Monday, February 18, 2013

Share the Love!

A wonderful friend of mine had a little baby a few weeks ago, and people have been bringing meals to her and her family. I really love this tradition. She and her partner are both pretty great people, so they have tons of friends who are eager to help. Also, her wonderful mom is in town for a while to help out, which is extra sweet. I was looking online (at mealtrain.com) for a night when I could sign up, and realized that no one had signed up for Valentine's Day. What the heck!? 

I thought it seemed super special and sweet to cook for new parents on Valentine's Day... when they're probably tired, but also filled with love for each other and their newest little bean. Over the years, I've noticed that when cooking for others, people tend to make a lot of casseroles. In fact, one friend finally had to request: "No more lasagna!" (words one never thinks they will utter!) So, I wanted to go a super fresh and delicious route, and ended up making 3 different salads for them to share.

First up, I made the raw kale Winter Salad with Pita Chips and Sumac from Vegan Eats World. I'd had this once before when a friend brought it to a potluck, and I loved it. In fact, making it this time around, I really wanted to start eating it all myself! Maybe I'll have to put this on the menu for next week. :) 

(as you can see, I put the pita chips and sumac in separate baggies, so that they could be added right before serving)

Next up, I made a Roasted Red Beet & Edamame Salad from 30 Minute Vegan Taste of Europe. The recipe called for lima beans, which I couldn't find. I really love this recipe: it's fast and delicious. The dressing is lemony and has fresh dill in it, and all the flavors go together nicely. I got really giant beets and slow-roasted them, so that I could cut them into little heart shapes. I have three different sizes of heart cookie cutters (medium, small, and tiny) - so I mixed 'em all together.

Finally, I made one of my favorite salads of all time. I think it's from Healthy Hedonist: Spelt and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts, Grapes and a Citrus-Cumin dressing. This salad is so damned good!! I used a combo of long-grain brown rice and black forbidden rice, which made the salad really pretty too. The dressing has toasted cumin seeds, fresh-squeezed OJ, fresh lime juice, and other goodies in it, and the whole thing is just magical.

it is hard to take a good picture of brownies

Finally, I made a batch of my favorite brownies - 3 giant heart brownies, 3 small heart brownies, and 3 boring rectangular brownies... and a zip lock full of organic raspberry coulis for drizzling over the chocolatey goodness. I figured, you just gotta have some chocolate on Vday, right? Plus, after such a healthy dinner, there's still some enthusiasm for a robust dessert.

It always seems to me that Valentine's Day should be about celebrating love in all it's many forms, not just romantic love between two people... and it felt extra sweet to be thinking about and doing something special for my friend and her family this year.

12 comments:

  1. Oh you are too sweet :) What a lovely lovely thing to do for your friends. I have no doubt that they seriously appreciated it. The thoughtful gesture alone is kind enough but the actual food you made must have had them on their knees thanking you! Everything looks simply fantastic.

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  2. Be still, my beetin' heart!

    I like Valentine's Day recast as a general love holiday.

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    1. yes. For years now, I have had the dream of having a big valentine's day party... to celebrate all-around love!

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  3. I hope you used the heart cookie cutter I gave you!!! I was wanting to cook for them, but, well... I'm in Colombia. xo

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    1. yes, i DID! The brownies were cut with your beautiful big cookie cutter - and I was sure to tell her, so that you got some spiritual participation credit! You were there in my thoughts the whole time I was cooking for them!

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  4. Amey, you are the sweetest! I'm sure the new parents appreciated every single bite.

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  5. thats so sweet that you made this valentine's day meal for them! those brownies with the raspberries look amazing!

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  6. You are the nicest friend! How freakin cute are the tiny hearts in that beet salad?! (The answer: SO CUTE) Good point on people tending to overdo the casseroles. In a lot of cases some people have prepared that sort of stuff for themselves in advance anyway, but a fresh salad really takes some time to chop that new parents might not.
    I'm drooling over that salad, too, kid or no kid.

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  7. how sweet! i agree, it's about love for everyone, everyday of the year!=)

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  8. Oh yeah, good call on the fresh food thing. Everything looks awesome - I love the beet hearts (such a cute idea!), and I could definitely go for some kale salad right about now. And you're totally right, Valentine's doesn't have to be this romantic thing, there's plenty of plenty of joy in platonic love! I've never really thought about celebrating the holiday like that!

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  9. I can see all the love you put all here.

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  10. Those brownies look glorious!! I have yet to find "my favorite brownie recipe". Is this a VE&T creation?
    Much love!
    Aimee

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