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We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: A meal that feels both hearty and indulgent -- and happens to be vegan.
Skeptics often accuse meatless meals of being boring, tasteless, or much too light. If you have any of those types at your dinner table, just serve up this meal and see if they change their tune. The grain salad has everything you could ask for -- color, texture, and bright flavors. Nuts and avocados are a vegetarian's best friends, and this meal just so happens to include both. With recipes like these, Mondays may quickly become your favorite day of the week.
Serves 4, with leftover salad
2 cups mixed grains (farro, freekeh, wheat berries, wild rice, and quinoa, pearl barley, or any combination of the above)
1 cup baby arugula
1 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup tarragon leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 pound pecans
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 cup radishes
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 ripe Haas avocado
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 can coconut milk
We're assuming that you already have sherry vinegar, olive oil, vanillla extract, agave, and sea salt on hand. If not, you'll be needing those as well!
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the grains and cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. (With grains like wild rice and wheat berries, add them to the pot first and cook 10 minutes before adding remaining grains).
2. In the meantime, begin the pudding. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate in the coconut milk over hot water, or in the microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
3.Drain the grains into a colander, then set aside until warm to the touch. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Season with salt to taste.
4. Back to the mousse: Put remaining ingredients in a food processor bowl, and add the cooled chocolate mixture. Blend until completely smooth. Spoon into dessert cups and chill in fridge.
5. Serve the salad, and then turn your attention to the avocado mousse. Serve with a dollop of coconut cream, and enjoy!