If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.Alfred Lord Tennyson
Valentines Day is next week, falling on a very un-romantic Thursday night.
I am a bit of a sucker for Valentines Day, I must admit. It’s hard not to love a day that is dedicated to love!
We enjoy Valentines Day at home.
In years past, we would enjoy a few cocktails and wines and I would make something meaty, cheesy, creamy and indulgent.
This year will be a little bit different. We are plant eaters now! And after Dry January left us both feeling so good, we will be alcohol-free too.
Luckily, it has never been easier to be vegan, or alcohol free. It is entirely possible to still enjoy an indulgent, special meal.
Valentines Day falls on a school
I’m unapologetically using some supermarket purchased items, I won’t be making everything from scratch.
If you would like to print out the menu below for your own Valentines Day Dinner, just click here for a PDF colour printable.
Tomato Tart Tatin
- 2 Punnets of cherry or Roma tomatoes.
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1 square of pre-rolled, store-bought puff pastry.
- Two tablespoons of
- One big handful of Basil leaves
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
Slice your tomatoes in half and arrange them, cut side down, in your oven proof frypan. Peel and halve the garlic cloves and tuck into the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil and place into a 200 C oven to roast for an hour, but check every 15 minutes to ensure no burning and gently shake the pan so the tomatoes don’t stick.
The tomatoes should be roasted, but still juicy with a concentrated flavour. Set them aside to cool.
Toast your pine nuts. Make the basil oil by blending a handful of fresh-picked basil leaves with a cup of virgin olive oil and a few big pinches of salt. Set aside until serving.
About an hour before you are ready to eat, put your pastry layer on top of the roasted tomatoes, slicing a few slits in the pastry so that the steam can escape. Return to the oven for 25 minutes (see the cooking instructions on the packet) until the pastry is puffed and golden.
Remove the tart from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Place a plate over the top of the frypan and flip the tart over onto the plate. If a few tomatoes stick, that’s no problem, just place them on top of the tart.
Scatter with toasted pine nuts and drizzle with basil oil.
Seedlip and Tonic
Creamy Mushroom Ravioli
Oh how I miss creamy sauces. But no more! This creamy, silky, Alfredo Sauce is vegan magic. The secret is a very easy cashew cream base.
- 2 cups Cashews, soaked in warm water for a maximum of 2 hours.
- 2 cups of mushrooms
- 1 clove of garlic
- Vegetable stock paste or powder to taste.
- One tablespoon of yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon of powdered garlic.
- Two servings of vegan ravioli. I used Ipastai’s Pumpkin Kale and Hazelnut Ravioli
Start by making the cashew cream. Pour the soaking water from your soaked cashews and reserve. Pour the soaked cashews into a powerful blender or food processor, and blend. Scrape down the cashews and add the reserved soaking water until you get a thick, whipped cream consistency. Scrape into a bowl, cover and place in your fridge until you are ready to make the sauce.
This recipe makes more cashew cream than you will need for this recipe. But, cashew cream is difficult to make at smaller volumes. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days, or alternativly, freeze into a cube tray for whenever you want a creamy treat!
Slice and saute your mushrooms in a frypan with a splash of olive oil and the chopped garlic clove. Add a big dollop of cashew cream to the pan with the stock paste, yeast flakes and garlic powder. At this point, add water to thin the sauce to your desired creaminess. Turn off the heat until a minute before you are ready to add the pasta.
Serve while hot and garnish with some extra pine nuts, and basil oil if desired.
Sparking Cuvee Thyme Cocktail
- 1 teaspoon of Thyme syrup
- 1 bottle of Sparkling Cuvee Non-Alcoholic Wine, I chose Evandale
Make the thyme syrup by mixing 1 cup of sugar with one cup of water and one heaped tablespoon of dried thyme, bring to the boil, uncovered for 5 minutes, then cover and wait until cooled. Strain and decant into a bottle where it will keep in the fridge almost indefinitely.
Add one teaspoon of thyme syrup to your champagne flute and carefully top with chilled Sparkling Cuvee, it will fizz, so go slowly! Garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme and enjoy!
Hot Fudge Sundae with Fresh Berries.
This is the easiest recipe of them all! This Hot Fudge Sauce is insanely good. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of extra uses for it!
- 2 punnets of fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries, but you could use any fresh seasonal fruit or even frozen berries if you prefer.)
- 100g block of dark vegan chocolate. I used Lindt 70% Cocoa.
- 320g tin of Pandaroo Coconut Condensed Milk.
- 1 tub of your favourite vegan ice cream. I used Over the Moo Vanilla Bean Missing You
Make your Hot Fudge Sauce first. Pour the condensed milk into a small saucepan and break in the chocolate. Stir continuously over very low heat until all the chocolate is melted and the mix is blended together. Pour into a large jar with a lid and allow to cool in the fridge. The Hot Fudge sauce will keep in the fridge for a fortnight. (If you can resist it for that long.)
When ready to serve, heat a few tablespoons of the sauce in a ramekin. Scoop your ice cream and berries into a bowl and pour the warmed Hot Fudge Sauce all over! Enjoy!
Negroni’s used to be one of my favourite cocktails, but whoa, they pack a punch. Equal shots of Gin, Campari and Vermouth with a few drops of orange bitters. This is my non-alcoholic version. It has that sharp, mouth
Enjoy this cocktail after your desert.
- 200ml of Bickfords Cranberry Juice Drink
- 100ml of Bickfords Pomegranate Juice
- Few strips of orange zest.
At least an hour before serving, measure your juices into a cocktail shaker and add the orange zest. Place in the fridge to cool and infuse. When ready to serve, shake over ice and pour into a tumbler with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of orange and serve.
I hope this inspires you to create a delicious Valentines dinner for your love, and enjoy! Do let me know what you think of my menu, please leave a comment below.