8 Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas

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Indulge this Valentine's Day – without busting your diet – with these easy and elegant recipe ideas.

From Jennifer Acosta Scott of everydayhealth.com

 A Valentine’s Day meal usually means decadence: a heavy entree, rich, gooey desserts, and plenty of calories and sugar with your sweetie. To save your diet without sacrificing the romance this Feb. 14, surprise your Valentine with these rich, oh-so-scrumptious recipe ideas that won’t leave you feeling regretful the next day. Pick from our list of appetizers, entrées, sides and desserts designed for two, add flowers and candlelight, and enjoy your tastiest Valentine’s Day yet.

 Appetizer Idea: Four-Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Start your Valentine’s Day meal with this delicious appetizer, a blend of four cheeses, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes tucked into savory mushroom caps, which are thought to be an aphrodisiac. The key to cutting calories from this recipe is using tomatoes that haven’t been packed in oil, and going for part-skim cheese. Cut the recipe by two-thirds if you’re cooking for two — or make the full amount of this healthy recipe and savor the leftovers later.


Easy Entrée: Pomegranate Duck

Preparing duck might seem like a daunting task, but this rich Valentine’s Day meal recipe makes it easy by using a duck breast rather than a whole bird. The browned and roasted poultry is topped with a simple yet thick sauce that shows off the unique flavor of pomegranate. And with the calories of this healthy recipe clocking in at less than 300 per serving, you won’t feel guilty about indulging in a Valentine’s Day dessert afterward.


Healthy Side Dish: Couscous with Orange

For a change from ho-hum rice, try flavorful couscous, a Middle Eastern pasta that has fewer calories per serving than rice or quinoa. When you combine couscous with fresh citrus slices and green onions, you have a side that works with any entrée option. Plus, the vitamin C in oranges ups your body’s level of oxytocin, a hormone that studies say encourages cuddling.


Diet-Friendly Dessert: Chocolate Fondue

It just wouldn’t be a Valentine's Day without chocolate. In place of the standard box of Russell Stover, this fondue adds some fun — and fruit — to the mix. Prepare the simple, rich chocolate sauce (the darker the chocolate, the healthier), and then use skewers to dip your favorite cut-up fruits. Be sure to include strawberries in the mix, as the bright-red berries are a famous aphrodisiac.


Diet-Friendly Dessert: Grilled Apples with Cheese and Honey

For a last-minute dessert, quickly grill thinly sliced tart apples and top with savory cheese and toasted pecans. A light drizzle of honey, which contains boron, a mineral that can increase your body’s testosterone levels, provides the perfect finish. For a variation of this recipe idea, use sharp Cheddar in place of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


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