Contacts: John Cunningham (410) 366-VEGE
Sonja Helman (410) 366-8343

Spice up this Valentine's Day with some special vegan treats!

Valentine's Day evokes thoughts of something unusual and exotic. Food with spice and decadent chocolate, represents the holiday of love.

For tips on throwing a party whether it be for two or ten check out Vegans Know How to Party by Nancy Berkoff. She gives great party advice, sample menus, and recipes from drinks to desserts and everything in between.

Some entree recipes that follow the standards of unusual include a "Spicy Mandarin Chickpea" recipe from Conveniently Vegan and a "Sweet Indian Rice with Carrots and Dates" from Vegan Meals for One or Two. These recipes are not only exotic with spices and unique ingredients but are also quick and easy.

No other dessert better represents Valentine's Day than chocolate cake. In the book Vegans Know How to Party the recipe for "Moist Chocolate Cake" is a winner. To keep the decadence flowing finish off this chocolate cake with a "Vegan Caramel Sauce" from Vegans Know How to Party. And for those non-chocolate lovers or those short on time use the vegan caramel sauce recipe and a "Cream Cheese Spread with Fruit" recipe from the same book to turn up the romance. How do you go about pushing the love level into overdrive? Use these sauce and spread recipes as dips for fresh fruit and you and your significant other can practice the art of love by feeding each other. So whether you have plenty of time or are short on time and whether you are cooking for two or six, spice up this Valentine's Day with some special vegan treats!


Serves 4
From Conveniently Vegan
By Debra Wasserman


  • Two 19-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Two 10.5-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Method of Preparation:

Heat all ingredients in a medium sized pot over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve warm.


Serves 2
From Vegan Meals for One or Two
By Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD


  • 2 Tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 cup matchstick cut peeled carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white or basmati rice

Method of Preparation:

Melt margarine in a large pot. Add carrots and dates; cook and stir until carrots are soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add broth and spices, stir, and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes.


Make one 9- x 13-inch pan (8 large servings) or 24 cupcakes
From Vegans Know How to Party
By Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar (use your favorite vegan variety)
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Vegetable oil spray

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and then add the wet ones, and mix until smooth and well combined. Spray pans and pour into a 9- x 13-inch pan or 24 cupcake tins. Bake at 350 for approximately 20-25 minutes (cupcakes) or 50 minutes (9- x 13-inch pan). Test with a toothpick to make sure center is baked. Cool cake and ice with your favorite frosting.


Makes 1 1/2 cups
From Vegans Know How to Party
By Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD


  • 1/4 cup soy or rice milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar (Use your favorite vegan variety)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Method of Preparation:

Place the milk, sugar, and maple in a small saucepan and whisk well to combine. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, while whisking occasionally. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and arrowroot, and then whisk the mixture into the saucepan. Cook the mixture, while whisking constantly an additional 2-3 minutes or until it thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Serve warm as a topping for cakes, desserts, non-dairy frozen desserts or as a dipping sauce for fruit. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and reheat as needed.


Serves 8-10
From Vegans Know How to Party
By Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD


  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fruit preserves
  • 1/4 cup fresh fruit

Method of Preparation:

Place cream cheese in a medium-size bowl. If necessary whisk with a fork to soften. Add remaining ingredients, except fresh fruit, and mix well to combine. Place in a bowl and serve as a fruit dip or spread on a cooled cake, muffins, or cupcakes.

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans are vegetarians who also don't use other animal products such as dairy or eggs. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit which educates the public about vegetarian and vegan diets. It publishes Vegetarian Journal and the book Vegans Know How to Party, offers two $5,000 college scholarships to high school seniors who have promoted vegetarianism, maintains a national restaurant guide. and sponsors an e-mail list for parents of vegetarians. For more information, call (410) 366-8343; e-mail, write to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; or visit Books are available at our online book store.

For poll information about the number of vegetarians, see our poll section.