You do not need a holiday to make a nice meal for someone. And I'm not just talking to the people with significant others. I'm talking to everyone.
To me, food is love, and every meal is special. Maybe that sounds crazy to you or maybe you are exactly the same way. I hope you are.
When I am making a meal at home, which is often, I like to make it special.
It doesn't matter if I'm heating up leftovers or preparing an elaborate meal from scratch, there are a few things that I always do to make sure the meal feels special.
A set table. That includes real napkins, nice plates, placemats. A set table always gets me excited for any meal.
Good music. No TV.
Candles. Candles shouldn't be reserved for birthday cakes and low lit restaurants. Just one candle at the table makes the meal feel 100 times more special. There is no reason you cannot light a candle on a random wednesday night. Even if you're eating alone ...
A nice glass of wine. Maybe this is not for every night, but on the more special nights wine always rounds out a meal.
Last but never least, good wholesome food.
I have made this meal a few times, for myself, for myself and Michael, and for my mom. It is sooo good and always a hit.
The pasta recipe comes from one of my favorite vegan blogs: Oh She Glows. It is the most popular recipe on her blog, and I sure do know why. The avocado cream is absolutely incredible. It is rich and tasty, and it will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike.
The balsamic roasted beets add a nice contract in color and flavor to the pasta. This meal is super easy to prepare, you just need to give yourself a little time to roast the beets. And, while you're waiting for them to roast, you can get your beautiful table set and candles lit.
vegan dinner for two: creamy avocado pasta and a balsamic roasted beet salad
The creamy avocado pasta was adapted from: Oh She Glows, 15 minute creamy avocado pasta
For the beet salad:
2 beets, peeled and sliced into half-moons
2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
salt & pepper
2 large handfuls of arugula, roughly chopped
optional: crushed walnuts for garnish
dressing: lemon garlic dressing
For the creamy avocado pasta:
1 whole ripe avocado
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper
1/4 cup of fresh basil or cilantro
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Whole wheat or gluten free pasta, enough for two (which is usually half a box or 6oz)
optional: red pepper flakes for some spice
Start by roasting the beets:
- Pre-heat the oven to 425º
- Place the sliced beets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss the beets in the oil and balsamic and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the beets for 40-45 minutes until they are crispy on the outside. You should test one to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
Then, make the dressing for the salad -----> click here for instructions
Next, cook the pasta and make the creamy avocado sauce
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to it's directions.
- While you are waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, make the avocado sauce. Place the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add in the avocado, basil or cilantro, and salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Process until smooth and creamy.
- When the pasta is done (al dente), strain and place into a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over and toss it until it is combined. Garnish with lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper.
Last, dress and assemble the salad
- Toss the arugula with the garlic lemon dressing.
- Place the beets on top and finish off with the crumbled walnuts (if using).