Monday, February 11, 2013

Vegan Valentine

 Vegan Valentine

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays to get creative as a vegan chef because it features the theme of love and the opportunity to use aphrodisiac ingredients like avocados, asparagus, dates and of course... chocolate.  What better way to show someone how much you love them than by cooking a fabulous meal for them?

This intimate dinner for two began with an amuse bouche of Toast Points with Basil Oil and Sundried Tomato Butter.  This little teaser did the trick for satisfying a bread craving, despite my adherence to gluten-free.

The salad that followed was a luscious ripe Avocado Topped with Red Sand Spice Blend, Campari Tomatoes and Pea Shoots.  Even in February these were all tantalizingly flavorful.

The main course for the evening was Crispy Tofu with Horseradish Cream, Steamed Asparagus with Basil Oil, and Red and White Quinoa.

 Ohhh.... the flavors.  You'd never imagine they'd blend so well together, but they did... visually, too.

And they even looked pretty as an emulsion topped with green hearts!

The two-part dessert began with Chocolate Covered Strawberries (how could it not?) and was then to be concluded with the grand finale of a Chocolate Pudding Parfait, but instead that became breakfast the next day.  So much food!

It was fun putting these together, and you'd never guess the raw chocolate pudding was made with avocados, dates, and cocoa powder.

A fairly healthy ending to an otherwise decadent meal.

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