Have A Vegan Valentine’s Feast
posted by Veronica, selected from Intent.com Feb 7, 2010
By Chef Mark Reinfeld, Intent.com
You’re vegan, and the person you love is not. Is there hope for the relationship?
Love is a mysterious thing. Sometimes it’s a case of “birds of a feather flocking together,” other times it’s the “opposites attract” phenomena. If love and respect are present in the relationship, there is usually space to accept each others differences. On the other hand, if you are cringing every time you eat a meal together, it’s important to discuss your feelings.
A lot of it depends on why you are going vegan. If you are vegan for health reasons, it may be relatively easy for you to accept your partners eating habits. If you are vegan for animal rights issues, or even environmental reasons, it will likely be more of a struggle.
If your partner is open to learning about why you eat the way you do, there are many resources available online for educating him. Try the Vegetarian Resource Group
for starters. The best way however to introduce your partner to your lifestyle choice is to prepare delicious vegan food if he is open to trying it. It is an amazing way to demonstrate that going vegan can be a fulfilling and exciting way to live, without any sense of deprivation.
Here are a few ideas for a special vegan Valentine’s dinner.
Cilantro Stuffed Mushrooms
Recipe courtesy Jennifer Murray and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw.
Yield: 4 mushrooms. Prep time: 25 minutes. Dehydrate time: 20 minutes (optional).
4 large crimini or button mushrooms
1 cup nama shoyu
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tbsp. minced red onion
Pinch salt or to taste
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne (optional)
2 tbsp. chopped small celery
1. Remove stems from mushroom caps and set aside.
2. Pour shoyu into a bowl and roll mushroom caps around to coat. Arrange caps on a plate and either set aside or, if dehydrating, put plate in a dehydrator at 105F for 20 minutes.
3. Pour remaining shoyu into the bowl of a food processor with mushroom stems, broccoli, cilantro, olive oil, nutritional yeast, walnuts, pine nuts, onion, salt, pepper, and cayenne (if using). Process on high speed for 40 to 60 seconds or until a uniform pate forms (some chunks are okay). Transfer mixture to a bowl.
4. Add celery to pate and stir well.
5. Scoop pate into mushroom caps, forming a rounded top. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a glass or plastic container with a tightly closed lid. Mushrooms will keep in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days.
Note: Use crimini mushrooms if you like the earthy flavor of mushrooms and can find them in a large size. If you prefer a milder mushroom, get button mushrooms. Small mushrooms work great, too, but you’ll need twice as many.
Saffron Herb Basmati Pilaf
Prep time: 45 minutes. Yield: 3-4 servings.
1 C filtered water or vegetable stock
1 C Brown Basmati Rice rinsed and drained
1 tsp. saffron threads, soaked in 2 tbsp. hot water
1/2 C fresh minced herbs
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring rice and liquid to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 40 minutes.
2. Add saffron and soak water to rice with remaining ingredients and gently stir well.
Da Kine No-Bake Chocolate Cookies
Recipe courtesy Vegan Fusion World Cuisine.
Prep time: 20 minutes. Yield: 4-5 cookies.
1 C chocolate or carob chips, vegan
1/4 C raisins
1 C pecans or macadamia nuts, toasted
1/4 C coconut flakes, toasted
2 tbsp. almond or peanut butter
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract, alcohol free
1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder
Pinch cardamom powder
1. Place chocolate chips in double boiler on medium high heat until chips are melted, stirring frequently. Place in a large bowl.
2. Set aside 1/8 C of the toasted coconut to sprinkle on top of cookies. Add remaining ingredients to the melted chocolate and mix well.
3. Shape cookies into hearts and place on a parchment paper lined or well oiled baking sheet. Top with remaining 1/8 C coconut. Refrigerate until cool.
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