Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentines Dinner

I promised you a menu for Valentines night and here it is, and its a five course meal too! All good healthy food with a little bit of naughtiness for pudding!

Appetiser: Vegetable Stacks - Serves 4

This is just a pure and simple stack of vegetables with a tasty tomato sauce to finish it off. The best of it is after you've sliced up the vegetables you need, the sauce is made from the remainder. It's a no waste recipe. If you have any left over sauce it can be used with pasta, I'll post the recipe soon. 

This recipe males 4 vegetable stacks so you could halve the recipe if you want to only serve two (after all it is Valentines!) or you could serve the 2 remaining vegetable stacks with wedges and salad to make it a main meal the next day.

1 Aubergine 
1 Courgette

1 Red pepper

4 Large mushrooms

1 Onion

160g Cherry tomatoes

2 Tsp Dried parsley

1 Clove of garlic

1 Tsp garlic puree

1 Tsp Tomato puree

Salt & Pepper

First turn on your grill to high, then prepare the vegetables. Thickly cut 4 slices of aubergine and 4 slices of courgette. Quarter the red pepper and de-stalk and peel the mushrooms. Arrange the slices of  aubergine, courgette, red pepper quarters and mushrooms on a grill pan and put under the grill.

After 5 minutes (or more if required) turn the vegetables over. You will probably need to remove the aubergine and courgette slices first while the red pepper skin blackens and the mushrooms cook.

Finely dice the remaining courgette and aubergine along with the onion and add to a pan with a little olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic and parsley and stir to combine.

Add the garlic puree and the tomato puree and stir again. Cook until the tomatoes have reduced and you are left with a thick sauce.

Remove the red peppers from the grill and put in a plastic bag and leave for a couple of minutes. This helps with the removal of the skin.

Turn the mushrooms over again so that they are able to collect their juices in their middles. Once the mushrooms are cooked pour the collected mushroom juice into the tomato mixture.

Pour the tomato mixture into a blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the stack with the tomato sauce and enjoy.

Soup: Creamy Spinach & Sage - Serves 4

I first made this for my sister when she was suffering with tonsillitis, after researching foods to help heal the illness. The soup is very creamy but light, so it's perfect for a 5 course meal and you certainly don't need tonsillitis to enjoy it!

1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, finely diced
24 Sage leaves, shredded
3 Cloves of garlic, crushed
500g Frozen spinach
250ml Hot water
1 Tsp Vegetable bouillon powder
60g Cashews
250ml Almond milk, unsweetened

Saute the onion until translucent, add the garlic and shredded sage leaves and saute for another 2 minutes, turn the heat down a little you don't want to burn the sage or garlic.

Add the frozen spinach and continue to cook until the spinach has started to break down a little. 

Add the vegetable bouillon powder to the hot water and pour over the spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach is completely broken down. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

Leave to cool a little before transferring to a blender, add the cashews and almond milk and process until completely smooth.

Pour back in to a clean saucepan and reheat before serving.

Salad: Chicory, Pear and Walnut - Serves 2

Some people don't like chicory because it is quite bitter, but pair it with sweet pear and a sharp tangy red onion and it's a taste sensation. Well, I think so anyway!


1 Head of chicory
1 Pear
1 Red onion
Handful of spinach leaves
Handful of walnut halves


5 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
Lay the spinach leaves on a plate and top with a few chicory leaves. Slice the red onion thinly and arrange on top of the chicory. Slice the pear length ways and halve and arrange the pear halves on the plate. Next scatter the walnut halves on the top. To make the dressing, put all ingredients in a screw top jar or bottle and shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve at once.

Main Entree: Mushroom Risotto - Serves 4

I don't know about you but I love risotto, especially mushroom risotto. It's the perfect Valentine meal, with all that love, care and attention it is given while you make it. 

100g Wild mushrooms
2 Tbsp Vitalite
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, finely diced
1 Clove of garlic, crushed
400g Mixed mushrooms, diced
1 Tbsp Mushroom ketchup
50ml Vegan white wine
300g Arborio rice
2 Tsp Porcini powder
1 Litre vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Nutritional yeast

Fry the wild mushrooms in 1 Tbsp of Vitalite and the Olive oil for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. 

Add a splash more of olive oil if needed and saute the onion until translucent, add the crushed garlic and saute for another minute.

Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes before adding the mushroom ketchup. Stir and add the white wine, cook for another minute. 

Add the rice and stir so that it is coated with the liquid in the pan and cook until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid. Add the porcini powder and stir to combine.

Add a little stock and stir, once the rice has soaked up the stock add a bit more at a time until you have used half of the stock. Add the parsley.

Continue adding a little stock at a time until all the stock has been used and your rice is cooked. Add the nutritional yeast and stir through the rice. Add the remaining Vitalite and beat into the rice, this will give the risotto a shine. 

Serve the risotto with the reserved mushrooms as a garnish. Any left overs can be heated up the next day although you will need to add some more stock or water.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse - Serves 2

Chocolate mousse made out of avocados isn't new, its all over the internet. I have tried a few recipes but they have just not been to my liking. So, I started from scratch and wrote everything down that I added and I kept adding until I was happy. Once I got the consistency and taste to my liking, I made it again making sure that I hadn't missed writing anything down. The secret to a good vegan chocolate avocado mousse in my opinion is..........sweet freedom choc shot! 


1 Avocado

25g Cocoa powder

1 Tbsp Maple syrup

1 Tsp Vanilla paste

70ml Almond milk

2 Tbsp Choc Shot (heaped)

1 Strawberry for decoration
Add all ingredients except from the strawberry to a blender and process until smooth. You will need to stop the machine a couple of times and scrape the mixture down from the sides. Be sure that everything has been pureed you don't want any surprise avocado pieces in the chocolate mousse!

Slice the strawberry and tweak the top of each slice to make it resemble a heart. Spoon the mousse into serving glasses and top with a strawberry heart.

Happy Valentines Day for tomorrow!


  1. Looks lovely! Happy Valentine's Day! :)

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you - I had fun making it all. Happy Valentines Day to you too, hope you have a lovely evening x

  2. Gorgeous! Your date is a lucky guy!

    1. Thanks Rachael! Hubby not a massive vegetable lover but I'm getting him there slowly but surely hee hee :o) x

  3. I don't think I've ever had a 5 course meal before, but I'd very happily tuck into all your dishes. They look so scrummy ♥ I hope you had a wonderful Valentines Day. I was treated to a box of Booja Booja, so I was one very happy girl indeed! :D

    1. Ooo you are a lucky girl, I've heard Booja Booja truffles are amazing! I've not yet tried them, but I shall leave plenty of hints for my birthday! x


Thanks for leaving a comment, Jasmine x