I love Valentine’s day! But its not because of the flowers, jewelry or other gifts. It’s because I love any reason to celebrate love! People complain about Valentine’s day being a marketing ploy for the candy and jewelry industries, but it’s not about that to me. Personally, my ideal gift is a heart felt, handwritten card and a sweet kiss 😉 I love being the one who plans our Valentine’s day because seeing the look on Carlos’s face when he comes home to a special meal and decorations is my favorite! Historically, we prefer to make something special at home instead of going out, because its a lot easier to do something sort of elaborate without spending hundreds of dollars. I also love a good challenge, and veganizing fancy meals typically full of heavy creams and butter is definitely a challenge!
ANYWAY, on to the important thing, what do vegans eat on a day revolving around non- vegan candy?!
I have to say, it has taken me some time to get over not getting to eat truffles or those sweet heart shaped boxes with different candies in them (sob) but this year we figured it out! The best thing a vegan can do for themselves is find new things to enjoy instead of trying to replace old favorites. Today I’m sharing how I made this Valentine’s day “sweet”!
Dinner: Fettuccine Alfredo with butter garlic shiitake mushrooms
That’s right. Alfredo!!! I have searched high and low, near and far, and have not found a decent substitute for Alfredo sauce. What to do when you can’t find it? You make it! To be honest I was inspired by a few different recipes, but the combination of ingredients were my invention. I made this for myself for lunch one day and fell in love, so I decided to try it out on Carlos for our Valentine’s day dinner! Here’s the recipe, this is for an entire box of fettuccine but you can halve it for half the box:
- 1 cup of raw cashews (you can soak for an hour in water to soften but I’m lazy)
- 4 tbsp hemp seeds
- Just enough water to cover the cashews/ hemp seeds
- 1 large garlic clove or 2 small/ medium
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast or to taste
- Dash of italian seasoning (too much will ruin the taste)
- 1/8- 1/4 tsp of salt or to taste (optional if eating SOS free)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
If the sauce it too thick, you can add a little more water until its the consistency you desire. After cooking and draining the fettuccine, place it back in the pot and add 2 tbsp of vegan butter and 1/4 cup of non- dairy milk. Next, add the sauce and mix. Top with the following:
- Butter garlic shiitake mushrooms:
- Melt 3 tbsp of non- dairy butter
- add 2 small minced cloves,
- Immediately add one package (about 6 oz) of shiitake mushrooms after washing them and removing the stems
- Cook until browned.
- Fresh basil
YOU GUYS. This recipe is SO. DARN. GOOD. The mushrooms are out of this world. Carlos took a bite, looked at me with big eyes and said “This tastes just like Alfredo.” He still eats cheese and laughs at me when I say vegan cheese tastes close to regular cheese, and HE liked this. It can also easily be made healthy if you take out the butter, but if you’re looking for something down right delicious this is it!
We enjoyed this with some salad, fresh bread (from Whole Foods), and of course some wine 😉
I had elaborate plans to hand make some vegan versions of candies that come in the variety boxes but, ya know, new mom here so I can only do so much! I’m going to tell you what we ate then talk about some of my other favorite treats!
We shared a chocolate cupcake from Whole Foods (they also had carrot cake and vanilla) and Carlos got me Justin’s Dark Chocolate PB cups. These are my favorite!!!
Some other great options are banana “nice cream” (thinking about doing a post with my favorite flavors soon!), dates stuffed with peanut butter and covered in dark chocolate, or if you’re in Jacksonville Sweet Pete’s, Mossfire Grill, and Sweet Theory Baking all have vegan sweets!
That’s about it for Valentine’s day! Please let me know if you try this Alfredo recipe and if you like it, also if you have any recipe requests let me know!
Thanks for reading 🙂