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Health and Wellness
Our Favorite Healthy Valentine's Day Recipes

Whether you are single and ready to mingle, or if you have been married for 50 years, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to celebrate love.  One way to share the love is through a delicious meal. Or, in this case, an entire day’s worth of meals!

Usually, Valentine’s Day treats are high in fat and sugar.  We have all received one of those heart-shaped candy boxes with candies so sweet they make your teeth hurt.  However, decadence does not necessarily mean overindulging on sweets.

This year, why don’t you splurge on a whole day’s worth of healthy recipes to show your loved ones how much you care?

Here we share some of our favorite healthy Valentine’s Day recipes to take you from morning ‘til night.

Healthy Valentine’s Day Timeline

7:00 AM – Breakfast

For the most important meal of the day, we have selected two delicious options to start your Valentine’s Day off right.

This recipe for Strawberry Coconut Breakfast Quinoa comes from our friends over at PCOS Nutrition Center. One of our favorite things about this recipe is that it uses quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) in an unexpected way.

Quinoa is a whole grain that is naturally gluten-free and packed with 8 grams of protein per cup.  The protein content in one cup of quinoa is roughly equivalent to what you would find in one egg.  Therefore, quinoa is a perfect protein-packed alternative for someone who does not like eggs for breakfast.

The strawberries provide a healthy sweetness to this breakfast. Because strawberries are very high in water content, they are low in carbohydrates – less than 12 grams per cup.  Plus, their bright red color will get you in the mood to celebrate all day with Cupid.

Our second choice for a healthy Valentine’s Day breakfast comes from Sarah Remmer, a Registered Dietitian and family food and nutrition expert.  Her recipe for Easy Egg and Banana Muffins is super simple and is sure to please even the pickiest of Valentines.

For those of you who love muffins, but don’t like all the sugar that usually accompanies them, this recipe is for you.  By using a mixture of bananas, eggs, and rolled oats, you can create bite-sized treats that not only taste great but are healthful as well.

Eggs are the star of this dish, providing 14 important nutrients as well as a healthy dose of protein. Not to mention, the cute heart-shaped strawberries are a nice Valentine’s Day addition.

10:00 AM – Morning Snack

Nothing says “healthy snack” quite like a smoothie or a protein shake.  Instead of reaching for that mid-morning pastry or cup of coffee, try one of these great shake recipes from Rutgers. If you happened to get in a Valentine’s morning workout, any of these protein-packed shakes would help with muscle recovery.

The “Dessert Smoothie” seems especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day.  It combines the healthy fat found in avocado with the antioxidant power of cacao.  All while satisfying your sweet tooth and keeping you fuller longer.  A great, healthy treat for you or your sweetie!

12:00 PM – Lunch

For lunch, treat yourself to this “Hearty” Spinach Salad from 360 Family Nutrition.

Popeye had the right idea when he gobbled up spinach by the fist-full.  Spinach contains many vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron and calcium.  It contains antioxidants which help fight damaging oxidative stress.

You will get in the Valentine’s Day mood when you see the adorable heart-shaped cucumbers and red peppers on top of this salad!

For an extra punch of protein, I recommend adding a few ounces of grilled chicken breast or sautéed shrimp.  The extra protein will make you feel fuller longer, and help you power through the second half of your day.

3:00 PM – Afternoon Snack

We love these No Bake Apricot Chia Energy Bars from Prevention RD! One of our favorite things about this recipe is that each of the ingredients has powerful health benefits.

Both dates and apricots are good sources of potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6.  Moreover, both of these ingredients are excellent sources of fiber. Each contains roughly 7 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving.

One thing to watch out for with any dried fruit, however, is that they are high in sugar. Therefore, if you are on a low-sugar diet, you might want to make a substitution.

Chia seeds are widely becoming known as a superfood with many impressive health benefits.  They are low-carb friendly because almost all of their carbohydrates are fiber.  Plus, they are good sources of protein, the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha linolenic acid), antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.

The walnuts in this recipe are excellent sources of healthy fats, ALA, and many other vitamins and minerals.

For a bit of Valentine’s Day decadence and more antioxidant power, dark chocolate chips are mixed in at the end. You can make these ahead of time and pack them for you and your sweetheart to take to work for an afternoon pick-me-up.

7:00 PM – Dinner

For a healthy, romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, we chose an entrée and a side from two of our favorite wellness blogs.

This delicious Chard Wrapped Salmon comes from Katie Wells at Wellness Mama.

Salmon is one of the healthiest sources of protein you can eat.  One 3.5-ounce serving of salmon provides 20-30 grams of protein.  That same size serving also contains between 2.3 and 2.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3s from fish (EPA & DHA) are associated with a decreased risk for cardiovascular issues including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides.  Both EPA and DHA have also shown to help reduce inflammation and protect joints.

Moreover, the omega-3 DHA has been demonstrated to be an essential nutrient for pregnant moms.  This powerful fatty acid promotes baby’s brain and eye development.  It also supports full-term delivery and a healthy birth weight.  Because salmon is lower in mercury than many other fish, it is safe for pregnant women to eat about two or three servings of salmon a week.

We thought that this Roasted Spicy Cauliflower from Chris Kresser would taste great with the salmon entrée!  Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it contains a number of powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients.

During food preparation and digestion, compounds in cruciferous vegetables called glucosinolates are broken down into biologically active compounds, called indoles.  One of these compounds, indole-3-carbionol, has been extensively studied for its anticancer effects.

9:00 PM – Dessert

Valentine’s Day would not be complete without a little sweet treat.  We have selected two healthy dessert options that won’t bust your diet.

These Peanut Butter Buckeyes from our friends at PCOS Diva are a decadent bite that combines the healthy fat of peanut butter and the antioxidant benefits of bittersweet chocolate.  One of our favorite things about this recipe is that it uses protein powder to bring it all together, eliminating the need for any flour or heavy binders.

Finally, these Healthy Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Cookies from Susan Dopart, MS, RD, CDE are the perfect way to round out a healthy Valentine’s Day.  Susan writes that she improved the fat profile of this recipe by using coconut oil and made it low-carb friendly by using a combination of coconut and almond flours.

These cookies are high in protein and fiber, and the little red cranberries give them a distinctive Valentine’s Day color!

Whether you choose to sample just one or all of these recipes, you can be sure that each and every one of them can fit into your healthy lifestyle.  This year, you can share the love by making a healthy Valentine’s Day your top priority!

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