The Opposite of Birthday Beet Juice

October 27th, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

Packed in today’s magic basket of super snacks?

Whole Food Energy Bar

Whole Food Energy Bar from Vega that I was sent last week to review.

Open Bar

I liked this one better than the Vibrancy bar actually. I especially liked that at 220 calories, this sucker easily held me over all afternoon while Maxine and I ran errands and Ava spent the afternoon at her homeschooling class.

And I totally needed the energy to play along with Maxine’s latest Take-My-Socks-and-Shoes-Off-Everytime-I-Get-in-the-Car antics.

Shoes Off.  Again.

5 or so stops this afternoon? That would mean lots of playing her new favorite I Take My Shoes Off, Mom Puts Them Back On game over and over again.

Tonight for Zachary’s birthday dinner I made Sweet Potato Tempeh Chili.

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 glove of garlic, minced
1 sweet potato, diced
28 oz canned tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
1 8oz package of tempeh, chopped
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
(Spices are approx – more or less to taste)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

In a large pot, saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Scrub sweet potato with a brush (or peel if preferred) and dice into cubes, keeping in mind this is basically ready as soon as the potatoes are done. Read: smaller potato cubes = less cooking time.

Diced Up Sweet Potatoes

Once the onions are soft, add tomatoes, broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover.

Get Those Potatoes Cooking

You want those potatoes cooking while you get work on the tempeh!


I chopped the tempeh in my mini prep. My mini prep is pretty mini, so I had to do it in 3 batches.

Chopped Tempeh

Add chopped tempeh and rinsed and drained black beans to the pot. Add spices and stir, simmer on medium-low until potatoes are cooked.

If it happens to be your sweet husband’s birthday, this is where you would get to work on Birthday Peanut Butter Brownies for dessert! Gotta undo all the good stuff that birthday beet juice did for us this morning!

Be warned:

This recipe is not vegan, not raw, not gluten free, not healthy – but hey, it’s not from a box either.

1/2 c creamy peanut butter (I used natural – this would be me grasping at straws for something healthy in this recipe)
1/3 c butter, softened
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c granulated sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour (I used a half cup of white flour, half cup of whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
dash kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together peanut butter and butter. Stir cocoa powder, white and brown sugar and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Add vanilla and fold in chocolate chips. Grease a 9 x 9 inch square pan (I used coconut oil) bake for 30 minutes.

Birthday Brownies

Brownies in the oven – time to eat!

Time to Eat Chili

Sweet Potato Tempeh Chili

The chopped tempeh in this dish gives this chili a great texture. With the sweet potatoes too it’s a nice change of pace from my usual beans, beans and more beans vegetarian chili.

Ding! Brownies are done!

Baked Brownies

I snagged a couple of mini peanut butter cups during shoe game errands today knowing peanut butter brownies were on the birthday dessert menu for tonight. Oh! What do you know?! The mini prep is already out! Rinse off the tempeh and it’s as good as clean.

Mini Prep Out

I asked Zak to pick up the ice cream of his choice on his way home from work, failing to mention peanut butter and chocolate were on the agenda. Mint chocolate chip and PB cup ice cream? I think it’s safe to say we all got our recommended daily allowance of peanut butter tonight.

Brownie sundae fixings assembled – let’s rock.

Brownie Sundae Fixings

Warm up those pipes, we gotta sing!

Brownie Birthday Sundae

Haaaaapppppyyyy Biiiiirrrrrthhhhhdaaaaay tooooo yoooooouuuuuu…

Being Sung To

It’s pretty much a tradition here that after we sing to the birthday person, we have to sing to the girls too.

Sing to the Girls Too

Don’t worry about singing to me – I’ll just eat.


Birthday’s rule. Watching the Biggest Loser after eating a brownie sundae does not.

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19 Responses

  • Erin says:

    Awww so cute! Happy Birthday Zak! He looks so happy in that picture. You are a good wife (and an ever patient mother for playing the shoes game with Maxine!)

    I serrriously want some of those brownies right now. As in, drooling on the computer.

  • maria says:

    I always somehow end up eating while watching BL… seems so cruel!!!

  • Lizzy says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to dear Zak! You sure did whip up the best meal and dessert!

  • Mama Pea says:

    Nevermind what I said yesterday. My birthday is in May. See you then.

  • Bernadette says:

    I absolutely LOVE birthdays!!! Doesn’t matter if it’s mine or someone else’s, Birthdays DO rock! Happy Birthday Zak and happy un-birthday to the little ladies!

    I still cannot locate ONE SINGLE STORE in my area that is carrying the Holiday teas yet! What’s a girl to do?!


  • Grinding up Reese’s PB’s in the food proc? Priceless. LOVE IT! Happy Bday ZAk. It’s my bday too. Just kidding but I love your unhealthy ode. Not every day is a health fest. And that’s freakin great! I got that same VEga bar last week. I liked it too.

  • Fallon says:

    LMAO I tend to have my evening snack and watch biggest loser at the same time while they work out for 6 hours. Haha oops!

  • Jane/you-know-who says:

    PB & choc is one of Zak’s favorite combos as I recall. How sweet of you to take good care of him on his special day!!

  • Nicole says:

    I love it! I love it!! Your brownies look amazing! Hey, we all need to splurge once in a while! I’m a meat eater, and your chili actually looks really good to me and like something I could get my husband to eat. It’s on the menu tonight!

  • Christina says:

    aw happy birthday to your husband! and what a lucky man- he gets pb brownies!? ahhh i love your warning that they are not healthy, gluteen free, etc. haha. and sweet potato chili looks tremendousss! you should try out my sweet potatoe and ricotta whole wheat pasta recipe i have a feeling youd like it!

  • Heather says:

    Aw, happy (belated) birthday to Zak! That meal looks awesome. I am so making sweet potato tempeh chili soon.

    Oh, and we have to sing to all my little cousins at birthday parties, too. The candles get lit approximately 3 times and I swear the wax drips onto the cake so I’m glad I don’t eat it.

  • brandi says:

    Happy Birthday to him! What a fun birthday dinner + dessert :) Those brownies look so good.

  • Sharon says:

    Happy birthday Zak! I made my man birthday Healthy apple crisp tonight. Following your recipt. It turned out pretty good, made it even better that i new it was much more healthy then the Betty Crocker Cook book recipt. Biggest Loser would have been proud.

  • Jennifer says:

    Happy Birthday, Zak!!! :) What a nice dinner and dessert! Yummy!!!!

    Darn, darn, DARN….I missed The Biggest Loser last night!! Grrr! We were watching some National Geographic thing that was pretty interesting, BUT, had I known it was on you know what I would have been watching. (haha) I’ll have to go check out the website to see what happened.

  • Erica says:

    oh my yum! Both the chili and the brownies sound delicious. I love the idea of grinding up the PB cups- makes the treat extra special.

    hahah- I love reading the stories about your kids. Seriously…its like my research on things I may encounter when I become a mama.

    Enjoy your day off- you deserve it! I hope the rain goes away 😉

  • Cindy says:

    OH, I knew there would be a part 2 of the black and orange!

    pb brownies….don’t let my family see that! Or I’ll be grinding pb cups in my mini prep.


    HAPPY BDAY ZAK! Hope you had a great day!

  • Holly says:

    ummm i LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of the tempeh in the chili. and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ZAK ONCE AGAIN! this looks like a fabulous birthday celebration. and i love maxine’s silly games. and i love the idea of pulsing peanut butter cups. and i love youuuuu. let’s chat soon :)

  • Julie says:

    The brownies…WOW. That looks so freaking good. I was going to say how good the chili looked, but damn. Sweets are my drug.

  • Happy Belated Birthday to Zak!

    The dinner looks great! I have to admit that I have never cooked with tempeh. (Well, actually it’s worse. I bought a package a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, and before I knew it, it went bad in the fridge….)

    Awesome birthday brownies!!! That’s what birthdays are for… 😉