Let’s face it: Most restaurants woo Valentine’s Day diners with the promise of a steak dinner, or a lobster feast, or an icy bed of oysters. As a vegetarian, these probably aren’t options for you — in fact, you might be better off whipping up your festive feast at home. As you prepare your meat-free menu, keep the following 10 vegan and vegetarian Valentine’s Day recipes in mind!
1. Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese
This isn’t your everyday roasted cauliflower recipe. Instead, you’ll first bring to a boil a slew of delicious ingredients, including white wine, butter, red pepper and bay leaf. Then, you’ll add the entire head of cauliflower and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
After that, you’ll roast it. Then you’ll blend goat, feta and cream cheeses to make a dip almost as to-die-for as the love you share with your significant other. Depending on how hungry you are — or how much dessert you’ll have — you can serve this as a starter or a main. It should pair well with a glass of white wine, too.
2. Vegan Pot Pie with Sage Crust
No matter how much love makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, Valentine’s Day takes places in the middle of winter. As such, you might want to consider some hearty vegetarian Valentine’s Day dinner recipes, including this pot pie, perfect for a chilly night’s dinner.
The pie filling has all your vegan-friendly favorites — sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and cannellini beans — made flavorful with garlic, paprika and thyme. The sage-infused pie crust tops everything off perfectly.
3. Raw Zucchini Noodles and Veggies with Marinara
Regardless of whether you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ve likely considered the merits of a raw food diet. Indeed, the more fruits and veggies you eat raw, the better — you get more fiber, additional nutrients and fewer calories consuming them this way.
To ensure our raw food eaters have some vegan Valentine’s Day dinner recipes, we’ve considered this uber-healthy pasta with marinara made with zucchini noodles. You can quickly heat this if you don’t adhere to a raw-food diet.
4. Mushroom Risotto with Peas
The author of this recipe suggested it for a dinner party because it’s a crowd pleaser, regardless of whether diners are vegetarian or not. So, you and your significant other, omnivorous or herbivorous, will love this mushroom-laden risotto dish, which also features white wine, peas, fresh parsley and garlic. Yum.
5. Braised Leeks and Muscovado Lentils
Plant-based sources of protein help reduce the risk of heart disease, and they boost gut health because they contain a wealth of fiber. This recipe offers all those body-bettering benefits in a romantic-looking package perfect for Valentine’s Day. After cooking the leeks in butter — and leaving them to simmer — you’ll boil the lentils. Then, they’ll hop into a frying pan with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, muscovado sugar and rice vinegar. Top the leeks with the buttery beans before enjoying your romantic meal.
6. Swiss Cheese Fondue
There’s something super fitting about fondue for Valentine’s Day — not only do you love gooey cheese, but you love your significant other. So, whip up a batch of bubbly Swiss cheese made even more delicious by white wine and garlic. Then, go crazy with your dipping options. Along with bread, which always tastes divine, try produce that pairs well with cheese, such as asparagus, broccoli or apples.
7. Chili Roasted Tofu with Minted Pomegranate Relish
No vegetarian-friendly recipe list would be complete without a tofu option — the soy-based protein stars in this dish. First, they’ll rest in a citrusy chili marinade for anywhere between 10 minutes and 24 hours. When it’s time to cook, you’ll start by whipping up a batch of millet or quinoa to base your dish.
On top of that, you’ll place a triangular cut of tofu, which you will have baked for 20 to 25 minutes. Then comes the pomegranate relish, a few slices of avocado and voila — Valentine’s Day dinner is served.
8. Squash, Sage and Ricotta Cannelloni
Nothing says love quite like pasta, and this hearty dish will certainly convey the message. Although traditional lasagna will do — and there are plenty of vegetarian-friendly lasagnas that contain cheese and tomato sauce, as usual — this one features sage and butternut squash instead. To really make it tasty, roast the squash before transforming it into the filling. Then, bake and eat up.
9. Cauliflower Sformato with Crispy Kale and Caramelized Pine Nuts
A sformato is the Italian answer to a quiche. You can fill the eggy, pie-shaped main with just about any veggie, cheese and spice you like. However, if you’re not particularly creative in the kitchen, stick to this tried-and-true combo of Parmesan cheese sauce, roasted cauliflower, and a crowning layer of crisped kale and caramelized pine nuts.
10. Kale and Beet Pizza
Valentine’s Day doesn’t always call for a fancy main course, especially if your loved one loves pizza just as much as they love you. This recipe allows you to whip up a festive version of their favorite Italian dish, so long as you take the time to slice your beets into heart shapes. The pizza also sports a layer of kale and pistachio pesto, as well as goat and mozzarella cheese.
Vegan and Vegetarian Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes for Your Special Feast
Vegetarian or vegan Valentine’s Day dinner recipes don’t have to hold you back. Instead, you and your partner can whip up an incredible meal at home together, which might be more romantic than a restaurant anyway. One last thing — don’t forget the dessert, especially since they can be vegetarian and vegan, too!