Planning the Perfect Vegan Valentines Day
While we should celebrate love every day of the year, it's nice to have an occasion to spoil your sweetheart.
Whether you choose to go out to to eat, exchange gifts, or just spend time together, it's possible to celebrate while staying true to your vegan values.
And, it's easy to do!
You can make simple vegan tweaks to existing traditions, like where you eat or the gifts you exchange. Or, you can go in a totally different direction and start a whole new tradition with your special someone.
Read on for some ideas on how to make your vegan Valentine's Day the sweetest yet!
Vegan Alternatives to Traditional Activities
When you think of Valentine's Day, certain things are bound to come to mind. Advertisers and the media have made it sound like it just isn't the holiday without certain things. A steak dinner and a horse-drawn carriage ride? A big box of dairy-based chocolates?
Living a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean you have to give up romantic traditions. All you need to do is give these tired activities a plant-based update!
Here are some ideas to help you replace cruel traditions with sweet, vegan-friendly alternatives.
1 - The Steak Dinner
A big slab of steak isn't the only way you can celebrate Valentine's Day! Instead of making a reservation at a steakhouse, consider dining at a vegan restaurant.
If you're in a metropolitan area, you may have several options available to you. However, if you don't have a completely vegan restaurant nearby, you can simply opt for vegan meals at your restaurant of choice.
Many Chinese, Japanese, and Indian restaurants have vegan-friendly dishes. My favorite Indian restaurant nearby categorizes their whole menu by "vegetarian" and "non-vegetarian." Though they don't market as a veg-friendly establishment, this helps expand your options.
I always consult a few websites before choosing a restaurant. Even after over a decade of veganism, they still help me find new restaurants and dishes!
HappyCow is my first go-to for vegan and vegetarian restaurants. You can search in practically any city across the globe! It also gives plenty of flexibility. You can search everything from 100% vegan restaurants to places with vegan options.
Yelp is another great resource. Look for establishments marked "vegan" or that are tagged with "vegetarians go nuts for this spot." Don't forget to search the comments for the best dishes!
2 - The Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
On the surface, horse-drawn carriage rides sound super romantic. But when you start to dig, it becomes clear that this dreamy scenario is a nightmare for the horse.
Carriage horses usually work in the city, in all kinds of weather. Many states have little to no regulations when it comes to the welfare of these animals. It's a sad life from the beginning to (a sometimes tragic) end.
Horses are naturally skittish animals. Their tendency to run at loud noises, like a car horn, can cause injury to both the horses and people.
Plus, let's not pretend that careless drivers aren't a danger here. With so many people texting while driving, it's barely safe to walk across a city intersection, much less drive the carriage through.
The reality is there are so many ways to spend time with your sweetheart without a carriage ride.
Here’s a few ideas:
- One simple option is to take a walk with your sweetheart. Explore a part of the city you've never seen before, admiring the buildings and history behind it.
- In a rural area? Find a trail or path through the woods and go for a leisurely stroll or a hike.
- If you like the movement aspect, consider a bike ride! If you want to get super romantic, opt for a tandem bicycle.
It's friendlier to those horses, and it'll help you build your appetite for dinner!
3 - Valentines Chocolate
No symbol is more strongly associated with Valentine's Day than a big box of chocolates. With each one nestled in a wrapper and placed in a beautiful box, it makes the treats that much more indulgent.
Luckily, this is an easy swap to make! You don't have to sacrifice luxury just because you're forgoing animal products.
Show up with any of these vegan-friendly chocolates, and you'll be sure to land a kiss by the end of the night!
The Chocolate Truffle Collection by Premier Chocolates is my favorite substitute for dairy-based chocolates. It's extremely elegant, from the box itself to the decoration on each truffle. It's also completely vegan, and free of many other allergens. It's even kosher, so you'll have all your bases covered.
For a less traditional, but equally delicious candy, try Booja-Booja Hazelnut Truffles. The handmade truffles are vegan and gluten-free. Reviewers describe them as "the best chocolate candies they've ever had." Note these take awhile to ship, so be sure to order in advance!
For a flavor variety, try Creek House Truffles. They are organic, non-GMO, and totally vegan. The truffles come in fun flavors like chili mango, orange coconut, and dark raspberry. You can choose a small box for your sweetheart or the 40-truffle pack, so there's some left for you!
For a treat-and-activity in one, consider making your own chocolates or candies together!
We've included some great sweet recipes in the section below.
Vegan Valentine’s Day Recipes
Making dinner at home is more than just economical - it's good for you and your relationship!
Cooking together helps strengthen your connection, and can create feelings of closeness. You're in the present moment, working toward the task at hand with your partner. If it's a new recipe, you're learning something new together. It doesn't get much more romantic than that!
Another great benefit of cooking together is the health aspect. Restaurant dishes are often loaded with salt, sugar, and fat to make them taste luxurious.
Plus, restaurant chefs might not be opting for organic, non-GMO produce. When you make something from scratch, you know exactly what goes into it.
Ready to get in the kitchen with your sweetheart? Here's some of our favorite vegan Valentine’s recipes.
1 - Fun Cocktails
Opening a bottle of wine can be very romantic, but a fun cocktail can make the evening that much more special.
Before you get started, double-check your booze with Barnivore. While many alcohol is vegan, this flags anything that uses animal ingredients in the recipe or processing.
Try any of these cocktail recipes for a fun, themed drink to kick off - or end - your vegan Valentine's Day:
- Pink Champagne Floats
- Tart Cherry Old Fashioned
- Love Potion Martini
- Vegan Bailey's Irish Cream
- Chocolate Raspberry Martini
Not a cocktail fan? Use Barnivore to pick the best vegan-friendly wine or beer to share with your sweetie.
2 - Vegan Valentine Dinner Ideas
The entree is the star of your holiday show! The perfect vegan Valentine's Day dinner is one that's just rich enough to be luxurious. However, you don't want it to be too heavy and make you both feel sluggish for the rest of the evening.
Our five favorite vegan Valentine's entrees are sure to please. Pick the one that's best suited to your palette and cooking skill!
- Zucchini and Roasted Tomatoes with Pasta and Dried Olive Flavor Shake
- Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon
- Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Kale
- Sweet & Smoky Glazed Tofu Ham
- Vegetable Sushi
3 - Treats for your Vegan Sweetheart
It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a sweet ending to your meal. Below, we've listed our favorite special occasion desserts.
Opt for a recipe that's as simple or involved as you like! However, any option is bound to end your evening on a high note.
- Vegan Pots de Creme
- Easy Vegan Truffles
- Blueberry Cheesecake
- Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream
- Blackberry Coconut Layer Cake
Vegan V-Day Gifts
They say when it comes to gift giving, it's the thought that counts. What's more thoughtful than getting your sweetheart a gift that reflects their values?
We know there's lots of different personality types you might be shopping for. Here's our favorite gifts by personality!
The Animal-Friendly Fashionista
The Plant-Based Chef
For the Vegan Man
The Wellness Warrior
There are so many options for a vegan-friendly Valentine's celebration. You can still celebrate your love without having to rely on tired traditions involving animal cruelty.
Choosing a vegan-friendly Valentine's celebration is more than just a sweet gesture. It shows that there is demand for traditions that are kind to animals, people, and the planet. You're showing that you don't have to give up fun celebrations because of your lifestyle.
The ideas included in this list are just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, any experience, restaurant, or gift that you or your sweetheart enjoy will be a perfect addition to your holiday. Feel free to tweak these to meet your needs and preferences.
Show the animals and the planet that you care about them, too! Spread the love this Valentine's Day by making compassionate choices.