Every year around Valentine’s Day, I start scouring the internet for Valentine’s Recipes. I know, I am a huge foodie! I LOVE food!
But I’m pretty specific that it has to be healthy.
Many times the recipes I find are loaded with butter and fat, they take the carbs to a whole other level…and just ONE course would be a cheat meal of epic proportions.
Now, I get it. It’s Valentine’s Day, live a little!
True. If that’s your thing, go for it.
For me, I LOVE the challenge of finding delicious…yet healthy food that FEELS like a treat, but doesn’t crash my progress.
You know I’m all about LOVING your body…what better way to do that on Valentine’s Day than finding decadent CLEAN food that helps you to keep that feel good vibe??
Well, this year I decided I’d share my top 3 finds in each category with YOU!
Consider this your menu choices!! Bookmark this page because out of ALL of the recipes I looked at, THESE are the healthiest, the simplest, and the most delicious looking. It will be your GO-TO.
Which ones will you choose to cook for Valentine’s Day?? Which ones should I choose?
I’ve got my eye on that Salted Caramel Bacon Bark…that’s for sure!
First up, the healthy Valentine’s Day appetizers!!
I feel like I could just eat appetizers all day. Little bite sized finger foods are my JAM.
You get to try all different healthy flavors, if you make more than one, and you don’t have to stuff yourself on some heavy, greasy main course!
I’m totally a fan…and I may just make all 3 of these and a dessert. Verdict is still out on that one. 🙂
Eggplant Parmesan Bites
You gotta love Delish and their great video recipes! They make the recipes simple (which I love) and easy enough for you to do on a busy schedule. This eggplant parm bites recipe is no exception! They’ve made this recipe so that it serves 4-6…you could reduce the recipe so that it serves 2 for your healthy Valentine’s dinner with your sweetie…
or you could make the full amount and save some for later! WIN!
- 2 medium eggplants
- 3 large eggs
- 1 c. flour
- 2 c. panko breadcrumbs
- 1 c. parmesan, grated
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp. Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- (Clean) Marinara sauce, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel eggplants and chop into 1” cubes.
- Set up your dredging station: In one bowl, add eggs and lightly beat them with a fork. In another bowl, combine Panko, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan. In the third bowl, add flour. First, coat the eggplant cubes with flour. Then, dip into egg, making sure to shake off excess. Finally, toss into Panko mixture.
- Bake, turning occasionally, until eggplant bites are golden brown on all sides, 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with warm marinara sauce.
AVOCADOS WITH WARM BACON PARSLEY VINAIGRETTE
I had you at bacon, didn’t I?? Oh wait…avocado too!
This recipe from the website My Recipes is happening. I mean, this one there is no doubt. Tart and salty bacon vinaigrette over creamy and luscious avocados? Yes, please.
The only adjustment I am going to do for this recipe is to remove the sugar. I really don’t feel like it’s necessary to have it in there, not with all those other incredible flavors. But if you’d like to leave it in the viniagrette, go for it.
- 1/3 pound thin-sliced bacon
- 2 firm-ripe avocados, each pitted, peeled, and cut into 4 to 6 wedges
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Cook bacon in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels; let cool. Remove pan from heat and discard all but 2 tbsp. bacon fat. Divide avocado wedges among 4 plates.
2. Heat reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add garlic, 1/4 cup water, the lemon juice, and sugar and simmer 1 minute, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and crumble in bacon. Immediately pour over avocado wedges and serve.
CARAMALIZED SCALLOPS WITH STRAWBERRY SALSA
This healthy appetizer recipe I simply HAD to put in because of how unique it sounded! I found it on Food 52 Blog by Minimally Invasive.
I love experimenting with new flavors and the combination of the sweet and tart strawberry with the nutty, sweet scallop…I actually can’t wait to try this recipe out. Not to mention it makes a BEAUTIFUL dish that would be perfect for a healthy Valentine’s Day feast!
- 2 handfuls ripe strawberries
- 1/2 medium shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons arugula and basil, minced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1/2 pound medium-to-large scallops, tough membrane removed
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A few leaves of arugula & basil chiffonade
- Mix strawberries, shallot, vinegar and minced arugula and basil in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning till you get a nice balance between sweet and sour. (If your strawberries are as ripe as mine were, you might need a little more vinegar. If they’re not especially sweet, you could add a little sugar or use balsamic vinegar instead.)
- Heat butter and olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Dry and season the scallops with salt and pepper. When butter and oil begin to shimmer, add the scallops to the skillet (be sure not to crowd them) and cook, not turning, for about 3 minutes, or until you see the white/cooked portion of the scallop rise about halfway up the side. Flip scallops and cook for another minute or two, until cooked through.
- Remove scallops to serving plate. Top each scallop with a spoonful of the salsa and garnish with ribbons of basil and arugula. Spoon a little of the vinegar sauce around them, if you like. (I do.)
Now, onto the Main Course.
I found three delicious looking healthy dinners that are sure to satisfy any meat and potatoes guy out there. But the great part? These Valentine’s Day main dishes are still waistline friendly as well.
CHOCOLATE COFFEE RUBBED STEAK WITH COCONUT
When you think of Valentine’s Day meals, I know you think of STEAK. I do! But this one…it’s so unique, and it brings in chocolate? This one is a win.
You can serve this with a simple green salad on the side just like she did! (and wine…lol)
I also may have found a soul sister in Food, Faith, Fitness. I’m loving her blog and her vibe!! Be sure to go check out her awesome resources.
- 2 Lb New York Strip steaks about 1
- For the rub:
- 1 tsp Ground coffee
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp Coconut sugar
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- Pinch of pepper
- 2 Tbsp Unsweetened coconut flakes for garnishing
Combine the rub ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cut any large, visible chunks of fat off the steak and coat it with the rub. Really get in there and make sure the steak is well covered.
Cover the steak and let it sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator, preferably longer to really infuse the flavour in.
Spray a grill pan (or a regular pan) with cooking spray and preheat on high heat. Also, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the steak until it is nice and seared on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Turn down the heat to medium and continue cooking until it has reached the desired level of done-ness.
Once the steak is cooked, transfer to a plate and cover with tinfoil to rest for 5-7 minutes.
While the steak is resting, toast the coconut flakes on a small, parchment paper lined baking tray. Watch closely as they only take 1 or 2 minutes to get nice and and golden.
Serve the steak topped with the toasted coconut flakes.
HERB MARINATED LAMB RACK
I’ve only ever had lamb once in my life, but I’ll tell you- it was fabulous. This classic recipe with its herbs and garlic actually makes my mouth water!
You can keep Zen Belly Catering’s perfect Valentine’s Day lamb super healthy by eliminating the Fig Tapenade Butter, but I’ll include the link for the recipe in case you want to indulge!
4 pasture raised lamb rack chops OR 1 rack of lamb, Frenched*
3 T fresh rosemary, minced
2 T fresh thyme, minced
2 t sea salt
1/2 t black pepper
a tiny pinch of ground cloves
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Fig Tapenade Butter, optional**
- Combine the Herb Rub ingredients and coat the lamb with it.
- Place in an oven safe dish and marinate refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight
- An hour before you’re ready to cook the lamb, remove it from the oven and let come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Scrape off as much of the herb marinade from the lamb as possible. (The herbs have done their job, and will burn in the oven)
- Roast lamb, fat side up for 8-10 minutes for rack chops, 12-18 minutes for a full rack.
- Allow the lamb to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing between the bones.
- Top each section with a quarter sized slice of Fig Tapenade Butter
* For this recipe, he used lamb rack chops, meaning there were 2 bones per cut, and the ribs weren’t Frenched. You can also use a more common Frenched rack of lamb, which has 7-8 bones per rack. Just adjust cooking time accordingly, as explained above.
** The herb marinade will infuse plenty of flavor into the lamb, and is delicious as is. The Fig Tapenade butter is optional, but definitely takes this dish to the next level.
ZUCCHINI NOODLE BACON CACIO E PEPE
Cacio e Pepe is an Italian vegetarian classic. In English, it means “cheese and pepper” pasta. That’s really all there is in it: cheese and pepper.
But, for this recipe, Megan from Inspiralized wanted to add in a twist: bacon.
THANK YOU MEGAN.
My husband isn’t picky at all, but definitely prefers meat and potatoes. But he took one look at this recipe and said, “We’re making that.”
So it is decreed. 😉 I will be making this healthy, romantic recipe this Valentine’s Day! Now to go get me a spiralizer!
- 3 strips of bacon
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 medium zucchinis, Blade C
- freshly cracked black pepper, from a grinder
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese + more to garnish
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with cooking spray. Add in the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes and then flip over, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Once done, remove and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Remove all of the oil from the bacon except for 2 tbsp. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Then, add in the zucchini noodles and toss to cook, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Season the zucchini with about 5 cracks of the pepper and add in the cheeses. Toss to combine thoroughly and then plate into two bowls. Top each bowl with a few more cranks of black pepper and crumble over a piece and a half of bacon in each bowl. Garnish with additional parmigiano reggiano cheese.
Mmm…dessert. Can we just skip to dessert? I mean, I won’t tell anyone…
The first Valentine’s Day healthy dessert comes to us from The Wallflower Kitchen.
RAW STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE FUDGE
These creamy, precious little hearts not only look delicious, but I feel like I’d eat them all in one sitting! (And so would my son for that matter!) This is a treat that I wouldn’t mind keeping around the house for much longer than just Valentine’s Day.
Here’s the recipe, be sure to check out The Wallflower Kitchen for the video too!
- 6-8 large strawberries, hulled – blended to make approx 140ml strawberry puree
- 6-8 tbsp raw maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- (optional) 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 8 tbsp coconut oil
- 80g cashew nuts, soaked for at least an hour or 80g cashew butter
- 2 tbsp raw coconut flour
- In a high powered blender, blitz the strawberries to create a puree. You should end up with approx 140ml – it doesn’t have to be exact. Mix in the maple syrup and (optional) vanilla extract.
- Pour in the coconut oil and cashew butter (or cashew nuts, soaked and dried) and blend until a smooth milkshake-like mixture is formed. Add the coconut flour and blend again until thickened. Taste and adjust sweetness, if needed.
- Spoon the mixture into a chocolate mold or ice cube tray and leave to set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. When it’s ready, the fudge should pop out of the mold without crumbling or sticking.
- Keep in the freezer for up to a couple of months. Or keep in the fridge for a slightly softer texture for a few weeks. Enjoy!
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, ghee, or coconut oil, for greasing the cake pan
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting the cake pan
- 11 ounces dark chocolate (80% cacao), roughly chopped
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (I used freshly squeezed orange juice)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 ounces chocolate
- honey to taste
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with fat and dust it with cocoa powder.
- Melt the chocolate a coconut oil in a double boiler, use a heatproof glass mixing bowl over a saucepan filled with a few cups of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is fully melted.
- Stir in the vanilla, maple syrup, orange blossom water, orange zest, 2 tablespoons of water, and the salt. One by one, whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Fill a large baking dish with 1/2 inch of water and place the cake pan into the baking dish. Place the cake pan and baking dish in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is set.
- Remove the cake pan from the water bath and let the cake cool in the pan at room temperature for about an hour. Tip the cake out onto a platter. Drizzle with chocolate dip (made by melting the honey and chocolate in double boiler), if using, slice, and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
SALTED CARAMEL BACON BARK
I’m actually more inclined to crave salty foods than sweets. And that is why I believe this recipe is going to be what I make us for Valentine’s Day dessert.
Well, that and BACON.
I am so glad I found this 6 ingredient recipe over at The Spunky Coconut!! I LOVE simple recipes! Not to mention, her site is adorable and I’m so glad I found her! Be sure to go check out this recipe and ALL her others. Delish!
- 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
SALTED CARAMEL BACON BARK
- 1/2 batch Salted Caramel
- 6 ounces dark chocolate
- 4 strips of crisp cooked bacon
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, add the coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt.
- Whisk to combine the ingredients, and turn on the heat. Bring to boil for 15 minutes watching carefully so the mixture doesn’t boil over.
- Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more, making sure it doesn’t burn.
- Wear gloves to pour the caramel into a small bowl, and stir periodically as it cools to room temperature.
- If the caramel isn’t thick when it reaches room temperature, pour it back into the pot and let it simmer over the lowest heat possible for another 3-5 minutes.
- Wear gloves to pour caramel back into the small bowl, stirring occasionally until it reaches room temperature. Store covered at room temperature.
SALTED CARAMEL BACON BARK
- Make Salted Caramel recipe above and let it cool to almost room temperature.
- Line an 8″ x 8″ dish with a piece of unbleached parchment paper big enough to cover the bottom and go up the sides. Pinch the corners to help it stay in place and set aside
- Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and pour it into the prepared dish.
- Allow the chocolate to cool to room temperature on the counter then place it in the freezer until hard.
- Drizzle the caramel over the chocolate and sprinkle the top with crumbled crisp bacon.
- Freeze the candy until it’s hard enough to break into bark. You can then store in the refrigerator or freezer.
And there it is Love Bugs!! There’s you a TON of recipes to choose from for the best HEALTHY Valentine’s Day Dinner you can dream of!
I can’t wait to hear what you think! Share this post and let me know if you make these dishes!