Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini Cups, Pear Stuffed Heart-Shaped Ravioli in Walnut Sage White Wine Reduction, & Heart-Shaped Raspberry Tiramisu

Ah, Valentine's Day. To me, I always think Italian food is the way to go for this holiday. Last year, I made a lovely dinner of raw kale salad, spaghetti and heart-shaped meatballs, and tiramisu. This year, I changed the tiramisu recipe to a raspberry version that is heart-shaped. Who doesn't love cute lovey-dovey food on this holiday?!

Stuffed Zucchini Cups

* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
* Ingredients: 
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 package (8 oz.) vegan ground crumbles*
  • 1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato basil pasta sauce*
  • vegan mozzarella, to top*
  • vegan Parmesan, to top (optional)*
  • sea salt, to top (optional)*
* Recipe:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onions with salt and pepper until translucent. Add the garlic, green peppers, mushrooms, and crumbles. 
  3. Cook for about ten minutes until the crumbles are brown. Add the basil, parsley, and oregano and keep cooking for another two minutes.
  4. Cut the zucchini in about one inch pieces. Using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out the insides of the zucchini being careful not to take out the bottom. 
  5. Fill the zucchini with the crumble mixture and top with pasta sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  6. On a lightly oiled cookie sheet, bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes. When done, top with a bit of sea salt.
* Note: For ground crumbles, I diced up a package of Upton's Naturals ground beef style seitan. You can get it around the Chicago area at Whole Foods or otherwise online. If you can't find Upton's, you can use Boca crumbles or Yves brand. The pasta sauce I used was Whole Foods 365 Organic brand. I used Daiya vegan mozzarella. The Parmesan and sea salt are optional, but I would suggest Galaxy topping for vegan Parmesan. 

Pear Stuffed Heart-Shaped Ravioli in Walnut Sage White Wine Reduction

* Prep Time: 45 minutes
* Cook Time: 15 minutes
* Ingredients (for ravioli filling):
  • 2 anjou pears, finely diced
  • 1 whole shallot, sliced
  • 1/4 package (2 oz.) vegan cream cheese*
  • 1/2 cup tofu ricotta*
  • 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella*
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
* Ingredients (for dough):
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil, for boiling water
  • pinch of salt, for boiling water

* Ingredients (for reduction):
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter*
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh sage, minced
  • 1 cup white wine*
  • salt and pepper, to taste
 * Recipe (for filling):
  1. In a medium skillet, cook the pears and shallots for about 10 minutes over medium heat until they are soft. 
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. 
  3. When pears are cooked, add to the bowl and mix well.
* Recipe (for dough):
  1. Mix the all-purpose flour, the semolina flour, and salt well in a medium bowl.
  2. On a clean counter space, create a mound with the flour mixture. In the center, create a well. In the well, put in the olive oil and water. 
  3. Slowly start to mix and then knead dough until smooth.
  4. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until slightly thin.
  5. Cut the dough with a 3 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter.
  6. Place 1 tbsp of the filling in the center of the dough.
  7. Using water, wipe the edge of the dough. Top with another heart-shaped dough piece. Press the edges with a fork.
  8. In a medium pot of boiling water, add the salt and olive oil, then cook the ravioli until the float (only a few minutes). Let cook for one minute after they start to float. Do not overcrowd the pot with ravioli or else they will stick together.
* Recipe (for reduction):
  1. In a medium skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat.
  2. Add the butter, white wine, sage, salt, and pepper. Reduce to half.
  3. Stir in the parsley once reduced.
* Note: For vegan cream cheese, I used Tofutti brand. The tofu ricotta recipe was taken from the Veganomicon cookbook. See recipe here. For vegan mozzarella, I used Daiya. I used Earth Balance for vegan butter. Lastly, make sure your white wine is vegan!

Heart-Shaped Raspberry Tiramisu

* Prep Time: 15 minutes
* Cook Time: 20 minutes
* Ingredients (for lady fingers):
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk*
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, melted*
  • 3 "egg" Ener-G egg replacer (follow box instructions)*
* Ingredients (for custard filling):

  • 1 8 oz. container vegan cream cheese*
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream*
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar*
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (mixed with 2 tbsp water)
* Ingredients (for coffee mixture):

  • 1/2 cup espresso*
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Grand Mariner  
* Ingredients (for topping):

  • fresh raspberries
  • raspberry jam
  • cocoa powder, to dust
  • powdered sugar, to dust
  • shaved dark vegan chocolate, to top
* Recipe (for lady fingers):
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another small bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Make sure no lumps are in the batter.
  4. In an oiled medium baking dish, add the batter in a level fashion.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and a toothpick can come out clean from the center of the cake.
* Recipe (for custard filling):
  1. Combine all the ingredients except for the cornstarch mixture. Whisk together until no lumps are found.
  2. In a small pot, add the custard mixture and heat on medium heat. When it starts to boil, add the cornstarch mixture.
  3. Turn to low to medium heat and cook for about five minutes. It should look rather thick (rather than runny).
  4. Set aside until needed for building process.
* Recipe (for coffee mixture):
  1. Combine freshly made espresso with Grand Mariner.
* Recipe (for building):

  1. Using a 3 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts from the lady finger cake.
  2. Dip each heart in the coffee mixture on both sides of the cake.
  3. Place one heart on a plate. Top with a layer of raspberry jam and then custard mixture.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.
  5. Once done adding custard to the last cake piece, top the tiramisu with fresh raspberries, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and shaved chocolate. 
* Note: Make sure all the sugar in this recipe is vegan. You can find marked vegan sugar at health food stores. I used soymilk, though feel free to use any non-dairy milk. I used Earth Balance for vegan butter. Ener-G is an egg replacer one can find in the baking area of health food stores. There are other means of egg replacing such as using apple sauce. For vegan cream cheese, I used Tofutti brand. The sour cream was Tofutti brand. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener used to replace honey. One can find it near the honey in the green/organic/natural section of your grocery. I have an espresso maker, so I just made my espresso for this. They do make powdered espresso that I'm sure you could add water to. It would be in the baking section of your grocer.


1 comment:

Emmy said...

Those Ravioli look so tasty. I never would have thought to use pear or any sort of fruit in a ravioli - very interesting! What a lovely Valentines Dinner!!

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