Date night dinner idea for Valentine's Day!
Whether you’re planning something special for you and your sweetheart or a fun dinner with girlfriends, there are plenty of delicious meals you can put together that are both sure to please and healthy. So many people have various dietary restrictions that it can be tricky to plan a menu for multiple people nowadays. We have put together a few different menu options that can be tweaked to suit any diet. It is easier than you think to add meat, add a vegetarian protein or substitute dairy or gluten-free options so that everyone involved is taken care of. Tofu or tempeh is an easy replacement for chicken, pork, fish or beef. Gluten-free breads and noodles are so easy to find in most grocery stores now and, so long as you cook them al dente, are very similar to regular wheat noodles. Dairy-free meals are a little harder to imitate but you can still buy or make similar cheesy or creamy sauces for most dishes. We love using cashews and cashew milk in place of dairy in our recipes and nutritional yeast passes for parmesan quite easily.
So, without further ado, here are some sample menus for a vegetarian/vegan, pescatarian, or meat diet. Again, feel free to try these as is if that suits you or make the necessary swaps on each one to suit the company that you are serving. You can easily add or take away something from one person’s meal while keeping the other as it is without too much effort.
Ingredients for salad:
1/3 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
¼ cucumber, sliced thin
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Thinly sliced sweet onion, to taste
1/8 cup each, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries
2 tbsp hemp hearts
Ingredients for balsamic vinaigrette:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ lemon juiced
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp oregano
Pinch of salt and pepper
Combine salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Add the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a mason jar and shake well.
Add more seasonings or honey as desired.
Walnut and lentil bolognaise
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup finely minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed
1 cups vegetable stock
1/2 jar marinara sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Gluten free pasta of choice, for serving
Fresh parmesan, vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast for serving
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onions and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the walnuts and lentils, stir to combine. Add the stock, marinara, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine and then increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to med-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and lentils have softened, about 30 minutes.
Transfer 1 cup of sauce too a blender and process until smooth. Return sauce back to pan and stir to combine.
Serve over pasta and top with parmesan or nutritional yeast.
We also found a great recipe for gluten free bread rolls if you would like to make it here.
Healthy Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
100 g dairy-free or dark chocolate baking bars, roughly chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 large eggs
1/4 almond cup almond flour
Raspberries and shredded coconut for topping
Preheat oven to 420F, place 2 ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.
Place chocolate and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. When melted, set aside and let it cool a little.
Crack the eggs in a large bowl and with a hand mixer, mix until they are foamy.
Add cooled melted chocolate to the eggs and mix on low speed to incorporate. Add almond flour and mix until just combined.
Spoon into the prepared ramekins.
Bake for 8 minutes and remove from the oven.
Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes and then serve topped with raspberries and shredded coconut.