Tricks & Tips

Love is in the air – a vegetarian Valentine’s menu

Fancy cooking up a homemade meal for your loved one on Valentine’s Day? We’ve come up with a fancy three course vegetarian meal that’s sure to leave you both in the mood for love!

Two years ago we shared three recipes for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. And this year we’ve come up with another starter, main and dessert to mark this special day. However, there’s a twist. All three courses are vegetarian – in fact the main and the dessert are even vegan. So what are you waiting for? Aprons at the ready!

And if you haven’t got time to cook, why not treat your Valentine to a dinner date at Vapiano? To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re giving every couple a free glass of Prosecco with their main course. Cheers, lovebirds!

Starter – Beetroot Carpaccio with Orange Marinade

Kick off the evening with a light starter. Our simple vegetarian Carpaccio is made using beetroot and it’s gluten-free.

Ingredients for 2 portions:


140 g beetroot
40 g avocado
60 g feta cheese
70 ml orange marinade
40 g cucumber
40 g grapefruit
70 ml orange marinade
20 g pine nuts
4 g fresh mint

For the orange marinade:

1 g grated orange peel
30 ml orange juice
6 g maple syrup
3 g sugar
60 ml olive oil

Here’s how:

Start by making the orange marinade. Grate some peel from your orange before you squeeze out the juice. Then add all the ingredients (except the olive oil) to a bowl and whizz with a stick blender. Pour in the oil slowly and continue mixing until you are left with a smooth marinade.

Cut the beetroot into thin slices and arrange around your plate, leaving the middle free. Cut the avocado and feta into small cubes and scatter over the beetroot slices. Drizzle with some of the orange marinade.  

Cut the cucumber in half horizontally, then slice into half-moon shapes. Cut the grapefruit into small pieces. Mix the cucumber and grapefruit pieces with the orange marinade in a small bowl and arrange in the centre of your plates.

Garnish with pine nuts and some fresh mint leaves. Voilà!

Main – Pasta Vegitalia

Next – to the main. Pasta Vegitalia is a vegan dish. The original recipe uses asparagus, but if it’s out of season you can also use black salsify.

Ingredients for 2 portions:


30 g olive oil
160 g black salsify
30 g onions
260 g linguine
120 ml vegan cream
20 g soft cheese

80 g cherry tomatoes
40 g baby spinach
30 g basil pesto

Here’s how:

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Cook the linguine until al dente. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a pan and fry the salsify until golden brown. Then add the onions and fry until they turn clear. Use the vegan cream to douse the ingredients in the pan and add your soft cheese. Leave the sauce to bubble away for a few minutes and keep stirring.  

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then add the cherry tomatoes and pesto. Continue to stir. Pour the sauce over the pasta and fold in the baby spinach.

Arrange your Pasta Vegitalia on two plates and garnish with basil.

Dessert – Riso Latte di Mandorla with Pumpkin Seed Caramel

No menu is complete without a delicious dessert at the end. This vegan rice pudding comes with a tangy pineapple-goji berry sauce and is set to be the crowning glory of your menu.

Ingredients for 2 portions:


For the almond rice pudding:

200 ml almond milk
15 g sugar
The tip of a vanilla pod
50 g pudding rice
A pinch of salt

Justine from Justinekeptcalmandwentvegan has a simple recipe for making your own almond milk.

For the pineapple-goji berry sauce:

4 g goji berries
3 g sugar
14 ml orange juice
1 g cornflour (to thicken sauce if required)
30 g pineapple

For the pumpkin seed caramel:

16 g pumpkin seeds
12 g sugar
4 g agave syrup

Here’s how:


For the almond rice pudding:

Bring the almond milk, sugar, salt and vanilla pulp to the boil. Add the rice and stir constantly as it comes to the boil. Then place a lid on the pan and allow to simmer for around 30 minutes. Remember to stir every now and again so it doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn.


For the pineapple-goji berry sauce:

Soak your goji berries for around 30 minutes in warm water. While the berries soak, cut the pineapple into small pieces. Add the pineapple to a pan and caramelise with orange juice and sugar. Once everything has been brought to the boil briefly, remove from the heat and gently fold in the goji berries. Allow to cool.


For the pumpkin seed caramel:
Preheat your oven to 170°C. Mix the pumpkin seeds, sugar and agave syrup in a bowl, then spread the mixture across a baking tray. Try and ensure an even covering of seeds with no gaps. Bake for 10 – 13 minutes until golden brown and then allow to cool at room temperature. Once the caramel has cooled, break into bite-size pieces.

Fill a glass with the rice pudding and top with the pineapple-goji berry sauce. Then sprinkle with caramel pieces and enjoy.

A very happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and buon appetito!