Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce and Roasted Potatoes with Asparagus

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Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking $ Food Blog
“If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?”
Martin Scorsese

I have wanted to make this recipe for ages, but I held off because I am always a bit intimidated by the idea of making fresh pasta. It is easy to make the dough, but it can be time-consuming to make individual, filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini. Fresh tortellini has always been my favorite type of pasta though, so I finally relented. The cream sauce for this recipe also contains saffron, one of my favorite flavors!

Making these tortellini actually wasn’t difficult at all. It was kind of fun. We doubled the recipe and ended up making 200 tortellini, so we were able to freeze some to enjoy later.

The filling mainly consisted of artickoke hearts, garlic, white wine, and cashew cream. The sauce was a rich combination of shallots, white wine, cashew cream, saffron, and Earth Balance dairy-free butter.

Served tossed with fresh arugula and tomatoes, with a side of roasted potatoes and asparagus with smoked salt and pepper. From Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, page 164.

Tortellini Fact: Because of it’s shape, tortellini is also called “belly button” pasta.

Cherry Plum Jam

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Cherry Plum Jam ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.”Gilbert K. Chesterton

If you have access to any fruit trees in your neighborhood then I highly encourage you to try your hand at canning some jams and jellies. Jam is easy to make, and very inexpensive when the fruit is picked from the tree for free. :) If you don’t have any canning jars you can always use recycled, store-bought nut butter or jam jars.

Homegrown, homemade jam makes nice gift with a little bow tied around the jar. How often do you receive homemade goodies these days? I think people appreciate receiving something that you made yourself, that took some time to prepare, and that comes from the heart.

There are a ton of great jam and jelly recipes on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Jam Fact: The average American consumes about 5 pounds of jam per year, so why not make your own?

Wasabi Plant Burger at The Plant Cafe

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Wasabi Burger at The Plant Cafe ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Yes, a cheeseburger and fries is probably my favourite meal. But I don’t eat ground beef anymore.”Eric Schlosser

Once in a while we actually go out to eat, ha ha! One of my favorite spots in San Francisco is The Plant Cafe. 99% of what they serve is organically-grown, and most items on the menu are vegan or can be made vegan. The Plant makes a really great veggie burger called, appropriately, the Plant Burger. Here’s a description of the Plant Burger from The Plant’s menu:

Plant Burger - Served with sides of mixed greens, roasted potatoes & pickles. All Plant burgers are topped with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato & vegan aioli on your choice of focaccia, whole wheat sourdough, or a bun. Patties are made in-house from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews & bulgar wheat.

I always order the Wasabi Plant Burger, which is topped with wasabi raspberry aioli and sauerkraut. Usually I order it on focaccia but I forgot this time and so it arrived on wholewheat sourdough, which was actually just as good. I enjoyed this with a Blue Bottle soy latte.

Hamburger Fact: The hamburger “debuted” in the US at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

Moroccan Vegetable Filo Pie (Bisteeya)

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Moroccan Vegetable Filo Pie (Bisteeya) ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking and Food Blog

“In Morocco, it’s possible to see the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at the same time.”Tahar Ben Jelloun

This sweetly-savory pie recipe is in Terry Hope Romero’s great cookbook Vegan Eats World, page 256.

I enjoy anything made with filo dough, and the saffron and baharat spices listed in the recipe cried out to me to try this one! I was not disappointed. The filling was a creamy blend of cauliflower, chickpeas, and spices encased in a flaky filo pastry shell and topped with cinnamon, sliced almonds, and powdered sugar. This would be a pretty impressive dish to bring to your next vegan potluck! ;)

Saffron Fact: This flavorful and aromatic spice is native to Morocco.

Pineapple-Date Bran Muffins

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Pineapple-Date Bran Muffins ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Few of us are aware that the act of eating can be a powerful statement of commitment to our own well-being, and at the same time the creation of a healthier habitat. Your health, happiness, and the future of life on earth are rarely so much in your own hands as when you sit down to eat.”John Robbins

I just love the simple, delicious, and nutritious recipes in John Robbins’ book, May All Be Fed. These tropical delights are on page 233. They are full of pineapple, dates, raisins, and macadamia nuts, and sweetened with maple syrup. We used oat bran instead of wheat bran. Enjoying some warm muffins, a cup of tea, and a glass of fresh-squeezed organic orange juice is a very nice way to start the day.

Pineapple Fact: Pineapples take about 18 months to grow, wowie!