With Valentine’s Day just moments away, have you got a fabulous evening planned? Sure, it’s always nice to hit the town and enjoy a fab meal someone else, preferably a renowned chef, has prepared just for you, but why not take to your own kitchen and whip up an amazing, romantic meal on your own?
VegNews magazine (I get the e-version…it’s truly green and just as informative) had some great recipes, some of which I’ve listed below. As for me? I think dinner will be decadent vegan gourmet chocolates and some stellar red wine…whatever you choose, enjoy it!
Rapini with Figs, Garlic, & Pine Nuts
By Robin Robertson
1 pound rapini or broccoli rabe, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/3 cup fresh or dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Coarsely chop the rapini and cook in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add figs and pine nuts and cook until pine nuts are lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
Stir in reserved rapini and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired. Serve hot.
By Carol Hee Barnett
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1-1/4 cups arborio rice
2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated soy Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Soak the dried porcini in the boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.
In a medium-size skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute.
Transfer the shallots and garlic to a 3 1/2- to 4- quart slow cooker. Add the rice, stirring to coat it with oil. Stir in all the mushrooms, the reserved soaking liquid, stock, wine, thyme and salt, cover, and cook on high for about 2 hours, until all liquid is absorbed.
About 5 minutes before the risotto is finished, stir in the soy cheese and parsley and season with pepper. To serve, spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and serve hot.
4 ripe organic avocados
3/4 to 1 cup raw agave nectar, to taste
1/2 to 3/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, this will vary according to the cocoa powder used
3 tablespoons raw almond butter OR 1/4 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons natural vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch Celtic sea salt
Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. You may need to use your tamper or spatula, scrape the sides of the blender and pulse a few times. This mixture gets very thick.
Spoon into glasses and chill for a couple of hours before serving. YUM!
Makes: 4 to 6 servings, Preparation time: 5 minutes + refrigeration time