Andrew and I have never really been ‘Valentine’s people.’ The sort of crowd avoiding the hoke, the pressure, and I suppose the convention of lumping a years worth of affection, friendship, tenderness, love into one big hubbub. Instead we consciously aim to celebrate those little moments, those opportunities for togetherness and growth found within each day. Unfortunately, these past few have been some of our most trying to live through – losing our sunshine and the cornerstone of our little family in a rapid gust of a Saturday afternoon, our pup Moses Moose. Days proceeding have felt awkward and empty, and though we’ve filled our home with a new, bright and wiggly light, our eight week old Great Pyrenees, Rooster Lou, reestablishing our new normal has been unequivocally challenging. I don’t think we’d realized just how much of a routine we’d gotten into, from sunrise to sunset revolving our patterns around Mosie’s orbit. And though his absence has felt more devastating than either of us could have ever imagined, maybe there is light to be found in the jostle. An opportunity to reflect, reevaluate, renew.
As we welcome Rooster Lou into our home, in this week of so much newness we’ve found ourselves evermore drawn to comforts – piling ourselves into warm blankets, too long naps in the deepest corners of our couch, filling our bowls with our most favorite, most cozy meals. Just in time for Valentine’s I’d thought I’d share a type of recipe we hold close, one for an everything-in-the-pot, warming, hearty and heart filled stew. Made with a seasonal array of carrots, red onions, garlic, ginger, and the most tender sweet potatoes, coupled with belly filling cannellini beans and jasmine rice, this is just the big-batch stew to fill your home with and share. We serve ours with thick slices of toasted sour bread.
Root Vegetable Mulligatawny [serves 6]
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large sweet potato, diced small
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garam masala
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup filtered water
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups brown rice, cooked (I used Brown Jasmine Rice)
1 can (14 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen petite green peas
salt & pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just hot. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté until onion is just soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato and carrot and continue to sauté for an addition 3 minutes.
Add the curry powder, coriander, and garam masala, stirring until just fragrant, and then pour in the vegetable broth, water, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring pot to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low leaving pot uncovered. Stirring occasionally, simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are very soft. Stir in cooked rice, beans, and peas and continue to simmer for an addition 5 minutes. Season to taste, serve and enjoy.
Nutritional Information [per serving = 2 cups]
270 Calories, 3.6g Fat, 51.5g Carbohydrates, 9g Fiber, 10.5g Sugar, 8.5g Protein [line][line]
Incase you’re looking for something a bit more ‘romantic’ ..
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chunk Waffles • made with warming cinnamon and maple, nutty spelt flour, and sweet potatoes, these [dare I say healthful!] chocolaty waffles are perfect for sharing with a special someone.
Overnight Oat Pots with Chocolate and Coconut • a make-ahead breakfast-in-bed dream, these ooey-gooey pots are packed with divinely rich and creamy coconut milk and yogurt, protein rich nut butter, and warming cinnamon. I serve my vegan chocolate coconut overnight oats chilled, fresh out the fridge. Pro tip: the longer they sit, the more dreamy they become.
The Life Changing Slice: Raw Chocolate Caramel Pie • with three distinct layers, from a sweet and salty cashew based crust, a creamy caramel maple middle, and an ultra rich, almost fudge like chocolate topping, this pie couldn’t be more divine. Requiring only minutes of preparation and an afternoon to freeze up to life changing perfection, serve with a mug of black coffee (or your favorite red wine!) and a melty dollop of coconut ice cream.
Raspberry Coconut ‘Cheesecake’ • boasting a luscious layer of creamy coconut, pure maple syrup, and bright pops of raspberry perfection, all atop a sinfully sticky medjool date and lemon zest infused crust, your valentine won’t be able to stop at just one slice. [line][line]
All ingredients for this recipe were provided by Whole Foods Market Friendship Heights in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Recipe is my own.