Friday, February 5, 2010

A Very Yummy Valentine's Day

Yep, we have arrived once again to the day of hugs, kisses, chocolate and all around romance. For some this is a nauseating and even infuriating Hallmark holiday while others live for the hearts filled with sweets & gestures of love. Either way, in year's past I have illustrated ways to make your accompanied, as well as unaccompanied, Valentine's day a healthy and eco hit.  You can check out past tips & recipes right here and here ; )

But for a few quick eco &/or healthy gift ideas, check out the Valentine's Gift Guide at as well as some of these unique goodies:
  • Thrive Fitness by Brendan Brazier - Show the one you love that you want them around for a long time! The book just came out & is a great idea for the one you love.The couple who works out together, stays together!
  • Eco-Panda Swimsuit - A great bikini for the upcoming swim season will be a sure hit for the lady in your life. And she'll love you for finding a cute, sexy & super eco-friendly suit ; )
  • Sovereign Earth Water Bottles - For the adventurous sweetheart in your life, this is the perfect thing. These bottles are not only healthy  & eco (no bpa, no plastic, no leaching) but they have built in filters that can save you from harmful chemicals, bacteria and more. Take this baby camping, hiking wherever, and your water supply will always be pure & drinkable. Keeping your honey safe is just another way to say I Love You ; )
This year I'm getting right to the recipes because some may choose to drown themselves in indulgent food, alone, until the morning of the 15th while others might want to share it. Either way, no sense in blowing your New Year's resolutions whether you're happy or sad, so at least enjoy yumminess with these healthier than usual V-Day treats!:

Passionate Pomegranate
6 ounces organic vodka (remove for a non-alcoholic beverage)
2 ounces seltzer
4 ounces Triple Sec (remove for a non-alcoholic beverage)
4 ounces pomegranate juice
2 lemons, juiced
1 pomegranate, seeded

Combine vodka, seltzer, Triple Sec, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker over ice; shake. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with pomegranate seeds.

My Heart "Beets" For You Salad
1 bunch of beets (4-5), leaves removed
2 large navel oranges, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of arugula leaves, cleaned, and stems removed
Sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
(mix all the ingredients in a glass container)

Salad Prep
Cook the beets with their peel on. Cover the beets with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes or until beets can easily be pierced through with a fork.  After cooking, allow the beets to come to room temperature and remove their peels and then slice them. Place them in a small bowl and marinate them in half of the dressing recipe above. On individual salad plates place the arugula, a few slices of orange, a few beets, a few slices of red onion and some chopped walnuts. Sprinkle dressing over the individual salads.

Sweetie "Shepherd's" Pie
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 large carrots
2 T thyme chopped
1 cup red wine
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
2 vegetable stock boulion cubes
1 16 oz can green lentils
4 cups sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into chunks
2 T vegan butter
1/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese, grated

Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion until golden. Add the carrots and all but a sprinkling of thyme. Pour in the wine, 3/4 cups of water and the tomatoes, then sprinkle in the stock cubes and simmer for 10 mins. Tip in the can of lentils, including their juice, then cover and simmer for another 10 mins until the carrots still have a bit of bite and the lentils are pulpy. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes for 15 mins until tender, drain well, then mash with the butter and season to taste. Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, spoon the mash on top, then sprinkle over the cheese and remaining thyme. The pie can now be covered and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for up to a month.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook for 20 mins if cooking right away, or for 40 mins from chilled, until golden and hot all the way through.

You Make Me Melt Molten Chocolate Cake
5 - 6 ounces dark chocolate
6 T vegan butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg replacers
1/2 cup flour
Vegan whipped or ice cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease four 4-ounce custard cups. In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Stir in sugar. In a small bowl, lighly beat egg the replacer. Add some chocolate mixture to eggs to temper eggs. Carefully, stir "egg" mixture into chocolate mixture. Add flour and combine completely. Add batter to custard cups. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Centers should be soft but sides should be done. Invert cups on individual serving plates. Remove cups after 2 minutes. Serve warm with whipped or ice cream.

Make it special no matter who you may be with - your sweetheart, your friends or yourself - after all, every day is what we make it & if we love ourselves first & foremost, then all the rest is gravy ; ) Happy Valentine's Day!!