Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine’s Day Recipes: Menu 1

Menu 1:

Appetizer: Raw Quinoa Tabouleh
Main Event: Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff over Tagliatelle Noodles
Dessert: Angelic Bananas with Dulce De Leche Icecream

Raw Quinoa Tabouleh:

One of the most unusual quinoa recipes I have ever come across is RAW quinoa tabouleh. It is absolutely delicious and wonderfull to bring to parties. And it is so easy!
Quinoa will sprout very willingly - however it does not like to be sitting in water. So you add just enough water so all the little seeds have access - but don’t drown it in water. It will sprout in about one day - so make your quinoa sprouts a day ahead.

Quinoa Tabouleh: You will need:

¾ cup quinoa
1 small cucumber
1 bunch fresh parsley
½ teaspoon fresh mint
1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small tomato
1 teaspoon garlic powder

The day before or even two days - if you have the time:
In a shallow bowl mix your quinoa with just enough water so that it is all wet. Make sure there is no water hidden on the bottom of your bowl, but also make sure that your quinoa doesn’t dry out - especially if the air in your house is very dry. Put the bowl in a window sill where the sun will get to it and let it sprout for 24 hours.
The day of:
Juice your lemon, chop about ½ cup fresh parsley, chop the cucumber and tomato.

Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly, and let marinate in your fridge for at least half hour before serving.

Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff over Tagliatelle Noodles

For the Stroganoff:
1 cup pasta - tagliatelle
or whatever kind you prefer

1 tub extra firm tofu
1 cup mushrooms
½ onion
½ cup cream cheese or silken tofu
(vegan version)
1 tablespoon dried mushrooms

Staples you should have at home:
½ tablespoon soysauce
1 tablespoon cooking oil
pinch of paprika
½ tablespoon dried herbs such as rosemary, majoram and thyme
1 tablespoon flour or instant mashed potatoes

1. Cover your dried mushrooms with 1/4 cup boiling water and set aside.
2. Make your pasta according to directions and meanwhile heat oil in a pan. Add minced onions to the oil and cook until golden and soft, add drained tofu and soy sauce and stir. Let cook for another two minutes and add garlic, dried herbs and fresh mushrooms. Cover and let cook for another 3 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened. 
3. Drain dried mushrooms and add to the pan reserve the soaking liquid and add that liquid to the saute a tablespoon at a time as it dries, as needed. You want medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. I always use quite a lot of pepper - I think it really complements the mushrooms. When you have used up most of the soaking liquid - turn off heat and let your mushroom saute cool for 5 minutes. Check on your pasta meanwhile.
4. Cut the cream cheese into the mushroom saute - you may need to use the remaining soaking liquid and mix it with the cream cheese to create a thick sauce. If you have a lot of sauce in your saute drain some and mix your cream cheese with that. You want a nice creamy sauce - if it is too watery balance it out with the thickener - flour, starch, instant mashed potato - use as little thickener as you can get away with, and again you may not have to use any at all.
5. Carefully reheat your mushroom saute with the cream sauce mixed in. Do not overheat or it will curdle - separate.
6. Serve mushroom stroganoff over pasta with a pinch of paprika on top for color.

This reheats really well - mushroom dishes in general taste better the next day, when the flavors were allowed to meld together for a bit, but there are very rarely any leftovers.

Angelic Bananas with Dulce De Leche Icecream

1 banana per person - unpeeled washed very well - with a deep slit made with a very sharp knife along the side
Ice cream as an accompaniment
agave nectar to garnish

Preheat oven to 400º.
Arrange bananas - unpeeled - with slit side up and bake for 15 minutes
Arrange the now blackened banana - force the slit open a bit more with a fork and serve ice-cream on top - garnish with agave nectar and serve immediately before the ice cream melts.


Singing Sparrow said...

Oh dear one-thank you for this site that I stumbled on through "Our Lady Of the Red Thread". during Lent the Orthodox people take the fasting,etc. very seriously and although I am a Mary devotee not orthodox nor even RC any more but I am ready for vegetarian living due to reduced income now that I am retired plus I am an old hippie so your site is a gift from heaven as far as I am concerned.
Love to you and I will be making deodorant and toothpaste and learning how to cook my whites.

moni said...

HI Singing Sparrow!
Yep - the whole philosophy of mine is all about living well and eating better while saving. I will buy certain things organic or not buy them at all for instance. Try the shopping plans they really work!
Yeah to old hippies - I lived in Woodstock for quite a while and I am still in driving distance.
Lots of good wishes from my corner of the world!