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Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner Idea

Valentine’s day is coming up this Tuesday, and I wanted to post some recipes for a delicious meal that’s appropriate for any day that deserves celebrating.  I will be making a special dinner for my husband, and decided to share the menu with you.
During a usual week we tend to eat lots of lentils, beans, tofu, steamed vegetables, sweet potatoes or yams, rice and other healthy grains, such as quinoa or barley.
I tend to prefer simplicity in the kitchen, but I wanted to make the Valentine’s day dinner a bit more sophisticated and elegant than the weekly dishes we eat. This menu is still simple, nutritious and tasty!

Appetizer

Tossed green salad with walnuts, beets, and cranberries

Main Course

Crepes with mushroom filling
Stuffed tomatoes with vegetables and wild rice

Dessert

Dark chocolate mousse with strawberries

Tossed green salad
Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 c. mixed baby greens
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries
  • 1/2 small-medium beet
  • 2 tbs white balsamic pear infused vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 3/4 tsp honey or agave syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Boil or steam one small beet (around 2″ in diameter) until toothpick goes in easily. Cool and peel off the skin. Cut into half circles. Whisk together the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Toss with all of the ingredients right before serving.

Crepes with mushroom filling (from allrecipes.com)
Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/2 c. soy milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. melted soy margarine (or butter)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
*This recipe is egg and dairy free, but traditional crepes will work well for this dish as well.
Preparation 
In a large mixing bowl, blend soy milk, water, 1/4 cup margarine, sugar, syrup, flour, and salt. Cover and chill the mixture for 2 hours.
Lightly grease a 5 to 6 inch skillet with some soy margarine. Heat the skillet until hot. Pour approximately 3 tablespoons batter into the skillet. Swirl to make the batter cover the skillet’s bottom. Cook until golden, flip and cook on opposite side.

Mushroom filling (from foodnetwork.com)
Ingredients 

  • 3 tbs soy butter (or dairy butter)
  • 1 pound of wild or baby portabello mushrooms
  • 2 thyme springs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 c. soy milk (or heavy cream)
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbs white flour (if using soy milk)

Preparation
Heat the soy butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushrooms and thyme sprigs; saute until the mushrooms are golden, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tbs flour and saute until the flour is well distributed. Season with salt and pepper and add soy milk; toss to warm through, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add parsley.

Fold crepes in half and place neatly on a large plate garnished with parsley. Serve filling in a bowl with a ladle or spoon. Each person “builds” their own crepe.

Stuffed Tomatoes (from about.com)
Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbs vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1/3 c. green peas, cooked
  • 2/3 c. cooked rice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice (I use non-dairy cheese, but any kind will work great) plus extra for topping
  • 4 medium large tomatoes
Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare tomatoes by slicing a bit off the top, then scooping out the inner pulp. Place each tomato in a muffin tin, or, slice a bit off the bottom to create a flat surface and place on a baking sheet.
Sautee the onion and green bell pepper in oil until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add peas, rice and garlic and onion powder, stirring to combine, then remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup grated vegan cheese.
Gently fill each tomato with the rice and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle a bit of extra  cheese on the top of each tomato.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until tomatoes are cooked and cheese is melted.
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Dark chocolate mousse (from The Compassionate Cook cookbook)
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 pound soft (silken) tofu
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • Fresh berries (optional)
*I will be substituting carob powder with additional 1/4 cup of cocoa.
Preparation

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until creamy.

Pour the mousse into parfait glasses or individual dessert bowls and chill. Garnish with berries and extra cocoa if desired.

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Fresh fruit will also be served as part of dessert.
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One more thing: remember that the most important ingredient in the kitchen is love.
Healthy Valentine’s Day!
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Olivia