Howdy! I’m back from my long Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend and I have lots of wonderful eats and treats to share…
Last time I wrote, I told you that I’d be heading to a vegan “Pre-Valentine’s Day” dinner hosted by the Boston Vegetarian Society on Wednesday night. Well, I went, and had a wonderful time!
But…my pictures of the meal are not so bueno. The lighting was super-dim and some of the food just didn’t present nicely. So I’ll only share the half-decent ones.
Beets stuffed with agave-sweetened vegan yogurt, apple & walnut melange…I loved the yogurt stuffing but wished there was more of it!
Peanut butter cheesecake with a white chocolate drizzle. I ate every bite.
Unfortunately that’s it for the photos that are the bare minimum of post-worthy. But I can tell you that the seitan curry entree was a standout! However, while trying to be calorie-conscious, I took about half of it to go…and then left my takeout box on top of the parking machine in Alewife station. I nearly cried when I got home 20 minutes later and realized this. My only comfort is imagining that someone hungry found it and appreciated it.
Anyway as we all know, Friday was the big V Day! H and I are not the type of couple that needs to make big Valentine’s Day plans and give extravagant gifts each year, but we do like to do a little something to acknowledge the day. This year, I decided to make a nice dinner for us to enjoy at home, rather than deal with trying to get a reservation somewhere for a Friday night Valentine’s Day. No thanks.The setup
Our meal started with a salad of organic mixed greens, strawberries, cucumbers, and toasted almonds, with a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette.
To make the vinaigrette, warm some balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan, then add some dark chocolate and stir until it’s melted. Season with oregano. I didn’t take exact measurements but I’d guess it was about 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup chocolate (I used vegan chocolate chips), and 1/4 tsp. oregano. It was so delicious, especially paired with the strawberries!
The vegan entree (mine) was grilled marinated tofu (using this marinade):
Check out those Chopped-worthy grill marks!
With mashed red bliss potatoes and Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts (using this incredible, lick-your-spoon recipe from Fo Reals Life) on the side:
H had the same side dishes next to a non-vegan offering. Obviously no one cares about that so here is a picture of my beautiful plate:
The tofu became way more brown because I actually grilled it the day before and then reheated it in the convection oven while I got the rest of the meal components ready.
To drink, we had wine and cranberry-lime seltzer with these babies tossed in:
I first noticed a link for some adorable ice cube hearts on Celeste’s blog last week, so then when I saw this ice cube tray on sale for $1.99, I figured what the hell. I used fresh cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate probably would have been cuter but why spend extra dough when I already had cranberries? H loved it regardless.
Finally, dessert! I went with Dreena Burton’s Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding (click for recipe) with Candied Orange Peel on top (I used this recipe from Epicurious).The pudding was delicious, but it was also SO RICH that I could only eat half of it! Note that I did add a generous drizzle of agave nectar while making it because I found that the recipe as written was a little too bitter/tart for my taste (even using honey bell oranges!).
The candied orange peel was an awesome touch (if I do say so myself!). H called it “nature’s Sour Patch Kids” and while this is high praise, the 2 lbs. of sugar and intensive preparation that go into producing these is probably something best reserved for very special occasions.
Everyone was posting suggestions for V-Day eats last week, but I’m dying to know what you actually had! Or, if you didn’t celebrate, what other fun stuff did you get up to over the long weekend? Leave it in the comments 🙂