Romantic Vegan Valentine’s Day Dinners

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and maybe you still can’t make up your mind about what plans you’re going to make with your loved one. If by any chance that you prefer a quiet night with your significant other and a candlelit dinner is what you want to do–I’ve compiled a couple of romantic, delicious vegan dinners that you can cook up for this special V-Day.

Spinach Enchilada with Spicy Cashew

Ingredients:

For the Salsa Verde:

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks and stems removed
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 medium white onions, divided
  • 1 bunch fresh picked cilantro leaves and tender stems, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from about 2 limes, plus 1 lime cut into wedges for serving

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
  • 2 bunches flat leaf spinach, washed and roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can hominy, drained

For the Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup rosted cashews
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

To Assemble:

  • 18 soft corn tortillas, warmed and wrapped in foil or stored under a damp dish towel

Directions:

For the Salsa Verde:

  1. Combine tomatillos, serranos, and 1 onion (peeled and roughly chopped) in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer until vegetables are completely softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all sides are softened.
  4. Drain vegetables then transfer to a blender. Add 3/4 of cilantro, a large pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
  5. Blend on medium speed until a chunky purée is formed, about 30 seconds.
  6. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste with more salt or lime juice if necessary, and reserve. Cooled salsa can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For the Filling:

  1. Finely mince half of remaining onion.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and light golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add spinach in batches, stirring and allowing each batch to wilt before adding the next.
  6. Cook, stirring, until excess moisture has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer spinach to a colander to drain, pressing out excess moisture with a rubber spatula. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in hominy. Set aside.

For the Cashew Cream: 

  1. Combine cashews, remaining garlic clove, chipotle, stock, and vinegar in the jar of a blender.
  2. Blend on high speed, adding water or stock as necessary to reach a thick, pancake batter-like consistency.
  3. Continue blending until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and transfer to a bowl.

To Assemble: 

  1. Set rack to 12 inches below broiler element and set broiler to high (alternatively, set oven to 475°F).
  2. Spread 1 1/2 cups of salsa verde across the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and transfer the rest to a shallow bowl.
  3. Working one tortilla at a time, dip tortillas into the bowl of salsa verde, coating both sides thoroughly. Place on cutting board and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling.
  4. Roll up tortilla and place edge-down in baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
  5. Spread remaining salsa verde over top of tortillas. Spoon cashew cream over the baking dish in a single line down the center of each row of tortillas.
  6. Transfer to oven and bake until cashew cream is lightly browned and edges of tortillas are beginning to crisp about 15 minutes.
  7. Thinly slice the remaining half onion and roughly chop remaining cilantro. Sprinkle on top of enchiladas and serve.

Herbed Vegan Cheese Spread

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 8 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons mellow white miso
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Mix everything except the chives and parsley in a high-speed blender or food processor. Mix until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrap down the sides if necessary. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add a little more water a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Pulse in the chives and parsley.
  3. Chill the cheese spread in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.

Juicy Seitan Steak

Ingredients:

Seitan:

  • 1 cup / 165 g vital wheat gluten flour
  • (3 Tbsp nutritional yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup / 180 ml cold water
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

For simmering:

  • 5 cups / 1200 ml water
  • 3 bay leaves

Directions:

  1. Whisk gluten flour with nutritional yeast, paprika powder, and salt.
  2. Mix water with soy sauce and add it to the gluten flour. Stir and form a dough ball.
  3. Knead for a minute to activate the gluten. Let the ball sit for a few minutes. Knead it for a tiny bit and then flatten it to a thick pancake.
  4. Cut the “pancake” into four pieces and massage each piece with your fingers to make them a bit thinner.
  5. Mix water with bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, so the water is only simmering but not fully boiling. This is important because that way the seitan will become thick and firm, not spongy.
  6. Now add the steaks and partially cover the pot. Let the seitan simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, until it’s firmer. From time to time, check the water, so it doesn’t fully boil, but only simmers.
  7. Drain the seitan and press out the excess liquid from every steak. You can use the leftover boiling liquid for making a delicious gravy.
  8. Gravy: I pan-fried some onions, then added seitan liquid and then a couple of tablespoons of vegan cooking cream. So good!
  9. Heat up a pan, add plenty of oil and cook the steaks until crispy on both sides.
  10. Now put the pan-fried steaks into a bowl and add 2 – 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  11. Cover the bowl with a plate and shake the bowl, so the steaks will be covered in soy sauce.
  12. Taste and add more soy sauce, if needed. Serve and enjoy!

I really hope that you enjoy your vegan and healthy Valentine’s dinner with your loved one! Happy Valentine’s, everybody!

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12 Comments

  • Tammy Kaiser says:

    I think this is what me and my husband would want for Valentine’s. It’s a little overrated to dine in restaurants, so I guess making our own menu for V-Day would be nice and sweet.😍

  • Mellisa Sealey says:

    I really want to try the seitan steak dinner. Eversince my boyfriend and I became vegan, steak was the hardest for us to give up.

  • Gladys Eisenhower says:

    This is something that my Valentine would really enjoy. Perhaps it’s time to show him my cooking skills.

  • Food that you made with love is the sweetest gift you can ever give to your loved one.

  • This Valentine’s Day, my parents and I are the one that’s having a date. I’m going to come over and prepare a meal for them, this is perfection.😃

    • Dawn Johnson says:

      That is honestly the sweetest thing ever!

      • Demi Rees says:

        I know, this reminded me that I should do this too! 😊

  • Sarah Carter says:

    I’m not even a fan of Valentine’s Day and I’m single, but I’m looking this up because my single friends and I have decided that an all-girls group date should happen.

  • Hannah Gill says:

    I wanna try the spinach enchilada. You can actually experiment on this recipe.

  • As long as you’re with the person you love, Valentine’s Day will always be a good day.

    • Freya Cameron says:

      This is funny! But seriously, if a man cooks for you and prepares everything, like with proper table setting and stuff, he’s a keeper!

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