Being a mother of two who studies, with a husband who works 12 hour days, results in most days being a race against the clock! So much to do, so little time shoves couple time and romance very low on the priority list…in fact it is probably last!
So it is nice that there is a day, as commercial as it might be, to remember to appreciate our partners and take time out to fit in a little romance! Valentine’s Day is associated with red hearts, big bunches of red roses and of course chocolates and romantic gourmet dinners.
While it is nice to go out on a date for the occasion, staying at home can be just as romantic and there is no better way to say ‘I love you” than by surprising your partner by cooking a romantic and delicious vegan meal!
Here are a few tips for your romantic evening:
Coast is clear!
First of all, if you have kids, see if Grandma or a trusted friend or relative can watch them for the night or make sure they are snoozing away very deeply in dreamland at the other end of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my kids but they can be a real mood killer when it comes to romance! Same thing with the dog…make sure his belly is full and he has plenty of toys to play with – Outside, or in the other room! The last thing you want is your dog sniffing your partner’s crotch and hanging about begging for scraps as you enjoy your dinner! Again – I love my dog but he can also be a bit of a mood killer. Just don’t forget to let him back in again later…
Vegan aphrodisiac foods
In terms of the food, forget about oysters as there are plenty of vegan foods that are renowned for their aphrodisiac properties. These include asparagus, bananas, avocado, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, berries, ginger, garlic, walnuts, cocoa and basil, just to name a few! The plant kingdom is packed with natural aphrodisiacs and there are plenty of tasty recipes out there to incorporate them! Some ideas are:
- Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta with cherry tomatoes and roasted garlicky asparagus
- Pumpkin and basil soup in a sourdough bowl garnished with pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin, Ginger and Chickpea patties with Baby spinach, avocado and pumpkin seed salad
- ‘Cream’ of asparagus soup garnished with pesto
- Mushroom, lemon and asparagus risotto
- Asparagus tofu quiche with baby spinach, strawberry and avocado salad
And for dessert:
- Vegan strawberry “Cheesecake”
- Pancakes with fresh strawberries, chocolate sauce and vegan vanilla ice cream
- Caramel-strawberry layered mousse cake
- Strawberries dipped into melted vegan chocolate
- Chocolate mousse topped with fresh strawberries or other berries
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Banana split topped with chocolate sauce, walnuts and vegan vanilla ice cream
- Homemade choc-berry or ginger glace ice cream
Red wine is a supposed aphrodisiac so just make sure that the brand you buy is vegan, you can check with the likes of barnivore, and it will be the perfect accompaniment to your romantic Valentines Day dinner at home! If you do not want to drink alcohol, red sparkling grape juice is a great substitute with the same effects.
Just remember to have fun and be creative! Stress is a major atmosphere killer so it is important to relax and enjoy…
Nat’s Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta for two:
½ cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup of olive oil
½ a bunch of fresh basil
½ tsp of sea salt
Pinch of pepper
200g of pasta shape of choice (maybe something small like penne or macaroni for Valentine’s Day as spaghetti can get messy!)
Boil the pasta according to packet directions. Meanwhile place the pumpkin seeds, oil, basil, salt and pepper into a food processor and process until you get a smooth paste. Toss the pesto through the cooked pasta and serve!
Natalie’s Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries, Chocolate Sauce and Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream:
1.5 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 cup of vanilla soy milk
½ cup of soda water
Oil for frying (neutral oil such as rice bran oil or sunflower oil)
1 punnet of strawberries (hulled)
Vegan chocolate sauce for drizzling (Choose a vegan brand such as Hersheys Syrup)
Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soy milk and soda water and mix until a batter has formed. Heat up oil in a fry pan and add pancake batter to desired size, cooking until golden on either side. Repeat until all the batter has been used up. Place one or two pancakes on a plate, topping with the strawberries, a scoop or two of the ice cream and drizzling with the chocolate sauce.
Cover image: Shutterstock.