Vegetables for Valentines – The Vegetable Love Round-Up

by on February 13, 2007
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Vegetable Love
Last week I challenged my readers to come up with the most sensuous, delicious, and romantic vegan Valentine’s dishes they could imagine. The only catches were that they had to be low-fat, and they had to use vegetables. Well 17 of you (and counting) rose to the challenge and cooked up some fabulous meals. Thanks to all who entered. You make vegan cooking look downright sexy! [Update: Keep 'em coming! Late entries will be added to the end of this post as they come in.]

B'couscous I love you!
B’couscous I Love You, from Amey at Vegan Eats and Treats, is a perfect Valentine’s dish. It’s light, filled with veggies, and has a cute name–what more could you want? Perhaps a salad with heart-shaped chiogga beets?

Hearty Ravioli
Chris and Harald Walker at Vegalicious went all out with the lovely Hearty Ravioli, a classic spinach ravioli floating in an Italian tomato sauce.

Lime and Coriander Rice with Tofu Hearts
Susan at Scottish Vegan shows us a variety of uses for heart-shaped cookie cutters. In addition to the Lime and Coriander Rice with Tofu Hearts shown above, she also uses them to make heart vegetables for a salad and heart fruits for dessert.

eco aesthete
Eco-aesthete offers up an easy to make stir-fry and a baked plantain dessert–quick “so you can spend more time with each other instead of at the stove.”

Red Onion And Red Wine Soup With Tomatoes, Thyme And Heart Shaped Croutons
Sher of What Did You Eat? proves that less can often be more with this lighter version of French Onion Soup: Red Onion And Red Wine Soup With Tomatoes, Thyme And Heart Shaped Croutons.

Bouquets for my Valentine
These beautiful Bouquets for my Valentine are sent to you courtesy of Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi. You might think they’re too lovely to eat… until you see the three exotic dips they’re served with!

Bulgur-Carrot Soup
Zandria at Keep Up With Me makes a Bulgur-Carrot Soup that looks heart-warming as well as heart-healthy.

Armenian Tahini Bread
Stretching the definition of “vegetable” to include sesame seeds, A Veggie Venture’s Alanna says this Armenian Tahini Bread is Armenia’s answer to cinnamon rolls. Mmmm. What Valentine’s dinner is complete without dessert?

Fatfree Artichoke & Sesame Crumble
Virginie, of Absolutely Green, got out of her sick bed to do a little research on aphrodisiacs before creating her recipe. Her Crumble d’artichauts au sésame, sans beurre, margarine ou huiles (Fatfree Artichoke & Sesame Crumble) looks like it just might do the trick! (Look for the English translation at the end.)

Ceviche
Bazu of Where’s the Revolution? comes up with not one but two special Valentine’s dishes: Vegan Ceviche, above, and Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Heart Salad with Blackberry Balsamic Syrup.

 Thai Rice Noodle & Vegetable Soup
Mandira of Ahaar presents Thai Rice Noodle & Vegetable Soup, a wonderful mix of tofu, vegetables, and rice noodles.

sweet simmered kabocha squash
We had one write-in entry. Sera found this Simmered Sweet Kabocha by Rae at Bunnyfoot simply irresistible.

Green Beans and Flageolets over Sweet Potato-Parsnip Puree
Cooking without added fats isn’t something Emily at Better Politics Through Food is used to doing, but she rose to the challenge with Green Beans and Flageolets over Sweet Potato-Parsnip Puree—and managed to use almost all the vegetables her wife will eat. Now that’s love!

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In addition to the blog entries, several recipes were posted in the comments of the announcement post and by email:

Chile offers up this yummy Pumpkin Pudding:

Creamy and smooth, sweet and satisfying. Who could ask for anything more?

Pumpkin Pudding

2 cups cooked and pureed pumpkin (Can substitute acorn squash or sweet potato.)
1 cup vanilla soymilk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Dash salt and pepper
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or maple flavoring
1/4 cup oat bran, cream of wheat (like Maltomeal), or cream of rice
Cinnamon sugar

In a blender, process all ingredients except oat bran or cereal until well blended.
Pour into a pan and mix in oatbran or cereal.
Heat until slightly bubbly, cook for 1-2 minutes, and let cool for a couple minutes.
Spoon into two bowls and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

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Jenny Cox offers a nameless dish that’s “a mix of spicy and sweet, just like the best romances.”

Ingredients:
1 large yellow onion
1 head cauliflower
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins
1 can of chickpeas
1 tsp (or to taste) red chile paste
1/2 tblspn curry powder (or more, to taste)
salt/pepper to taste

First saute the onion, sliced, in little olive oil spray in a large, nonstick skillet. While they’re softening, chop up the head of cauliflower into small florets, and add to the skillet. Saute for one minute, then add the can of tomatoes. fill the can 1/8 full with water and add that as well. Bring to a simmer, and add the curry powder and the chile paste. add at least 1 tsp salt. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the raisins and the chickpeas, and cook for another five minutes (or until the cauliflower is cooked through)

taste the sauce, and adjust the spice/curry balance as you like it, and season with a little extra salt and pepper if it needs it.

I served this over quinoa.

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Beet Cakes

Carla adapted Isa’s recipe for Beet Cakes to make it fat-free, and it sounded so good that I had to give it a try, shaped into hearts for the occasion.

2 cups peeled shredded beets (about 3 average sized beets)
1 cup peeled shredded carrot (or parsnip) (about 1 average sized carrot)
1 cup peeled shredded sweet potato (1 average sized sweet potato)
1 shallot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
½ teaspoon salt
several dashes fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped (or caraway)
1/2 cup rolled oats, quick cooking
1 cup homemade whole wheat bread crumbs, plus additional for covering

Took the grated beet and carrot and just about covered with water and cooked for 10 min until it was soft. Drained well and reserved the liquid to use for the sweet potato. Cut this into smallish cubes, cooked just covered with the liquid for 15 minutes until soft, drained (reserving liquid – I hate to throw away cooking water if I can find some use for it) and mashed with a little of the liquid. Mixed these two together and let cool for 10 minutes. To this I added the shallot and seasonings as well as 1/2 C rolled oats (quick cooking but not instant) and 1 C Homemade WW breadcrumbs. Mixed well until combined – it was a little moist but not sticky. I used a 1/4 C measuring cup and scooped out 1/4 C fulls which made a nice patty shape, covered in breadcrumbs, flattened a little and baked on a tray lined with tinfoil for 30 min at 400F, turning them after 15 minutes. They didn’t brown up or anything but were very good!!

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One more idea from Chile:

My idea I think would go well with the holiday and perhaps fit more couples. Draw out the shape of a heart on a platter. Fill in half the heart with shredded beet and half with shredded radish. Sprinkle with a nice vinaigrette (or draw an arrow through it *grin*). This would represent the two halves coming together to form a whole. One half sweet and the other spicy. :)

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Late arrivals:

Happy Valentine's Day
The Gluten-Free Vegan presents a complete Valentine’s dinner in a loving tribute to her dad.

Chocolate Cheesecake
Myloverisvegan
cooks a vegan 5 course meal, including heart-shaped Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust.

Heart
Two Vegan Sisters really heart pizza!

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Thanks to all who participated for giving us so many great vegetable dishes to choose from. I’ll be back tomorrow with a special Valentine’s Day recipe of my own!

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