Healthy recipe ideas for an intimate Valentine's date at home

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From tacos to homemade ice cream, these tasty recipes are perfect to impress your Valentine's date. Heathly, wholesome and delicious. 
Sarah Graham's tasty recipes from her book Super Natural will ensure your date night in this Valentine's Day is both delicious and healthy.

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

Serves 4 | Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 3 hours chilling time

2 cups frozen raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 x 400ml cans coconut cream, chilled
Roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts or edible flowers to serve

Add the raspberries, vanilla and maple syrup to a small saucepan and heat gently until the raspberries have softened. Remove from the heat, mash well with a fork and set aside to cool.
Make sure the coconut cream is chilled. If not, transfer to the freezer for 5 – 10 minutes before starting. Also place a small loaf tin in the freezer to chill for a few minutes at this stage.
Keeping the cans upright, scoop out the thick cream at the top of each can and transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk the coconut cream until light and fluffy, then swirl in the raspberry mixture, transfer to the chilled loaf tin and freeze for at least three hours or until just before serving.
Serve decorated with nuts or flowers.

Spicy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

Makes 6 | Ready in 30 minutes

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup cooked brown rice or quinoa or a mixture of both
1 egg, lightly whisked with a fork, or 1 Tbsp psyllium husks

To serve (one or more of these) 
Quick pickled cucumber or beetroot 
Fresh burger buns or gem lettuce cups 
Slices avocado
Harissa or sriracha, 
Crunchy parmesan polenta chips 
Smashed tomato relish on the side

Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft and starting to caramelise (±15 minutes). Add the garlic and spices for the last 1 – 2 minutes of cooking, and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. (If cooking the sweet potato and brown rice or quinoa from scratch, cook it alongside the onions.)
Add the mashed sweet potato, cooked rice or quinoa, egg and psyllium husks. Mix until well combined. (Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes if you have the time as they hold their shape better when slightly cooler.)
Shape the mixture into palm-sized burger patties about 2cm thick and place on a large shallow baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden and fragrant and holding their shape.
Meanwhile, prepare the pickled cucumber or beetroot and other garnishes.
To assemble, layer the ingredients onto the burgers or into the lettuce cups as follows: patties, hummus, avocado, harissa or sriracha, pickled cucumber or beetroot, and then top with the tomato relish. Serve the parmesan polenta chips on the side.

Ginger and Sesame Fried Rice with Tofu and Mushrooms

Serves 4 | Ready in 20 minutes, 100% plant-based

1 cup jasmine or brown rice or quinoa, or 2 cups cauliflower ‘rice’ and 2 cups water
1 pinch salt
1 pinch turmeric

Tofu and mushrooms
400g brown mushrooms, roughly chopped
oil for frying
4 spring onions, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or half for milder)
250g soft organic tofu or 4 whisked eggs
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 – 2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice or rice wine vinegar

To serve (optional)
2 generous handfuls baby spinach or 1 cup edamame beans, added for the last 2 minutes of cooking or until wilted
1 small handful fresh coriander or basil, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Extra chopped fresh chilli and spring onions

Add the rice, water, salt and turmeric to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat and cook on low with the lid ajar until the grains are light and fluffy and all the liquid has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms with a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until they are golden (4 – 5 minutes). Add the spring onions, ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for another minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add another dash of oil and over high heat crumble in the tofu (or add the eggs) and stir well to ‘scramble’ and cook until golden (3 – 4 minutes). Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin and lemon or lime juice or vinegar and mix well before adding the cooked rice.
Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes over high heat so that the bottom of the pan becomes a little sticky, and then transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with garnishes of your choice.

Taco Fiesta

Serves 2 – 4 | Ready in 20 minutes, vegan

Smoky mushrooms
1 Tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 level tsp ground cumin
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika or 1 tsp chipotle spice mix
500g portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 whole corn on the cob

Fiery guacamole
1 avocado
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 small chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To serve 
8 corn taco shells or flour tortillas
1 cup shredded lettuce or red cabbage
Fresh lime wedges
Extra chopped fresh coriander, chilli and a little finely chopped red onion (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and fry the garlic until softened (take care not to let it burn). Add the spices, mushrooms and tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 6 – 8 minutes or until golden.
Boil the corn in a large pot of boiling water until tender, then drain and set aside.
Transfer the mushrooms and tomatoes to a bowl, wipe the pan clean and cook the corn over medium heat with a little extra olive oil until golden and just slightly charred. Remove, and allow to cool before cutting off the corn kernels and setting aside in a small bowl.
Warm the tacos or tortillas by wrapping them in a stack in foil and placing in a dry pan over gentle heat.
Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mashing roughly with a fork. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
To serve, layer the fillings into the warmed tacos or tortillas and serve immediately.

Recipes extracted from Super Natural by Sarah Graham, published by Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa. Available for R320 at leading book stores this February.

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