Tuesday, April 17, 2012

...or is that the smell of exhaustion and baby poo?  Oh well.  In an effort to post a Valentines menu BEFORE Valentines Day, Ryan and I had an early Valentines dinner.  I had this idea in my head of stunning pictures of my romantic table spread where the vibrant colors of the raspberries in the parfait glowed and the lemon twist on my martini glistened against the backdrop.  Let's just say I failed miserably! 

We put the kids to bed early and I started cooking.  We set our romantic bistro table up with candles and set out the food - only to be insanely disappointed by the pictures.  I am apparently not a photographer!  (Soo..the pics here are my leftovers in the daylight!)

I've always wanted to plan a Valentines Day meal.  We usually go out and I was excited at the challenge to create a visually appealing meal that was also not too rich or heavy on the belly and contained a plethora of popular aphrodisiacs.  The aphrodisiac food I included in the meal are: avocados, almonds, asparagus, garlic (Yes!  even garlic is an aphrodisiac!  Your partner wont care about your garlic breath is you both have it!  It cancels each other out.), raspberries and last but not least: ROSE!

The menu: (items in pink are believed to be aphrodisiacs!)

Spinach Salad with Bitchin' Dressing, Avocado slices and slivered Almonds.
Portobella Asparagus Pasta (Gluten Free - with Red Pepper Flakes & Garlic!)
Raspberry Cheesecake Parfaits
Lemon Rose Martini

Mouth watering yet?  Here are the recipes:

Spinach Salad with Bitchin' Dressing, Avocado slices and slivered Almonds.3 C fresh organic spinach
1/4 C Bitchin' Dressing2 Tbsp raw slivered almonds
1/4 of one haas avocado, sliced into 4 sections

Toss dressing with spinach and divide among 2 plates.  Top each with 2 avocado slices and 1 Tbsp slivered almonds.  To kick it up even more, use baby arugula instead of spinach.  (I would have if my husband liked arugula!)

Portobella Asparagus Pasta
2 Tbsp high heat cooking oil (Canola, coconut or avocado)
1 C sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 lb asparagus, broken in half, woody ends discarded
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to turn up the heat!)
1/4 c red wine
1 package Gluten Free Linguini (I like quinoa linguini), cooked according to package
1/4 C Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (of good quality!)
S&P to taste

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms, asparagus, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Stir occasionally about 5 minutes until mushrooms and asparagus begin to soften.  Add red wine and cover another 5 minutes.  

Turn heat off and toss veggies with pasta and olive oil.  Serve immediately.

Raspberry Cheesecake Parfaits
1 Package Soft Silken Tofu
4oz (Just eyeball and cut down the middle of the tub) Vegan cream cheese
1/3 C powdered organic sugar
1/3 C organic sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/3 C Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C frozen organic raspberries

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the raspberries and graham cracker crumbs. 
Put 2 Tbsp Graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of each of 2 wine or martini glasses.  Top each with about 1/4 of the cheesecake filling and then with several raspberries.  Top each with the remaining cracker crumbs, and then another layer of cheesecake filling and raspberries.  Chill in the fridge for several hours, or if serving sooner, chill in the freezer for 30 minutes or so.

Now for the fun part!  BTW: I took about a dozen pictures and couldn't get a damn one to look good in the lighting!  Also - the lemon spiral was quite a fiasco and something I need to work on!  Lol

Lemon Rose MartiniJuice of 2 lemons
3/4 C Organic Vodka
1 Tbsp Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp Rosewater
2 Tbsp Raw sugar or organic sugar

In a cocktail shaker over ice, add lemon juice, vodka, agave and rosewater.  Now shake it like a salt shaker!  Then, for the perfect rim job, use the leftover lemon to run along the rim of each martini glass.  Then, with the sugar in a shallow dish, dip each glass in.  Voila!
Garnish with a lemon spiral.


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