Valentine's Day Menu

People are always asking me how my husband (@livcooksathome) and I eat together with our very differing palates! Below you will find a Valentine’s (or any time) menu that we created together and has something for everyone. If you don’t eat meat, feel free to swap the main course for my favorite salmon or go all veggie.

The Twice Baked Potatoes are definitely the winner and can be personalized just the way you like them. My version is vegan, but equally as delicious as his cheese, butter, and bacon filled version! Make sure to prepare the Healthier Chocolate Pudding the night before so it has time to set. Hope you’ll give some of these recipes a try and let us know what you think. Also, don’t forget to tag @livlight_ and #livlight in all of your foodie creations.

Winter Crunch Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 1 bag sliced brussels sprouts (3 cups)
  • ½ crisp apple (I like Pink Lady), sliced thinly
  • 1⁄3 cup red walnuts, chopped (regular are fine if you can’t find red)

Dressing

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (or coconut sugar if vegan)
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

Mix dressing ingredients in a small mason jar and shake well. Combine salad ingredients and pour dressing over (you will have leftover dressing). Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to allow brussels to marinate.

Charred Broccoli Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup vegan ricotta cheese (I use Kite Hill)*
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 100% olive oil spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with 100% olive oil spray. Spread broccoli in an even layer, spray with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until browned to your desired char. Top with cheese and seeds and serve immediately.

*Feel free to sub any crumbly cheese that you like (i.e goat, blue, etc).

Twice Baked Potato Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ baked potato
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan ricotta (I use Kite Hill)*
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped and sautéed
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chives

Directions:

Baked Potato

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Thoroughly clean the potato with cold water, removing any excess dirt. Dry and let sit for 20 minutes. Using a fork, poke small holes all over the potato. Place on a baking sheet with a rack and place in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove potato from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Split the potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully remove the insides of the potato into two mixing bowls, making sure to keep the shells intact.

Toppings

While potato is cooking, sauté chopped onion in a small pan until slightly browned and caramelized. Set aside. One cooled, carefully remove potato insides leaving shell intact. Combine potato with almond milk, ricotta, sautéed onion, and nutritional yeast. Mix well. Fill mixture back into the shell and bake until browned. Top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and chives.

Twice Baked Potato Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ baked potato
  • ½ tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Baked Potato

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Thoroughly clean the potato with cold water, removing any excess dirt. Dry and let sit for 20 minutes. Using a fork, poke small holes all over the potato. Place on a baking sheet with a rack and place in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove potato from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Split the potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully remove the insides of the potato into two mixing bowls, making sure to keep the shells intact.

Toppings

Combine the potato with the butter, cream and ¾ of the cheese. Use a whisk to make the consistency smooth, with no lumps remaining. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. Place the filling back into the baked potato shell. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Place back into the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese starts to get a golden crust with crispy edges. Garnish with chopped chives.

Filet Mignon Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 8oz filet mignon per person
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

Remove the filet from the refrigerator two hours before cooking. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. After the meat has come to room temperature, cover both sides, as well as the surround of the filet in the salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Over medium high heat, place the filet in the middle of the pan and cook for three minutes.

Turn the filet over and cook for another three minutes. Flip the steak again and place the butter on top of the steak. Place in the oven for an additional three minutes. Remove from oven and place on a platter or plate to stop the cooking process. Pour the juices from the pan on top of the filet. Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Mushroom Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium/high heat and melt in 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil. Add thickly sliced mushrooms and cook 5 min until soft. Stir in onion and cook another 3 minutes. Press in garlic cloves then season with ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper and 1 Tbsp fresh thyme. Cook another 2 min, stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant, then transfer mushroom mixture to a plate.

Add ½ cup Merlot and boil until reduced by half (3 min), scraping the bottom with a spatula to deglaze the pan. Add 1½ cups broth and boil until about ⅔ cup liquid remains (5-6 min). Add ½ cup cream and boil until sauce thickens slightly (2 min). Return mushrooms to the pan and heat until warmed through (1 – 2 min). Season sauce to taste with more salt & pepper if desired.

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup black chia seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 dates
  • 1 tsp real maple syrup
  • 2 scoops vital proteins collagen (optional)
  • Fresh raspberries

Directions:

Blend all ingredients (except berries and coconut) in a high-speed blender until very smooth, about one minute. Pour into a glass jars or bowls and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Layer or top with fresh raspberries and coconut (or toppings of your choice).

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