My Vegetarianversy

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Today is not only my birthday, it is also my vegetarianversy!  I realize it’s kind of weird to celebrate a style of eating, but the last year has been so yummy, and I’ve learned so much.   Here’s why I went vegetarian.  The Husband’s vegetarianversy is in a few weeks!


In the last year, I’ve discovered that you don’t miss meat (often) if you get a little creative in the kitchen.  Eating out isn’t so hard, as long as you plan ahead.  And I LOVE VEGETABLES!  Never thought I would say that, but I do.  And you know what else?  It’s possible to be a No Meat Athlete!  🙂 I’ve run further, biked longer, and shaped up like never before as a vegetarian.  Veggie power…. What’s not to celebrate!


In honor of this special anniversary, I had an amazing vegetarian dinner!  The Husband and I made Vegetarian Sloppy Joes.


Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Ingredients (for 2 burgers):


  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup organic yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon, chili powder, and pepper
  • 2/3 packet of organic tempeh, chopped and crumbled
  • Spinach for garnish
  • Bun of English Muffin




  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a small pot on the stovetop. 
  • Turn on low and heat for five minutes, until it starts to bubble.  Stir thoroughly!
  • Add in crumbled tempeh and stir.
  • Pour into oven-safe casserole dish and place in oven.
  • Cook at 350 for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Spoon onto bun and top with spinach.
  • Enjoy!


To be honest, I don’t remember what Sloppy Joes taste like, but this was AMAZING.  :)  The Husband really liked it, too! 


In addition to the sammies, we had roasted veg and a salad:


For dessert, I had three of the baked wonton cookies:


I skipped the brown sugar garnish on these cookies, and it tasted just as good!  I also added shredded coconut to the almond butter + banana stuffing.  HOLY YUM.


Earlier, the Husband and I split this cheese, cracker, and apple dish while we watched TV. I had about 6 crackers and cheese and 1/2 the apple.


How am I spending the rest of my evening?  Reading a new book, of course!


I finally picked up Eating Animals, the New York Times Bestseller about vegetarianism.  Pretty appropriate book for today, don’t you think?


It’s funny – I see books in a totally different way now that I’m an author (haha, that made me giggle to type out).  I look at the cover differently, read the dedication in a new light, and study the endorsements on the back of the jacket.  A lot of work goes into a book, by the author, publisher, agent, designers, publicists… plus, probably a ton of other people that I don’t even know about yet!  Yay, books!


Thank you again for all the sweet birthday wishes! You made my day feel so special. 🙂 🙂 🙂



  • Brittany April 26, 2010, 8:24 pm

    Happy Birthday lady!!

    Enjoy a relaxing evening reading!

  • Kristina April 26, 2010, 8:27 pm

    happy vege-versiary!! those baked wontons look *SOOO* good, I may have to try them..

    I started reading Eating Animals today also !! 🙂


  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 26, 2010, 8:31 pm

    this is such a special day for you 🙂 SO glad that you’ve had an fantastic day! i hope your evening is just as fabulous!

  • Janelle April 26, 2010, 8:33 pm

    Happy birthday and Veggieversary! I’m so impressed at your transformation – you dropped meat overnight and stuck with it, and have become a veggie fiend, it has been fun to watch!

  • Nicole @ Making Good Choices April 26, 2010, 8:33 pm

    Happy Birthday ANDDD Happy Vege-versary! Those sloppy joes look even better than the meat version, I was never a fan of those, but yours I would def try! Have a great bday night! 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 26, 2010, 8:34 pm

    I’m sure you definitely see things different from the other side. 🙂

    Those sloppy joes look like something I might be willing to actually try tempeh with.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 26, 2010, 8:36 pm

    You love veggies now?! I wish I did!

  • Carolyn @ April 26, 2010, 8:37 pm

    I have some tempeh I need to use. Maybe I’ll make that this weekend. 🙂

  • Janessa April 26, 2010, 8:39 pm

    Happy Birthday and Happy Vegetarianversy to one of my favorite bloggers!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 26, 2010, 8:41 pm

    Happy vegetarianiversary!!! I’m coming up on my six month 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what you think about that book– I’ve read some of his other books (and liked them!), but have yet to pick that one up.

  • Evan Thomas April 26, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Yum! I have such a hard time liking tempeh, but this recipe sounds super good!

  • Melissa April 26, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Happy 26th birthday and happy vegetarianversy!!

  • katie April 26, 2010, 8:42 pm

    I don’t ever remember having a meat sloppy joe but I definitely want to try this version. I wonder if I could pass this off to my meat eating husband. Hmmm…I think you may have answered before but what is tempeh…?

    • Caitlin April 26, 2010, 8:43 pm

      fermented soy 🙂 tastes better than it sounds.

    • Amina @ Furiously Writing April 27, 2010, 12:58 pm

      Fantastic Foods makes an AWESOME veggie sloppy joe that My Heart’s Desire did not know was vegetarian for years! It’s easy and fast — and one of my go-to weeknight dinners.

  • Lauren April 26, 2010, 8:43 pm

    Wow two great things to celebrate today! I’d say, break out that wine girly!

    You know I was thinking about the Banana Wontons today, and the thought of adding Nutella came to me. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!?! 🙂

    • Caitlin April 26, 2010, 8:45 pm

      ummmmm YES!

  • Carrie @ I See Monsters April 26, 2010, 8:43 pm

    Happy birthday! I just started reading that book as well. I can’t decide what I think about it yet, but I’m only a few pages in.

    Those baked wontons look amazing.

  • Annie April 26, 2010, 8:44 pm

    Happy Birthday and Vegetarianversary! I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that you are my favorite blogger and I look forward to reading your posts everyday! You are truly inspiring. Glad you had a great birthday!

    • Caitlin April 26, 2010, 8:46 pm

      thank you so much. you are so sweet!

  • Kiersten April 26, 2010, 8:46 pm

    Happy birthday and vegetarianniversary Caitlin!

  • Amanda April 26, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Happy Birthday (and vegetarianversary)! The Tempeh Sloppy Joe looks delicious. I have a hard time finding Tempeh locally. The kind I always find it already flavored with weird combinations. I’ve been curious about that book. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. I saw it at Books-a-Million a few days ago, but I didn’t pick it up because I already have about 50 books I need to read first. I might be persuaded to change my mind though if you give it a glowing review. LOL

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear April 26, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Happy Birthday lady! I’m excited to hear how the book is. I am not a veg, but I think I could be. I do like my meat though. I’m so glad it’s working out great for you! Enjoy your evening – love the sloppy joes 🙂

  • Kelly April 26, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Happy Birthday! I think it’s maybe because I wanted to be a writer when I was little, or I just naturally like knowing about people’s lives (hmm blog reading?) but I always read the dedication in a book and when I read books to my kindergarten kids I read that to them too haha, I like when they say more than just the person’s name but tell more about why the book is dedicated to them. I’m nosy 🙂
    Congrats 1 year of being a no meat athlete!

  • Katie Carso April 26, 2010, 8:49 pm

    Glad you had a wonderful birthday!! Happy Birthday!! Loving this dinner! Will have to make it!!!

  • Kara M. April 26, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Can’t wait to hear what you think about Eating Animals…it’s next on my list!

  • Holly April 26, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday!!!! 🙂

    Looking forward to your review on the book 🙂
    Have a great rest of the night.

  • Me-Linh @ Sweet and Sweat April 26, 2010, 9:02 pm

    I’m glad your birthday has been good and relaxing! I usually pig out on my birthday like none other 🙂

  • sarah April 26, 2010, 9:06 pm

    Happy 26! It’s a hot year. I’m one month in and <3ing it.

    Would love to hear your review of "Eating Animals" once you're finished. I bought it a while ago and haven't cracked it open yet.

  • ari April 26, 2010, 9:06 pm

    eating animals is an AMAZING book. i really, really enjoyed it. hope you do too!

  • Matt April 26, 2010, 9:06 pm

    Happy birthday!

  • Meg April 26, 2010, 9:07 pm

    Don’t forget your editor!

    • Caitlin April 26, 2010, 9:21 pm

      heheh thats what i meant by publisher! 🙂

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit April 26, 2010, 9:08 pm

    Keep us posted on the book- I’m very interested in it!
    I’m thinking of going veg. myself…. I’ve just lost my taste for meat! Except for fish.

  • Vaala April 26, 2010, 9:11 pm

    I loved your comment about how you see books differently now. I work in the film industry and I can never look at a film, commercial or TV program the same again either. Oh, and congratulations on your vegetarianversy (and happy birthday too)! I wish I knew when mine was but it snuck up on me so slowly that I have no idea!

  • Anna April 26, 2010, 9:13 pm

    Happy B-day and V-day! Oh man, your apple picture made me totally crave a big, juicy golden delicious…

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 26, 2010, 9:13 pm

    Good food AND a good book! What a lovely day. 😀

  • Emily April 26, 2010, 9:16 pm

    happy bday caitlin! looks like you celebrated with good food and good company. 🙂

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 26, 2010, 9:20 pm

    Happy Vegiversery! I have yet to go vegetarian. I’m afraid once I read a few books about all the stuff going on where meat is produced I just might.

  • tieghan April 26, 2010, 9:21 pm

    Those “sloppy joes” look amazing!I am going to make them! Happy Birthday!!

  • Runeatrepeat April 26, 2010, 9:24 pm

    Happy Birthday 🙂

  • Manda April 26, 2010, 9:28 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!!! It’s awesome u had such a great day! I am totally on board with this whole butler for a day thing!! Oh ya and happy vegiversary!

  • Jolene ( April 26, 2010, 9:33 pm

    Happy Vegiversary!!!

  • emptynutjar April 26, 2010, 9:36 pm

    If I ever get life straightened out, I hope to write more. TOo much on the brain right now…maybe someday!
    Have a nice evening!

  • jenna April 26, 2010, 9:36 pm

    you are SO creative when it comes to your meals! i am quite jealous 🙂

  • Joyful Jamila April 26, 2010, 9:41 pm

    Happy Birthday, and Happy Vege-versary! I can’t wait to hear your take on that book. I’m reading The Kind Diet right now (loving it!) and that’s next on my list.

  • emily April 26, 2010, 9:44 pm

    Oooh, would you do a mini book review once you’ve gotten started? I have too many books on my “to-buy” list right now but that one is pretty high up on the list.

    • Caitlin April 27, 2010, 8:58 am

      yes i definitely will!

  • Julia April 26, 2010, 9:45 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about the book – I added it to my summer reading list after seeing it at the bookstore last week, and it looked really interesting.
    And those Tempeh sloppy joes look delish! Have you tried making sloppy joes with lentils?

    • Caitlin April 26, 2010, 9:57 pm

      i’ve tried it but i like this more!

  • Britt April 26, 2010, 9:48 pm

    AHHHHH Eating Animals has me major crushing on Foer. Nothing too new in terms of facts I didn’t know, but it’s one of the easiest, most engaging non-fiction books I’ve read in the past few years. Some of his arguments can get a bit presumptuous, but he’s sort of a love-it-or-hate-it kind of writer. I’m sure you’ll love it 😉 Cheers!

  • Julie April 26, 2010, 10:13 pm

    Happy happy birthday to you!!! I hope you had an awesome day with the people you love 🙂 Can’t wait for your book to come out!

  • Kelsey April 26, 2010, 10:14 pm

    can’t wait to hear what you think about the book! looks like an interesting read :]
    happy birthday!

  • Kristina April 26, 2010, 10:15 pm

    Funny, I just picked up Eating Animals last week. It’s been on my to-read list for a while, and I finally got it from the library.

    P.S. Happy birthday! My golden was this year too…I was 30 on the 30th of March.

  • Sarah for Real April 26, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Happy Veggie Anniversary! That’s a great accomplishment. I don’t think I ever enjoyed meat sloppy joe’s myself, but your vegetarian version looks so yummy!

  • April 26, 2010, 10:19 pm

    oh happy anniversary love! what a fantastic book too- great reader for everyone. celebrate and relax- ur such a beautiful soul xoxo 🙂 <3

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 26, 2010, 10:42 pm

    I’m still excited for your book to come out!

    I don’t know an exact date for when I became a vegetarian. But, I have never been a fan of meat. Although, my mom tells me I loved breakfast meats when I was very tiny. It was the only meat I’d eat, and then at some point even those began to disgust me. It’s pretty easy to be a vegetarian since I think meat is absolutely awful!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 26, 2010, 10:42 pm

    oooh now that dinner looks delish!!!

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara April 26, 2010, 10:44 pm

    Yum! It looks great! Happy birthday girlie

  • Anna April 26, 2010, 11:02 pm

    Happy Birthday Caitlin! We are birthday twins…I’m 23 today 🙂 I’m still in grad school, and looking forward to the days when my bday doesn’t fall in the most stressful time of the semester !! It looks like you had an amazing day, your dinner looks delicious! I love playing with those wonton wrappers…Kristin (IowaGirlEats) has an amazing butternut squash ravioli recipe!

  • Sammi April 26, 2010, 11:18 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAITLIN!!!!!! I was sitting here doing my statistics homework and wanted to punch myself in the face when I realized I’ve gone all day without wishing you a happy birthday!
    Those sloppy joes look aaaaamazing. I really need to get back to my homework now 🙁 but I hope you had an amazing birthday!

    • Caitlin April 27, 2010, 8:59 am

      aww thank you sammi pls dont punch yourself in the face LOL

  • Wei-Wei April 26, 2010, 11:25 pm

    Congratulations! Happy Vegetarianversy AND Birthday! So much to celebrate… 😀 The dinner looks delicious! 🙂

    Hope the rest of your night is awesome! 😀


  • Kait April 26, 2010, 11:32 pm

    I’m glad you had a great birthday! Those sloppy joe’s look delicious and so simple to make, the best combination!

  • John April 26, 2010, 11:49 pm

    Happy Birthday Katie(sp?)! Last but not least catching up on your blog after 3 days away. Only 12 more posts to check out 🙂

  • Megan April 26, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing your veggie sloppy joe recipe. My friend whipped up a batch of veggie sloppy joes a while back and the remainder had gone in the freezer. Last week we pulled it out, and following your lead, I heated up two sweet potatoes and poured the sloppy joe mixture over top instead of baked beans. This was AWESOME– give it a go if you have leftovers 🙂

  • Kellie@obsessivelyhealthy April 27, 2010, 12:14 am

    I just bought some Tempeh. I was wondering what to do with it, but now I know. Happy Birthday and Vegetarianversary.

  • Jenna April 27, 2010, 12:17 am

    Happy Birthday and Vegetarianversary! Sorry I am a little late! 🙂

    I have to say you are inspiring me to consider being a full time Veg! You make it look so easy (and delicious)!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances April 27, 2010, 12:25 am

    Caitlin, your creativity in the kitchen is so inspiring and enjoyable to read about! 🙂 Being a vegetarian clearly works for you!

  • hmm April 27, 2010, 12:32 am

    it’s funny because you are one of the food bloggers who eats the least amount of vegetables.

  • Shauna April 27, 2010, 2:02 am

    Happy birthday and vegiversary! I’ll definitely try out that sloppy joe recipe. I’m tempeh-less, so I may experiment with lentils. I too am amazed by your recipe skill and fully intend to make pancake truffles soon.

    And I’m glad you appreciate all the work that goes into publishing a book! I’m a college student and work part-time at my university’s publishing company, so every time you look at a book you should also think of me, the lowly assistant who solicits reviewers and blurbers and copies giant manuscripts to send to these people 🙂

    • Caitlin April 27, 2010, 8:59 am

      thank you sweetie!

  • Shauna April 27, 2010, 2:03 am

    Also, I disagree with “hmm” above me there. You inspired me to eat a giant plate of roasted broccoli, carrots, and potatoes last night, and it was delicious. Thank you!

  • Camille April 27, 2010, 2:18 am

    Happy Veggieversary!
    Mine is in August and I am very excited 🙂

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 27, 2010, 2:57 am

    Happy Vegetarianversy!! Gosh that’s a long word…
    When you finish that book, could you do a review of it or something? I really want to learn more about vegetarianism 🙂

  • Run Sarah April 27, 2010, 4:13 am

    Happy Vegetarianversy and Birthday! Love the idea for tempeh sloppy joes, they sound awesome.

  • Julia @ British Bride April 27, 2010, 4:33 am

    I am seriously considering going veggie. I read the book Skinny bitch too and it had the same effect on me… however I found it hard to give up meat right away and went back to it “blocking out” the truth about animal treatment. I am trying to choose veggie dishes in restaurants and at lunch at the moment and tempt my tastebuds into going veggie. I think it may work for me.


  • Hedda April 27, 2010, 5:30 am

    Good that you are satisfied with your choice 🙂
    I have read Eating Animals, and it made me want to become a vegatarian. I do not know how the food industry is in Norway compared to what Safran Foer describes, but it is a very strong book. My nutritionist had serious doubts about this, as she is afraid that it will make me loose weight again.
    So, for now I am just trying to reduce my meat intake and wait till I am at a healthy weight to make any further desicions.
    Can’t wait to recieve your book in the mail, haha, I know it is a couple of months, but gah, already very excited 😀

  • Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story April 27, 2010, 5:58 am

    What a day of celebration! 🙂

    I made Vegetarian Sloppy Joes recently too! They were yummy! I called them Sloppy Fauxs. 🙂

  • Jen April 27, 2010, 6:56 am

    Happy Belated Bday and Happy Veggie Bday too! You’re a remarkable woman. Can’t wait to read your book!

  • Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) April 27, 2010, 7:01 am

    Happy birthday!! I just bought some tempeh – now I have a great recipe to try! Love real books, you can’t beat the smell and sound of turning the pages. And the dessert wontons?! Somehow I’ve missed that delish treat. You’re awesome! 🙂

  • Amanda (Amanda "runs") April 27, 2010, 7:27 am

    Happy B/V day! Cool celebration food! I love those wanton If only I was allowed to use an oven… I love the VegDay lit!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) April 27, 2010, 7:35 am

    Happy Vegetarianversy! :mrgreen:

    You’re such an inspiration for active living, healthy eating, and show such a positive mindset towards health and fitness. Keep it up, girl! 😀

  • Matt April 27, 2010, 7:51 am

    Happy birthday and vegetarianversy, Caitlin. I didn’t realize you went vegetarian on your birthday; that’s a neat thing to do.

    It’s so great to know that someone of your influence has noticed that being vegetarian can actually make doing amazing things easier, not harder. I knew it would give me more energy, but that it made me a better endurance runner was a total surprise for me.

    Looking forward to hear what you think of Eating Animals. I haven’t read it but my wife has been telling me some Earthling-esque stories from it.

    Congratulations again!

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit] April 27, 2010, 7:53 am

    happy anniversary! You make vegetarianism look so good! I’m close to being a vegetarian but haven’t fully made the switch. I’m still waiting to get those books you recommended a few posts ago and perhaps that will help!

  • rachael April 27, 2010, 7:58 am

    happy vegitarianversy! Glad you had a great day! Let us know what you think of that book.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) April 27, 2010, 8:20 am

    I love the looks of those sloppy joes! Happy veggiversary, by the way 🙂

    I want to read that book… can’t wait to hear what you think!


  • Juli D. April 27, 2010, 8:28 am

    Happy Birthday and Veggiversary! We haven’t gone full veg yet, but we’ve tried to integrate more meatless days and I love getting ideas for meals from blogs like this. Can’t wait to try some veggies sloppy Joes! 🙂

  • Danielle April 27, 2010, 8:56 am

    Caitlin, you are going to LOVE that book. I have been a vegetarian for 7 years and that book changed my life, even more than Michael Pollen. Happy birthday and veggiversary!!

  • Catherine April 27, 2010, 9:19 am

    Enjoy the book!! I just finished it a few weeks ago and it fully solidified my decision to stay vegetarian, and even cut out eggs as much as possible since I don’t really like them anyway.

  • Katie April 27, 2010, 9:22 am

    Happy (belated) birthday and vegetarianversary!

    You’re right… A TON of work goes into making just one book! I work for a publishing company and continue to be blown away by the hard it takes… so many people are involved in the process!

  • jen trinque April 27, 2010, 9:23 am

    I will be really interested in your review of Eating Animals – I saw him on Ellen and he said some really scary things.

  • Sarah April 27, 2010, 9:41 am

    Happy vege-versary (and birthday, of course)!
    Your birthday is my 4-month vege-versary, and I’m loving it so far.
    And those sloppy joes look delicious. I think my husband would like them, too:).

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place April 27, 2010, 10:04 am

    I’m a little late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  • Claire April 27, 2010, 10:05 am

    these look amazing! happy vegetarianversy! I wish I could remember mine!

  • Kate April 27, 2010, 10:17 am

    Hope you had a great birthday! Question where in the store do you normally find tempeh? Tomorrow will only be my 1 week meatless aniversary, but I guess you have to start somewhere. LOL! Thank you ever so much for sharing recipes!!

    • Caitlin April 27, 2010, 5:30 pm

      i just get in it my regular grocery store next to the tofu!

  • Rachel April 27, 2010, 10:18 am

    Happy Veggieversary! I just realized I have no idea when my actual date was that I went veggie. It was only a few weeks ago so I won’t have to do too much detective work.

    Let us know what you think of the book! I’m still waiting on the two that I ordered last week, In Defense of Food and Real Food.

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind April 27, 2010, 11:54 am

    “the last year has been so yummy” and “Yay, books!” <– best lines ever.

    I haven't said it yet, so HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY!!!

  • Maggie April 27, 2010, 3:07 pm

    Happy anniversary!!

    Don’t forget the people who work in sales at Gotham 🙂 I work in sales at another publisher, without us you couldn’t have those great links on the side of your blog.

    • Caitlin April 27, 2010, 5:31 pm

      YAY for salespersons!! 🙂 thank you!

  • Jenn ( April 27, 2010, 4:16 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try veggie sloppy joes. I’ve never had a real one to compare it to, but they sure look good!!

    Happy vegetarianversy! 😀


  • Nicki April 27, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Happy Birthday! And, congrats on your vegetarianversy.

  • Don April 27, 2010, 6:46 pm

    Happy Birthday! And, congrats on your vegetarianversy.

  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) April 30, 2010, 6:57 pm

    Just now catching up on blogs, had been traveling for 15 days and it’s been crazy since I got home. Tomorrow is 1 month since I went flexitarian (I think that’s what they call me, gave up meat except for fish/seafood, plus dairy and eggs). It has been pretty easy as far as me not missing meat but hard to really find restaurants that are vegetarian friendly. One restaurant while I was in Oklahoma went to bat for me and made me up the most awesome veggie sandwich.

    Sorry I missed wishing you a Happy Birthday! Hope your day was as special as you are.

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