I hope you have some special Valentine’s plans this week! Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for heart-shaped treats. As an adult, it’s one of the most special holidays that Jack and I celebrate. Traditionally, it’s the one night a year that he cooks by himself, and whatever he decides to make is always a surprise. His trip to the grocery store, with zero guidance, is an approximately 2-hour adventure, and by the time dinner is done, every pot in the kitchen has been used. Suffice it to say that we’ve had some VERY late Valentine’s meals over the years, but it’s always tons of fun to see what he’ll attempt! I’m never quite sure what he’ll come up with next, but I thought I’d pop in today to share some of my favorite romantic dinner recipes and a few festive treats.
Herb and Garlic Mushroom Pasta (pictured above)
This recipe is a foolproof romantic dinner. If you don’t want to spend all night cleaning up pots and pans like we do, it’s perfect :). It’s simple to make, but it feels fancy, with amazing depth of flavor from mushrooms, white wine, lemony cashew cream, and fresh herbs.
This tangy, moist, and warmly spiced tea cake requires only 10 minutes of active prep time, so it’s perfect for date night baking. Mix it together, pop it in the oven, and relax with your partner until it’s ready to eat! Serve this cake with dollops of yogurt or coconut cream and your favorite fresh fruit.
What’s more perfect for Valentine’s Day than light, lemony heart-shaped cakes? Unlike traditional madeleines, these guys are dairy-free, made with coconut oil instead of butter. Dust them with powdered sugar, and enjoy with a cup of tea. Great for baking with kids!
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I love the vibrant colors of fresh produce, so, naturally, I can’t resist using bold red and pink beets for Valentine’s Day. Blend up a batch of this bright beet hummus and enjoy it with crostini or fresh veggies for a festive Valentine’s snack!
My take on a classic spaghetti bolognese, this dish gets wonderful texture from lentils, mushrooms, and walnuts. I use soy sauce, balsamic, rosemary, and sage to give it delicious savory flavor without any meat or dairy. It’s simple, satisfying, and great for an Italian Valentine’s dinner at home.
I had to get one more beet recipe into this list, and this creamy polenta is not to be missed! It’s topped with roasted & raw beets tossed with a zippy lemon dressing, sautéed spinach, roasted onion, and crispy chickpeas. Bursting with contrasting colors, textures, and flavors, it’s sure to impress your date.
I first made this recipe for Valentine’s Day a few years ago, and it’s been one of our date-night-in favorites ever since. I thicken the nutty, creamy romesco sauce with chickpeas instead of the usual breadcrumbs, meaning that it’s totally gluten-free. Tip: prep the sauce a day in advance, and this dish will come together in minutes!
Short, curly noodles wind around caramelized fennel, briny sun-dried tomatoes, crunchy walnuts, and plenty of kale in this vibrant winter pasta. Lemon, sage, and a splash of white wine finish it off, making for a deceptively simple, delicious meal that you’ll make for many date nights to come.
Making molten chocolate cakes is one of our Valentine’s traditions. Or, that is, one of Jack’s Valentine’s traditions – he makes them and then we both dig in. If you’ve never made molten chocolate cakes before, give it a go! They require just 6 ingredients, and they’re a fun, decadent indulgence to share with someone you love.
This is the easiest tart recipe out there, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. The filling is made of coconut cream with a dash of vanilla & maple, and the gluten-free crust takes seconds to make in the food processor. My favorite part? The strawberry halves on top look like little hearts – perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day!