Valentine’s Ideas

Dark Chocolate Chip Strawberries

Dark Chocolate Chip Strawberries

It’s been a relaxing and rainy weekend and not much cooking has been happening around here until today. Friday we went out with Josh’s family and had sushi and last night we ordered vegetable hibachi in. It was actually pretty good and you can order it without butter and asked for light on the oil, so it didn’t taste so greasy.

Tonight we had our annual Valentine’s family dinner with my family, and it’s the only time we get to eat in the dining room, so it’s a pretty big deal! It’s a steak dinner so this year I made something that I could have, and my family really enjoyed it as well. I made a vegetable sushi platter for appetizer with several varieties and I saved some of it to have as my meal with roasted veggies and for dessert I made some dark chocolate covered strawberries sprinkled with dairy free chocolate chips. I haven’t been eating chocolate very much since starting to eat HCLF, so these were a treat! They were a great vegan Valentine’s sweet and they were really easy to make.

The sushi is a perfect valentine’s meal to impress. It looks really fancy like you put a lot of time into it, plus it’s delicious and not too heavy. You can add whatever you want inside so it’s versatile and so much cheaper than going out (especially on Valentine’s Day!)

 Vegetable Sushi 

Nori sheets (Whole Foods)

short grain brown rice (almost 1 cup per roll)

2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar per cup of rice

Filling Ideas-

Teriyaki Grilled Portobello, Asparagus, and Carrot- 

1 portobello cap, cleaned

asparagus spears, microwaved for 1 minute

shredded carrots

scallion slices

Teriyaki sauce

  1. Marinate cap in teriyaki for about an hour, then grill on a grill pan until tender. Slice into slices and place back in the leftover marinade.

Avocado, Cucumber, Carrot, Scallion, and spring mix

Avocado, cucumber, avocado, scallion

Avocado, mango, cucumber

Teriyaki Grilled Portobello, Asparagus, Cucumber, Spring Mix

To Assemble-

  1. Mix warm rice with proper amount of vinegar (2 tbsp per 1 cup rice) and let sit for a few minutes until sticky.
  2. Lay nori sheet on a clean and dry surface shiny side down and long ends horizontal, and spread rice with paddle on nori, I leave about 1/2 inch of room on the side closest to me and farthest from me.
  3. Add a little of each ingredient (few pieces of each) about 1/3 way across (near you) in a horizontal line.
  4. Wet your finger and wet the empty space of nori farthest from you to ensure secure sealing.
  5. Start rolling the sushi up while you are holding the ingredients in, squeeze and roll.
  6. Leave it for a few minutes to seal and then use a sharp serrated knife to cut into 3/4 inch pieces.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce.
Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I used the 72% Endangered Specials Dark Chocolate bars from Whole Foods (2 for $5) and melted them with a tbsp of water in the microwave. Yes, no double boiler and so technically wrong, but it works. You microwave for 30 seconds at a time and use a whisk to stir and keep going until it’s totally melted and glossy. Dip the strawberries and twist, then I used Enjoy Life dairy free mini chocolate chips and pressed them on while the chocolate was still wet. Then refrigerate to set up and serve!

2 dark chocolate bars, melted

1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

1 carton fresh strawberries

Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

I teach 2nd grade so I always make my kids a Valentine’s treat every year. I usually make rice crispy hearts, but this year I wanted to make a vegan option. I melted down a few bars of dark chocolate and poured it into a thin, tall container so that dipping pretzel rods was easy. After dipping the pretzel rods, I laid them on parchment to harden and sprinkled them with valentines sprinkles to look festive.

4 bars of 72% dark chocolate, melted over double boiler

1 bag of pretzel rods

Valentine’s sprinkles

  1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler and pour melted chocolate into a tall, thin container.
  2. Dip each pretzel about halfway and then lay on parchment to cool.
  3. Sprinkle with Valentines sprinkles while still wet and cool completely.
Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Dark Chocolate Pretzels

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