Annivalentinese New Year Celebration

Happy (day after) Valentine’s Day, all! Kyle and I aren’t big Valentine’s Day people so we combined our half year anniversary, Valentine’s day and Chinese New Year into one big celebration!

Kyle hasn’t had much experience with Greek inspired cuisine, so that was his cuisine choice. I planned the menu, sent him a cute little Evite invitation, bought the ingredients and, come Sunday morning, got my booty to work on creating!

The first course was taken from Angela over at Oh She Glows. I saw her post for Garbanzo Bean Soup and knew it would make the perfect first course for this meal! The only change I made to the recipe was to substitute some sesame oil for some olive oil since I had no tahini in the house. This soup was mega-tasty and I will definitely make it again!

The main course. The big kahuna. This beauty was taken from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook I checked out from the library last week. I’m not sure how the reposting thing works with cookbooks so I’ll just say: you MUST, MUST find the book and try the recipe! It’s a quinoa pilaf flavored with celery, red pepper, zucchini, basil, mint and lemon rolled up in delicious collard leaves. Oh man.. this was delicious. My favorite dish I’ve made in a while. Kyle raved about it all night!

Of course, a celebration wouldn’t be complete without something sweet to top it off. This dish wasn’t Greek inspired, but I’ve been planning it for almost a month! Themed meal or not, it was making it to the table! I based my recipe on one I found over at Baking Bites. I subbed in 1/3 cup brown rice syrup for sugar and used SO Delicious unsweetened coconut milk. To top off the delicious ice cream, I decided to make some dark raw chocolate. 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup and 1 tablespoon coconut milk mixed until uniform, rolled between wax paper and frozen makes a yummy bittersweet addition! It was a little soft for my liking, so next time maybe I’ll use something other than brown rice syrup to sweeten. The flavors, though.. spot on!

Served up in my "vintage" Garfield mugs!

All in all I would say the menu:

Quite a hit!

I hope your celebrations were filled with fun, good food and love!

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7 thoughts on “Annivalentinese New Year Celebration

  1. What a lovely meal! I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate quinoa into our diet and your pilaf looks and sounds amazing. I will have to find that cookbook :o) Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks, Susi! The cookbook is on my list of ones to purchase. So many yummy recipes to try in there that I might follow word for word! That never usually happens for me – I’m a substituting maniac!

  2. Everything on the menu sounds wonderful!!! It would be a perfect meal for me! The quinoa pilaf looks amazingly delicious by the way. 🙂

    My honey and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day…never have. We do sweet things for each other all the time, and neither one of us feel any kind of desire and/or pressure to celebrate Valentine’s just because most everyone else around us does.

    Chinese New Year would be fun to experience if we lived in San Francisco so we could see the goings-on in Chinatown. But I do like your idea of a Chinese New Year celebration. I think that’s a great idea! 🙂

    • I have always wanted to visit Chinatown in San Francisco. It is on my list of places to visit. Someday I’ll get there and buy a wok! =)

      I definitely agree with the showing affection all the time rather than having pressure to do something grand on one day out of the year. So glad to hear that others feel the same way.

      You’ll have to give the quinoa pilaf a shot, it really is so easy and would be a major crowd pleaser! =) I will definitely be making it again soon for my “meat eater” friends and family!

  3. Belated Birthday Celebration! « Peanut Butter and Ginger

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