I’m not stoked about Valentine’s Day this year. Not because I’m single and bitter, but because it’s one of those Hallmark holidays that creates unnecessary anxiety. Plus, there’s usually way too much sugar involved…so it can’t be healthy on a physical level either. The solution? A festive Anti-Valentine’s Day party with a healthy menu that contains no added sugar, celebrated with friends or family, or a significant other if you have one. So let’s get started.
The Basics, aka Necessary Components for an Anti-Valentine’s Menu:
Think bitter lettuce i.e. radicchio, endive, escarole, and chicory. Also, lettuces/greens that are considered weeds i.e. dandelion and other wild greens. If serving cocktails, you can’t go wrong with the stiff and bitter Old Fashioned– further reading: this article by Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark of the Cooking Channel food-travel series Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia.
Lemon is a must to accompany at least one dish.
3. Broken Heart
Artichoke hearts or heart of palm (broken or chopped, slivered, sliced, crushed, etc).
This component is versatile; it can work in a dessert, entree or appetizer. For dessert, try strawberries or other red fruits that look like hearts, skewered on a stick… or with chocolate fondue. For an appetizer or entrée, vegan cheese fondue or veggie kabobs.
5. Blackened or Charred
For an entrée, try portabella mushroom steaks or blackened jerk seitan. I know seitan isn’t paleo, but it’s low carb…and in the context of hating on consumerism and stereotypical ideas about love– I couldn’t resist mentioning a word that bears such a close resemblance to “Satan”.
Blood oranges. Sangria (from the Spanish word sangre, which literally means blood). Blood-red heirloom tomatoes.
Having envisioned what would be the necessary components of a anti-valentine’s menu, I searched the web for stand-out vegan recipes that fit the criteria.
Anti-Valentine’s Day Menu
Burnt Sage and Blackberry Sangria (with bourbon) by Elana of Stir and Strain
Bitter Heart of Palm and Blood Orange Salad by Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef
Charred Portabello Mushrooms with Lemon Cauliflower Rice by Eleanor Ozich of Petite Kitchen
Grilled and Skewered Strawberry Hearts by Valentina of Cooking on the Weekends. These kebabs resemble hearts, skewered. What’s more anti-romantic than that?
Anti-Valentine’s Day: Entertainment
Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
Scenes From a Marriage, 1973 Swedish TV series written and directed by Ingmar Bergman.
Anti-Valentine’s Day Coffee Table Quotes by Jennise and Jillian Conley.
Instead of Getting Sad on Valentine’s Day, Try Not Giving a F*** by Madeleine Davies for Jezebel.
The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler.
Crap Dates: Disastrous Encounters from Single Life by Rhodri Marsden.