Vegan Valentines – ‘I’m Vegan and He’s Not’

February 11, 2009 at 12:33 am Leave a comment

Tree decorated for Valentine's Day in San Dieg...
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Question: I’m vegan, and he’s not. Is there hope for our relationship?

Answer: 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 on line for educating him. Try the Vegetarian Resource Group (www.vrg.org) 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 some ideas for a special vegan valentine’s dinner.

Cilantro Stuffed Mushrooms
Organic Mixed Greens Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Macadamia Blue Corn Crusted Tofu with Creamy Pesto Sauce over Saffron Herb Basmati Pilaf
Da Kine No Bake Chocolate Cookies
After-Dinner Aphrodisiac Elixir

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 TBL cup nama shoyu
1 ½ cups broccoli florets
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1 TBL nutritional yeast
2 TBL chopped walnuts
1 TBL pine nuts
1 TBL minced red onion
pinch salt or to taste
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne (optional)
2 TBL 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 105°F 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.

**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.

Uma’s Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

5 minutes / 2 cups
2/3 C Filtered water
½ C Olive oil
¼ C Balsamic vinegar
2½ TBL Maple syrup
1½ TBL soy sauce
1 TBL Stone ground mustard

1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well.

Saffron Herb Basmati Pilaf

45 minutes / 3-4 servings
1 ½ C filtered water or vegetable stock
¾ C Brown Basmati Rice- rinsed and drained
½  tsp saffron threads, soaked in 2 Tbl hot water
¼ cup fresh minced herbs
sea salt and pepper to taste

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.
Add saffron and soak water to rice with remaining ingredients and gently stir well.

Macadamia Cornmeal Crusted Tofu with Creamy Pesto Sauce

25 min prep / 20 min cooking / 3 cutlets
1 pound extra firm tofu
1 TBL water
2 tsp soy sauce
1 recipe Creamy Tahini Marinade (see below)
Crust
½ C Macadamias, roasted no salt
1 TBL Blue corn meal
1 TBL Coconut, shredded & toasted
1 tsp Cilantro, minced
½ tsp Cumin, toasted
¼ tsp Chili powder
Pinch Crushed red pepper flakes

  • Sea salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place soy sauce and water in a 9″ x13″ casserole dish, add tofu cutlets and allow to sit for 5 minutes before flipping. Let sit for another 5 minutes. Prepare Creamy Tahini Marinade and pour or spread over tofu cutlets. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. (Cutlets may also be marinated the day before the dish is prepared.) Place dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
2. While tofu is marinating and baking, place crust ingredients in food processor and process until chopped fine.
3. Remove tofu from oven, cover liberally with crust mixture, return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve while hot.

Creamy Tahini Marinade

3/4 cup filtered water
4 tsp soy sauce
3 TBL tahini or other nut butter
2 TBL lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic, minced, or ginger, peeled and minced – optional
-pinch cayenne

1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well.

Pesto Sauce

10 minutes / 4 servings
6 ounces silken tofu
1 ½  C Basil, tightly packed
¼ C Cashews, macadamia or pine nuts
3/4 cup Olive oil
2 TBL Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 cloves Garlic, minced
½ tsp Sea salt, or to taste
Pinch Cayenne pepper

  • Black pepper, ground to taste

1. Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.

Da Kine No Bake Chocolate Cookies

recipe courtesy Vegan Fusion World Cuisine

20 min prep / 4-5 cookies
1 C Chocolate or Carob chips, Vegan
1/4 C Raisins
¼ C Pecans or macadamia nuts, toasted
1/4 C Coconut flakes, toasted (page 194)
2 TBL Almond or peanut butter
1 Tbl 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 ¼ 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 ¼ C coconut. Refrigerate until cool.

After-Dinner Aphrodisiac Elixir

recipe courtesy Jennifer Murray and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 cup almonds
2 (3-in.) cinnamon sticks
¼ tsp whole cloves
6 green cardamom pods
1 TBL ginger, chopped small
4 cups filtered water
4 dried figs, soaked in 1 cup filtered water
2 TBL raw cacao powder
1 TBL vanilla extract
1 TBL rosewater
Pinch salt

1. Place almonds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, ginger, and 2 cups water in a blender and blend, gradually going from low speed to high speed, for 20 seconds. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Rinse the blender well and return spiced water to the blender.
2. Add figs, fig soak water, cacao powder, vanilla extract, rosewater, salt, and remaining 2 cups water. Blend on low speed for 20 to 30 seconds more or until figs are well blended.
Many foods have reputed aphrodisiac effects, including cacao, maca, pine nuts, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, almonds, licorice, raspberries, and strawberries. For good measure, you could add a full dropper of damiana tincture to this beverage. Damiana is a famed aphrodisiac from ancient times.

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Entry filed under: Question Mark, raw foods, Recipes, Vegan Lifestyles. Tags: , , .

Recipe: Creamy Basil Dressing What Exactly are Raw Foods?

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