As we all know, food is more than calories, vitamins and the other “science-y” terms we often hear. Food is a way to happily bond, an expression of love and a key tenant of holidays and traditions. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, there is no better time to share a culinary experience with someone you love. Let’s explore some foods that provide that “lovin’ feelin” at all three Valentine’s Day meals.
There are few things more romantic than sharing an intimate breakfast. And the quintessential pancake can certainly have a spot at the Valentine’s Day table. Try a decadent variation that also happens to incorporate fresh and healthful fruit, but is in keeping with the decadent feeling of this romantic holiday.
For chocolate-covered strawberry pancakes, top your pancakes with ripe, sliced strawberries that have been lightly sweetened. Then, simply drizzle with melted dark chocolate and enjoy with your valentine. Want to make them even more special? Make a bit of homemade whipped cream by beating fresh whipping cream until very soft peaks form, then sweeten and add a splash of vanilla, and finally, beat until medium peaks form. Whether or not it ends up on the pancakes…that’s up to you!
If you’re lucky enough spend the entire day with your sweetheart, enjoying a romantic lunch together signifies something special. Rather than the typical hurried meal, savor your time together by serving a dish that favors savoring the flavor amongst great conversation.
Fondue is that perfect meal, helping you to slow down and enjoy the moment. Toss a pound and a half of shredded Gruyere and sharp white cheddar with a generous tablespoon of cornstarch. In a saucepan or fondue pot, bring a cup of high-quality white wine to a simmer, then add the cheese all at once. For a garlic flavor, add 1 tsp. finely minced garlic while stirring to melt cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve with whole grain bread chunks and slices of tart green apple.
While the classic recommendation for a Valentine’s Dinner is a hearty steak, consider spending more time with your love interest and less time with your dishwasher. Swap a labor-intensive dinner for simple, flavorful pasta.
Make a simple spicy mushroom pasta sauce that uses jarred, low-sodium pasta sauce as a time-saving base. In a large pan, heat a swirl of olive oil. Add a handful of chopped mushrooms, and sauté to develop flavor. Add jarred pasta sauce, bring to a simmer, add a touch of siracha according to your desired spice level, and then a splash of heavy cream. Stir, and then simply spoon over al-dente whole grain pasta. Top with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!