Vegetarian Times. Cheese-stuffed love apples. (February 1, 2005). p 77. Downloaded from the web on 2/11/2011.
Vegetarian Times. Roasted red pepper and tomato soup. (February 1, 2007). p 41. Downloaded from the web on 2/11/2011.
Vegetarian Times. Spinach-mushroom strata. (February 1, 2007). p 42. Downloaded from the web on 2/11/2011.
My Comment: Ignore the points at least this one day! This was our 3-course stay-at-home Valentine’s Day extravaganza. We finished with a glass of Port and dark chocolate truffle. Heaven!
Appetizer: Cheese Stuff Love Apples
My comment: We serve this appetizer with a plonkish (at least price wise) sparkling wine from Barefoot ($9.99). Not bad at all.
1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 lb. fresh goat cheese
2 TBSP plain non-fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon, dill and chives were suggested)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cherry tomatoes
10 small dill springs for garnish
1. Put cottage cheese and goat cheese in food processor and puree until smooth. Add yogurt and process 1 to 2 minutes more until very smooth. Scrape into bowl and stir in herbs, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Cut off thin slice from top of each cherry tomato. Scoop out seed and flesh from centers. Lightly salt insides of tomatoes and invert on rack set in sink. Drain 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Spoon herb cheese into each tomato, garnish with dill and serve. Can refrigerate if making ahead.
Serves 2. Weight Watcher Points = 6 for 5 tomatoes.
First Course: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
My Comment: I actually thought this soup could stand alone; the blending of roasted red peppers and fire-roasted tomatoes was really tasty. The serving size is very accurate, so if you do choose to serve as a main course, double everything up.
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 minced clove of garlic
12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned, diced fire-roasted tomatoes (suggest Muir Glen)
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp vegan sour cream (I used non-fat greek yogurt)
1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, saute 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
2. Stir in peppers, tomatoes, sugar and 1 cup of water. Simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Transfer mixture to blender (I used my hand immersion blender), and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Whisk sour cream with 1 tsp of water until smooth. Transfer to small plastic bag. Close bag, snip small hole in one corner. Ladle soup in bowls. Squeeze sour cream mixture into heart shape in soup and serve.
Serves 2. Weight Watcher Points = 3.
The Main Event: Spinach-Mushroom Strata
My comments: Of the three courses, this was not my favorite – at least for Valentine’s Day. It seemed more appropriate for a light supper or brunch dish. A point-heavy dish, I probably will think of ways to retool it.
1 TBSP olive oil plus more for “brushing” (I use a spray here)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (about 3 cups)
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp chopped thyme
2 TBSP sherry
5 oz. fresh spinach
2 1/2 ups cubed French bread, crusts removed
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 12 oz. souffle dishes or one 9-inch glass pie plate. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat and add mushrooms. Saute 5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute. Stir in sherry and cook another minute more or until liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
2. Return pan to high heat. Add spinach and 1 TBSP water and cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper and place in a colander. Press out all liquid and chop. Toss spinach and bread with mushrooms.
3. Whisk broth and egg in a small bowl. Pour over bread mixture, add cheese, stirring until bread and absorbed all the liquid. Spoon into prepared baking dish(es) and press down lightly. Bake 40 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes so strata will set, then serve.
Serves 2. Weight Watcher Points = 19. (Smaller portion alert! – I consumed half of a serving for 9.5 points. Just couldn’t blow more than 1 day’s points on one meal).