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Long live the romance! Is there anything more romantic than pampering your partner on Valentine’s Day all while still looking after their health? There are probably more creative people saying “of course”, or people with larger budgets and less time saying “absolutely”! However, I’m a firm believer that dedicating your time to creating an enchanting meal for that special someone will always be a hit!
Usually, it’s not a lack of desire or time that stops you, but rather, a lack of ideas! If you find this to be the case, then both these homemade romantic Valentine’s Day dinner menu options are the perfect way to show your partner how much they mean to you.
Valentine’s Day Dinner – 1st Menu
Appetizer: Cheese Board Spread with Broccoli Bread
Cheese Board Spread
Cheese and Charcuterie, which ones should I choose?
- When choosing cheeses you should look for 3 different flavors or textures. A brie, a matured cheese, and some smoked cheeses are good options. For this spread, we opted for Saint Felicien, Comté Reserva, and Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy, very strong flavors but delicious when combined together.
- You can also choose cheeses according to a theme: cheeses from France, cheeses from Italy, cheeses from Spain or cheeses from different types of milk such as goat, buffalo, and cow. Similarly, you can play with the textures and make a plate of soft or creamy cheeses such as brie or goat cheese or a plate of fully ripened cheeses. Everything is customizable.
- As for the charcuterie, for Valentine’s Dinner calculate around 30 grams per person and have at least 3 of different ones to combine them with the cheeses. For example, you could put whole slices of ham on the board and slice some sausage and chorizo into more bite-sized pieces to make it easier to eat.
Combining Flavors and Textures:
- Playing with different combinations is key to making a formidable cheese board spread. Adding fruits such as grapes or strawberries, figs or pears are sweet pairings that make each flavor more interesting and also helps to cleanse the palate after eating each cheese or each sausage.
- And for a crisp touch try adding some nuts, almonds, hazelnuts or any one of your favorites.
Make sure to serve the cheeses at room temperature to enjoy their flavor to the fullest, and don’t get bogged down with how you layout your spread. Unleash your creativity and remember that there is no such thing as “perfect”.
Ingredients: one large head of broccoli or 300 g.; ¼ cup quinoa flour. or 37,5 g.; ¼ cup ground almonds or 37,5 g.; 2 medium-sized eggs or 100-130 g.; 1tsp of baking powder or 7 g.; ½ tsp of sea salt or 3,5 g.; ¼ tsp of black pepper or 1,75 g.; ¼ cup of parmesan or 37,5 g.; 2 tbsp of butter or 31 g.; a small piece of fresh ginger; Natural Athlete’s Superfoods Detox 1 tsp or 5 g.
- Measure out all ingredients beforehand;
- Preheat oven to 180ºC;
- Wash and cut up the broccoli into small pieces then place them into a food processor until they are in very fine small pieces;
- Afterward, place the broccoli shreds into a bowl and add in quinoa flour or almond flour, together with the baking powder, seasonings (salt, black pepper, and fresh ginger), and the grated Parmesan cheese and Superfoods Detox. Stir well using a spatula until all the ingredients are combined well. You can invite your children to help during this step to make the broccoli bread by having them mix everything together with clean washed hands;
- Once all the dry ingredients have been combined correctly, add in the eggs and butter;
- Knead the mixture until it becomes compact. If the dough seems to liquidy then add in a little extra flour;
- Prepare a baking sheet with wax paper;
- Place the dough onto the baking sheet spreading it out with your hands and giving it the desired shape. You can use a spatula to help you in the process;
- Bake your broccoli bread for about 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven when it turns golden, careful here, you will want to check on it from time to time to make sure the bread stays fluffy and doesn’t dry out. Want a bonus tip? If you’re addicted to cheese add a special touch by sprinkle on some extra grated parmesan;
- After the broccoli bread has completely cooled, cut it into the portion sizes you desire and serve it together with your cheese board spread.
Starter: Pumpkin Puree and Baked Vegetables
Ingredients: 2 red bell peppers washed and cut into strips; 2 white onions, peeled and diced;3 washed carrots cut into thick strips; 500 grams of pumpkin cut into pieces; 2 tbsp of olive oil; a pinch of salt; chives for decoration; 1 cup of water, vegetable broth or cream.
- Preheat oven to 200 ºC
- Put all the cut vegetables in a bowl and add the olive oil and salt. Mix well with your hands making sure everything is covered in the oil.
- On a baking sheet, scatter the vegetables making sure there is space between them. If they are all too close together we run the risk of steaming them and we won’t get that caramel color.
- To see if they are ready, poke them with a fork and look at their color. They should be lightly browned on the edges, reduced in size, and tender. It takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes, but this depends on the vegetable.
- When they’re ready, remove them from the oven and add all the contents to a food processor or blender.
- In a saucepan, preheat the cup of water, broth, or cream a little and then slowly add a little to the blender with a ladle.
- Blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth puree adjusting the amount of liquid you want to use. For this recipe, I didn’t need more than a tablespoon of water to get the desired texture and creaminess. Top it off with some salt to taste and some extra virgin olive oil for that finishing touch.
For Valentine’s Dinner, serve this pumpkin puree with some pieces of roasted pepper that you have leftover or with fresh chives sprinkled on top. You can also pour a stream of cream or olive oil on top.
Main Dish: Quinoa Risotto
Ingredients: 11-12 mussels; ½ a glass of raw quinoa; ½ red onion; 1 glass of white wine; 2 gr of saffron; a pinch of salt; 200 gr of parmesan cheese; 10-11 prawns or shrimp; butter.
- Wash the prawns and mussels very well.
- Cut the red onion into strips.
- Place 2 tbsp of butter or virgin olive oil into a skillet or pot and cook the oven over low heat until soft.
- Then we add in the quinoa and saffron, raise the heat, and add the white wine.
- Let the wine evaporate and start adding glasses of water or fish stock little by little, stirring for about 10-15 minutes. Next, add the mussels and prawns in and cook for about 5 minutes together with all the ingredients. I like to leave it stocky, but if you like it dry, just about add less stock in during the process.
- Finally, add the grated or flaked Parmesan cheese and let it rest before serving for your Valentine’s dinner.
Dessert: Natural Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded; 2 scoops or 2 tablespoons of cacao powder; 1/4 de cup of raw honey; 2 tbsp of almond cream.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and mix very well until you get a creamy texture.
- Look at the color and try it. If you want you can add another tablespoon of cocoa powder or honey.
- Remove the chocolate mousse and place it in a covered container in the fridge for at least two hours. This will allow it to firm before serving, making it much more refreshing when eating.
- Decorate it with fresh fruit when serving this as a dessert for your Valentine’s dinner. Use whatever fruit you or your partner like most, blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, mandarin, and even banana.
Valentine’s Dinner – 2nd Menu
Appetizer: BeetRoot and Quinoa Hummus & Flaxseed Crackers
BeetRoot and Quinoa Hummus
Ingredients: 1 ½ cup or 400 g of cooked beets cut into pieces; ¾ cup or 100 g quinoa seeds; 1 ½ tbsp or 22,5 g of Tahini (sesame paste); 1 tbsp or 15 ml lemon juice; 4 tbsp or 60 ml extra virgin olive oil; ½ tsp or 2,5 g cumin powder; Sea salt to taste; Natural Athlete Superfoods Detox 1 tsp or 5 g.
- Measure out and prepare all ingredients;
- Wash the quinoa and cook it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cooking time is usually 15-20 minutes;
- Once the quinoa is ready let sit and cool;
- Then add the quinoa and the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and blend them until you get a fine-textured paste. If you want, you can add the beets gradually and test it until you get the desired flavor.
- If you want the hummus to have a creamier consistency, you can add a little more olive oil.
- Try it again and salt as needed.
- Serve this as an appetizer with freshly diced herbs sprinkled on top for your Valentine’s Dinner paired with homemade flaxseed crackers which we will explain below.
Ingredients: 14 tbsp or 100 g of flaxseed or ground flaxseed; 1 ½ cup or 250g of raw ground almonds; ½ cup or 80 ml of water;1 egg or 40 g; 20g of dehydrated chopped tomato; 3 tbsp or 15 g of fresh basil; 1 garlic clove or 2g; salt to taste; 2 tsp of 14 g Superfood detox BIO.
- Measure out and prepare all the ingredients;
- Preheat oven to 180 ºC;
- If you have whole flax seeds grind them until you get a powdered consistency;
- Then chop the basil, the dried tomato, and the garlic;
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, ground flaxseeds, Superfood Detox, ground almonds, garlic, tomato, and basil;
- Slowly add the water to the mixture, making sure that the texture of the dough is becoming compact but not wet, which is why we avoid pouring all the water in at once. Then add the egg. Depending on the texture of the dough, you can add a little more water if necessary.
- Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a baking sheet with wax paper and flatten it; if you don’t have a rolling pin you can simply use your hands. Try to distribute the dough evenly on the sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and let bake for around 25 – 30 minutes, or until you see it turning a golden color.
- Once ready, remove from the oven and let cool. Next, break your baked dough into the desired shape/pieces and serve your flaxseed crackers with your beetroot and quinoa hummus as a beautiful reddish-pink Valentine’s dinner appetizer.
Cold Starter: Watercress Salad with Iberian Ham, Persimmon and Pistachio
Ingredients: 400 grams of fresh watercress;1 medium persimmon; pomegranate seeds (1/4 of the whole fruit); 100 grams of Iberian ham cut into thin strips; a handful of pistachios; lemon juice; 1 tbsp of raw honey; 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil; Salt and pepper to taste.
- The first thing to do is make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper, and stir constantly with a whisk, adding in the olive oil while you stir. This technique makes the vinaigrette emulsify and is a little thicker and more uniform.
- Wash the persimmon well and cut it into thin slices. Set it aside on a plate.
- Smash up the pistachios, making them easier to eat.
- On a serving plate, place a bed of watercress on the bottom then add the persimmon slices, pomegranate seeds and sprinkle the pistachios throughout the salad.
- Right before serving, make small piles of the ham slices placing them around the salad. You can also chop the ham into smaller portions if you prefer.
- Don’t add the vinaigrette until it’s ready to serve for your Valentine’s Dinner, this way you will prevent the leaves of the watercress and fruit from wilting.
Main Dish: Eggplant and Beef Lasagna
Ingredients: 2 large eggplants washed and cut lengthwise; 300 grams of ground beef; 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped; 1/2 a red onion diced into small pieces; 1 jar of natural tomato sauce; salt and pepper to taste; butter to cook; 300 ml of whole cream to cook; freshly diced basil; 2 or 3 large eggplants; olive oil; parmesan cheese to taste or mozzarella or provolone.
Instructions for the Ragu:
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons butter, melting without burning.
- Add the garlic and onion, and sauté without browning for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- When the onion is translucent, add the ground beef and cook, stirring constantly so that it breaks into small pieces
- When it is almost cooked add the tomato sauce in and mix well, letting the excess liquid reduce.
- Add in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for a few more minutes until it is thick but also juicy. Turn off the heat and wait for it to cool before you assemble the lasagna.
- Wash the eggplants and cut them at both ends and, the purple part facing out, cut some strips that are less than half a centimeter wide.
- Place the strips on a flat surface, sprinkle with salt, and let stand. After about 10 minutes, clean off the excess liquid that will appear on the surface of the eggplants with a paper towel. This happens because the salt helps to eliminate the liquid thus removing the bitter taste that they have raw. This step is very important for the lasagna to taste good. Once you have done this, season again with herbs to taste and brush with olive oil on both sides.
- Cook the eggplants in a preheated 200ºC oven. Cook until the eggplants are soft. Remove from the oven and let stand before assembling the lasagna.
Optional: sauté some mushrooms in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper to add between the layers of the lasagna.
Building your lasagna:
- Take a baking dish and cover it with a thin layer of butter using your fingers or a kitchen brush. Add a little sauce – meatless – to moisten the surface on which the eggplants will cook.
- Layout the eggplant slices, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the meat sauce and spread evenly. Then add pieces of sauteed mushrooms, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh basil.
- Repeat this process until you have completed 3 levels of lasagna.
- When you get to the third layer, cover it again with meat sauce and add some cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 200ºC.
Dessert: Chocolate Jello
Ingredients: 2 glasses or 400 ml of milk or water; ¼ cup or 25g of natural 100% organic cacao; ¼ cup or 50 g of coconut sugar; 5 flavorless sheets of gelatin; ½ cup or 60 g of chocolate-flavored Whey Protein; pinch of salt (optional).
- Measure out and prepare all ingredients;
- Place the gelatin sheets in cold water;
- In a saucepan mix the milk or water with the pure organic cocoa, and our chocolate-flavored Whey Protein, together with the coconut sugar, (if you want you can add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor). Heat without stirring until a uniform mixture is formed.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, add the unflavored gelatin sheets and let dissolve. Then remove the heat;
- Pour the mixture into the dishes that you will use to serve the jello in. If you don’t have many individual containers, you can use a larger tray or container that allows you to portion out the jello once set.
- If you want, you can add pieces of fruit such as strawberries, blackberries, or whatever you like the most! To make the most of this treat;
- Allow the jello to cool slightly to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator. Ideally, make this ahead of time and wait until the next day for the mixture to set perfectly, but if you notice that it sets sooner go for it!
- For decor add some chopped fruit on top (a good chance to use whatever you have on hand in the fridge).
- Finally, ENJOY!
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