Cook A Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner (That’s Healthy And Delicious)

Are you someone who’d rather not go out to a crowded restaurant on Valentine’s Day? Get ready to fall in love over these easy yet delicious recipes…

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Valentine’s Day food doesn’t have to mean couple’s fondue and chocolate cake (there’s nothing like a cheese-hangover to get you in the mood for lovin’, am I right?).

Skip the busy restaurants this year and have a cozy, romantic date at home. The food will taste better and you won’t have to leave a tip at the end of the night. It’s easier than you think to create a healthy, budget-friendly meal that feels like a splurge (without the hefty price tag). Spend the money you’ll save on a nice bottle of wine or cheeky lingerie, both of which are so much more fun than yelling over the din of a crowded restaurant.

These recipes are simple enough for any beginner (yes, even the risotto!) but they look and taste like they were made by a gourmet chef.

Easy Roasted Portobello Mushroom Risotto

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

For the Roasted Portobello Mushrooms:

Note: this part of the recipe can be made up to three days in advance. Keep covered and refrigerated.

  • 3 portobello mushrooms, stalks removed and set aside
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Special Equipment:

  • Small roasting dish
  • Small spoon
  • Paper towel

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Using a small spoon, remove the dark gills from the mushroom.
  3. Clean carefully with a damp paper towel, wiping along the top and bottom to remove any remaining grit.
  4. Place whole mushrooms in a glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Arrange the sprigs of thyme on top of the mushrooms.
  5. Roast the mushrooms for 20 minutes before flipping them over and roasting for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and allow them to remain in the baking dish with any cooking liquid until you’re ready to use them in the risotto.
  7. If using later on, transfer the mushrooms and their liquid to a lidded container and refrigerate for up to three days.

For the Risotto:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Stalks from the portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of white vermouth
  • 1 heaping cup Arborio rice
  • 4 to 5 cups mushroom stock OR vegetable stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the woody stems
  • 1 cup grated parmesan OR Grana Padano + more for sprinkling on top of the risotto
  • 3 roasted portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced lengthwise and warmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Special Equipment:

  • Large shallow saucepan
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Soup ladle
  • Cheese grater
  • Wooden spoon
  • Medium-sized saucepan

Method:

  1. Warm stock in a medium-sized saucepan until simmering, turn the heat down but keep the stock hot.
  2. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large shallow saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the shallots, garlic, and salt. Sauté until translucent, stirring often.
  4. Add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir to coat with the butter, oil, shallot, and garlic mixture. Cook the rice for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the vermouth.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir the rice and vermouth gently but constantly, until the rice begins to absorb the vermouth.
  6. Once the rice has absorbed most of the vermouth you can begin to add the warm stock, one ladle-full at a time. The goal is to stir each ladle-full of stock into the rice until it has been incorporated, then add another ladle-full.
  7. Taste frequently; the rice should be al dente (tender but firm) when it’s done cooking.
  8. As the last bit of stock is used, stir in the thyme leaves, grated cheese, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  9. Portion the hot risotto into shallow bowls. Top with thinly sliced portobello mushrooms, extra grated cheese, and fresh parsley before serving.

Raspberry and Cherry Frozen Greek Yogurt

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 ½ cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dark chocolate bar, cold (keep in fridge or freezer)

Special Equipment:

  • Measuring cups
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Plastic or glass lidded container
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Vegetable peeler

Method:

  1. Place the frozen raspberries, cherries, and vanilla Greek yogurt in the food processor. Pulse for a few seconds, on and off, scraping down the sides with a spatula until the mixture begins to come together.
  2. Add the honey and pinch of salt and blitz until completely combined and smooth.
  3. Transfer to a lidded container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.
  4. Scoop into small serving bowls before adding dark chocolate shavings.
  5. To make dark chocolate shavings, carefully use a vegetable peeler on the thin edge of the chocolate bar. To prevent the shavings from melting, shave the chocolate right onto the frozen yogurt and enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Linkletter
Ashley Linkletter
Contributing Writer