It’s a common stereotype that many vegans spend Valentine’s Day ‘alone’ (or with other vegans who are not ‘significant others’). I’m not entirely sure how true that is, but if you do spend it ‘single’, why not enjoy the evening with a little humorous, but delicious and healthy, Valentine’s Vegan Dinner; Black Heart Style??
A Black Heart can be A Healthy Heart
Black rice isn’t just a fun item to add to a dish- this food has a great deal of purpose. It is a potent anti-cancer food due to its high concentration of various Anthocyanins. It has also been found in several studies (this is just one) to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Black Rice also reduces plaque buildup in the arteries, decreases cholesterol, and is considerably effective in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Black lentils are also an excellent anti-cancer food, in that they have a high content of Anthocyanins as well. They are also being recognized as an effective prevention measure for many chronic diseases.
Acorn Squash is yet another delicious way to prevent cancer. It is very rich in lutein and lycopene which both produce potent oxidative metabolites, and have demonstrated chemopreventative effects. Squash prevents heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes as well.
This whole food plant based dish is just too delicious and healthy to not put on the menu Valentine’s Day or not. Let’s get to it then, shall we?
The Execution of the Valentine’s Vegan Dinner; Black Heart Style
Preheat the oven to 400. Cut two acorn squash in half (long ways), scoop out the seeds and pulp, and cook for 45-60 minutes. Start checking after 45 though.
Make 3/4 cup (dry) of Black Rice, and 3/4 cup (dry) of Black Lentils, per instructions. I believe it’s pretty standard, but if you have the brands I used, go ahead boil 3 cups of water, add both the rice and lentils together, reduce to simmer, cover with a lid, and 35 minutes later they’re both done. After they’ve cooked, fluff them with a fork and mix in 2 TB of this homemade Awesome Fajita Seasoning.
Prep the grill for your veggies by preheating and brushing the grills. Cut up your veggies like so. The carrots go on first because they take the longest to cook. Then the onions, and finally the peppers.
You can certainly season the veggies once they’re done by tossing them around in a bowl with the seasoning. One TB would do. I have mine plain or with salt & pepper. Personal preference 😉
Once everything is all cooked up and ready to go, assemble your yummy black heart 🖤 🖤 🖤
Black Heart Vegan Acorn Squash
- 2 Acorn Squash
- 3/4 cup Black Lentils (dry)
- 3/4 cup Black Rice (dry)
- 2+ large Red Bell Peppers
- 4+ large Yellow Onions
- 8+ large Carrots
- 2 TB Homemade Fajita Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400*
- Cut Acorn Squash in half (long ways), scoop out seeds and pulp, and place on silicone mat or otherwise prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Begin checking on it at 45 minutes by giving it a gentle squeeze. If it has a little 'give' to it, it's ready.
- Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add the lentils and the rice, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 35 minutes.
- Heat up grill. Cut up vegetables and place the carrots on the grill. Add the onions 3-5 minutes later. Add the peppers 3-5 minutes later and turn carrots. Approximately 5-10 minutes later they should be turned again. Keep an eye on them, all grills are different. Remove when they are cooked to your satisfaction.
- Mix 2 TB homemade fajita seasoning with lentil/rice mixture after they are done cooking.
- Once the squash is done, place them on plates and fill with lentil/rice mix. The squash are often naturally shaped like hearts but feel free to do a little 'free-form design' if it doesn't come out perfect initially 😉
- Surround squash with grilled veggies and enjoy! If you would like the veggies to be seasoned as well, go ahead and put them in a bowl and add 1 TB of the fajita seasoning and toss them around. Then add them to the plates.