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5 Fresh Recipes to Try This Valentine’s Day That Aren’t All About the Hearts

As somebody who’s been single forever, Valentine’s Day is not something I typically look forward to. I try to remind myself that this day is not just about celebrating romantic love, but also platonic, familial and self-love. This year, I want to add to that beautiful list and celebrate my love for food. Single or not, why not aim to spice things up with some new recipes that are both delicious and Insta-worthy! Who knows, maybe your crush is a foodie. Insert not-so-subtle wink here.

While going through Pinterest for hours, I noticed a common theme. Everything that was deemed to be “perfect for date night” was just regular food cut into hearts. There were so many dessert recipes (so. much. red. velvet!) and ideas for red, pink and white themed charcuterie boards. While I love my desserts and charcuterie boards, I want more! Heart-shaped food is super cute, but I think it’s time to step it up!

Here are five creative savory recipes that are not only delicious, but sure to impress your SO, partner, crush, and – most importantly – yourself!

a woman stands over the stove cutting an herb out of a pot on the window sill with a pair of scissors. there are pans of pasta stirfry on the burner.
Tina Dawson | Unsplash

1. Floral Focaccia

Yes, I’m aware that we’ve surpassed the “Bread Baking” part of quarantine, but this Floral Focaccia is too perfect for Valentine’s Day! Follow your favourite recipe and top it off with veggies and herbs for a beautiful bouquet on bread. This is also a great way to use up that leftover produce in your fridge! Aerie has a great recipe and guide on how to make the prettiest Focaccia.

2. Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Dragonfruit Salsa

The title alone gets you excited. These hot pink shrimp tacos are absolutely stunning, and this creative recipe from Love & Olive Oil doesn’t require any artificial colouring! That’s right, this perfect shade of pink comes from dragonfruit powder.

3. Pink Sushi

My philosophy is, you can never go wrong with sushi. It doesn’t take much for Random Acts of Pastel to sell me on this recipe. It’s easy to eat, tastes amazing, and in this case, the presentation looks extra stunning. Not only is it fun to eat sushi with somebody, but the sushi-making process is a really fun date night idea too!

4. Roasted Beet Hummus

Not only is this recipe for beet hummus a bold magenta hue, but it’s also vegan and gluten-free for people with dietary restrictions. I’m usually one to buy hummus, but this recipe is convincing me to make my own. Hummus is so versatile — you can dip veggies in it, put it on bagels, toast, crackers, the toast-cracker hybrid, Melba toast… I could go on forever, but I’ll spare you so that you can take a look at the recipe for yourself on Salt and Lavender.

5. Pink Pasta

Pasta, but make it pink. Kitchn teaches us a scientific cooking hack that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. By combining red cabbage and lemon juice, you can naturally dye your pasta the prettiest shade of pink to set the tone for Valentine’s Day.

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with somebody special or getting cozy with your favourite rom-com (mine is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, what’s yours?), these creative recipes remind us that Valentine’s Day is about so much more than romance. It’s about loving yourself… and feeding yourself!

Pravieena is a Global Development Studies Major and Gender Studies Minor at Queen's University. A few things she is passionate about are: writing, music, television, and chicken nuggets. Her not-so-guilty-pleasure will always be reality TV.