When you’ve been partnered for a long time, planning an original Valentine’s Day can feel as daunting as a first date. And if you’re single, it can be difficult to find a way to celebrate (or cope) that departs from the classic approach of finishing off a bottle of vegan wine and a carton of Coconut Bliss. The solution to breaking free from your Valentine’s Day rut resides within the once neglected, now inescapably trendy root vegetable: beets. Here are our favorite vegan Valentine’s Day gifts, recipes, and activities, made possible by beets.
Crafting a card
Working with beets can make our fingers and clothes look like we just escaped a crime scene, but don’t fear the dye! Their staining power is the perfect tool to dress up a hand-written love letter. To decorate your card, simply shape a sliced beet into a heart (either by hand or with a cookie cutter), press the beet onto your paper, and admire your craftiness. The overachievers with a little extra celery on hand can even add roses. This card will make your vegan sweetie simply swoon.
Picking the perfect gift
Gift-giving to an eco-conscious vegan requires a little extra research, but can be relatively easy if you stick to two guiding principles: opt for home-made, or patronize small businesses. If your significant other enjoys wearing non-toxic and cruelty-free beauty products, try your hand at making your own vegan lip stain. Not only do you get to enjoy how beautiful it looks on your sweetheart, but you get to feel the satisfaction of giving a gift you made yourself. And since not all of us have the time to prepare a gourmet meal, handmade card, and a gift (there are animals to save and work to do!), for those looking to spoil their special someone with a present that fits your vegan lover’s plant-based preferences, search “beets” on Etsy. Whether your partner loves puns, pins, or prints, there is something for everyone. Seriously, you can’t beet it.
While cards and gifts are nice, most vegans will agree that dinner and drinks are what seal the deal. Start off the night with a deep red Beet-Pomegranate Cocktail from Floating Kitchen. Whether you’re single and hanging with fun friends, flying solo, or cuddling with your main squeeze, booze will most certainly come in handy during your Valentine’s Day celebration (or mope session). For couples, the cocktail’s sexy red shade sets the mood perfectly—and if you’re single, you can pretend that you’re drinking the blood of those who broke your heart.
When the drunk munchies kick in (which they undoubtedly will), why not soak up that alcohol with a no-cook starter that’s easy to make and eat? Hummus often serves as the only vegan option at omni dinner parties, and can get a little boring. But pink hummus? Pink hummus could never be boring. Check out how to make the Minimalist Baker’s Roasted Beet Hummus for a stunning, cruelty-free Valentine’s Day appetizer. Serve it with crusty bread, raw vegetables of your choice, or savory crackers.
Despite its messiness, pasta is the quintessential date entrée. To inspire your own Lady & the Tramp moment, follow Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe for Beet Fettuccine Alfredo with Lemon Chive Ricotta. Stellar reviews from the correspondents at The Today Show prove this recipe will impress any palate.
For a bite-sized dessert, consider making these soft and sumptuous Vegan Amaretto Truffles from Lazy Cat Kitchen. If you have some extra time on your hands, Create N Plate’s Raw Beet Cashew Cake will dazzle your guests, your partner, and yourself. Keep in mind that this recipe requires planning ahead. Take it from us: you don’t want to be that person who forgets to soak the cashews the night before.
If you have any extra room in your belly for snackage (props if you do), make some beet chip necklaces courtesy of Laura Miller’s instruction. As your necklaces dehydrate or bake, fire up Netflix to watch beet farmer Dwight Schrute cause chaos on The Office. If you’re in the mood for something else, transport your bee-free honey to vegan heaven with an episode of Portlandia. The “Celery” episode’s opening skit, “911 Beets Emergency,” serves as a hilarious reminder to refrain from freaking out when using the restroom after your beet-filled evening.
Nora Kovaleski is the Editorial Assistant for VegNews, and plans on spending her Valentine’s Day listening to beet poetry with her partner, Justin.
Photo courtesy of Claire Ragozzino