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Valentine's Recipe Ideas

Cook up something to love


With the current lockdown stopping restaurant visits, it's time to bring the restaurant to your doorstep. 

We've compiled some recipe ideas to bring a romantic touch to your breakfast, dinner and dessert. 

You're sure to make it a night to remember.

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Banana Pancakes with Homemade Nutella (Easy, 25 mins) 

Hint – save leftover Nutella for next day! 


For the pancakes 

  • 140 g self-raising flour
  • 250 ml plant milk (we suggest almond!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 grated apple
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, for frying
  • 1–2 ripe bananas, sliced into rounds

For the nutella 

  • 300 g hazelnuts
  • 250 ml coconut oil
  • 3–4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • fresh fruit and berries
  • coconut yoghurt
  • drizzle of maple syrup
  • nuts and seeds
  • fresh mint leaves



For the Nutella, blitz the hazelnuts in a blender until fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside. 

For the pancakes, mix all the pancake ingredients together (except the coconut oil and bananas) in a bowl until you get a lovely thick pancake batter. 

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Pour in enough batter to make three small pancakes, arrange some banana slices on top and gently push them into the batter. 

Fry on each side for 4–5 minutes until the bananas have caramelised and the pancakes are cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter and bananas. 

Serve the pancakes warm with a dollop of homemade Nutella and any toppings you like - we’ve suggested a few to get you started! 


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Spaghetti and Tempeh ‘Neatballs’ (Easy, 50 mins)  

Live your ‘Lady and the Tramp’ moment this Valentine’s 


For the ‘neatballs’

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms (finely sliced)
  • 200g block of tempeh
  • 3 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast (or Marmite)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 95g cooked brown rice
  • 30g oat flour

For the sauce

  • 2x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (or 1x chopped tomatoes/1x passata)
  • 1 small white onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 glass red wine (can use vegetable stock for a non-alcoholic alternative)

Other ingredients

  • Pasta (spaghetti or linguine)
  • Sprinkle of parmesan (optional, vegan substitute available)



For the ‘neatballs’, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for 5-8 minutes, until they start to caramelise. 

Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes, until they have shrunk in size and all the water has evaporated. 

Meanwhile, chop the tempeh or coarsely blend until you have a consistency similar to mince. 

Add the tempeh, soy sauce and nutritional yeast/marmite to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. 

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the cooked brown rice and oat flour. Mix everything together until you have a fairly sticky mixture. 

With wet hands, roll the mix into individual balls about the size of a golf ball. Repeat the process until you have used up all the mixture. 

For the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine/stock and reduce on low for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer on low for 10-12 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken. 

Whilst the sauce simmers, cook the pasta as per package instructions. 

To cook the ‘neatballs’, heat up the remaining 2 tbsp oil and fry the tempeh balls for a few minutes on each side, until slightly golden brown. 

Mix your ‘neatballs’ into the sauce, plate with pasta and top with optional parmesan. Enjoy! 


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Chocolate Cherry Espresso Pots (Easy, 20 mins)

Decadent and Indulgent


For the cherries

  • 170 g cherries
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Splash of water

For the chocolate ganache

  • 250 ml coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g vegan chocolate
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1-2 tsp espresso powder



Firstly, pit the cherries and slice in half. Add the cherries to a saucepan with the maple syrup and water on a medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Set aside.

For the ganache, add the coconut cream, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla to a saucepan. Heat until just before boiling, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, break up the chocolate and add to a large bowl.

Pour the hot ganache mix over the chocolate and leave for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.

Fold in the raw cacao powder and espresso powder and stir gently until everything is combined. Fold in the cherries.

Spoon the mix into glasses or espresso cups then pop in the fridge to firm up – around 4 hours or overnight.


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Rebecca Dharmpaul

Campaigns Officer

Becky works in the Campaigns Team at FOUR PAWS UK, managing our Make Food Kinder and Dog Cat Meat Trade campaigns. She has a background in Zoology and animal welfare within sanctuaries, with over five years experience across several animal non-profits to aid in the protection of animals, both in the UK and internationally.

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