Love Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day - the day of love.  I felt really lucky and loved from my friends, family and Zach (boyfriend).

I don't consider Valentine's Day to be just about romance (even though it's a nice addition), but I feel most importantly, it's a day to simply love.  Love yourself, love the ones around you and love the life your living. Even though I worked during the day, it was still a special day and work wasn't even that bad.  It seemed like everyone was in festive spirits and the smell of fresh flowers was floating all around.

I even got my very own fresh bunch to smell when I got home.

This year Zach and I decided to stay in and cook together instead of go out for the holiday. Even though we often cook together, I was still excited to create a menu with an extra dose of love.

Here's what we made:

Fresh Berries Dipped in Chocolate Syrup
The chocolate syrup recipe is from  I substituted agave nectar with 1/4 cup maple syrup and used 1/4 cup soy milk instead of water.  Serve with berries of your choice, I picked strawberries and raspberries.  I decided to serve the berries and syrup in my crystal martini glasses. (fancy)

Portobello Mushroom Steaks with Cauliflower Mash and Curried Swiss Chard 
The Mushroom Steaks are from  I added 1/4 cup of red wine instead of the sherry. The Swiss Chard was inspired by Happy Herbivore and the Cauliflower Mash was inspired by my mom - recipes for both will follow below.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake 
I swear, I don't get all my recipes from HH! Even though its a great source, I mostly make up my own. I guess I was extra inspired by Lindsay's recipes yesterday.  Anyways, the recipe is here, She calls the recipe "Pumpkin Swirl Brownies" but I actually used it as a cake.  I substituted the cup of raw sugar and cup of light brown sugar with 1 cup maple syrup.  I also left out the plain soy yogurt and used 6 oz additional applesauce. Also, I shortened the bake time to 35-45min (or until a toothpick comes out clean). To make it easier on myself, I simply put all the ingredients into a big bowl and mixed (instead of doing the swirl process).  After the cake cooled, I then topped it with the Chocolate Syrup (from above) and added fresh raspberries.  The red contrasts so beautifully with the dark chocolate color, they also give a nice clean bite to the rich chocolate.   Zach rarely eats dessert - I was pleasantly surprised to see him eat his whole piece after finishing his plate of dinner.

Curried Swiss Chard
Inspired by
Serves 4 or 2 w leftovers
  • 2 bunches swiss chard - chiffonade
  • 1/2 yellow onion - diced
  • 2 carrots - coarsely shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes (I like extra spicy, go lighter if you're a whip)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground almond butter
  • 1 fresh mango - cut into thin sticks
Heat up large sauté pan and dry sauté onions and chili flakes. Lower heat to medium and add orange juice, almond butter, curry powder and carrots, cook for 5 minutes.  Add the chard and cook until softened (about 5min).  Add mangoes and stir until well combined - don't cook the mangoes too long.  Serve immediately or reheated when ready to serve.

Cauliflower Mash
Inspired by my mom, Robin
Serves 4
  • 1 head cauliflower - cut into large pieces
  • 2 yellow potatoes
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
In a medium sized pot, add cauliflower and potatoes - fill with water and cook until boiled. Drain water from cauliflower and potatoes.  Throw potatoes, cauliflower and all other ingredients into VitaMix® or a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  Garnish with fresh thyme.


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