13 Valentine’s Day Recipes for Lovers + Tips to Ensure Date Night Success

Healthy Recipes

11 February 2016

Is it just me or does Valentine’s Day make you feel like you should have some really epic plans? Fancy dinner out, romantic weekend get-away, spa day, champagne and chocolate, etc. It all sounds nice but it also sounds forced…and expensive AF.

A meme saying Roses are red, violets are blue, vodka costs less than dinner for two.

Thus MLH (meat lovin husband) and I have a tradition each Valentines Day- we put on some music (Frank Sinatra Pandora station is our favorite), drink some dope wine and revel in each other’s company and what fun (and how much more intimate and less expensive) making a meal at home together can be.

Now there are a few key things you need to do to ensure this experience is as fun and non-stressful as possible (like preventing HANGER from destroying the evening when you realize the oven hasn’t been on and the lasagna’s going take another hour WHY GOD WHY?!) That’s actually really happened to us once before #fail- and I’m sharing these mistakes with you so you won’t have to make them.

A meme saying I'm going to spend Valentine's Day with my true love...Food.

 

Tip #1- 

Don’t let HANGER take over. Cooking is seriously no fun when you’re hungry AF- you just want to get something in your stomach before you pass out or die or threaten to kill your S.O. So don’t set yourself up for disaster by not providing some sort of snack or appetizer. Check out a few of the teasers below- grilled artichokes are our favorite way to kick off an evening together.

Tip #2-

Set the mood. Like I mentioned before- get some music going, light some candles or a fire, wear lingerie if you must (unfortunately for MLH sweats always win in this household). Whatever you need to do to make it feel special- and for godsakes don’t have the TV on- this is your chance to do something fun together and get that precious QT in.

Tip #3- 

Plan your menu in advance. Pick out a recipe that interests you both, and make sure you read through it first to figure out if it’s really something you want to take on. If it’s super labor intensive and requires three hours of prep work or equipment you don’t have (ice-cream maker anyone?) you may want to pass.

 Tip #4-

Give yourself time. Pick up groceries the day before so you don’t have to worry about snagging them day of and make sure you start the cooking process long before you actually want to eat dinner. The point is to not feel rushed and let yourselves get to that dangerous level where all you’re thinking about is food and not each other.

Tip #5- 

Don’t worry about it being perfect. So what it the pasta wasn’t quite al dente or the sauce got slightly burned- the point is you tried something new and did it together- that’s a successful Valentines Day in my book.

Now for the good stuff- RECIPE ideas. These babies are delicious, nutritious, dietary restriction friendly (vegan/gluten-free) and some of mine and the MLH’s faves. Plus they make for a super romantic meal- how does eggplant lasagna NOT get you in the mood I ask you?!

A meme with Leonardo DiCaprio saying I want you more than an Oscar

Teasers:

Vegan Avocado Caprese Salad

Vegan Avocado Caprese Salad

Grilled Artichokes w/ World’s Most Addictive Aioli

Grilled artichokes with aioli on a baking tray

Heart Beet Ravioli

Heart Beet Rawvioli with Pesto Oil

Avocado Tartines

Avocado tartines on a cutting board

The Main Event:

Life-Changing Pesto on Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Squash spaghetti with pesto and greens on a plate

Eggplant Lasagna is For Lovers

Eggplant lasagna and greens on a plate

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Roasted squash, leek and Swiss chard risotto

Non-Chicken Pot Pies

Six white bean thyme vegan pot pies

Chargrilled Chile Relleno w/ Quinoa, Corn and Black Bean Stuffing

A vegan Chile Relleno pepper topped with vegan cheese and avocado

Dessert:

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Peanut Butter Balls

Dark chocolate sea salt peanut butter balls

No Bake Vegan Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Stacked raw, gluten-free vegan brownies

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Sea Salt

Dark chocolate coffee bark

Vegan Amaretto Truffles

Valentine's Day vegan amaretto truffles