Have you made your Valentines Day plans yet? Whether you intend to spend time with a love one (active date night, anyone?), with friends, or just to revel in some “me” time, it’s important that you don’t let the holiday completely ruin your diet. After all, you want February to be a continuation of or a return to the healthy habits you started off the year with in January.
We shared some delicious, guiltless desserts last week, and now we’re serving up some savory Valentines recipes for this February 14th. Grab your grocery list now and take note — here’s what you’ll need to make some tasty, healthy Valentines recipes!
Simple, Diet-Friendly Valentines Recipes
Salad: Spinach Salad With Lemon-Dill Dressing
This little salad packs a punch thanks to the dark, leafy green that takes center stage, which is why it’s the first of our healthy Valentines recipes. Full of heart disease-fighting antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and E producer lipoic acid, and vitamin C when it’s eaten raw, the potassium in spinach also helps with heart health. With this Valentines recipe, you’ll also reap the omega 3 benefits of olive oil, which is part of the dressing. To prepare this healthy Valentines recipe, follow these instructions:
- Grab a large bowl and combine 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 2 tbsp chopped dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Wash 1 medium English cucumber, then prepare by peeling and halving lengthwise, then seeding and thinly slicing.
- Wash 4 radishes, then halve and thinly slice.
- Wash 2 scallions, then thinly slice.
- Return to your bowl and add 8 cups (or 7 oz.) of baby spinach, plus the cucumber, radishes, and scallions. Toss well to coat the salad with the dressing, then your Valentines recipe is ready to serve!
Main Dish: Lemon Garlic Salmon
Packed with heart-healthy omega 3 oils plus zinc, iron, niacin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, salmon also boasts bioactive peptids that support joint and cartilage health, insulin production, digestive health, and more. Naturally flavorful, the fish requires little seasoning, making it a simple and healthy Valentines recipe. Be sure to select a wild salmon over farmed, which can be contaminated by pollutants or disease.
- Prep your 4 oz. salmon fillets by seasoning both sides with lemon pepper.
- Over medium high heat, melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter in a large skillet. Stir in 2 tsp minced garlic.
- Add your salmon to the pan, cooking for 1o minutes for each inch of thickness. The fish should flake when tested with a fork. Flip halfway through cooking to brown your fillets on both sides.
- Before serving, sprinkle with lemon juice.
Side Dish: Herb Basmati Rice
Naturally gluten-free and low-fat, this herbed basmati rice is the perfect Valentines recipe. Its nutrient load is quite high: basmati has all of the eight essential amino acids, plus folic acid. It’s also low-sodium and it has no cholesterol, and its low to medium glycemic index means that your energy will be released at a slower rate, preventing fatigue and steadying your blood sugar levels. And at only 185 calories per serving, this is definitely a healthy Valentines recipe.
- Grab a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and combine 1 cup uncooked long-grain basmati rice with 1 3/4 cups water, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, and 3/4 tsp kosher salt.
- Once the mixture starts boiling over high heat, reduce the heat to low, stirring just once. Then cover tightly and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. In the mean time, chop and mince 2 tbsp parley, 1 tbsp fresh dill leaves, and 1 tbsp fresh scallions (both the white and green portions).
- Add the minced ingredients to your rice mixture, fluffing with a fork, then season with a pinch of pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Chardonnay will complement all the flavors in these healthy Valentines recipes, especially the salmon. And research has shown that the drink is high in polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps sooth arthritis, promotes heart health, and helps prevent cancer.
What do you plan to eat this Valentines Day? And will you head to your local TITLE Boxing Club after the holiday? It’s a great place to work off those chocolate calories!