This is my first ever vegan three course menu I think and I am posting it in time for Valentine’s day in case you need some inspiration for your dinner menu. But really any other day your feeling a little fancy this menu will work a treat as well! Do you guys celebrate Valentine’s day? Do you enjoy it? What are your thoughts?

Personally I’ve never been very into celebrating the day in a big way but I’m also not against the day as such. I just think every day is a good day to celebrate love and every opportunity to show the people you care about that you do just that is worth taking advantage of. It’s so easy to get carried away with every day chores and schedules that it’s good to be reminded to stop and smell the roses. Literally for some of us on this day of the red rose. Personally I am not expecting any roses but I do look forward to some good food, as always!

This three course menu is basically an homage to mushrooms. So, I hope you like mushrooms! In the starter I sauté king oyster mushrooms to resemble scallops and I honestly think they look so beautiful this way. The “scallops” lay on top of a very green pea pure which is such a refreshing pop of colour in the winter grey we are living in here in Sweden. A handful of rocket for some added freshness and some toasted nuts for crunch and that makes a first course in my book.

The main is a true favourite for most of us; spaghetti. I really do think the road to many hearts, including my own, is found with spaghetti in one hand a good sauce in the other. I have chosen to make a creamy mushroom sauce for mine with a homemade cashew cream. You could of course use a store bought vegan cream alternative if you want though to keep it a little less labour intensive. Not that it takes too long to blitz up the cashew cream. If you use oat cream I like to add a pinch of corn starch or arrow root powder to it as this helps it thicken a little when cooking which otherwise it usually doesn’t. I top the whole shebang with some toasted pine nuts and some fried sage leaves because a three course menu deserves some extra pizzazz, don’t you agree?

To finish the meal there’s chocolate. Of course. For the occasion I made a rich brownie cake that I top with warm mixed berries for some zing and whipped soy cream to lighten the mood. The cake is all vegan as well as gluten free. I use three different flours in it, sorry, but this is the best way to succeed in gluten free baking. Each flour does its own little thing and together they make the magic that is this brownie cake. I love it and I hope you will too!

Now to something a little more serious regarding this day of love. One thing that does concern me with the day is that it makes so many feel lonely and if you are one of those people I want you to know that I’ll be thinking of you. And please know that it’s totally cool to also celebrate or facilitate or work on the love you have for yourself on this day or to not acknowledge the day at all if you prefer. To be honest I spent most of the Valentine’s days in my life at home with a good tv-progrm and some even better snacks not really thinking about it being any kind of day at all.

One thing I do think is cool though is how cooking a nourishing meal for yourself can be such a beautiful gift from you to you! I know not all enjoy cooking for themselves but maybe Valentine’s day can be a chance to practice doing this. Put on your favourite tunes, light some candles (at least if you’re in winter like me) and place all your lovely ingredients out on the counter. Spend some time with your food and be creative. Dish it up with some flare, make it look good to you and enjoy the work and love you’ve put into the food in front of you. Just a thought and a gentle reminder, no push our pressure. You do you – today, tomorrow, on Valentine’s day and every day. Show the people you love that you love them as often as you can and enjoy the food you cook! Love is always the answer.

Malin x


VEGAN “SCALLOPS” ON PEA PUREE WITH ROCKET AND HAZELNUTS

Serves 2.


INGREDIENTS:

For the pea puree:

0,75 cup green peas, thawed if frozen

1 shallot, chopped

1-2 garlic cloves, sliced

Zest and juice from a quarter of a medium sized lemon

2 tbsp good quality olive oil

1,5 tsp light miso paste or 1 tsp dark

0.33 cup water

Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the “scallops”:

2-3 king oyster mushrooms with a wide stem

3 tbsp vegan butter or margarine

Salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve:

2 handfuls of rocket/arugula

A handful of hazelnuts

1 tbsp lemon juice


CREAMY MUSHROOMS SPAGHETTI

Serves 2.


INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, sliced into slithers

2-3 portobello mushrooms, depending on the size

The heads and ends of 2-3 king oyster mushrooms

A handful of dried porcini mushroom

2 tsp dried sage

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the cream:

0,5 cup cashews, soaked over night

0,5 cup water

0,5 cup mushroom soaking water

0,25 tsp corn starch

To serve:

2 servings of spaghetti

10 fresh sage leaves

Olive oil

2-3 tbsp pine nuts


VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE BROWNIE CAKE

WITH WARM BERRIES AND WHIPPED SOY CREAM

Makes 1 single layer cake, serves roughly 8.


INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp milled flaxseed + 4 tbsp water (2 flax eggs)

100 g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70%)

0,5 cup melted coconut oil + more for greasing the pan

0,33 cup unsweetened soy milk or other plant milk

1 cup light demerara sugar

0,5 cup almond meal

0,5 cup buckwheat flour

0,25 cup white rice flour

0,5 cup cocoa or cacao powder (unsweetened)

0,25 tsp vanilla powder, or 0,5 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

1-2 tbsp fine bread crumbs, use gluten free if needed

To serve:

125 g frozen mixed berries

0,5 cup soy cream, whipped

A few squares of chocolate, grated


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