So, hi. Valentines Day is tomorrow. Gah!! Between work, errands, and training, you may find yourself a little under-prepared for a holiday that, ideally, is about relaxing and spending time with your better half.
I’ve been there, so I wanted to share a few ideas for healthy Valentine's Day meal ideas that can be created quickly and easily.
Here are my rules for these last minute Valentines Day meal ideas:
Convenient - you probably have most ingredients in your pantry or fridge. If not, they can easily be found at your grocery store.
Light but satisfying - each recipe leaves room for a little vino vino, and won’t find you too stuffed to enjoy the rest of your evening (ahem!).
Easy - none of these recipes involve multiple steps or hours of labor. They are simply fun to cook for or with your partner (or yourself!).
1. Chicken with Cherry Wine Pan Sauce: Feels fancy but stays within a realistic budget. Also, literally- one pan. Note that you have to pop some red wine open in order to make this recipe. Look at you, multi-tasking!
2. Bistro Steak with Roasted Potatoes - MyRecipes/Cooking Light has long been one of my standard go-to recipe sites. I rely on them for healthier spins on classics, like this traditional meat and potatoes meal. Pair it with a side of roasted veggies and you’re set.
3. Breakfast for dinner, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pancakes: One of the first dinner dates Paul and I had was a lesson in cooking pancakes. He’s brilliant at his job of fixing Volvos, but had yet to master pancake batter. It was a fun change of pace for us both! Personal notes on this recipe - add more almond butter on top! OMG! And, if you don’t have flax meal, just sub a real egg. Add some strawberries or other fresh fruit to round out the meal.
4. Easy Beer Batter Crepes - Beer crepes! Another spin on breakfast for dinner, but you can fill these babies with anything you like. Feeling sweet? Try nutella and bananas, strawberries and peanut butter, or fresh blueberries and marscapone cheese or ricotta. More savory - ham and asparagus, egg omelettes, or fresh ricotta and herbs. The omelette option would give you a nice base to play with herbs and veggies that you have in your fridge, plus a good dose of protein. Serve with a mixed greens salad on the side. If you’re not feeling the beer - try these simple healthy crepes instead.
5. Crockpot Bolognense: Honey, I literally spent 7 hours slaving over this dinner. You didn’t, but your crockpot did. Thank God for technology. If you’d like to make this dish vegetarian, substitute veggie meat crumbles.
What makes each of these recipes healthy for athletes?
Each incorporates fruit and veggies paired with healthy, satiating fats such as almond butter. They include modest portions of lean protein, such as the steak, or the eggs and Greek yogurt in the crepes. Portion sizes can easily be scaled to meet the calories you need to support your training goals. And finally- they are all delicious!! Food should taste good and leave you satisfied. If you have questions or would like to learn how to incorporate meals like these into your training plan, reach out to me.
Happy Valentines Day!
iTRI365 Nutrition Coach