Treat your partner to a romantic dinner for two instead. These three carefully selected recipes from Sardinha Fora da Lata blog will inspire you to make a special, decadent dinner that will make the night even more special

Starter  
1. Eggplant and Sweet Potato Samosas
Vegetable samosas are super easy to make and can be made with a variety of vegetable combinations. Eggplants call for strong, hot spices like cumin, curry and cayenne pepper.
Ingredients (20 units)
  • 250 gr Filo pastry
  • 360 gr of eggplants
  • 150 gr carrot
  • 150 gr of sweet potato
  • 70 gr of chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 dessert spoon of grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon curry
  • 1/4 coffee spoon of cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil
  • salt
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan, put all the spices on a low heat and let them cook until their fragrant. This will enrich the flavor because with the heat they release their oils.
  2. Then add the oil, the chopped onion and garlic and the grated ginger. Wrap well and allow the onion to sweat well.
  3. Cut the eggplant, carrot and sweet potato into small cubes or blend them in a food processor and add them to the pan adding seasonings and salt. Let it cook until the eggplant reduces in size, reserve.
  4. Cut each sheet of filo pastry into 4 rectangles. Each samosa will carry two rectangles of filo pastry. Put some of the preparation on the tip on the left side and fold a first triangle and then repeat the triangles until you reach the end. To fold the first triangle, just pull the upper left tip until it touches the lower limit. The side where the last fold is located is placed downwards in the oven tray, thus preventing them from opening. Repeat until finished. Place in the oven at 160º C until golden.
  5. The good part of this recipe is that it can be adapted through the seasons by changing the vegetables according to their seasonality.

Main course 

Moussaka is a specialty from the Middle East made with aubergine, lamb and tomato. In this plant based version, fennel root is used, which is also an ingredient native to the Mediterranean basin and gives it a very interesting touch.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium aubergines 
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • Half head of fennel root
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 courgette
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • salt
  • Piri-piri
  • Sweet chili
Bechamel ingredients
  • 300 ml of vegetable milk 
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 20g corn starch
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the aubergines into relatively thin longitudinal slices and grill, lightly brushed in oil, set aside. 
  2. In a large frying pan, place the onion, garlic and fennel, all finely chopped, to fry over a low heat. As soon as everything is golden brown add the tomatoes reduced to juice, mix well and allow to reduce. Then put the grated carrot and courgette cut into small cubes, season with salt, garlic powder, sweet pepper and chilli, let it cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, reserve .
  3. For the bechamel sauce just put everything in a saucepan and bring to the heat until it thickens.
  4. On a roasting dish, plate several layers of eggplant, vegetable stuffing and bechamel until everything is finished. The last layer must be bechamel. The top is sprinkled with dried oregano and taken to the oven at 180ºc until golden.
Dessert 
3. Chocolate soufflé (gluten free)
Quinoa and chocolate, two unlikely ingredients for a dessert but which are so rich when well combined. 
Ingredients (for 2 ramekins) *
  • 95 gr of quinoa flour 
  • 60 gr of powdered chocolate
  • 30 gr of melted vegetable cream
  • 200 gr of coconut vegetable drink
  • 10 gr of chemical yeast
  • 80 gr of sugar
  • 4 squares of chocolate
  • Pinch of salt
  • Peanut oil or other fat to grease the molds

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175º C without the fan running.
  2. Grease 2 ramekins with some vegetable fat (I used peanut oil) and reserve them.
  3. In a bowl, all ingredients are combined, with the exception of chocolate squares, and beaten until bubbles are formed. Pass to the ramekins taking care not to fill to the top and in the middle place 2 squares of chocolate in each one, pressing downwards so that they sink into the liquid.
  4. Then just put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. When the time is up, they must be removed carefully and left to rest for 2/3 minutes before serving. It must not be unmolded.
  5. As a suggestion of presentation you can sprinkle with icing sugar and add some mint leaves or accompany with a scoop of ice cream to your liking.
  6. This is a dessert that should be served hot.
* Used ramekins are 10 cm in diameter.
Recipes and images were gently provided by Luisa author of the Portuguese Vegan Food blog Sardinha Fora da Lata.