Valentine’s Day is an occasion that many of us look forward to. Regardless of whether this will be your first Valentine’s Day as a couple or your 20th or 30th, it is important to keep the romance alive and make it special for you both.
Many people of course dine out on the 14th February, but this may turn into a disappointment either with regards to the service or the quality of food presented. Why not eat at home this year? This is also an ideal opportunity to treat yourself to a new kitchen gadget such as a spiraliser or some new tableware for your romantic meal. With a little planning, you will be able to enjoy a quality dining experience for two at home. Then why not enjoy a relaxed meal out the following weekend?
Your ideal home-prepared romantic dinner is also an opportunity to cater to your preferred tastes as a couple and still aim for a nutritious meal. Your health conscious aims do not have to slip just because it is a special occasion, and here’s how:
A healthy salad containing watercress, rocket, spinach, hulled hemp seeds and beetroot would be perfect. Hulled hemp seeds make for a nutty flavour; they have the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are also good for fibre. Fresh beetroot is a vegetable that keeps for some time, and has gained in popularity as an antioxidant superfood. It may also be good for your heart health and blood pressure. There has of course been plenty of talk over the years about spinach as a superfood. Nonetheless superfoods ought to be consumed as part of an overall healthy mindset to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle as a whole. Hopefully if you have prepared a tasty salad you won’t be full up before the main course, which can often be the case with more elaborately prepared starters.
This is an ideal opportunity to mix things up a little. If you regularly buy chicken, why not opt for duck instead? The meat is darker in colour than chicken and has a beautiful flavour. You really will notice the difference and find it tastes a treat. People are sometimes concerned about the saturated fat content, but this poultry is ideal for omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 zinc and selenium.
Gordon Ramsay wrote a delicious recipe for Spiced Slow-roast duck and applesauce, which you can find here, and it only involves a handful of basic ingredients. Most people have butter for cooking and like apples and may have apple juice anyway. Don’t be afraid to slightly adapt any celebrity chef’s recipe to add a different herb or spice to suit your preferences. A couple of sprigs of asparagus are also a classy addition to the meal if you do not normally buy it. If you are daunted by buying a whole duck, just buy a couple of duck breasts – this may also be a better option for portion control. The aroma of roasting duck would also be a pleasing welcome home for your partner or spouse.
When it comes to meal appeal; Valentine’s Day is an ideal opportunity to get out the spiralizer for contemporary presentation of root vegetables. Apple may also be prepared in this manner as a garnish.
The health conscious of us may be concerned about dessert options, yet omitting a lovely dessert may make you feel that you have cut a special meal short.
Yoghurt dipped strawberries are a great option, being low in saturated fat. Do buy organic yoghurt and a brand with the lowest sugar content you can find for optimum health. This can make for a romantic dessert as if you think about it -strawberries are even heart shaped! Another benefit is that you may prepare this a day or two in advance to save time. After dipping the strawberries in the yoghurt, simply freeze them until solid. A thicker density of yoghurt would of course be better suited to this dish and would give a good coating. After freezing let the strawberries sit at room temperature for around 10-15 minutes before eating. Some people opt to drizzle them in melted chocolate for an extra special decadence.
Valentine’s day wouldn’t be complete without the gift of romantic chocolates or biscuits, which usually have the heart shaped theme. Assuming you may be eating such treats, this was another reason why we’ve suggested a light starter and a healthier dessert.
When it comes to beverages, your choice of drinks sets the tone of the evening. If it is a work night, there is an increasing choice of adults’ soft drinks available. Or you may wish to go all out and buy champagne!
It’s not all about the food of course. Making the table look great and creating an atmosphere is also essential to creating a memorable evening. Bring out the best crockery and wine glasses and consider table decorations. Extra thought towards the table itself goes a long way towards making the evening more romantic. You could even opt for red tableware.
Think about music that reminds you of when you met, or your anniversary or other occasions. You do not have to play predictable romantic music if that is not your taste. There are various alternative love songs that had been released in the past. The correct choice of music within your playlist can of course spark conversations about old times, or lead to plans about arranging concert tickets.
Of course, no celebration would be complete without photographs! Rather than taking grainy indoor selfies, why not dig out your best digital camera and set the timer to capture lovely photos of you both together? There is often one person in every couple who holds the camera, so make sure that the photographer at home always gets to be on photos
Hopefully you will have picked up some helpful ideas to create a perfect and joyful romantic meal for two. Don’t forge, creating an enjoyable meal really can be part of a healthy lifestyle and can help you stick to good healthy habits together. Why not make this Valentine’s Day one to remember for you both for all the right reasons!