How I Spent The First Day of My 29th Year



My birthday started off in the best way possible…with a bouquet of my favourite flowers. I almost never buy flowers, so when we have them in the house it’s such a treat. My favourite flower is the peony and I also love chrysanthemums, so Eric put both of those into the bouquet. A girl could get used to this. :)

Next up, Eric made me a “surprise Green Monster” for my birthday breakfast. I was instantly transported back to that time when he put an entire banana – including the peel – into my smoothie, not knowing that the peel wasn’t a normal part of a smoothie. Do you guys remember that? My stomach still flops over the thought of drinking an entire banana peel. I won’t ever let him live that one down.


Thankfully, no “surprise” banana peel this time! Just one delicious GM made up of mixed frozen greens, almond milk, a frozen banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and wheatgrass powder. The surprise? He threw in a few chunks of dark chocolate! I’ve always wondered why his smoothies always taste so good…now I know.

Despite the windy, rainy, and cool weather, we had a great 5k run complete with lots of walking breaks. I’m still taking it easy on my knee and so far it’s doing well.


We both worked for the morning and then headed to Toronto for lunch at Fresh on Crawford. No matter what we order we always know we will get a good meal at Fresh. We’ve been going for almost 3 years now and it’s become a tradition on my birthday. Here is a post from 2009, the very first time we went to Fresh.

We started with our go-to drinks: the All Green juice (cucumber, celery, parsley, kale, ginger, lemon) and the Lucky Charm smoothie (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, mango).


For an appetizer, we devoured the Soho Falafel, made up of herbed falafel balls, quinoa & adzuki bean tabouleh, flax hummus (incredible!), and fluffy pita wedges.


It’s definitely my fav appetizer at Fresh, next to the quinoa-battered onion rings of course.

Eric ordered the insanely good BBQ Burger with tangy BBQ sauce, quinoa onion rings, garlic mayo, napa cabbage, hot banana chilies, tomato, lettuce, served with Fresh’s house-made vegan burger patty.


Eric said this is one of his fav burgers of all time! I snuck a couple bites and it was incredible.

I ordered the Tangled Thai salad made up of spiraled carrots and yellow beets, jicama, napa cabbage, chopped peanuts, cilantro, cucumber, Fresh salad topper, and creamy peanut lime dressing. This salad was a first for me, but it certainly won’t be the last!


On the side, my fav quinoa-battered onion rings.


A peppermint tea was the only thing that could fit in my belly for dessert. I was saving myself for cupcakes!


After lunch, we popped into Juicers 4 Life on Bloor and I bought some Paraflexx sheets for my dehydrator, something I have been meaning to do for 2 years now. They are non-stick reusable liners for the dehydrator trays.


When Eric asked me what I wanted for my birthday I said a homecooked dinner and night off from the kitchen would be amazing. He claims he is not a cook and tends to get overwhelmed when making recipes, but I tell you they always seem to turn out amazing. I think this is going to have to become a weekly occurrence!

On the menu? Dragon Bowls for two. It features vegetables such as sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, golden raisins, and carrots, mixed up with cooked brown rice and a lovely maple-tamari-olive oil sauce. It’s served over a bed of lettuce. I absolutely love serving hot meals on top of lettuce and this was no exception. Oh and did I mention that I ate leftovers for breakfast this morning?


Eric adapted Nikki’s recipe which was originally inspired by a dish from 14 Carrots in NYC. For the dressing, Eric played around with this “Dragon Sauce” recipe found on Chowhound. I was so impressed that he pulled it off, not that I had any doubts. The look of pride on his face when I told him I loved it was just priceless. As he was finishing up the dishes he said, “I don’t know how you cook and bake all day long….I’m exhausted!” 

For dessert, we enjoyed my favourite chocolate cupcakes with strawberry jam coconut frosting. I successfully subbed half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour and all the olive oil for melted coconut oil. The cupcakes rose incredibly high like they always do.  One of my big complaints with some vegan cupcakes is that they can turn out gummy, but these are light and fluffy as you’d hope they would be.


I wanted a naturally coloured pink frosting and strawberry jam worked perfectly. I also subbed out the Earth Balance for coconut oil and it turned out quite nice. The consistency is a bit different (a bit more “slippery” than when using Earth Balance), but I managed ok when piping it. I might have to play around with this recipe a bit more, but here it is in case you want to as well.

Strawberry Coconut Frosting

This frosting needs to firm up in the fridge after piping, so keep that in mind. Also, I don’t suggest keeping the cupcakes out on the counter too long either. Store them in the fridge until ready to use.

Print, email, or text this recipe


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (you want it buttery in texture- not melted or super firm)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam (stir before using)
  • 1.5 cups sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar, or a bit more if needed
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt


1. Chill a bowl in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. This will help keep the frosting a bit more firm.

2. With an electric mixer, beat together the coconut oil, extract, and jam.

3. Gradually, add in the sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add more icing sugar if needed and adjust everything to taste. Add a pinch of salt.

4. Pipe onto cupcakes and immediately place in the fridge to set. The frosting will become firm, but will soften at room temperature.


After dinner, we headed out for a walk along the lake and then cozied up for the night with a movie. A lovely birthday indeed…I’m liking 29 already.


Thank you for your birthday wishes in my last post! You really know how to make a girl feel loved.

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle May 17, 2012

sounds like a lovely day! Happy Birthday to a fellow May-baby (Mayby?) :)


Emily May 17, 2012

What an amazing Birthday! Happy 29th Year! (And major kudos to Eric for pulling off a delicious dinner!)


Michelle@PeachyPalate May 17, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday! Sounds like the perfect day to me!


Faith @ For the Health of It May 17, 2012

Happy birthday – glad you ushered it in with so many wonderful things! What I would give for some of those quinoa battered onion rings right now.


Noelle (@singerinkitchen) May 17, 2012

What a sweet hubby!!! A whole banana peel! hahaha I remember that post. I love when my hubby cooks for me. I think they make good cooks when they keep on trying. :) QUINOA crusted onion rings?!?!?!? YUM! Happy belated birthday girl!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 17, 2012

That looks like the perfect foodie birthday! Lucky Charm drink?! YUM.


Willow May 17, 2012

What a great day! Happy Birthday! And isn’t it great when our guys cook us food? My boyfriend is also great at throwing things together, but rarely does… might have to be my birthday request, as well! :D


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 17, 2012

Aw what a perfect day! Given the choice, I’d have my birthday lunch at Fresh as well. I’m glad you two got to spend it together and WELL DONE Eric on the amazing dinner!! :)


AdrienneCarolyn May 17, 2012

Happy belated birthday to a fellow May 1983 baby!! So far 29 is pretty groovy :-)


Ella @ Lifeologia May 17, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday!!!
What a beautiful day indeed ~ you are one spoiled girl ;D
Fresh sounds amazing (hoping that pita bread is g-f) and those onion rings? really battered in quinoa? Yum!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

You can check out my knock off recipe here: (you can add puffed quinoa into the dry batter, but I didnt have any) mine are also baked instead of fried.


Robyn May 17, 2012

the quinoa onion rings at fresh are my fave too! and i also love the beach, energy and buddha bowls!


Sylvia May 17, 2012

LOVE the flowers!!!!!!!! My absolute favs too!!!! Happy Birthday!


Hannah May 17, 2012

Aww this sounds great, Angela! Very simple. May birthdays must be where it’s at – mine is in May, too, as are a lot of my friends.


Danielle H May 17, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like your day was enjoyable and relaxing! Oh and yummy too!


Jasper {crunchylittlebites} May 17, 2012

29 is going to be a very wonderful year for you Angela. You deserve a lovely time. It’s going to be super! Happy Birthday, Angela!


Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan May 17, 2012

Happy Belated birthday!!! I’m honored that you tried the Dragon Bowl!!!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

It was delicious, thanks for a great recipe!!!


Samantha May 17, 2012

Sounds like such a nice day!

I just bought one of the Fresh cookbooks and am in LOVE with it, so it’s nice to see some of the actual food here!


barb May 17, 2012

Happy birthday. My top 3 favourite food bloggers all have Taurus birthdays! You, the Pure 2 Raw twins, and Leanne from Healthful Pursuit. Makes sense…Taureans have such good taste!


Katie @ Creature of Habit May 17, 2012

I think I would make a trip up to Canada just to try Fresh. It always looks amazing!


Ashley May 17, 2012

What a fun day!!! I do not remember the banana peel smoothie. That is the funniest thing ever. Chris is the same way in the kitchen…he acts like he doesn’t know what he’s doing but then pulls off delicious meals. Boys. :) I’m not a fan of onion rings but wow do those look good!! Glad you had such a great day.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

It was his first time making me a green monster right before my best friend’s wedding. He just assumed the entire banana went into the smoothie…no biggie. I chugged it down and was like “oh that was so good, thank you!” and then later on he casually mentioned that he “didn’t know if the peel would blend up smooth…but the vitamix did a good job.” bahaha


Cait's Plate May 17, 2012

Happy belated birthday! Looks like you rang in your 29th year in a great way :) Here’s to many more fun days ahead!


Shannon ~ My Place In The Race May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday!!! The flowers are beautiful!


kaity May 17, 2012

looks like a great day! and those onion rings?!?! im drooling you should totally try to remake them just saying;-)!


LizAshlee May 17, 2012

What a wonderful celebration…sounds perfect!! I can’t believe he used a banana peel, I can definitely imagine Travis doing something like this! hah


Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday! That is one of the most beautiful bouquets I’ve ever seen! Hydrangeas and peonies are my favorite.


Kristina Stefan May 17, 2012

Sounds like a perfect bday! Lots of yummies!! Wishing you a WONDERFUL year!


Andrea @ Vegvacious May 17, 2012

Happy (belated) birthday! It’s so awesome that you two were able to spend most of the day together!


Leah May 17, 2012

So glad you had such a good day…a very “you” kinda day! Birthdays are the best and happy Eric was home to share it with you!!


Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning May 17, 2012

Happy belated birthday- it looks like a perfect day (and the food… whoa!).
29 is great- but 30 is where it’s at!! (actually I should say 32 is where it’s at, since that’s where I’M at.)


Char @ May 17, 2012

awwww what a perfect birthday! Eric is so sweet :) and Fresh is one of my favourite restaurants- love those quinoa onion rings with garlic mayo for dipping! So good. The dinner that Eric made you sounds amazing, too.
Happy Birthday, Angela!! :D


Destini May 17, 2012

Wonderful way to spend a birthday. Dinner at home that I DIDN’T cook sounds ideal. My bday is coming up…maybe i should start dropping the hints

Happy Belated bday :)


Madison @ Pilates Makes You Happy May 17, 2012

Those cupcakes look delish!! I literally want to make them now and eat one for breakfast! Happy Belated Birthday!


Carrie @ Little Apartment, Big City May 17, 2012

Sounds (and looks) like an incredible birthday! Here’s hoping the rest of your 29th year is just as sweet :)


Catalina @ Cake with Love May 17, 2012

Happy birthaday Angela!! I love peony too, and told my husband to get me some today :) all the food looks delicious, but the onion rings are really calling my name!


Katrina Brush May 17, 2012

Sounds like an amazing day! Love the food pictures. They are making me drool. My kids love the quinoa onion rings. I am sure I will be making them more often now that burger season is back. Enjoy your last year of the 20’s, but the 30’s are even better.


Lindsay May 17, 2012

Those falafel and quiona rings look amazing!


Lindsay May 17, 2012

Looks like you had an amazing birthday, and those onion rings look fantastic! is it just quinoa in the breading or spiced up? I’d guess super technically it’s your thirtieth year (as your first year is before your first birthday) but whichever it is, yours looks perfect! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

its puffed quinoa :)


janet @ the taste space May 17, 2012

Happy birthday, Ange! Looks like you’ve found yourself a keeper.. sounds like a delicious dinner and fun trip to Toronto. :) Btw, upaya has “generic” silpats for the dehydrator which are cheaper.. although I don’t know how much you paid for yours.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

that’s good to know! Do they have a store front?


janet @ the taste space May 17, 2012

No store front. You can order from them online. I bought the generic ones and they work just as good as my Excalibur brand ones so far. :)

I can`t wait to see what you make that will use those sheets.. yum! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

Great, I’ll keep that in mind :)


Averie @ Averie Cooks May 17, 2012

What a special and awesome day. Love the sailboat pic and those cupcakes and frosting!

When I first got my juicer and actually used it (Lol) I remember reading online from some pretty high-brow people what amazing nutrients are in the rind of watermelon and you juice the entire watermelon. So I juiced the entire watermelon, rind and all. It was not pleasant. It seriously ruined watermelon for me for about 4 years! Rinds…should not be eaten!

Your banana story jogged that memory :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

hahhah…oh the things we try for health right?


Céline May 17, 2012

Happy belated birthday !


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2012

Thanks Céline!


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