This blog post also is available in German.
Valentines Day is just around the corner. So are the media and concerns, hyping this very day, making us buying unnecessary things. Valentines Day is the embodiment of unnecessary consumerism. Do you celebrate that holiday? We actually don`t. Mainly because we believe showing love and kindness to your partner shouldn`t be designated to a special day. It shouldn`t be restricted to only one day at all. Shower your partner with love is supposed to be an everyday thing and can be showed in many other ways rather than buying expensive gifts. Actually the latter one is what capitalistic oriented companies want us to do. Buying stuff we don`t need! So before you go spend an excessive amount of money to buy something for your beloved one, ask yourself if that purchase is really necessary. Why not craft something with things you already have? Or my advise; preparing a nice dinner at home. As we say: The way to a person`s heart is through his or her stomach. Sitting together, eating delicious food, drinking a glass of wine and having interesting conversations is the best way of celebrating this day. Actually is the best way to cherish your relationship, so cook and have dinner together as much as you can, not only on Valentines Day.
To make things easier for you, I assembled a whole vegan menu for that famous Valentines Day, which you can surprise your partner with. Or even better, you cook it together to grow an even stronger bond. And of course this three-course menu isn`t restricted to Valentines Day only. You can cook it whenever you feel like having some quality time with your partner. The menu is completely vegan, doesn`t require any special skills or super fancy ingredients and everybody can prepare it. The starter and dessert don`t take up a lot of time. The main course can take a little bit longer, but as there are different options in life, there`s a quick way as well.
Before we dive into the different courses, let me ask you something…What do you associate with Valentines Day? For me it`s the colors red and pink, chocolate and everything heart-shaped. Who agrees? When creating this menu for you I tried to implement all of that. Ok, except pink. So get prepared for a menu including hearts, lot`s of red and most important chocolate.
Starter: Beetroot Sweet potato Curry Sauce with Puff Pastry Hearts
It`s getting hot in here! Seriously a steaming hot bowl of spicy soup is a good way to start your romantic dinner. Everybody loves soup. And when it`s cold and snowy outside, like it used to be in February a soup is a great way to get cozied up. This soup has a lush red color due to it`s ingredients. At first glance you might think it`s a tomato soup, which it isn`t. Tomatoes are not season right now, but that`s another thing. Instead the main ingredients are beetroot and sweet potato. A persuasive combination, as the earthy beetroot and the slightly sweet potato make a great team. The curry powder gives it that certain oomph. Rising it from an average to an extraordinary bowl of soup.
And can we have a chat about these puff pastry hearts? Aren`t they the cutest thing ever? Could you resist? And they are prepared super easily, all you need is store bought puff pastry and a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Sometimes the simple things can be the most stunning ones right?
Main Course: Heart Shaped Pizza Pepperoni
Ever heard about pizza pepperoni? I would profess that it`s kind of an American thing. At least I don`t recall seeing it a lot here. Briefly spoken, it`s a pizza topped with a special kind of spicy sausage. Fun fact, if you would order a pizza pepperoni here in Switzerland, they would bring you one with bell pepper, as bell pepper is called pepperoni here. Well anyways, the last time I have eaten a real pizza pepperoni was years back in the Dominican Republic. And let`s face it, it`s not a vegan friendly pizza. Unless… Exactly, unless you veganize it by using tofu sausages instead.
But why pizza for Valentines Day? Well, because first of all everybody likes pizza. Second you can`t go wrong with it or mess it up, as it`s dummy approved. Third you can shape it like a heart to surprise your love. And forth you kind of have to cozy up to be able to eat from one pizza together. Something like the Lady and the Tramp effect.
You remember that I told you that there`s an easy and a time-consuming way to make this main course? Ok, I`ll spill the deets right now. Actually you have three choices here, depending on your preferences and time-table. First scenario; you have enough spare time, so you can make the whole pizza from scratch, including the dough. Second scenario: you don`t have that much time available, but you want a completely homemade pizza? I suggest preparing the pizza on a free day and then freezing it for the special day. Third scenario: Little time on your hands, don`t feel like making a pizza from scratch or doubt you`ll succeed making your own dough? Just get one at the store and skip the making your own dough part in the recipe below. That`s the whole magic.
Dessert: Chocolate Lava Cake:
Psst… I tell you a secret right now… Valentines Day was invented as another excuse to have chocolate. I mean come on, can you ever resist some good quality chocolate? No, then let`s talk this dessert. How does soft and warm cake with a gooey, runny molten chocolate core sound to you? Kind of heaven on earth right? But wait, it still gets better. Namely this lava cake is done within 30 minutes and is super easy. That cake is the real deal and the most brilliant finale for your romantic dinner. Your partner will love it!
With that said I wish you all a happy Valentines Day and don`t forget to not only be thankful for all the love and kindness surrounding you on Valentines Day. Have fun preparing this dinner and…
Read you soon,
Beetroot Sweet Potato Curry Soup
- 300 g sweet potato organic
- 500 g beetroot organic
- 150 ml orange juice organic, freshly prepared
- 450 ml tap water
- 5 tsp yellow curry powder
- a dash of freshly ground cilantro seeds organic
- a dash of freshly ground cumin seeds organic
- a dash of salt organic
- 1 package vegan puff pastry organic
- rice milk organic, for basting
Preheat oven at 180° Celsius.
Roll out puff pastry, cut out hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, line them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, baste the tops of the hearts with rice milk
Bake the hearts for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse off and peel sweet potatoes and beetroot. Cut into small pieces.
Add beetroot, sweet potatoes, orange juice and water to a pan. Let simmer on medium heat until the veggies are soft.
Remove from the heat and mash into an even soup using a blender. Pour back into the pan, reduce heat to low, add all the spices, mix well and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Heart-Shaped Pizza Pepperoni
- 250 g spelt flour organic
- 20 g yeast organic
- 1 tsp salt organic
- 1 tsp sugar organic, for the yeast
- 150 ml tap water lukewarm
- 1 tbsp olive oil organic
- 4 tbsp basil tomato passata organic
- 1 tsp dried basil organic
- 1 tsp dried marjoram organic
- a dash of salt organic
- a dash of white pepper organic
- a dash of Italian spice mixture organic
- 100 g vegan mozzarella
- 1 tofu sausage
Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
Mix water, sugar and oil together. Add yeast and stir until yeast is dissolved.
Pour dissolved yeast to the flour, and stir using your kitchen machine with a bread hook. Mix the dough until it sticks to the hook (3-5 minutes).
Cover dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven at 200° Celsius.
Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface, roll out the dough, place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and cut into a heart shape.
Prick the pizza dough with a fork. Mix passata with the spices and spread onto pizza.
Sprinkle mozzarella onto the pizza and top off adding tofu sausage slices.
Put in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Chocolate Lava Cake
- 60 g spelt flour organic
- 50 g xylitol organic
- 1 tsp baking powder organic
- a dash of salt organic
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder organic
- 1 tsp cider vinegar organic
- 25 g vegan margarine
- 5 tbsp oat milk organic
- 6 pieces of dark chocolate
- coconut oil organic
Preheat the oven at 180° Celsius.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add vinegar, butter and oat milk while your kitchen machine is stirring. Mix until you have a homogenous batter. The batter shouldn`t be runny.
Grease two ramequins with coconut oil. Pour two tablespoons of batter into each ramequin. Place 2-3 dark chocolate pieces onto the batter and filled the ramquins with the remaining batter.
Put in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately when still warm and runny inside.