5 Veggie Valentine’s Dinner Ideas

Valentine’s day. Whether it is your first or fortieth time celebrating with your special someone, there is no denying it- going out is a mega pain. Every nice restaurant in town is packed with reservations, movie theaters, bowling alleys and any other go-to “date”night locations are packed. Over the years I have found that celebrating Valentine’s day at home is much less stressful, and much more fun.

I have compiled a list of easy, economical, and delish dinner ideas that pair perfectly with board games and a redbox movie. They are simple enough so that you are not stuck in the kitchen cooking all night, and you can snuggle up on the couch and relax, but special enough to make the night a real treat.

1- Build the perfect cheese board.  Treat yourself and take a trip to the “fancy” cheese section of the grocery store. As Ashley from Hither & Thither suggests, get creative and go for what you love! Splurge on some artisinal crackers, bread, olives, and spreads.

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2- Make your own pizza. Again, get creative and try something new! Homemade pizza dough is easy. The Roberta’s Pizza recipe proves that a great pizza dough can be tossed together with items you probably already have in your pantry. Make a few mini pizzas topped with different things, or go for a big heart shaped pie so you can instagram it later.

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3-Breakfast for dinner, chocolate chip heart pancakes. Top with strawberries whipped cream, real maple syrup, nuts and coconut. Swap in whole wheat flour, coconut oil or flax eggs to make a bit healthier.

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4-Slow cooker butternut squash soup. Cozy up up with a spicy, creamy, hearty bowl of veggie goodness. Gimmie some oven’s recipe can be tossed in the crockpot, left to cook for a few hours, then blended when ready to eat. Grab a crusty loaf of bread to go with it, simple and delicious dinner.

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5- Mini chocolate cheesecakes. Nothing says Valentine’s day like chocolate. These mini chocolate cheesecakes with salted caramel topping are perfect for a date night in. I love the small portion recipe because sometimes you want a treat, but don’t want the leftovers hanging around the house all week!

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Enjoy! What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Comment below.

 

Thug Kitchen Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad

While I am not a huge “new year new me” kinda person, I did have a few things that I wanted to try to keep up this year. Some of these things are eating foods with short and pronounceable ingredient lists, moving toward what I call a “selective vegan” diet – eating my favorite dairy and egg products as a treat rather than an everyday food, and trying new things. One of these new things came to me as a secret santa gift from a coworker in the form of a Thug Kitchen cookbook. If you haven’t heard of about Thug Kitchen, their recipes are designed to “cut through the bullshit” and teach the average person how to cook for a healthy, ethical and practical diet. The book and their website give a good laugh, dropping f-bombs and the #truth in every recipe.

I love to cook, and I love to come up with creative new dishes, but I took this gift as a sign- to try and actually follow new recipes. So when I came home with a bunch of great stuff from the farmers market including beets and kale, and came across this recipe, I gave it a shot. I diiiiiid have to do some adaptations. I didn’t have mustard, and I was not about to only cook 3 beets when I had 5 in the fridge. But I did actually measure things! I didn’t just eyeball the dressing! I almost threw in some asparagus for fun, but refrained. Baby steps.

  
I won’t give away the secret recipe, but the salad starts with peeled and diced beets roasted in a simple dressing. The recipe says to roast for 20 mins at 400 degrees but mine came out at 20 mins hard as a rock- so I will say roast at least 35 minutes. Then just cook quinoa as directed and fold in sliced kale while warm. 

Overall, a great side or main dish over a bed of greens. Check it out, and enjoy!