A day dedicated to love, whether that be yourself, a partner, a close family member or friend – there are many ways to celebrate this day!
If you choose to spend the day celebrating, here are some ideas and tips on how to do so, in a healthier more mindful way, but still making sure you enjoy yourself.
Get cooking together
Nothing is more satisfying than spending time cooking together and reaping the rewards by enjoying a romantic dinner after. Not to mention this is likely to save you money compared to eating out too! What will you plan to cook for Valentines? Perhaps have a go at something hands on such as sushi making or the art of a perfect beef wellington?
Check out some of our recipe inspiration at the end of the blog!
Spend time getting active
If you and your loved ones enjoy doing something that raises your heart rate, how about planning an active date? That could be going for a hike or long walk, or even a swim in your local pool. A great way to release some endorphins and enjoying keeping active together.
Create a home-spa day
How about applying a face mask on yourself or each other (you could even create a home-made one together), giving each other a massage or use a massage chair or machine? Enjoy a foot rub, light your favourite candle and perhaps indulge in a bath with a fun bath bomb!
Be mindful of alcohol intake
Do you feel that alcohol is necessary to enjoy the day? If you are working towards health goals which includes reducing your alcohol intake, keep in mind that there are some fantastic non-alcoholic alternatives available these days.
Try to aim for moderation if you choose to have a few drinks and keep hydrated with water between all drinks. This will keep you hydrated and help you feel better the next day!
Recipe inspiration (All recipes serve 2)
Miso aubergine with seared sticky tofu & brown rice (vegan)
These flavour combinations work so well together – it’s comfort in a bowl!
- 1 large aubergine
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar/Chinese rice wine (Mirin)
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 large block of tofu (around 400g)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Thumb sized ginger, grated
- Tsp chilli flakes (more to taste)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cooked brown rice, to serve
Start by preheating the oven to 180c and prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Slice the aubergine in half lengthways, and score it with a knife on the flesh in a criss cross pattern.
Mix the miso paste & vinegar or mirin in a bowl until you get a smooth consistency.
Cover both halves of the aubergine with the miso mixture and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and caramalised.
Meanwhile, make the sticky sauce – combine the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, tomato puree, maple syrup or honey, soya sauce and rice wine vinegar in a large bowl.
Cut the tofu into small cubes and then add into the bowl with the sauce. Mix to combine and leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Place a frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil when hot and then add in the marinated tofu pieces. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes until browned.
To assemble, add the cooked brown rice into bowls, top with the tofu and half miso aubergine, then sprinkle over sesame seeds and sliced spring onion. Serve with some chilli sauce if you like it spicy!
Seared scallops with asparagus and fresh truffle
Impress with this truffle starter. If you cannot source fresh truffle, use a good quality truffle oil instead.
- 6 raw scallops, deshelled and cleaned
- 10g butter
- 6 asparagus spears, trimmed
- 2 tbs truffle oil or 50g fresh black truffle
Pat the scallops dry with a kitchen towel and keep to one side.
Cook the asparagus tips either by boiling or steaming over hot water for 3-4 minutes until tender but still firm.
In a pan over high heat, heat the butter. Once melted, add in the scallops and cook for 1-2 minutes either side, basting with the butter.
Remove from the pan once cooked and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, add the cooked asparagus spears to 2 small plates, top with the cooked scallops and add any leftover butter from the pan on top. Then either drizzle with the truffle oil or shave fresh truffle all over.
To make this vegetarian, try poached eggs instead of scallops!
Roasted salmon and potatoes, tenderstem broccoli & chimichurri
An easy dish to make in one roasting tray – the sauce is also delicious with meat and chicken!
- 2 fillets of salmon with skin
- 200-250g baby potatoes
- 200-250g tenderstem broccoli
- Large handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 small red chilli (according to taste)
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180c, and line a large baking tray.
Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
Chop the baby potatoes in half, and boil for 10 minutes. Then add to the baking tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, place the salmon fillets onto the pan skin side up, and season the skin with a little salt and pepper. Alongside the salmon, place the tenderstem broccoli pieces.
Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until salmon is cooked to your liking.
In the meantime, make the chimichurri sauce using a small blender.
Add in the flat leaf parsley, garlic, remainder of the olive oil, chilli, oregano and vinegar to the blender. Season with salt and pepper, then blend together to a smooth paste.
Once the salmon, potatoes and broccoli are cooked, assemble on two plates, and drizzle the chimichurri sauce generously. Enjoy!
Dark chocolate dipped strawberries
Undeniably a classic at this time of the year! One that can be easily made ahead too. Ingredients
- 100-150g strawberries, washed and dried
- 40g dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa solids)
Line a tray with non-stick parchment paper and set aside.
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl, in 30 second blasts in the microwave, stirring on occasion until fully melted. Keep an eye for it so it does not burn!
Hold the strawberry by the leafy end and dip into the melted chocolate, until half is covered. Then place onto the parchment paper to set. Repeat with remaining strawberries and chocolate.
Keep in the fridge uncovered, until ready to serve!
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your day with your valentine or valentines!