Valentine’s Day is coming up pretty quick and millions of people will go out to restaurants to celebrate the day.
I am not a fan of dining out on big holidays. I find that everything is overpriced and the whole experience feels rushed. I find that the food and service are not nearly as good on those hectic days as the kitchen tries to keep up with the mad rush of orders and the servers try to keep up with the mad rush of diners.
I’m a fan of staying in and enjoying decadent (but healthy) food at home. And yes, you can have a delicious and healthy Valentine’s Day. Don’t believe me? I’m about to take you through a whole day of healthy eats. Make these recipes for you and your sweetie, or you and your friends, or just you!
Start the day off on a good note, by eating a healthy breakfast. Many people will skip breakfast to “save up” their calories for the big dinner out. Don’t fall into that trap. Try this instead:
1 serving of oatmeal (I use old fashioned oats and cook it in the microwave according to the package directions)
¼ cup of whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup of walnuts
Brown sugar to taste
1. Make the oatmeal per the package instructions
2. Stir in brown sugar
3. Top with cranberry sauce and walnuts
Who wants to spend Valentine’s Day in the kitchen? Here’s a fantastic and flavorful salad you can whip up in a jiffy, giving you more time to snuggle with your sweetie.
Arugula and Salmon Salad
2 bags of arugula
2 bunches of asparagus
Salmon (I usually go with about a half pound per person); to save time, I usually just buy it already grilled from the supermarket
1 small jar of pesto
1. Put the arugula in a bowl and dress it with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
2. Boil asparagus until cooked, but don’t overcook it
3. Assemble the salad by topping the arugula with the asparagus, and the asparagus with the salmon and then the pesto over the top.
4. Mix and serve
This salad is terrific with a little loaf of French bread. And hey, since it’s Valentine’s Day; how about a glass of red wine as well?
Dinner is typically the star of the show on Valentine’s Day, but again, you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen, so here’s an easy dinner you can put together quickly. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s basically a one-dish meal, so you don’t have to time a bunch of dishes and make sure they come out at the same time, and, you don’t have to do a lot of dishes. Plus, this recipe is vegan, so while you are showing love to your sweetie, you can show some love to the animals too!
½ pound of lasagna noodles
2 10-ounce packaged of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound of soft tofu
1 pound of firm tofu
1 tablespoon of sugar
¼ cup of soy milk
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
2 teaspoons of salt
1 quart of tomato sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside
3. Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside
4. Place the two types of tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the spinach
5. Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with a thin layer of the tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles. Follow with half of the tofu filling. Continue in the same order ending with a layer of noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes
And of course…you need dessert!
You can always go with the classic, chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate and berries is a powerhouse combo. Besides tasting delicious, it’s a relatively healthy treat as well. Serve the berries as the prelude to another amazing chocolate dish:
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
1 ¼ pounds of silken tofu
¾ cup of semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1. In a blender, puree the tofu until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly.
2. Pour mousse into dessert bowls and let chill
3. Top with fresh berries
There you have it! A whole day of healthy Valentine’s Day recipes to get your appetite (and maybe your motor) running!
Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!
Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”
Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.
Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.
Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.
Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.