Ah Valentine’s Day. The holiday that’s fiercely hated by some and adored by others. Cupids and hearts and secret crushes revealed in handwritten cards may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but ya know what is?? FOOD! V-day can offer some pretty delicious meals. Go into any nice restaurant on February 14th and I bet they offer some 4-course, prepaid dinner extravaganza. Everyone can get behind that! Today i’m sharing with you a Healthy Valentine’s Day Menu, Valentine’s Day The Natural Tasty Way!
But going out to eat on V-day does have its downsides. First you’ll have to deal with reservations and crowds, and dinner itself will probably cost you a pretty penny. Then, because we usually splurge on these kinds of occasions, by the end of the meal you’ll have stuffed yourself with so much rich and delectable foods, it might make after dinner “activities” difficult to enjoy (wink wink).
If you prefer to eat at home with your sweetie, I’ve got the BEST Valentine’s Day Dinner planned for you! And I’ve thought about all the little details: that awkward garlic breath kiss? Not gonna happen! Spinach in your teeth? Nope! Gassy and bloated from all the carbs and dairy you ate? Not this time! Sexy time is ON, people!
Here’s the menu:
Arugula Salad with Light Vinaigrette
Baked Salmon with Black rice “risotto”
Fudgy Chocolate Lava Cake
I’ve planned this dinner to be gluten-free and dairy-free, which will help prevent unpleasant tummy discomfort. It starts out very light with an intentionally simple salad to begin the digestion process. It has a few fancy twists like the muddled blackberry in the champagne, the fudgy chocolate cake, and my favorite: Black Forbidden Rice! This rice has all the health benefits of brown rice but is a little fancier and tastes FANTASTIC as a faux-risotto. I’ve also included two known aphrodisiacs – arugula (who knew, right?) and chocolate, of course.
Here’s some tips for the timing and preparation of this V-day meal so that everything goes smoooothly:
- Prep the champagne, salad dressing and the Fudgy Chocolate cakes the day before. Place a couple fresh, rinsed blackberries at the bottom of each champagne glass. Super simple, but looks fancy. Next place all the salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar, give it a good shake, and store in your fridge. Finally, make the Fudgy Chocolate cakes according to the directions, except instead of baking them in the oven, simply cover them (tightly) with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Make the Black Rice Risotto first. This takes the longest to make, at about 40 minutes, so get this going first. Meanwhile, turn on your oven, prep the salmon on a baking sheet, prep the salad (before adding the dressing), and sauté all the veggies needed for the rest of the Black Rice Risotto. Once the rice is cooked, pop the salmon in the oven and start cooking the veggies to finish the Black Rice Risotto. The salmon and risotto should finish cooking at about the same time.
- Pour the champagne and dress the salads last. No one likes flat champagne or soggy salads. Once the salmon and risotto are finished cooking, pour the champagne and dress the salads. Enjoy course number one with your glass of bubbly as the salmon slightly cools.
- Keep your oven on while you enjoy the main course. After the salads, serve up the salmon over the risotto. Take your time and enjoy! Once dinner is over, unwrap the Fudgy cakes and pop those suckers into the oven. Remember, they only need 9-10 minutes to bake! Let them cool a few minutes before chowing down on your chocolately delight. (I’m still talking about actual dessert here, btw).
There you have it, folks! Your sweetie will be so impressed! It’s gonna be awesome. If I could reach through your screen and high-five you, I would.
Like a proud mama hanging up her kids artwork, I want to see to see YOUR creations! Please takes some pictures of your V-Day Dinner and tag me on Instagram or Facebook #naturaltastyvday
Specialty equipment and ingredients for these recipes:
- 1/4 cup fresh blackberries rinsed
- 1 bottle of your favorite champagne
Place 3 - 4 blackberries at the bottom of each champagne glass. Pour champagne and enjoy!
Arugula salad with Light Vinagrette
Vegan | Gluten-Free | Sugar-Free
- 2 cups fresh arugula divided
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes divided
- 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds divided
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch sea salt and black pepper
Plate each salad by placing 1 cup of arugula on each plate, top with 2 Tablespoons sun dried tomatoes and 1 Tablespoon of sunflower seeds on each.
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Just before serving, Pour about 1 Tablespoon of dressing each salad. Enjoy!
*Save leftover salad dressing in an sealed, airtight container in the fridge for 7 - 10 days.
Baked Salmon over Black Rice with Oyster Mushrooms and Leeks
For the Salmon:
- 1 pound fresh wild-caught salmon
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Zest of one lemon
- Pinch of sea salt
For the black Rice:
- 1 cup forbidden black rice
- 1 13.5 fluid ounce full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus one pinch
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup red onion small dice
- 1/2 cup leek thin slices
- 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
For the Baked Salmon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place salmon skin side down and drizzle with olive oil, lemon zest and sea salt. Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes* or until easily flaked with a fork in the center.
For the Black Rice
Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cool water to remove any dust or debris. Place in a small saucepan with coconut milk, filtered water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes to prevent sticking.
In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Once warm, and add red onions, leeks and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté for 3 – 4 minutes stirring constantly. Next add sliced mushrooms, another pinch of sea salt and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes more. Finally add frozen peas, give it a quick stir and cover with a fitted lid. Let cook for about 3 – 4 minutes to heat the peas.
Add this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Once the rice is finished cooking add into the same mixing bowl and stir to combine. I like to use a fork for this and fluff at the same time. Taste for seasoning.
Serve warm topped with salmon.
*Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your fish.
Fudgy, Grain-Free Chocolate Lava Cake
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut oil more for greasing
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips I like Enjoy Life Brand
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk*
- 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 Tablespoons tapioca starch or arrowroot
- 1/2 Tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Pint Vanilla Coconut Based Ice Cream I prefer So Delicious Brand
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Using coconut oil spray or solid form coconut oil, grease very well the entire insides of 2 (4-ounce) oven-safe ramekins, and place them on a small baking sheet and set aside.
Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil together over a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set the chocolate mixture aside.
In a large bowl, place the egg, egg yolk and coconut sugar, and whisk to combine. Whisk vigorously, or use a handheld mixer, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Add the melted chocolate and continue to mix. Add the tapioca starch, coconut flour, cocoa powder and sea salt, and whisk to combine well. The mixture will be somewhat thick, but pourable and smooth. Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared ramekins. they should be about 1/2 filled.
Place the baking sheet with the filled ramekins in the center rack of the preheated oven, and bake for about 7 - 9 minutes. the center should look somewhat soft still, but the edges of the cake should be starting to peel away from the ramekin. Keep in mind that the cake will continue to cook for a min or two after it is removed from the oven. If you used smaller ramekins, bake for a few minutes less; larger ramekins will take a few minutes more.
Remove the dish from the and let sit for about 5 - 10 minutes before handling.
Top with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and Enjoy straight out of the ramekin!
*Option to save the egg white in a container in the fridge for an egg white face mask at a later time.
You can find all of our Natural Tasty Recipes HERE!