It’s Friday night and you need vegetarian date night recipes to impress your lover. You’re not the best cook, but you still want a candlelit dinner over kisses and hand-holding.
You could spend hundreds of dollars to show them how much you care. But you know your vegan date is searching for a little something more.
If your love interest is like me, they want to be pampered with love, not money. Dining out can be a special (and sometimes expensive) treat. Yet the money and roses are unnecessary when you realize what your bunny truly wants: your time.
Knowing (s)he took the time to cook a special meal is more thoughtful than any amount of money spent.
Luckily for you, my vegan and vegetarian date night recipes are special without being overly complicated. You’ll need a day in advance to prepare but not of the prep work is intensive.
Spoil your vegan valentine with the following gluten-free and vegan dinner menu. The menu includes three vegan dinner date recipes: a starter, a main dish and a dessert.
Vegetarian Starter Idea: Creamy Mushroom and Zucchini Soup
The first of the easy vegan date night recipes I first made traveling in Prague. Before I left and I had leftover zucchini, mushrooms, non-dairy milk, a banana pepper and nori.
Quickly thinking, I made them into a soup. I didn’t expect much. When I tasted the soup, how the umami of the mushrooms paired the nori was overwhelming. It was perfect then and it’s the perfect starter for a group of romantic vegan date ideas.
Creamy Mushroom and Zucchini Soup Ingredients
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms (brown, shiitake or Portobello work well)
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp basil, dry
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (depends on how salty you like it)
- 1 nori sheet, sliced or ripped into small strips
- 1 fresh banana pepper
Creamy Mushroom and Zucchini Soup Preparation
In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the nori and banana pepper. Blend until smooth.
Place the soup in a saucepan and warm until the soup until hot. Cover until it’s time to serve.
Garnish the soup with the nori and sliced banana pepper before serving.
Vegan Date Night Main Course: Marinated Tempeh and Avocado Sushi
When you think of date night vegetarian recipes, sushi isn’t the first thought. First of all, sushi is hard to make… isn’t it?? And plus, tradition sushi is made with fish. vegetarian rolls usually consists of carrots, cucumber or avocado. BORING.
Sushi seems tricky to roll, though you quickly get the hang of it when you’re prepared and have the right tools.
You’ll want a sushi mat, plastic wrap, a sharp knife, a cutting board and a large glass of water before you start rolling. Set up your ingredients and tools before you start rolling and keep them accessible. It will be much less overwhelming.
I originally made this sushi with marinated zucchini instead of the tempeh. The tempeh and avocado add indulgence for Valentine’s Day.
You’ll want to marinate the tempeh for at least 8 hours. Marinating for a day is best. Your vegan date night will be a 10/10 if you allow enough time for marinating.
Marinated Tempeh and Avocado Sushi Ingredients
- 1 tsp dry ginger
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 8-oz package tempeh
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 4 cups cooked short-grain brown rice, room temperature (2 cups of dry rice)
- 5-7 nori sheets
- Soy sauce (optional)
- Wasabi (optional)
Marinated Tempeh and Avocado Sushi Preparation
Add the ginger, molasses, garlic, vinegar and water into a bowl. Mix thoroughly, ensuring the molasses has dissolved into the liquid. Set aside.
Slice the tempeh width-wise into strips between ¼ and ½ of an inch thick. Add the tempeh to the marinate and toss. Transfer to an airtight container. Marinate for at least 8 hours, up to 3 days.
When it’s the night, prepare your workstation. You want a sharp knife, glass of water, sushi mat, cutting board, your ingredients and an empty tray for completed sushi.
Begin your sushi by laying a sheet of nori paper shiny side down on the sushi mat. Apply a later of brown rice to the nori sheet. Make the layer ¼ of an inch thick and cover 2/3 of the nori the side closest to you.
Line up the tempeh on the brown rice 1-2 inches away from the side closest to you. Line up the avocado on top of the tempeh. Dip your fingers into the water and use them to dampen the nori furthest away from you, the side without the rice. Use your fingers to keep the filling in place while you roll the sushi onto itself.
Secure the sushi roll and allow the sushi to rest for a minute before slicing. This allows the nori to stick together and keep the sushi together.
Dip your sharp knife into the glass of water before slicing your sushi into pieces. 8 is traditional while 6 is more manageable for sushi-making newbies.
Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. And voila! One of the best vegetarian recipes for date night, done.
Enjoy with soy sauce, wasabi or the leftover marinade.
Veg Date Night Dessert: Carrot Cake Bowl for Two
Finally, it’s time for dessert. You love cake, but it seems pointless to bake an entire cake for just the two of you, right? That’s why I’m obsessed with microwave cakes. They’re indulgent, delicious, versatile and can be made in less than 10 minutes.
The carrot cake bowl is just the right combination of dense, moist cake and warming flavors. And there’s even a secret ingredient: white beans.
The last of the vegetarian date night recipes is best to make right before dinner. The cake becomes very hot in the microwave. Leaving it to cool while you eat your soup and sushi will leave you with a pleasantly warm cake come dessert.
Carrot Cake Bowl Ingredients
- ½ cup oats (rolled or quick)
- ½ cup white beans
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 4 medjool dates, soaked and pitted
- 1 banana, divided
- 4 tbsp water, divided
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp peanut butter or cashew butter
Carrot Cake Bowl Preparation
Begin by adding the rolled oats to a food processor. Blend until they’re broken up, though they don’t have to be finely ground.
Add the beans, carrot, dates, 2 tablespoons of water and half of the banana to the food processor. Process the mixture until it’s smooth, 2-4 minutes. There may still be small bits of oats. You want to avoid large pieces of oats, banana or carrot.
Add the spices, baking powder, baking soda and vinegar to the food processor. Blend to distribute the spices throughout the batter
Transfer the batter to a large, single-serve microwavable bowl. Be sure to allow 1-2 inches of room for expanding and rising.
Microwave the cake for 4 minutes on high. If the middle still seems a bit raw, add time in 30-second increments. Cook up to 5 minutes.
For the frosting, combine the nut butter, the other half of the banana and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in the food processor. Blend until smooth.
When the cake is done, top with the frosting and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.
Pin these vegetarian date night recipes: