We made a wonderful, ┬ábut belated, Valentine’s dinner, combining old meal memories with new recipes. As an appetizer, we made a beet carpaccio, similar to something we savored at Portobello in Portland last summer. Tofu ricotta is really the center piece, but the fruitiness (olive oil), the zestiness (lemon juice) and the earthiness (beets) offset the tofu’s cheesiness and tang. I also added nutritional yeast, capers and greens to the dish. The contrasting textures contribute a lot, too, and I think they force a certain slow-eating appreciation.

From Tal Ronnen’s cookbook, we tried a cashew-saffron pasta with white wine and artichokes. The creaminess of the meal might have been indulgent, but it made sense to our taste buds somehow. The pasta was satisfying, piquant and fitting as a celebratory meal.

The dessert was creamy, too, and also recalled that fabulous meal at Portobello. We made cannoli, and they really didn’t fall short. Nicole included chocolate chips, orange zest and sweet, delicious cannoli shells. They finished our indulgent, creamy and memorable meal.

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Raw Deal

March 2, 2011

Nicole’s mother, brother and his girlfriend recently visited. The latter visitors, Mike and Maria, tried a raw diet for a couple weeks and are trying, in general, to eat more raw food. We (mostly Nicole) accommodated them by making cashew cheese, flax crackers and a kale salad. They’ve inspired us to try out more raw food, too, because of the way the food turned out. We also borrowed an Annie Phyo raw cookbook that contains a lot of enticing ideas.

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