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Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes to Keep You on Track

in Southfield, MI

By: Stephanie Ruopp

The beginning of February means you made it through January. 

Hopefully that means you’ve been able to stick with some, most or even all of those healthy resolutions you made at the beginning of the year. And that you’re moving and grooving with your new routine.

Because you’re going to need some resolve to weather the next holiday coming up on February 14th.

Sure, Valentine’s Day is not as all-consuming as the December holidays. But it does offer its own set of temptations. 

So we’ve got some healthy Valentine’s Day recipes that will help you embrace the day, without completely abandoning your fitness goals.

Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes – All Day Long

If you’re not much of a breakfast person, then chances are you won’t be too tempted to gorge yourself on chocolate at 7am. 

But you can still celebrate the spirit of love by treating yourself and/or your sweetie to this easy and healthy breakfast. Be sure to get some heart-shaped cookie cutters. (You might need to use it again later.)

Melon Heart Kabobs

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 1/2 watermelon
  • 1 6 ounce container plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What you’re gonna do:

1. Cut melon into 1-inch-thick slices. Then use your small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts from the slices. Place a hole in the center of each heart with a toothpick, then thread the fruit hearts onto a skewer.

2. Stir together yogurt, orange juice concentrate, and honey until well combined. Then dip the fruit hearts to your heart’s content!

Then again, maybe breakfast IS your thing. Or perhaps you want to surprise your partner with a special Valentine’s breakfast. 

You don’t have to go hog-wild crazy. This single-serving recipe allows you to enjoy pancakes without the temptation of having a plate of them warming in the oven. They’re low in sugar and loaded with whole grain and fiber.

Healthy Red Velvet Pancakes

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour 
  • 2 tbsp, plus 1 tsp oat bran 
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pureed raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon oil (optional – for lower fat pancakes, use less) 
  • milk of choice – use more or less, depending on how thin or thick you want the batter
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar, or 1 stevia packet 
  • Maybe some mini chocolate chips!

What you’re gonna do:

It’s pretty straightforward. First you’ll mix the dry ingredients. Then you stir in the wet ingredients. Once you have the batter where you want it, grab the skillet and make those pancakes!

Heading into lunch, your best bet is to keep it light. Especially if you’re looking forward to a special dinner. Here’s a recipe that’s packed with flavor, protein and nutrients. And it’s so simple. For a single serving, use half the ingredients.

Beet Salad With Goat Cheese and Walnuts

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 4 tbsp vinaigrette such as balsamic
  • 1 can beets (8.25 oz.) chilled
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp nuts, walnuts coarsely chopped, toasted
  • 1 ounce(s) cheese, goat cheese, crumbled

What you’re gonna do:

1. Arrange salad greens on a plate and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the salad dressing. Set aside.

2. Drain and cut up beets. 

3. In a medium bowl, combine beets, basil or parsley, and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons salad dressing; toss to coat. 

4. Spoon beet mixture onto center of salad greens. Sprinkle beets with walnuts and goat cheese. Enjoy!

As the afternoon wears on and you start thinking about dinner, don’t get persuaded into grabbing one of those heart-shaped pizzas from the local pizzeria on the way home. Make a plan instead to do a mini version that’s much healthier and even allows you to use your heart-shaped cookie cutter again.

Mini Heart-Shaped Supreme Pizzas 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pkg store bought pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken or turkey sausage 
  • 1/3 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced shallot
  • 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup your favorite pizza sauce
  • fresh basil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you’re gonna do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Dust a surface with flour and roll out pizza dough. Using the heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out roughly 10 heart-shaped pizzas. 

3. Place the heart pizzas on a baking sheet and partially bake for about seven minutes. Remove pizzas from the baking sheet from the oven and set aside.

4. Preheat a medium skillet to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and chicken/turkey sausage. Cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink and remove with a slotted wooden spoon onto a plate. 

5. In the same skillet, add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms for a few minutes or until slightly golden brown. Then add green pepper, shallot, salt and pepper. Add a little more olive oil to the skillet if needed. Cook the veggies until softened – about four minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

6. Grab the partially baked pizza hearts and spread some of the pizza sauce on top leaving a small border. Top the sauce with chicken sausage followed by the veggie mixture and cheese. 

7. Bake the pizzas for additional five to seven minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cheese has melted. 

8. Remove the pizzas from the oven and garnish with fresh basil, if desired. And then feel the pleasure of knowing you can eat more than one pizza.

If you want to impress your partner with something a little more substantial, this healthy recipe for grilled tuna is protein rich, and brings in a little sweetness and a little heat. 

Grilled Tuna with Sweet & Hot Salsa

What you’ll need:

  • 2 5-ounce fresh or frozen tuna steaks, cut ¾- to 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds or 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp finely shredded lime peel
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped seeded watermelon
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or orange sweet pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp snipped fresh mint
  • Lime wedges (optional)

What you’re gonna do:

1. Thaw fish completely. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. 

2. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish and set aside. 

3. If using whole cumin seeds, heat them over medium heat in a small dry skillet for 1 to 2 minutes or until aromatic. Shake skillet occasionally. When seeds are done, crush them in a mortar and pestle.

4. In a small bowl, combine crushed cumin seeds or ground cumin, the lime peel, lime juice, oil, 1/8 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper and the salt. Pour this over the fish in the bag – turning to coat fish. 

5. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes, occasionally turning the bag.

6. To prepare the salsa, combine watermelon, sweet pepper, green onion, mint and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

7. Once you’re ready to grill, drain the fish and discard the marinade. Grill fish on a greased rack for 6 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Turn once halfway through grilling. 

8. Serve fish topped with watermelon mixture and, if desired, lime wedges. Sweet and hot, just like you and your partner.

Finally, we’ve come to dessert. 

Now, maybe you allow yourself to splurge a little after a day of such healthy eating. That’s up to you. BUT, if you want to stay on the healthier side of things, we’ve dug up this recipe for chocolate lava cake that’s a healthier alternative to the real deal. 

This single serving recipe will give you just the right chocolate fix. If making for more than one, just multiply ingredients by the number you need.

Chocolate Lava Cake

What you’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp spelt, all-purpose, or gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar of choice 
  • pinch of stevia or 1 extra tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk of choice
  • 2 1/2 tsp vegetable or coconut oil (applesauce can be subbed out to make recipe fat-free, but it will change the flavor a bit)
  • 2 tbsp raspberry fruit spread or jam

What you’re gonna do:

1. You can bake your lava cake in either the oven or microwave. If you’re using the oven, preheat it to 350F. 

2. Grease a mug or ramekin. 

3. In another small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and stir very well. 

4. Then add the oil, vanilla and milk. Stir all ingredients to form a batter. 

5. Spoon half the batter into the greased dish, spoon the raspberries on top (only in the middle of the batter), then top off with remaining chocolate batter. 

6. Either bake 13-14 minutes, or microwave 30-40 seconds. 

7. Allow cake to cool before eating it straight out of the dish or mug.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Let it be one you can enjoy without regret with these healthy Valentine’s Day recipes. 

If you have yet to visit our center, take a visual tour and see what we have to offer. Then contact us to see how we can help you continue to meet your fitness goals. 

And if you’re already practicing Pilates with us and need some guidance on other fitness goals, please know that you can always consult with one of our experienced Pilates instructors. We’ll do what it takes to keep you on the right track.