes!

Happy New Year's Eve! Is it just me or does anyone have plans this New Year's? It just seems like nothing is going on. Although I work today, I look forward to getting out of here early, working out, and making some good dinner tonight!

I mentioned in my last post that Ryan graduated and we threw a party for him. Well, in the hustle of the day, I only got a pic of my main dish although we had a ton of food. The favorite item was lavash pizza with smoked mozzarella, proscuitto and arugula, which we served as an appetizer.

Although I couldn't get my stubborn dad to try my main dish, the rest of the family loved it. I made Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Pasta. It was my first time making it in advance and for a large group. I roasted the greens and veggies the night before and reheated them in the oven while I cooked the pasta. Tossed everything together and voila!

Soon after Ryan's graduation, Thanskgiving came along. Ryan's mom took care of almost all the cooking, but I brought Candied Sweet Potatoes. Ryan's great grandma used to make these, so I tried to bring the memory back with my own version. I had never made this before, but let me tell won't only be a Thanksgiving dish! I loved the crunch of the marshmallows and of course the sweetness of the brown sugar and sweet potatoes together. This dish was such a hit, we were only able to package up a few bites to bring home with us.

Over the weekend, Ryan and I celebrated our 14th anniversary and had a fun day. It's been a long time since we've been able to tool around the city together on a weekend. We ran a bunch of errands, checked out a Greek grocery store in Minneapolis (and picked up a ton of cool items), and ate at one of our favorite organic/vegetarian restaurants, French Meadow. Mmmm...I love French Meadow! Ryan tried this thai tempeh sandwich and we're determined to figure out how to make it. Any recipes calling for tempeh to be mixed with thai spices out there?

Friday, December 14, 2007


The time has come...Ryan is graduating from college! I am so excited as it's been a long road, but well worth it. I'm throwing a party for him tonight with the help of his mom, so we're making food for 35 people. We decided to go with a pasta bar and an overall Italian theme. I've made the almond cookies and will pick up some gelato tonight. I'll take some pictures and post them for you all.

While Ryan was in school, he kept fueled up with these Energy Orbs from the Students Go Vegan cookbook. These are made with dates and cocoa powder. I rolled some in coconut and some in hemp seeds. They are really a great snack and just kept in the fridge for a pick-me-up.

Pizza has been a helpful meal on study intensive days. Ever since Ryan's mom loaned me the breadmaker, I've been stocked up on pizza doughs. I keep mine in the freezer and just pop them in the fridge in the morning to defrost. We've experimented with various herb crusts, whole-wheat crusts, spicy chili crusts and decided that we like the plain crust the best!

This pizza is half veggie pepperoni and half blue cheese and cherry tomato. Seriously one of my favorites.

So, now that neither of us are college students anymore, is pizza still a valid meal??

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice

One of the cool things about going to the Mall of America is you're bound to run into someone you know. Most of us Minnesotans stay clear of MOA around the holidays, but still try to sneak in visits when we know it won't be as busy.

Last Saturday was a prime example. We were in the process of getting hit with 7-9 inches of snow, so what better time to drive very slowly and carefully to the mall? Plus, Lush was having it's Grand Opening and giving away a ton of free stuff, so we HAD to go! Look for me and Ryan in the next Lush newsletter with our facial masks on :)

Imagine my surprise when I ran into a fellow food blogger,Catherine and her friend Courtney at H&M. We've been meaning to meet up again for awhile, but schedules get the best of us, so we were excited to see each other. Woo hoo! And, yes, that will probably be our last MOA visit until next year.

Onto the food...

Having some tofu I needed to use up, I reached for my trusty Vegan with a Vengeance and decided to make jerk tofu (rather than jerk seitan) and coconut rice.

I sliced the tofu pretty thinly, but kept it thick enough to not break. The marinade for this dish is very tasty without being too spicy. It really warmed us up on a cold night! The coconut rice is a nice touch, but lacked coconut flavor. I think it's due to using lite coconut milk instead of the full fat version, which is an okay sacrifice for me. I'd recommend making the jerk tofu again and maybe next time I could chop it up for topping on a salad or on a sandwich.
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