19 January 2012

Valentine's Day romantic dinner idea for the vegan sweetheart in your life

Planning the perfect romantic dinner for two can seem like an impossible task. Lucky for you I've done the hard part and assembled this easy Valentine's Day menu to impress your sweetheart. This meal is packed with flavors sure to inspire romance.

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 15oz cans Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
6 cups Vegetable Broth
2 tbsp Vegan Sour Cream
6 tbsp chopped Fresh Basil

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium-high and add the garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes and stir in tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered 25 minutes. Remove from heat and top with a dollop of sour cream and the fresh basil when serving.

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

Baby Spinach
4 or 5 Strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup toasted and slice Almonds
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 tsp fine ground Sea Salt
Black Pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss the spinach, strawberries, and almonds. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad right before serving.

Portobello Steaks with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on a bed of Wild Rice

3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Portobello Mushrooms, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup jarred Roasted Red Pepper strips
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flake
1 cup Wild Rice
2 cups Vegetable Broth

In a 3 qt sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, bring the broth and rice to a rapid boil. Stir once, reduce heat to medium and cover. Allow to simmer, undisturbed for 50 minutes. Remove from heat, let set for 10 minutes, and then fluff rice with a fork.

In a skillet heat oil to medium and add the mushroom slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flake. Cook slices for 5-7 minutes on each side.

In a food processor, place the roasted red pepper strips and garlic. Process on high until it becomes a smooth sauce. If it seems too thick, slowly add a bit of the oil the peppers are kept in, until it becomes smooth.

Plate the rice, top with the mushroom steaks and drizzle with the roasted red pepper sauce.

Fruit Skewer with Chocolate Dip

1/2 of a Fresh Pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into thick slices, and cubed
12 Strawberries, stems removed
1 cup Semi-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp Coconut Oil

Alternate the pineapple and strawberries onto bamboo skewers. Place on a serving tray, cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to serve.

In a double boiler, combine the chocolate and coconut oil. Allow to slowly melt and then transfer to a serving bowl or fondue pot, and enjoy!

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Ashley Kiefer | Facebook | Blog
Rapid City, SD Ashley is is an artist and avid vegan cook. She grew up playing in her grandmother's kitchen, and has fond memories of the fresh, rich and often decadent treats she made there. For Ashley, going vegan was a long transition prompted by health concerns. She's spent the last six years experimenting with ways to "veganize" the food delights of her childhood. She teaches private cooking classes and runs Season of The Vegan.

Photo credit: plrang