Over the years it has become a tradition that I cook a special Valentine’s meal for the Hubz. Our first Valentine’s meal that I created for the Hubz was on the Valentine’s of 2007 and I decided that this year I would attempt to recreate that meal. I luckily blogged about the meal back then and was able to help me in remembering exactly what I created as well as see how far I have come.
Back in 2007 I made a 5 course meal that even included RC Cola with heart shaped ice cubes. I re-created the entire meal on Friday night with the exception of the dessert which I was lacking on time to make. Take a look at then and now:
One of the dishes I made on our first Valentine’s Day was roasted red pepper soup; a recipe that I had found on VegCooking.com and now looking back at the recipe I am appalled at how much vegan margarine was in the recipe- gross. For mine this year all I did was saute a diced onion and two diced carrots in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until soft and then added two cups of vegetable broth and brought a simmer for 15 minutes. I then purred it with 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper and added a splash of unsweetened almond milk. Not only is the recipe better and healthier but it looks better too.
Next is the sun-dried tomato pesto pasta- a dish that I made back in 2007 using oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning. This year I made a twist on things; I soaked 5 sun-dried tomatoes and 1 dried chipotle pepper in hot water until soft and added it too a mini chopper with 1/4 cup of walnuts, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1Tbsp olive oil, 1Tbsp nutritional yeast and about 2-3Tbsp of the soaking water. I tossed the pesto with Jovial Fusilli whole grain pasta. Now this was a huge improvement over my first attempt at sun-dried tomato pesto and the Hubz loved the auce which I will be recreating with a more detailed recipe for the blog.
So this is the dish that I think made some of the biggest improvements, it went from mushroom stuffed crescent rolls to mushroom pate puffs. I sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic and a little sweet soy, white pepper and salt and then processed until smooth. I spread half the mixture out onto a rolled out piece of puffed pastry and then rolled it up, cut and baked. Easy as that but fancier, tastier and better for you.
For the last dish I made stuffed portobello mushrooms that I marinated in balsamic vinaigrette and stuffed with a mixture of sauteed Gimme Lean Sausage, Italian breadcrumbs (whole foods brand is vegan) and the second half of the mushroom puree. Then I baked at 400F for about 20 minutes. They came out wonderfully.
My Valentine’s Do Over was a fun way to bring us back to our first Valentine’s Day and have a giggle over my blog post from back then and how far my cooking and blogging has come.