With Valentine's Day around the corner, I wanted to celebrate OMS style this year. Here are a few ideas to help us resist temptation and stay on track for Valentines, date night or for any special occasion, with your partner, family or friends.
This year, we’ve decided to celebrate at home. I’m planning a course for each meal that we have been together, and means we have complete control over the menu.
I have organised the courses so that they can mostly be made before so that I (the cook) can enjoy the experience too, and it won’t be too time consuming on the day.
These menu plans are for themed nights, and are inspired from recipes all around the world. Here are some of our favourites that you can adapt or adopt for your next date night, or evening with friends.
- Homemade hummus sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, olives, chunks of bread and baked falafel
- Roasted vegetable tagine with fluffy couscous
- Rose and cardamom panacotta (with vegetarian gelatine)
- Antipasti - oven dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke (in brine), balsamic vinegar and EVOO with dipping breads
- Pistachio pesto pasta, served with asparagus tips
- Roasted vegetable soup
- Beetroot Wellington (pastry made with 2 tbsp almond butter to 125g flour, then just add water to bring to a dough)
- Apple and blackberry crumble
- Pulled jackfruit with BBQ sauce
- Vegetable chilli with lemon and coriander rice, served with sour cream (alpro plain, *unsweetened* yoghurt makes a great alternative), guacamole and salsa
- Chilli chocolate brownie
Sharing board, perfect when celebrating with friends
The final cut - 6 courses for 6 years
- Creamy Spinach and mushroom tartlet with rocket
- Roasted vegetable soup
- Beetroot Wellington with roasted vegetables and creamy cabbage
- Charcuterie board - grapes, nush, smoked, homemade crackers, dried fruits, crudités, hummus, olives, bread chunks with oil and vinegar
- Lemon cheesecake with vanilla shortbread
- Coffee and chocolate avocado truffles
If you’re venturing out this year, plan where you’re going to go. Many restaurants will organise an OMS compliant meal, with a little notice. Sending them a copy of the OMS diet card available on the OMS website can help both parties feel safe and happy with the food preparation.
Italian food may initially sound indulgent, but a tomato based pasta or pizza (without the cheese) often provide great low fat, vegan options. Just remember to check that the olive oil dressing used on pasta is extra virgin.
If you fancy something sweet after your meal, more and more places are offering sorbet, which is usually vegan. They can be coconut based though, so just check with the waiting staff.
Lots of chain restaurants have their full menu available online. If you live in the UK, restaurants like Zizzi’s display detailed allergen menus and nutritional information so you can feel confident in ordering.
OMS is about a lifestyle change, for life. So, whether you’re finding your feet in this journey, or have been following the programme for some years, I hope that this has shown that you can enjoy fantastic food for every occasion. We don’t go out for dinner often anymore, because we enjoy the OMS friendly food we can make at home just as much, and often more. With some adjustments and becoming royalty in substitutions, it is possible to produce fantastic, delicious and nutritious food that doesn’t jeopardise our health.
Wherever you are along the continuum of all out roses-chocolates-big-romantic-gestures valentines die hard fan, non-commital, or if the mere mention of Cupid fills you with garish, consumerist dread, I wish you a wonderful day surrounded by those you love.