You survived the end-of-the-year holidays and made some more mindful selections. (Good for you!) However, the mindful swaps do not have to end with the holiday season. Whether you are whipping up recipes for the big game or planning a meal at home for Valentine’s Day, there are some easy yet delicious recipe swaps you can make that are totally Cupid-approved.
Chicken Parmesan, Please
Chicken Parmesan is a quintessential Valentine’s Day dish, but instead of breaded chicken, try grilled chicken with a light layer of cheese and load on the red tomato sauce. It is Valentine’s Day, after all. You can also try a roasted version as well to give the chicken a juicy, tender flavor and texture.
Classic Caesar Salad or Wedge Salad for Starters
Salads can be light and refreshing, but they also can be dangerously delicious, which is usually due in part to the extra add-ons of ingredients layered on top of them. Two in particular, a classic Caesar Salad and a Wedge Salad, are super savory but filled with calorie-dense ingredients. If you still want to serve up a sensational salad for V-Day, consider making your own homemade dressings for each.
For the Caesar salad, all you need are anchovies, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic. That’s it! For the traditional blue cheese dressing for that wedge, whip up your own version using Greek yogurt as a base. You can also go light on other salad ingredients (or skip them altogether), like the blue cheese crumbles, the crunchy croutons, and the shredded parmesan cheese. Chef’s choice.
A popular seafood option for Valentine’s Day is usually some form of seafood or, many times, surf and turf, which usually means lobster. We enjoy a lobster tail just as much as the next person, but lobster can be expensive, and with all of that melted butter, it can also be super messy. Another seafood option that is just as delicious, if not better, is Fresh Alaskan Scallops.
Pan-seared to perfection, scallops are the perfect side dish for a Valentine’s Day dinner. You can also serve them on crispy baguette slices with a spoonful of pesto sauce for a delicious V-Day appetizer.
Layers of Lasagna
Another classic Valentine’s Day dinner is a homemade tray of lasagna. Lasagna has layers of cheese and pasta, which make it absolutely delicious, but if you are looking for a more mindful option to lighten it up a bit, perhaps consider preparing a twist on traditional lasagna with a vegetable version using eggplant, which is perfect for Vegetarian V-Days.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you cannot go wrong with a grilled steak, and honestly, grilled steak is such a classic there really is not a more mindful swap out. Of course, you can dress it up or dress it down depending on the sauce you use, so if you usually go for a heavier peppercorn sauce or steak sauce, maybe lighten it up with a simple red wine sauce or keep it classy with a pinch of salt and pepper. Why mess with perfection? If you want a leaner cut of meat, opt for a beef tenderloin filet mignon steak, either 3 ounces or 6 ounces. Dealer’s choice.
Spoonfuls of Spaghetti
Spaghetti is a great go-to meal any day of the week, but you can easily elevate it with a more mindful swap for Valentine’s Day by making homemade vegetable noodles. Whether you enjoy spiralized carrots or zucchini, try making your own vegetable version of your favorite spaghetti recipe. Plus, this is another Vegetarian-friendly V-Day meal. You can try roasting spaghetti squash.
Why not add a little extra love by including a homemade batch of meatballs? Choose from your favorite ground meat or mix it up with some flavorful combinations like ground beef, ground bison, ground chicken or turkey, ground lamb, or ground pork.
End the night with something sweet. Instead of store-bought brownies, cookies, or cupcakes, pair your favorite glass of red wine with a piece or two of decadent dark chocolate or enjoy the classic Valentine’s Day dessert of chocolate-covered strawberries.
Valentine’s Day does not have to be laden with layers and loads of ingredients. Instead, KISS (keep it simple, sweetheart) with these seven simple Valentine’s Day recipe swaps. Happy Valentine’s Day! Look no further than US Wellness Meats for a healthy Valentine’s Day or Any Day! Remember to visit our Discover Blog for more recipe ideas and tips.
Meet The Author
Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing on her portfolio.