You’ve made it out the Christmas season alive. So what if you drank a whole bottle of wine and fell asleep under the table? Nobody saw that. Promise.
Realistically, Valentine’s Day is not well placed in the calendar. You’re still trying to detox from a calorie-filled December, and you’re broke from all that gift-giving. And then, before you know it, it’s here. V Day. The day filled with chocolates, candy and three-course meals. What’s a girl to do?
The easiest way to have Valentine’s Day on a calorie (and financial) budget is to have a romantic night in. To give you some inspiration, we’ve collected our favourite date night recipes for you to wow your loved one with.
Whether you’re lucky in love or a sexy singleton, you’ll love these tastily simple meals.
Breakfast in bed: Banana pancakes with berry compote
These decadent pancakes are the perfect way to start your day of romance. To make this dish seem truly special, serve on a tray alongside a tasty mimosa and a single red rose.
For the pancakes:
1 large ripe banana
2 medium eggs
A pinch of baking powder
A splash of vanilla extract
For the berry compote:
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries of your choice
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tbsp of orange juice
½ tsp honey
- For the compote, tip the fruit, juice and honey into a small saucepan and place on a medium heat.
- Bring to boil, and then reduce the heat and mash the fruit with a wooden spoon.
- Continue cooking on a low heat for about 10 minutes, making sure to stir the compote and mash a little more if necessary.
- Remove from heat, stir in the chia seeds and place in two small pots, ready to be served alongside the pancakes.
- Peel the banana and chop it into chunks. Place the pieces in a mixing bowl, and mash with a fork until you have smooth purée.
- Add the baking powder and vanilla extract, and stir into the banana.
- In a separate bowl or jug, whisk the eggs together. Add to the banana mix, and stir until combined.
- Melt a knob of butter in a large non-stick pan, and spoon half the batter into the pan, creating two small pancakes.
- Cook until golden (about 1-2 minutes on each side), then use a spatula to transfer them to a plate.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Top with fresh berries, chocolate chips, greek yoghurt or maple syrup, and serve with the berry compote.
To start: Prawn and avocado Ciabatta
A light and flavorful way to start your healthy date night dinner. This tasty starter is packed with omega 3 and fiber, and is super easy to prepare!
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
150g pack of cooked king prawns
1 ciabatta loaf
1 clove of garlic
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp of olive oil
Ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Chopped parsley (for garnishing)
A handful of wild rocket
- Peel the avocado and cut into slices about 1 cm thick.
- In a bowl, mix the prawns together with the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add half of the lemon juice and stir together.
- Chop the ciabatta loaf into small slices, and rub each slice with the garlic clove.
- Brush the pieces of bread with the olive oil, and then cook in a griddle pan until golden on each side.
- Lay the bread out on a plate, and with the rocket.
- Neatly place the avocado slices on top of the rocket, and drizzle with the remaining lemon juice.
- Add the prawns, making sure to divide them evenly between the ciabatta.
- Top with more cracked black pepper, sprinkle the parsley and serve.
The main event: Spaghetti Arrabbiata
The super quick Italian classic with a little extra heat. This simple recipe is the perfect way to impress your date, and is super low in calories! Who said weight loss meant sacrificing carbs?
Pst! To save even more on your calorie budget, leave out the parmesan. This dish is so delicious, you won’t even miss it!
250g of wholewheat spaghetti
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 dried red chilli, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp thyme
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
A handful of chopped fresh basil
A pinch of salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
A pinch of sugar
A handful of grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- In a large pan, heat the oil over a low heat. Add the garlic, onion and chilli to the pan, and cook gently until the onion has softened (about 3 minutes).
- Add the tomatoes, along with the sugar, oregano, thyme and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Season with the salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened.
- Meanwhile, cook the wholewheat spaghetti in salted water, according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta, saving about 2 tablespoons of the salted water.
- Add the reserved pasta water and the spaghetti to the sauce, and stir to combine.
- Divide onto plates and garnish with the chopped basil and some cracked black pepper. Add the parmesan now if desired.
Something sweet: Strawberry & cream cheesecake jars
These tasty cheesecake jars are the perfect way to jazz up any dinner table! Plus, by using yoghurt and honey instead of cream and sugar, you save on the calories. They’re also super easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time – giving you more time to spend being fabulous.
2 x graham crackers (or digestive biscuits)
100g light cream cheese
100ml fat-free Greek yoghurt
250g fresh strawberries, cut into quarters
½ tsp of vanilla extract
½ tbsp of honey
½ tbsp icing sugar
Other things you’ll need:
2 x fancy 200ml jam jars (Kilner jars work well)
- Crush the biscuits in a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can crush them in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin.
- Spoon the biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the jars, and press them down with a fork to ensure you have a compact layer for your cheesecake.
- In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, yoghurt, vanilla extract and honey together until smooth. Spoon the mixture on top of biscuit layer.
- Add the icing sugar and half the strawberries into a small bowl, and use a fork to crush them into a purée. Once you have a smooth consistency, drizzle the purée on top of the cheese layer.
- Top the cheesecakes with the remaining strawberries, and chill until ready to serve.
With these healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes, there’s no excuse for you not to indulge this Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re preparing them for your loved one or for a Galentine’s celebration, you can whisk them off their feet with your kitchen talents.
Who wears the chef hat in your relationship? Send them this link, or get cooking together for some added closeness.
Date night has never tasted so good.