Valentine’s Day is a special day dedicated to celebrating love and affection with your significant other, friends, or family. While this holiday is often associated with indulgent treats and sweets, it doesn’t have to be all about unhealthy choices. With a little creativity, you can prepare a delicious, healthy meal that will impress your loved ones and leave you feeling good about your choices.
One option for a healthy Valentine’s Day meal is to start with a salad. A mixed greens salad with plenty of colorful, nutrient-dense veggies like cherry tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers is a great way to get your day off to a healthy start. For added protein, you can toss in some grilled chicken, tofu, or nuts. And for a touch of sweetness, try adding some fresh fruit like strawberries or mandarin oranges.
For the main course, consider preparing grilled fish. Fish is a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is low in calories and saturated fat. Grilled salmon, tilapia, or halibut are all delicious options. Serve the fish with a side of roasted vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes for a complete and balanced meal.
If you prefer a non-fish option, grilled chicken or turkey breast is a great alternative. Serve it with a flavorful, low-carb side like roasted zucchini or roasted cauliflower rice. For added flavor, try marinating the meat in a mixture of olive oil, herbs, and spices before grilling.
For dessert, consider making a fruit-based treat like grilled peaches or roasted strawberries. These fruits are naturally sweet and packed with antioxidants, making them a healthier option than traditional sugary desserts. You could also try making a chia seed pudding with almond milk and your favorite fruit toppings.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more indulgent and you like gluten-free, you can try my Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies with Organic Raspberries. They are all natural and organic and are still good for you! And if you just love gooey, delicious brownies, these luscious treats will make Valentine’s sweet.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies with Organic Raspberries
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coco powder
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour Bob’s Red Mill brand is available at most markets
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your gluten free flour has xanthan gum) Bob’s Red Mill brand is available at most markets
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup homemade sweet-potato puree made from fresh or canned organic sweet potatoes
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2/3 cup organic raspberries, fresh
- Heat oven to 350° and coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray, set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt butter.
- Remove from heat and mix in coconut oil. Next, slowly stir in cocoa powder.
- Stir with a fork until the chocolate mixture resembles a thick chocolate sauce (not clumpy).
- Cover and set aside.
- In a separate small bowl mix together vanilla extract and espresso powder until the powder is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a medium bowl add sugar to sweet potato puree and stir well.
- Next add whole egg and additional egg white and stir until combined.
- Next combine flour mixture with the sweet potato mixture until no trace of the flour mixture remains.
- Stir in espresso mixture/vanilla mixture and chocolate mixture until the batter is dark brown.
- Carefully fold in fresh raspberries.
- Spoon into sprayed baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula coated in cooking spray.
- Bake until an inserted toothpick (or knife) comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool before serving.
*Swap gluten free flour for whole wheat flour and omit xanthan gum if you don’t want a gluten free dessert.
Serving: 1 med brownie | Calories: 139 cal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g
One key to making a healthy Valentine’s Day meal is to focus on using fresh, whole foods. When you’re selecting ingredients, choose items that are as close to their natural state as possible. For example, opt for fresh vegetables instead of canned or frozen, and look for whole grain options like brown rice or quinoa instead of processed grains like white rice or pasta.
In addition to using healthy ingredients, it’s also important to be mindful of portion sizes. To avoid overeating, use smaller plates and bowls, and take your time to savor each bite. This will help you stay satisfied and avoid feeling bloated or overfull.
Quick Tip: don’t forget to include a glass of water with your meal. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins, boost your metabolism, and keep you hydrated. For added flavor, try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber to your water.
Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and affection, and there’s no reason why that celebration can’t be healthy and delicious! With a little planning and a focus on fresh, whole foods, you can enjoy a satisfying meal that will leave you feeling great. This year, treat yourself and your loved ones to a healthy Valentine’s Day meal that you can all feel good about.