Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Vegan Delights

The last two days have found several new dishes in the refrigerator to enjoy in the next few days. Yesterday for lunch I made Chickpea Smash to have in sandwiches. The recipe is in one of my first blog posts(Jan. 13).

For dinner yesterday, J. made the Pasta with Fresh 5-Minute Roasted Red Pepper Pesto from La Dolce Vegan. This is so easy & fast, I even tried it cold for lunch today and it was just as delicious.

All you do is blend 3/4 C roasted red peppers (drained), 1/3 C walnuts (we were out so he used Brazil nuts), 1/2 C fresh basil, 1/4 C fresh parsley, and 1 garlic clove (he used 2—1 is better) in a food processor or blender (we used the food processor). Then while blending slowly add 1/4 C olive oil. Cook any pasta (he used rotini), drain it, then return to pot. Add the pesto to the noodles & toss well. So good!

I had to work all day today so I also got a homemade dinner tonight. What could be a better Valentine’s gift? He made a Risotto-Style Barley recipe from a really neat cookbook, Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. It’s not a vegan cookbook but it’s full of so many whole food recipes that I couldn’t resist. Instead of barley, he made it with farro, which according to the book, is an ancient grain from Mesopotamia. The recipe is quite involved but, if you want the recipe, contact me & I’ll be happy to email it to you. If you get the book, it’s on page 68. My husband did make one mistake, though. He purchased an almond-based cheese from Nutri-Foods that he thought was vegan but he didn’t read the ingredients closely enough. It is made with casein, which comes from milk and I could taste it. We thought it would be just as good without any cheese but then it wouldn’t have been creamy, or a risotto for that matter which is always made with cheese. I have not liked any vegan cheese out there so I do without but J. wanted to experiment so…

But the best part was dessert. You just gotta have some chocolate on Valentine’s Day, right? From the December 2008 issue of Cooking Light magazine (pg. 268), he made Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes. Instead of egg he used soft tofu. Here’s the recipe:

3/4 C all-purpose flour

2/3 C unsweetened cocoa

5 tsp instant espresso powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 C unsalted soy butter (omit salt if using soy butter with salt added)

2/3 C sugar

2/3 C packed brown sugar

1 C soft tofu

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 (2.6 oz) bar dark (71%) chocolate, finely chopped

2 tbsp powdered sugar

1) Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, salt

2) Beat butter w/mixer at medium speed 1 min. Add sugars & soft tofu & beat till well blended (about 5 min.). Fold flour mixture into sugar mix; fold in chocolate. Divide batter among 10 4-oz ramekins (we don’t have so he just used a round glass pie dish); arrange on a jellyroll pan. Cover & refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days

3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4) Let ramekins stand at room temperature 10 min. Uncover & bake for 21 min. or until cakes are puffy & slightly crusty on top. Sprinkle evenly w/powdered sugar; serve immediately.


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