What We Ate Wednesday: Damian’s Birthday

May 4th, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

On Monday night we had “Thanksgiving in May”. We should do that more often.

This past Monday, my dearest celebrated his 32nd year. When I asked him, “What do you want for your birthday dinner?”, I’d expected him to reply with some favorite restaurant – maybe Lebanese, or Ethiopian like the last few years. But instead he pondered for a few seconds, then said simply, “I want Thanksgiving dinner”. Okay! I can do that.

Damian’s mom is visiting this week which makes it extra special, but somehow I managed to get through the day without a single picture of her. So here’s Appendix A, my favorite picture of us. We spent the whole day together while Damian was at work, much of it running around like madwomen preparing for this feast. It was awesome.

We drove Damian to work so he wouldn’t have to brave the cold on his bike for his birthday. We had to stop at Barista of course, to indulge in the BEST MOCHA EVAR.

Baby Breakfast
Back home, Waits enjoyed half a nanner and some sprouted spelt toast with homemade raw “peanut butter” (a multi-nut blend) and homemade raw jam. He also had a spoonful of sunflower lecithin and a spoonful of molasses.

Lecithin is super-high in choline, an essential nutrient for brain development.

Lisa had toast while I made us a big green smoothie. Banana, mango, pineapple, water kefir, bib lettuce, hemp protein, and chlorella. Yum!

Nap and Snack
After a bath Waits went down for his nap. He woke up hungry and was happy to finish his toast while I grabbed a few oranges. Then we set out for our doggie walk.

After our walk we made a big batch of delicious green juice. Brocolli stalks (sweet like cabbage), cilantro, and celery. Wonderful!

Wee thief!

The bandit with his booty

Happy little celery stealer.

The real goods! I’m working on teaching Waits how to use a straw.

Late Lunch
I had a small bowl of leftover panang curry (mixed vegetables) before heading out on a great grand grocery excursion. There was more coffee during shopping, not pictured.

Damian is not so much a water drinker, but he’s a big fan of bubbly beverages. He doesn’t even do it for the sugar part, he just likes the fizz. But it’s damn near impossible to find carbonated drinks sans sugar. So for his birthday I got him a fancy-shmancy home soda maker. Now we can make natural, sugar-free fizzy drinks at home. THIS THING IS SO AWESOME.

The Feast

Brussels sprouts! Oven roasted and then braised with caramelized leeks.

Field Roast’s “Celebration Loaf” stuffed with hazelnuts and cranberries and wrapped in puff pastry. It is the only faux meat-type product that does it for me any more, and MAN does it really do it for me.

Waits is cutting a molar from hell and thus he’s rather mama-centric. Glued to my hip, he is. I pretty much cooked this entire meal one-handed.

All together now! Roast, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, brussels sprouts. There was also a special bottle of pinot noir involved, not pictured.

Baby version: taters/no gravy, brussels sprouts (I cut them up for him), and brown rice soaked in leftover green juice.

For dessert my mother-in-law made this beautiful cherry pie, one of Damian’s absolute favorites! (this is pre-baking)

I didn’t partake in pie, as I’m not eating sugar these days. But I smelled it and I can say with absolute assurance that it was simply splendiferous. (I love that spellcheck doesn’t flag “splendiferous”. Really? That’s a for-reals word now?)

For my part, I made up my own little special dessert. Vanilla ice cream (coconut-based, agave sweetened) with homemade raw chocolate “magic shell” and strawberries on top. Um, yum!

What was your latest celebratory meal?

  • http://www.workingouteatingin.com Anastasia

    Everything looks amazing! What a wonderful birthday dinner. I’ve got to try out the smoothie you made.. looks delicious!

  • http://willisandciara.blogspot.com/ Ciara

    i was just looking into seltzer water/soda makers. what kind did you get/where did you purchase it?


  • http://dresseduplikealady.blogspot.com/ Cammila

    Mangoes are finally just in season enough to be popping up on sale even this far north, so I’ve been putting them in my green smoothies too!

    Come to think of it, our household LOVES roasted Brussels sprouts, DiY raw “magic shell,” and coconut ice cream, so if you ever find yourself in Michigan, you should drop by for a meal! ;)

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windcityvegan}

    My co-op has been selling mangoes the past couple of weeks and I’ve been stockpiling them – I now have a freezer full of mango lassi pops and frozen mango chunks for future smoothies.

    Awesome present for Damian! I am *this* close to buying one of those home soda makers. And three cheers for Field Roast – it’s the only mock meat I ever buy. I’m so bummed I’m off gluten now. But my family isn’t! Nina begs me for the apple sage FR sausages.

  • http://zippyzu.blogspot.com Crystal

    Happy birthday Damian! Home made fizzy drinks are going to be lots of fun coming up with :)

  • Joselle

    Oh boy, everything in this post looked amazing! I LOVE Celebration Roast. My nonvegan family didn’t leave much for my husband and I last Thanksgiving, so beloved it is. And I am coveting your fizz maker. I really want one. Happy Thanksbirthday to Damian!

  • http://lovesveggies.blogspot.com/ Lindsay

    your brussels sprouts look beautiful! I tried making them for easter and they turned out a really drab green color. I wonder if I cooked them for too long? Hmm..
    Green smoothies are my fav! :)

  • http://saras-takeover.tumblr.com Sara

    @ciara I know Sodastream is supposed to be really nice: http://www.sodastreamusa.com/penguin.aspx. The chick from My Plastic Free Life uses it and loves it!

    Also! Food looks great, Sayward! Do you use your Vitamix or an ice cream maker? I have an ice cream maker and I haven’t at all been lucky in the consistency department (read: rock hard ice cream), even when using full-fat coconut milk! Suggestions? Thanks! :)

  • http://twitter.com/erosan erosan

    Well my meal today was certainly not as fancy as this! I ate a small lettuce head… with nothing else, no dressing or vinaigrette (for my first serving I squeezed some lime and sprinkled some salt though). It is not a thing I do on a common basis, I mean, I like lettuce and all, but…

    It might be that the MMM is affecting my subconscious… anyways, it was yummy.

  • Liv

    A. The meal looks amazing
    B. SODA STREAM! I received one for my birthday last May, and let me tell you, I am in LOVE with that sucker! I, too, am a huge fan of bubbly drinks – but not sugary soda. One of my favorite things is a big glass of seltzer with a squeeze of lime or grapefruit in it!

  • Sierra Dawn

    Hmm, I’m going to have to read up on the lecithin… never heard of it! Exciting! By the way, What brand of molasses do you go for? I’ve tried taking a spoonful straight up and the powerful taste just about knocks me on my ass.

  • http://peasandcrayons.blogspot.com Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons

    Can I have thanksgiving dinner in may even though its not my bday? haha please say yes! this looks glorious!!! =)

  • SJ Smith

    My celebratory glass of merlot tonight was the highlight of my day, because finals are OVER and my birthday is tomorrow! We are hanging twinkle lights and making mimosas right now for my roaring 20s party that’ll happen this time tomorrow night!

    I too am interested in the soda machine! So cool!

    And that is so special that you get along with D’s mom! How great is that!? Is she pretty chill about how y’all eat these days? I’d guess she was if she was partaking in the green smoothies!

  • http://sweetness-light.tumblr.com Natasja

    OMG I am DROOLING. That loaf thing looks delicious, walnuts & cranberries.. with what?! I want to buy/make one!!! YOM.
    And taters & gravy=Best.

  • http://sweetness-light.tumblr.com Natasja

    ps: happy birthday Damian! & good luck with that molar Mr Waits.

  • http://craftylittlegnome.blogspot.com/ Adrienne Audrey

    I’m enjoying this series. Seeing pics of your green juice makes me want to get up and make some homemade veggie juice or smoothies!

  • daoine o’

    yay for field roast en croute! i have one in the freezer i’ve been saving for a special occasion. (not, ‘hey, it’s thursday, how about field roast?’ no, i mean a *really* special occasion!) ;)

    by the way, sayward, i tried checking tags (which i, well, suck at) and haven’t seen anything on making your own seitan. do you/have you? i have everything i need, even kombu, but haven’t found what looks like a good, easy, foolproof recipe. they’re all so varied…i’m afraid to try! (yeah, i’m kinda a perfectionist.) ;)

  • http://alternativehousewife.com Janine @ Alternative Housewife

    That kid of yours is so cute – I can’t get over it! Does he like the taste of celery? Mine chomped down on a piece and made the worst face and wouldn’t put it back in his mouth. We are doing baby-led weaning and having a lot of fun with it – http://www.babyledweaning.com – I blog with a few other mamas. Although I am not vegan, I like teh BLW concept and your blog both because it is about thinking about what you put into your body.

    I am working on getting my 7 monther to drink with a straw – He kind of gets it when you hold it horizontal but isn’t able to suck ‘up’ yet.

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    @daoine o’: I make all of my seitan from scratch, here are links to a few recipes I’ve used in the past (once you get the hang of it you can just wing it; and I rarely consult a recipe at all anymore).

    From Have Cake Will Travel (I tested these for one of her cookbooks, they are very, very good):

    From the Post Punk Kitchen:

    Hope that helps!

  • Callie

    Alright, this all looks delicious, and Waits is silly cute, but I hope you’re planning on posting a recipe for this home-made raw magic shell, or I might just die. And it would totally be your fault. So no pressure.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    I gotta say, we don’t usually eat like this but man, it was a wonderful meal! =D

    @ Ciara – It’s a Soda Stream, which is the main brand of home soda maker. They’re really widely available – here’s the Amazon.

    @ Cammila – Hey man, ditto if you’re ever in Portland! We have amaaaazing vintage here, just sayin’ ;-D

    @ Monika – Field Roast is the BEST and I’m off gluten *except* for Field Roast, haha. It’s actually the flour (carbohydrate ie blood sugar stuff) I have a problem with, not the protein, so I do okay with vital wheat gluten but not with baked products. I’m a weirdo I know.

    Soda Stream is so worth it! Do it!!

    @ Lindsay – Brussels definitely dull out if you overcook them, which can happen in an instance. I’ve done that many times. =)

    @ Sara – Oh man, my ice cream was totally store-bought. *shame* But, I really really hope to get an ice cream maker this summer and if I do, I promise lots of experimentation and lots of recipes!

    @ Sierra Damn – I get my molasses in bulk from my co-op, but I’ve tried many brands and they pretty much all taste like that. All I can say is that if you stick with it, you WILL get used to it, I promise. That said, I do think Wholesome Sweeteners tasted better than Braggs.

    @ SJ Smith – Congrats! And yeah, Lisa is awesome and loves the food we make. She eats omni at home but is always happy to eat vegan with us. We’re super lucky.

    @ Natasja – This is the loaf!

    @ daoine o’ – I’ve actually only ever made homemade seitan once, but I used this recipe and it was great! I’d trust Monika’s links/advice as well. =)

    @ Janine – Waits *loves* celery, haha, and now he’s always trying to steal it! Yeesh . . .

    He’s the same way with the straw – I can get him to use it when I do the my-finger-over-the-end-and-drop-it-into-his-mouth thing. He’ll suck on it then. But when it’s pointed down, into a cup, he doesn’t quite get it yet. It’s a tough concept to convey!

    @ Callie – HA! Magic shell is *so* easy. It’s just: 2 tbsp coconut oil, heated enough to melt (you can just float a little cup in a bowl of hot water), about 2 tsp-1 tbsp raw agave, to tast, and about 1 tbsp raw cacao powder. Mix it all up, adjust to taste, and then pour over ice cream/frozen fruit/anything cold. It will solidify just like Magic Shell and it is super fun!

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes for Damian, everybody!

  • daoine o’


    thanks for the awesome seitan links! i’ll look them over, roll up the ol’ sleeves and give it a try! :)

  • http://livecompletely.blogspot.com/ kory

    Alright, I”m just going to admit it. I love you. Seriously, the inspiration you bring to my household is endless. I was just thinking about a ‘magic shell’ alternative the other day (thank you for the recipe). Waits is so super adorable and the food, as always, looks amazing. I really need to read your blog in the morning b/c I’ve been having a hard time getting up the energy to make my morning smoothies (which means I really need them, right? bad cycle) but reading your blog always makes me crave them!

    Off to drink my nettle infusion ;)

  • http://livecompletely.blogspot.com/ kory

    P.S. Hubby’s best friend makes us coconut ice cream with his ice cream maker and it’s AMAZING! He uses sugar though, I bet you’ll come up with a better way!