Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and the many ways we can express it. Interestingly, most of us express and receive love using one of the five primary love languages. They include words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Food can be a love language expressed in many ways. It is not about the food per se but the actions involved in the meal-making process. Preparing a meal with a loved one could be an example of “acts of service”, “quality time”, and “gifts”. Expressing your appreciation for the meal would be an example of “words of affirmation”. Hugging and kissing your loved one before, during, and even after the meal, would be an example of “physical touch”. Simple touches can also help romanticize the meal. You can create a charming environment by lighting candles, using fancy glassware, playing music, and using herbs and edible flowers for decoration!
Here is a fun and budget friendly three-course meal to make this holiday extra special for you and your loved ones.
Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner
Appetizer: Apple walnut salad with vinaigrette dressing
- Make the salad dressing by mixing ¼ cup vinegar and 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper
- Mix apple slices, ¼ cup walnuts, and mixed greens with 2 Tbsp. of salad dressing
Main course: Pecan crusted chicken with creamy pasta
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Crush pecans into crumbles
- Layer top of chicken with Dijon mustard and pecan crumbles
- Place chicken on a greased baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes
- While the chicken is baking, boil 2 cups of water
- Add 1 cup dry pasta to boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes
- Strain pasta and mix with ¼ cup alfredo sauce, 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, and a dash of pepper
- Plate chicken with pasta, add basil as a garnish, and enjoy!
Dessert: Chocolate-covered strawberries
- Wash and dry the strawberries
- Prepare your workspace with a parchment lined baking tray to place the dipped strawberries on
- Melt baking chocolate chips in a double boiler or the microwave for 30 seconds (stirring every 30 seconds until smooth)
- Dip the strawberries in melted chocolate then place them on parchment paper
- Add pecan crumbles if desired
- Enjoy! You can refrigerate chocolate-covered strawberries for 1-2 days
For more Valentine or every day meal options, check out more healthy recipes from our Wellness Center.