This is not the greatest meal in the world, this is just a tribute!

Couldn’t remember the greatest meal in the world, no no, this is just a tribute!

Just a little Tenancious D humor for ya:

Right, so it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, and we are making a tribute to the greatest Italian meal in the world! AKA, some pasta and veggies.

I found this Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes recipe from the Minimalist Baker. It sounded like the perfect dish to make as our Valentine’s Day meal along with some homemade bread (holla bread machine!) and of course dessert (edible cookie dough).

Now, I know after just posting about my efforts to stick to the Nutritarian diet, this meal goes against all principles, BUT it’s a special day and certainly is not how I regularly eat. Not only are we celebrating Valentine’s Day, but we are celebrating a year being homeowner’s and Valentine’s Day last year was the first meal we cooked in our home. It’s a tribute to House (our endearing and super clever name for our home).

So for this meal, we decided to make our pasta with the addition of mushrooms and asparagus for some added nutrients. And it just so happened to form a salute to the Italian flag.

italian flag veggies

We drizzled some oil and spices on top before baking the veggies.

oil and spices

We also spiralized some zucchini to add to our pasta.

The pasta turned out so good and creamy. Definitely a worthy tribute to the greatest Italian meal in the world.

vegan creamy garlic pasta with roasted veggies

We also decided to make a side of bread with our very own bread machine! We’ve had this baby for a while and are just now getting around to using it (fail). It is so easy to use though and takes all of the work out of making a loaf of fresh homemade bread. I remember in my Bakery Science days, how tedious and time consuming it was to make bread. We had labs that would last 6-8 hours dedicated to learning the science behind baking the perfect loaf of bread. Now, a bread machine can do it all.

Our first loaf:

homemade whole wheat bread

It turned out really well! Although it missed mixing in everything (some dough got stuck to the upper corner of the bowl). I think you can actually lift the lid and scrap it down while it’s running, but I got nervous about messing it up so I just left it to do its thang.

whole wheat bread

For all you bakers out there, just look at that crumb structure! Not bad, not bad.

homemade whole wheat bread

The meal came together nicely.

vegan creamy garlic pasta with roasted veggies

vegan creamy garlic pasta with roasted veggies

Mmm vegan parm sprinkled on top.

For the cookie dough, we followed this recipe from Buzzfeed. We went the cookies and cream route but added Red Velvet Oreos because we’re fancy. We also replaced the butter with vegan butter and the milk with almond milk. I don’t think I did the greatest job smashing the Oreos before mixing them in, but it still tastes good! We used whole wheat flour because that’s all we have on hand and it was a bit dry. I should have known to add more liquid but didn’t think of it. Oh well!

red velvet oreo cookie dough

And that was our ahhhmazing Valentine’s Day meal. What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

xoxo Rachel

P.S. Mushrooms are fun.


Day Eighteen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 18
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Quinoa Pesto with Vegetables 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry at any time throughout the day have a handful of almonds and some grapes 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Black Beans and Rice from My Whole Food Life. This makes a huge amount so it should still give you plenty for two and lunch tomorrow(and possibly the next day!) 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

Now get ready to feast your eyes on my new favorite VEGAN DESSERT!

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough

It’s AHHHH-mazing. I’m working out the details still but recipe will come soon. I wish I could eat it every night. In fact, I’ve made it a few times already…

I’m not for sure how vegan the chocolate chips are though. I bought Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips that don’t have any milk or milk products in them but they are made in a plant that processes those items so the package said “may contain milk.” Use at your own discretion!

But I have a confession. I cheated. I was at a potluck and couldn’t resist trying some desserts….

My shameful dessert plate

I shared some of this with Daniel but I mostly ate it. It was amazing and I don’t regret it though I’m sure there’s some egg and milk in that cake doughnut and probably some in the lemon bar in the back. As for the Indian dessert up front, I have no idea what’s in it but it was tasty and probably the only vegan dessert out of the three. But everyone needs a cheat day. If you don’t, you’re my hero!

I actually didn’t make the Black Beans and Rice for dinner since we went to the Potluck but it was part of my meal plan for that day. So if you need a dinner idea, I highly suggest it.

For exercise I followed Day Five of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day 5 Five Day Workout Plan

And I did more stretching! It’s SUPER important. So do it!