Thinking about making your honey a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day? Here are some tips to make the evening romantic, stay within your low-carb diet, and not feel too stuffed for romance!
Menu Planning Tips
- The overall effect you're going for is "elegant simplicity." This is most easily achieved by getting excellent ingredients that you don't have everyday, and cooking them simply so their flavors can shine.
- Everything should either cook quickly or be made ahead. (Exception is for rare favorites in which you're willing to invest extra effort.)
- Don't feel you have to do everything yourself -- sharing in the preparation can enhance the meal.
- Get out your best dishes and special wine glasses.
- Candles are nice, unless your dinner partner grouses about low lighting.
Often a cocktail or wine is part of a Valentine meal.
A first course isn't obligatory, but if you do it, keep it light with ideas like this:
- A couple of seared scallops (recipe below) with a few greens and thinly-sliced vegetables
- Shrimp cocktail (Recipe for Sugar-Free/Low-Carb Cocktail Sauce)
- Smoked salmon on cucumber rounds, perhaps with a touch of creme fraiche cream cheese
All these cook quickly, and the results are sure to please:
- Get a great steak, like a ribeye. Cover it will plenty of salt and pepper, and grill. Top with butter or blue cheese. Best to share rather than overstuff yourself, especially if a rich dessert is planned.
- Filet mignon is a traditional favorite.
- Oven-Baked Salmon with Herbs is ultra-easy and succulent.
- If your sweetheart is a chicken fan, get boneless skinless breasts or soak regular chicken breasts in salt water for a couple of hours. The idea is not to have dried-out chicken. One idea: Marinate in some olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs mushed up in it, and before pan frying, wrap in prosciutto.
- Or try easy and elegant Chicken Marsala.
- Pan seared scallops are elegant, easy, quick cooking, and delicious -- what more could you want?
Any simple vegetable dishes you like are good choices. Consider dressing them up with a sprinkle of nuts or herbs. Ideas:
- Dress up a simple green salad with cut up fruit such as melon, apple,
or strawberries and an olive oil-based dressing.
- Oven-Roasted Asparagus, or other roasted vegetables are easy and delicious -- the dry heat concentrates the flavors.
- Saute mushrooms and garlic, and then add some wine and cream, and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Gussy up mashed cauliflower with cheese and chives or chopped green onions.
- More Vegetable Ideas
For most, chocolate is a Valentines Day "must." I've got lots of chocolate recipes. Here are some favorites: