The Love Language of Food This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day means a few things: a chance to show how much you love those special people in your life and the chance to eat a wonderfully decadent dessert. The connection between love and food is very powerful, we see it every year with shelves full of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Step away from encouraging consumerism this Valentine’s Day and show your love through the language of food prepared by you. We’ve collected our favorite recipes to give you some Valentine's inspiration, these are simple to prepare delicious plant-based dishes that will express your love and win their heart. So put on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine, or beer, slip on that apron, relax, and remember to have fun while cooking for those most precious to you. Happiest of Valentine’s Day!        

Vegan Balsamic Strawberry French Toast

What you need: 

For the Balsamic Strawberry Compote:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the French Toast:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter melted, divided 
  • 1 loaf day-old vegan brioche bread 

What to do:

  1. For the compote, into a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, add all ingredients. Let simmer until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. After 4 to 5 minutes, remove from heat and let cool until sauce thickens. Set aside
  2. For the French toast, into a large bowl, add milk, vanilla, flaxseed, arrowroot starch, cinnamon, salt, and 1 tablespoon butter, and whisk. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat griddle to medium-high heat and add remaining butter.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Dip 1 slice of bread into milk mixture, soaking for a few seconds on each side. Place a slice on the heated griddle, cooking on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with remaining bread.
  6. Once done cooking, add all French toast onto the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crisp on the edges. Remove from oven.
  7. To serve, stack French toast on top of each other and spoon a generous amount of compote over the top.

Vegan Sticky Orange Sesame Tofu

What you need:

For the tofu:

  • 1 block firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the orange sesame sauce:

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 

What to do:

  1. For the tofu, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Into a large mixing bowl, place all ingredients. Toss well. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  2. For the sauce, into a medium mixing bowl, add all ingredients. Mix well 
  3. Into a saucepan over medium heat, add sauce, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken and reduce. Turn off heat. 
  4. To saucepan, add tofu and gently mix to coat. Serve warm.

2-Step Vegan Winter Farro Salad

What you need:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 cup roughly pitted green olives
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins 
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried savory herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme 
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup fresh finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh finely chopped mint

What to do: 

  1. Cook farro according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Divide into four serving bowls and serve.

Vegan Rose -Flavored Bounty Bars

What you need:

  • 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 3 teaspoons rose water
  • ½ teaspoon beet juice
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • Rose petals, for garnish

What to do: 

  1. Into a food processor, add coconut, maple syrup, coconut butter, rose water, and beet juice. Pulse until combined and sticky.
  2. Line a plate with parchment paper. Scoop 2 tablespoons of mixture and form into a bar shape. Compact well so it does not fall apart. Place on prepared plate, and repeat to create a total of 6 bars. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate. Drop a bar, one at a time, into melted chocolate and gently toss until fully coated. Place back on a parchment-lined plate and garnish with shredded coconut and rose petals.
  4. Repeat for remaining bars and then place in the refrigerator until set. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.