Food & Recipes
Skip the crowded restaurants this year and spend quality time with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Whether you're a vegan or an omnivore, your own kitchen can turn into your own private romantic setting.  Spending time in the kitchen creates an experience the two of you can share. Cooking creates a memory that the two of you share and adds another page to the story of the relationship.  Set your table with your fanciest tableware, light a candle, and enjoy your delicious 3-course meal you made together.  (Omnivores: skip past the Vegetarian/Vegan Menu for a version just for you.)  Vegetarian/Vegan Menu:   Course 1: Warm Kale Salad with Squash and Pomegranates  INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 large bunch (about 6 cups) kale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small a corn squash
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove kale from stems, rinse, and pat dry.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, & dijon mustard. Stir in minced shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Add kale to the bowl, and massage kale leaves. Set aside.
  4. Cut the acorn squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds, then slice in ¼ inch slices horizontally. Place on a baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning half way through, until browned and fork tender.
  5. The last 3 minutes, place kale directly on top of the squash and drizzle any remaining dressing. Cook to just let the kale wilt, and warm through.
  6. Toss kale and squash in a large bowl. Top with pomegranate seeds and pecans.
  7. Serve warm.
Course 2: Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, stems removed
  • ½ cup unsalted walnuts
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese or Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 lemon, juice and zested
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Jovial Gluten Free Pasta box
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath and a colander. Blanch the Swiss chard in the boiling water until tender, about 2 minutes. Shock immediately in the ice water. Drain by squeezing the leaves in a ball in a clean kitchen cloth.
  2. In a food processor, add the cooked Swiss chard, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ¾ cup olive oil. Pulse until the mixture breaks down. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the grape tomatoes and saute about 5 minutes until tomatoes begin to burst. Add the 2 cups of the Swiss chard walnut pesto (there will be some leftover) and heat through. Toss with the cooked pasta.
  5. Top with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
*Makes about 3 cups of pesto. Reserve leftovers in the refrigerator for about a week or freeze into an ice cube tray for later use.  Course 3: Healthy Cookie Dough BitesINGREDIENTS:
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons oat flour
  • 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil(optional) sprinkles
  1. In a food processor (or high powered blender) combine chickpeas, peanut butter, maple syrup, and oat flour. (if you find the batter is still too "wet" add an additional tablespoon of oat flour)
  2. Remove the mixture from food processor into a bowl and fold in chocolate chips. Scoop about a tablespoon size of the dough into small balls and place on a plate lined with parchment paper.  Put in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to harden.
  3. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, add dark chocolate and coconut oil. Stir until silky smooth.
  4. Dip each cookie dough ball into the dark chocolate and dip until fully coated. Transfer back to the plate lined with parchment paper. Top with sprinkles. Place in the refrigerator until chocolate has completely hardened.
Meat Lovers Menu:   Course 1: Beet Citrus Salad 10 Minute Detox Soup INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 beets, greens and stems removed
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into segments
  • 1 orange, cut into segments, reserving 1 tablespoon of juice and the zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub beets clean under cold water. Wrap each beet in tin foil. Place on a baking sheet; bake until beets are slightly soft to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on their size. Cool beets in packets, then rub off skins (use a paring knife for tough spots). Quarter each beet.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, champagne vinegar, honey, orange juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the beets and arugula. Drizzle half the vinaigrette over the beet arugula mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Top with grapefruit segments, orange segments, and walnuts. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top. Garnish with orange zest.
Course 2: Garlic Mashed PotatoesINGREDIENTS:
  • 24 ounces baby Buttercream potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  3. As potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, dried rosemary, salt and pepper.
  4. Place potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a back of a fork, carefully smash the potatoes until flattened but still in one piece. Top each smashed potato with garlic parmesan mixture.
  5. Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and edges are crispy.
Course 2: Rib-eye Steak with Creamy Chimichurri INGREDIENTS:
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (6 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1¼ pounds Rib-eye steak
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. For the creamy chimichurri: Combine the parsley, basil, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper in a blender. Process until fresh herbs are finely chopped. Add the Greek yogurt and avocado and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. For the Rib-eye steak: Combine the chili powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub evenly over the Rib-eye steak. Grill steak on both sides about 4 minutes each or until preferred doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes (to retain juices). Cut on bias into strips.
  4. Serve with the creamy chimichurri sauce.
Course 3: Double Layer Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  1. In a small pot over low heat, combine ¼ peanut butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and ¼ cup dark chocolate chips; until melted. Let cool slightly.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine ½ banana and chocolate mixture and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into an 8x8 pan lined with wax paper; spread evenly.
  4. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to harden.
  5. In a small pot over low heat, combine remaining ½ cup peanut butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; until melted. Let cool slightly.
  6. In a food processor or blender combine ½ banana and peanut butter mixture and blend until smooth. Pour peanut butter mixture over the chocolate layer; spread evenly. Return back to the freezer for an hour or until fudge hardens.
  7. (Store in the freezer)
For even more delicious recipes from Julie, visit:http://www.rdeliciouskitchen.com/recipe-index/