Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to My Blog!

Eat’n Veg’n is now one year old. I began this blog with a rededication to the Eat to Live way of eating because it is the healthiest way for me to eat and the plan that makes me feel best. I am not strict in my adherence, mostly due to my love of chocolate and baking, but I do believe with all my soul that it is possible to be a healthy vegan (even a wheatfree and soyfree vegan!) and that eat’n vegan is in fact the healthiest way to eat.

To celebrate this occasion, I selected some of my favorite healthy foods and put together a pretty tasty menu. The dishes included, in ABC order, beans, blueberries, broccoli, chocolate, nuts, oats, onions, quinoa, spinach, sweet potatoes, tofu, and tomatoes.

Spinach Salad with Blueberries and Walnuts
Inspired by 12 Best Foods

4 cups fresh spinach leaves
a few mint leaves, chopped
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup toasted walnuts
fresh cracked pepper

Juice of ½ a lemon or lime
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. chopped onion
1 T. agave
½ t. salt
½ T. olive oil

Mix together spinach and mint leaves. Make dressing by combining lemon juice, vinegar, onion, agave, and salt. Whisk in oil. Pour dressing over salad. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top with blueberries, walnuts, and pepper. This salad was an outstanding combination of flavors and textures and just a spoonful of my sweet and sour dressing was perfect.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Green Peppers, Onions, Corn, and Tomatoes

Saute one chopped green bell pepper and ½ a chopped large onion. Add to one cup quinoa cooked in veggie broth. Add in 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained, and one chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper and top with parsley or cilantro. Serve warm or cold. I made this the night before and served it right from the fridge. I know we’ve all made this 100s of times, but it’s always so good!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli
Inspired by 12 Best Foods

Boil and mash one large sweet potato; season, add milk, margarine – however you like them. Steam 2 crowns chopped broccoli florets and some chopped onion. Mix together and serve. It’s mashed potatoes and broccoli – of course it’s great!

Tofu Steaks with Onion Gravy

Bake 4 tofu steaks using your favorite marinade or seasoning. Make gravy: Slice one large onion into thin strips and cook until golden brown in 1 T. olive oil, about 7 minutes. In the meantime, prepare 1-1/2 cups veggie broth and add in 1 T. cornstarch and mix well; set aside. When onions are done, add in 4 T. balsamic vinegar, 1 T. vegan Worcestershire sauce, and 1 T. Braggs or tamari. Slowly add in the broth mixture and stir until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the tofu steaks and heat through. A vegan diner style smothered steak – Chase loved it. Here's his plate.

I made myself some homemade anasazi beans for my protein. I also made some scallion biscuits. Here’s our table.

Dessert - Ooey Gooey Caramel Bars

I made these bars from TEV, but used the oat crust from Vive’s Pineapple Lemon Bars recipe because Chase says it’s the best crust ever. I think I agree, but there are so many good ones! I probably added more chocolate chips and coconut than the recipe called for – I didn’t measure, just covered up the top. These bars were very, very good and very, very rich.

What does the next year hold? Right now I’m into gluten free baking and exploring all the wonderful, tasty, wheatfree flours. Maybe I’ll get some new gadgets and explore different cooking methods. I’ve always dreamed of opening my own spice store – perhaps I’ll broaden my use of seasonings and study more global cuisines. And maybe I’ll cook at least half of the recipes I’ve tagged as “must try.” Of course I’ll continue to be inspired by all of your wonderful blogs. Otherwise, I hope to continue to showcase colorful and healthful foods, and an occasional treat, and promote a healthy vegan diet.

Thanks to everyone who visits here.


Vivacious Vegan said...

I like your menu! But I really love those Ooey Gooey Caramel Bars. Holy crap! They look so decadent and delicious. I don't have TEV but it's on my list (which seems to grow every day). Those bars alone look like a good reason to purchase that book.

Happy 1 year bloggiversary!

Fruit species said...

Stumbled upon your blog. You got a nice veggie blog. your food looks great. Cheers from Fruity

Celine said...

Happy Blogthday to youuuuuuuuuuu!!!!
you know this combining the crust you like the most with the Ooey Gooey Caramel Bars is pure genius, don't you???

Jamie said...

Happy Blog-iversary. I've been enjoying your blog for a few months now; it is a great inspiration on many nights when I just don't know what to fix. Thanks!

Melody Polakow said...

Happy Blogiversary!!!

Everything looks fabulous as usual...

Your blog always makes me drool!

Kim said...

I came across your blog via Susan's Fat Free Vegan Kitchen...

I LOVE that you make so many different kinds of salads! I've taken notes and I am determined to make more salads and eat more veggies from now on! :) Thanks for sharing!


Johanna3 said...

What a great menu! Congrats!!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Woohoo!! One year of yummy blogging down, hopefully many more to go!
YOur menu looks delicious. I love putting fruit in salads, the mint leaves sound like a great addition as well. I also love the add of broccoli to mashed sweet potatoes! What a way to make them even healthier...that way you get your vitamin A and calcium.
Oh, I've made those ooey gooey caramel bars...they are soooo very good. I'll have to try out that crust that Chase thinks is so good.
Happy birthday to your blog!

Katie said...

Congratulations on being one year old :o)! I will definitely let you know when (not if) I come back to Austin... hopefully i'll be soon.

Oh, and I saw on your profile that one of your favorite movies is My Cousin Vinny... that's one of my faves too! My family is from New York, and one of my cousins could be Marisa Tomei's twin!

VeggieGirl said...

Wishing a belated happy birthday to your fabulous blog!! Every single morsel of food that has appeared in all of your posts has inspired me to continue my adventures in the kitchen, always experimenting with cooking and baking. Once again, everything you've made in this particular post, from the salads and tofu "steaks" to the scrumptious caramel bars, looks so delectable!

I've never had anasazi beans, btu they sound enticing :0)

I look forward to many more mouth-watering posts!!

Emmie said...

Wow! Happy blogiversay to you. One year is awesome! Those caramel bars look so good!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

happy birthday to the blog indeed!

Vegan*asm said...

Happy 1 year blog birthday! With everyone having a blog birthday, I decided to see when my blog was born. Turns out it was 1 year old yesterday!

LK said...

Just wanted to say Happy 1 Year Blog Birthday, too!

Your meals are always so well prepared. They look so tasty with great texture and flavor!

I especially like the idea of sweet potatoes with broccoli. I usually just have a baked sweet potato plain because it is so good as is, but I need to try a new sweet potato dish like this!

Your tofu entree looks so mouthwatering as well! I love tofu and the gravy sounds like a nice addition. We'll have to make that soon!

Thanks for your great vegan food ideas!

Cheers!, lk

laura jesser said...

Happy birthday to Eat'n Veg'n! Your blog is so inspiring to me--always healthy, always beautiful, always creative. I love the menu you put together. I'm actually going to go whip up some of that salad dressing right now!

bazu said...

Yay, happy blog-birthday! I love your food and your attitude: just the right combination of healthy and decadent. That salad with blueberries looks delectable. Here's to another year, Diann!

Jul said...

Happy blog birthday!

As always, delicious looking food pics! Mmmmm.

springsandwells said...

Hoorah! Happy Blogday!
I'm so glad that you are out there blogging... I love reading about your delicious & healthy recipes, I love learning about Austin, I love reading about your love & friendship with Chase... Your blog is wonderful!

And speaking of which, I have a friend coming next weekend whose girlfriend is gluten free & allergic to nuts. I plan on throughly looking through your blog for ideas - but do you have any special suggestions?

xo Amey

Veg-a-Nut said...

Happy birthday! I have really enjoyed your blog and will continue to do so. Your meal looks like a celebration of life for sure! I have to say I too love quinoa.

Asha said...

Happy blog birthday.

Here is a Carrot Halwa for you!:))

Carolann said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I love the bars you made!!! YUM!

Judy said...

Congrats on your blog birthday. What a feast you prepared! I am especially interested in those gooey bars at the bottom - yum!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

Happiest Blog Birthday! I am so making that salad.

As always, I am totally inspired by your blog to focus on fresh, vibrant, healthful foods just by stopping by. Your table spread looks amazing.

erica said...

Happy Birthday!
(I've done lots of research into health, and believe me, the wheat-free, soy-free vegans ARE healthier!)

stonielove said...

happy birthday! what a wonderful post this is, once again!

Peggy the Veggie said...

Happy blog birthday! That all looks fantastic. Mmm, sweet potatoes and broccoli...

aTxVegn said...

Thanks for your kind comments, everyone! You sure know how to keep a girl blogging!

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Happy Anniversary blog!

I see your salad using blueberries - that's one thing we didn't make at the time of our massive blueberry picking (I think we were salad-ed out at the time). Yum!


Kati said...

Happy blogiversary! I can't believe I missed this one - it's been a busy month. I always love reading your posts - so many colorful veggies and lovely baked goods. Looking forward to another food filled year!

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