Every Valentine’s Day brings another temptation of eating a box of chocolates and going out for an extravagant dinner. As a vegan in Des Moines it’s not always easy to find that perfect Valentine’s dinner at a restaurant. And what about the wine, is it vegan?
The perfect solution is dining at home. You can make an intimate dinner for two or, if you don’t have a babysitter, a loving dinner for four and not have to wonder in what animal ingredient the veggies were actually cooked.
On the menu this year is vegan pizza with cheese, yes, vegan cheese that actually melts and tastes great, vegan wine, and chocolate. Pizza may not be the first dish that comes to mind when you think of a romantic dinner, but when made at home it can be quite extravagant. Pizza has always been a favorite of mine, and I love it even more knowing it’s 100% animal free and heart-healthy.
Start with your favorite whole-wheat pizza dough and top with tons of veggies. My favorite is tomato sauce, caramelized red onions, artichokes, roasted red peppers, shitake mushrooms, and Vegan Gourmet mozzarella.
Finding a good, true vegan cheese in small town Iowa can prove to be difficult, but now that Hy-Vee HealthMarket in Jordan Creek carries Vegan Gourmet, the search is over. Vegan Gourmet cheese contains no casein, a milk protein found in most soy cheese, and it does melt. I found that placing the pizza under the broiler for a few minutes at the end really does the trick for melting this cheese.
If pizza is not your thing, here is a perfect lasagna recipe. You can also add some vegan mozzarella to this recipe, as well.
Stay tuned for a perfect vegan wine recommendation also found at Jordan Creek Hy-Vee.