Quick & Easy Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dessert Ideas
There are some days of the year which just don’t translate to ‘healthy eating’ or ‘calorie counting’ or ‘diet day’. Birthdays, Christmas, Weddings to name a few obvious ones, and one of the biggest challenges for me would be Valentine’s Day.
Valentines = Chocolate doesn’t it! Doesn’t it?
So I have done some browsing to come up with some delicious looking ‘healthier’ recipes and fun food from around the web.
Links and ideas for breakfasts, drinks and for lunch and snacks and dinner, suitable for all the family as well as just for two, and even as a special treat for just one 🙂 Perfect for Vegetarians and Vegans, of course!
Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas
Typically a romantic 5 course affair, with flowers, candles, napkins and 4 different wine glasses for two.
But, with 3 small children, Valentine’s became a lovely family day. We all celebrated together as a family with cards and little gifts, and of course something special for dinner.
Our meals therefore, were by necessity inventive but quick and easy. Not because the children didn’t want to try anything new, but with 3 small kids, who has the time right?
We jazzed up family favourites, and cut corners wherever we could (there was no baking a 3 layer chocolate gateux for me, I can assure you!)
Valentine’s Day Dinner – Mains
Here are a few ideas with the whole family in mind, scale it down for two and also awesome for one!
1. We all love pizza, and I have found great pizza ideas with different levels of effort involved.
The Works – Go the whole hog by making your own dough and cutting out or shaping heart shaped bases. Fabulous step by step instructions from Growing Up Gabel, sure to inspire!
Not into individual sized pizzas then try shaping a larger heart out of your dough and make an extra large pizza perfect for slicing!
Medium Effort – French bread pizza is a favourite of ours, easy to make and no rolling out dough! Pizza sauce, cheeses and then use some vegetable heart shapes to decorate, before popping in the oven until the cheese is melted. Serve with a side of heart shaped potatoes for dipping in your favourite pizza sauce and a few heart shaped slices of cucumber etc. Now that is LOVE!
Easy Peasy – Jazz up a store bought pizza from either a pizza restaurant or from the supermarket using cut out veggies and cheese shapes and quickly popped until the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes. Here’s a great photo using deli pepperoni.
Use red, yellow and green bell peppers cut into heart shapes, cherry tomatoes or large thin tomato slices etc for a veggie version mmm!
2. We all love a chocolate fondue, but what about a cheese or tomato fondue? I found this Pin, and when they say ‘a picture says a thousand words’ this is a good example. There are recipes on Carolyn’s site Cooking for my Captain – for the cheese and tomato sauces.
I loved this idea because you can prepare some things in advance, and of course who doesn’t love cheese or dipping??!! Win, win for everyone!
I like asparagus spears, baby corn and raw veggie sticks too – but I am definately stealing the tortellini idea for my next fondue evening! Maybe some bow pasta shapes for the smaller kids, as they stay quite firm when cooked and have that thick middle for piercing with the forks.
And the idea for a tomato ‘fondue’ and the ‘meat’ balls – done!
3. Burger & Fries is our next best favourite food and this heart shaped veggie burger over on Tinned Tomatoes is not only cute to look at, but it tastes awesome! (Jacqui’s blog was one of the very first I came across when I first joined Pinterest many years ago. She has a collection of amazing healthy Vegetarian and Vegan recipes here!)
The perfect way to eat less bread is by showcasing this ‘romantic’ burger on half of the bun, with a pile of garnish and veggies.
Go ‘Australian’ and add a slice of fresh pineapple to your beetroot as well, for extra superfree / 5 a day! Take a look over at Veggies and Me for an amazing Australian Veggie Burger.
The perfect sides are heart shaped fries and side dishes decorated with cucumber, carrot, beetroot hearts galore!
And the bit we’ve all been waiting for,
Skinny (ish) Valentine’s Desserts
I’ve chosen really simple and easy, peasy desserts, that anyone can make. Kids, students and Dad’s who aren’t used to the kitchen 🙂
1. This is one of my favourites.
Use your favourite pancake recipe (Magic Pancakes for Slimming World) to make these. Just add your sliced strawberries and sprinkles (optional) and then top with Maple, Golden or Chocolate Syrup (Choc Shots), or just add lots of extra fruit on the side. I love fat free yogurt topped with a spoonful of honey and sliced bananas on my pancakes.
Decorate with extra strawberries and other heart shaped fruit – using the small cookie cutters on bananas, kiwis etc.
Remember cooked fruit has much more sugar, so always make fresh or warmed fruit your No.1 choice!
2. This one is the most naughty (sorry) but it was such a simple idea that I couldn’t resist. This was ‘assembled’ rather than made – so can definately be tweaked for a lower fat version. These beautiful step by step photographs and tips from Ashton of Something Swanky, will definately inspire you to make your own! Scale it down into individual servings too for smaller servings!
3. This simple guilt free dessert manages to add a little wow, without any effort! Kids and adults all love Jelly/Jello so you can’t go far wrong with this one!
Fat free (vegetarian) Jelly with flavoured yogurt or quark topped, with a dollop of fat free Fromage Frais and some extra fruit to garnish.
4. I am adding this next one, not as a recipe as such but as a photo guide on how to make a heart shaped cake using one round, and one square cake 🙂 Step by step instructions here,
Use any cake recipe (or ready bought) to make the heart shape and cover with a healthy frosting or powdered sugar.
This recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie is perfect for both a sugar free frosting and powdered ‘sugar’.
Or use powdered chocolate and some fruit hearts, and serve with a scoop or two of low fat ice cream?
Slimming World members maybe a Weetabix cake, or other Slimming World recipe would be perfect here too!
And last but not least, this is a great idea (cheat) for making any dessert you choose perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I hope you enjoy this Valentine’s Day Roundup of really easy, healthy and lower fat recipes.
And I truly hope they inspire you to make and enjoy lots of fabulous food while still maintaining your healthy eating plan.
Remember, fill each plate with at least 1/3 of fruit, vegetables or salads and enjoy 🙂
Happy Valentines to you & yours