Valentine’s Day has come and gone. We’re sure most of you shared a lovely, indulgent meal with your loved one. For this post we decided to showcase a romantic VEGAN meal for two! Romantic meals aren’t limited to Valentine’s Day. Why not surprise your loved one with a healthy vegan meal like this? For this post we prepared a veggie tart, a fresh roasted tomato and olive salad, sweet potato filled ravioli with a sage “butter” sauce, and chocolate mousse!
Sun-dried Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart
This tart was very simple to prepare.
All you’ll need to do is find a pre made vegan puff pastry. Borg’s is a great brand. You can also make some from scratch using vegan butter!
So first you will bake the puff pastry. This was baked at 400 degrees for about ten minutes. This will go back in the the oven later with the toppings on it!
After you bake the puff pastry, you’ll want to add your toppings! For this tart we sauteed some onions:
We also used vegan cream cheese and sun dried tomatoes!
Place all of the toppings on the tart and then bake again for about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve!
We placed some fresh thyme on top as well! A tart is a easy and fun to customize. The topping possibilities are endless and will make a simple meal or appetizer! A tart would also make a great dessert by adding the vegan cream cheese and some fresh fruit on top!
Roasted Tomato and Olive Salad
This AMAZING, simple salad is PACKED with so many flavors and like the tart, it is very simple to make.
Raw tomatoes would have been fine to use in this recipe as well, but roasting the tomatoes brings out a wonderful, rich, savory flavor in the tomatoes.
Roasting the tomatoes can be a little time consuming based upon your preference for how “roasted” you like them. Here at Ginger and Spice, we prefer a well roasted tomato that has just begin to char in the oven.
In our excitement, we failed to take and before and after picture of the roasted tomatoes! Once those babies come out of the oven, it’s difficult to resist eating them straight off the pan!
We mixed a pint of roasted grape tomatoes with a can of black olives, and a jar of mixed Greek olives.
For an extra bit of flavor, we added some thinly sliced white onion:
Not too much, but enough to add a bite and little crunch!
For even MORE flavor, fresh basil was chopped and thrown in as well!
To finish it off, we tossed everything with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar! So simple and so good! Again, a salad like this is easy to customize! We literally threw in ingredients that we knew would compliment one another. It worked out well!
Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage Butter
These little beauties were fun to make and SO DELICIOUS!
Making pasta at home is easy if you have the right tools! This was our first time making homemade pasta, and it was a bit of an experiment but we think it turned out well.
We used gluten free flour and xanthan gum as the base for this pasta. It held up surprisingly well! We mixed two cups of the flour with one cup of warm water, about a 1/2 a cup of applesauce(in place of eggs) along with 1/4 cup of xantham gum. After the dough is mixed you’ll want to wrap it up in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill to make it easier to work with later when you’re ready to shape it and fill it.Keep in mind that traditional pasta is made using eggs and semolina flour. The dough we used here IS doughy and will not have the identical consistency to normal pasta. But the texture we ended up with was delicious none the less!
After the dough had time to chill, it was time to roll it out and fill it!
We found some beautiful organic white sweet potatoes for our filling!
Peel those babies, chop em’ up and throw them in a pot of water and bring to boil and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender. Once the potatoes are tender, drain them and mash away! Mash away or throw them in a food processor! We pulsed ours in a food processor with a little bit of vegetable broth to add a bit of savory flavor to the sweet potato.
Okay back to the pasta!
To add more savory flavor to our ravioli, we used some vegan ricotta cheese! Tofutti makes a delicious “ricotta”! We placed little dabs of the ricotta on the pasta and then finished with the dab of the sweet potato filling! Since it was both our first time making and filling pasta, we found that it is very easy to overfill! But we had fun with it, and were okay with having big pieces of ravioli!
We left room so that when the pasta was cut, we would be able to fold one end over the other and use a fork to close all of the edges!
Once the pasta is filled and ready to go you’ll want to throw it is a pot of boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. If your pasta is overfilled, or not closed properly, some of the filling can come out of the pasta. that happened with a few pieces, but you live and learn!
After the pasta has had the opportunity to cook in the boiling water, we placed it in a hot pan with the sage “butter” to saute and pick up more flavor!
Just use vegan butter and fresh sage for the final saute!
We gave the ravioli a sprinkle of paprika and garnished with fresh sage!
and to finish this delicious experiment of a meal:
This isn’t your typical chocolate mousse. In fact, chances are that you could NEVER guess what this mousse it made from. Until we began researching recipes for vegan chocolate mousse we would have never guessed either!
Are you ready to know what it is?
Okay. This mousse is NOT made from garbanzo beans.
It is made from the liquid from the canned garbanzo beans!
Often referred to as aquafaba, this liquid whips up as well as egg whites and cream!
This recipe is super easy!
This is the liquid we started with:
That liquid is from two 15 oz cans of organic garbanzo beans. You will absolutely need an electric mixer to whip up the aquafaba.
The recipe we used for this mousse can be found here.
You will add a sweetener of your choice to the aquafaba then begin mixing at low speed for about a minute. Gradually increase speed to whip up the liquid. You will end up beating the liquid for about 10 minutes! The cream of tartar is used to help the mousse set up, and to help it stay firm. You’ll want to mix that in during the last few minutes.
Here are pictures of the progress:
Getting fluffier already!
Just like egg whites or cream, you’ll want to beat this liquid until peaks form!
While the liquid is whipping up, you’ll want to melt your chocolate!
We used a dark chocolate and melted it using a bain marie on the stove. You will want the melted chocolate to cool slightly before folding it into the mousse.
So you’ll gently fold the melted chocolate into the mousse until it’s all combined! We found that little bits of the chocolate solidified once we poured it into the mousse. It did not affect the taste of the mousse, and the little bits melted as soon as you placed the mousse in your mouth!
You will want to refrigerate the mousse for a few hours before serving.
Look how light and fluffy it is!
So while this meal was mostly an experiment, we are very pleased with the results!
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