A Vegan Valentine’s Day Menu

This week is Valentine’s Day and what better way to say “I love you” than with a delicious, home-made, cruelty-free meal?

Instead of my usual long list of mix and match menu ideas, this time I’m making a specific menu so you can spend less time reading through recipes and more time coming up with romantic gestures, gifts and activities for your someone special.

Most of the items are gluten-free but I added one seitan dish in case your honey can eat gluten. My Tommy eats gluten-free with me all the time even though he doesn’t have to so once in a while I like to make him seitan which he loves. I also added one entree that has neither gluten nor soy (if you use coconut butter spread and raw parma) so there is an entree choice for everyone!

Here is what I think makes up the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner menu.

Appetizer
Start the meal off right with finger food that says romance and sophistication. My Tomato-Olive and Chimichurri Bruschetta are both delicious on my gluten-free, fresh baked ciabatta bread. Cooking for someone is impressive, baking fresh gluten-free bread for them says love.
Soup
What could be prettier than starting the meal with my beautiful soup made with purple cauliflower? Creamy and delicious with a crunchy cheddar garnish.
Salad
Spicy arugula, roasted red peppers, black olives, red onions, celery and chickpeas make a delicious combination drizzled with a flavorful sundried tomato vinaigrette.
Entree
Of course I had to choose the dish that won the nationwide competition to be included in Bitchin’ Kitchen’s “Cooking for Trouble.” This dish of pan-fried tofu smothered in a sauce of garlic, lemon, white wine and capers is sultry and elegant.
or
For a cruelty-free version of meat and potatoes, this is the perfect dish. A thick and juicy seitan steak covered in an herbed white wine butter sauce served with fries that are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
or
Show your love with this homemade pasta dish. Pumpkin gnocchi served in a spicy vegan butter sauce (soy-free if you use coconut butter spread and skip the grated parm) topped in an elegant lemon cashew cream.

Side Dish
A delicious and colorful side dish of vegetables sauteed in garlic and olive oil. See the recipe below.
Dessert
It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate. This mousse is made with coconut milk and it’s rich and creamy. Topped with your choice of chocolate or vanilla whipped cream or both. A romantic date just has to have whipped cream (wink, wink).
Whether you are having a first date, dining with your long-time significant other, having dinner with your kids or best friends (dogs, cats and all furbabies included) or maybe planning to pop the question, this menu will make for a memorable evening of love, compassion and fine dining.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts, Artichoke Hearts and Sundried Tomatoes

Ingredients
1 lb. baby Brussels sprouts
1 Tbs. safflower oil
1 clove garlic, minced
A pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Steam the Brussels sprouts until they are tender. When they are cooled, cut them into halves. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the chopped sundried tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook on both sides until they are browned and crispy. Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters and add to the pan. Cook until the artichokes are also slightly browned and crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Wishing all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

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3 Responses to A Vegan Valentine’s Day Menu

  1. Reia February 15, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    The tofu picatta looks really delicious. But I’m always partial to a good chocolate mousse!

  2. michael February 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    lovely! glad to see you added a chocolate treat in the end!

  3. Brian February 13, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Love it! I’ve got to try that cauliflower soup! Then maybe I’ll go straight to three or four helpings of that desert!


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