Is there anything better than a home-cooked meal? Well… we think it might be slightly better if it’s a home-cooked meal made for us on Valentine’ Day by a loved one!
Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day at home with your significant other or happily solo, there’s no reason to abandon your health goals and head straight for the huge bowl of pasta, block of chocolate or tub of ice cream (although by all means, treat yourself if you wish!)
We’ve put together 6 absolutely delicious Valentine’s Day recipes that are fresh, decadent and sure to impress whoever you want to be impressing (even if that is yourself!)
1. Prawn, Blood Orange and Fennel Salad with Lemon and Yoghurt Dressing
Makes 6 serves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 spring onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1kg cooked prawns
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 4 blood oranges, skin and seeds removed, segmented
- 1 cup natural yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Over a medium-high heat, fry the spring onions for 1 to 2 minutes until softened, then add the chopped garlic, then add the prawns, stirring them to coat with the mixture. Add the stock and wine to this pan, then season and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat.
- Divide the fennel segments and blood orange segments among plates. Top with the prawns and drizzle some of the oil from the pan. Scatter over more fennel fronds and drizzle with the dressing. Serve salad with remaining dressing and lemon wedges.
2. Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
Makes 2 serves
- 3 cups of cubed watermelon
- ⅛ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole lime, juiced
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (sheep’s milk feta works best)
- This salad is best prepared one hour or less before your meal.
- Place your watermelon chunks into a colander so they can drain as you prepare the rest of the salad.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper to create a dressing.
- Please watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and the chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently. Por the crumbled feta into the salad bowl and stir gently to mix the cheese with the rest of the salad.
3. Pan-Seared Scallops with Corn Puree
Makes 5 serves
For the corn puree:
- 4 to 5 cobs of fresh corn
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ tablespoon of salt
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup of almond milk
For the scallops:
- About 25 medium-sized dry sea scallops
- About 85 grams of dry-cured chorizo, chopped into small pieces
- 20 red and yellow cherry tomatoes
- Chopped spring onions to garnish
For the corn puree:
- Boil corn for 5 minutes, drain in a colander and allow to cool.
- While corn is cooling, saute the sliced spring onions in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. When finished cooking the spring onions, turn the heat off and add the cutter to the pan.
- When the corn is cool enough to touch, carefully cut the kernels from the cob. Set aside ½ the kernels for garnishing.
- In a blender, combine the remainder of the corn kernels, the chicken broth, salt, cayenne pepper, almond milk and the shallots with melted butter. Blend until mixture becomes a smooth puree.
- Transfer the puree into a medium bowl and set aside.
For the scallops:
- Divide the scallops into groups of similar sizes.
- Salt the scallops and place them on a paper-towel lined plate and blot the excess moisture.
- Heat up a large fry pan over medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then use a slotted spoon to remove them, however leave the remaining oil in the pan.
- Keep the pan hot and add the scallops. Cook for 2 minutes per side, and be sure not to overcook them. They should be golden brown. If needed, cook them in batches to prevent overcrowding the pan. Add a little olive oil to the pan between batches.
- Serve the scallops on a bed of corn puree, garnished with remaining fresh corn kernels, chopped spring onions, halved cherry tomatoes and cooked chorizo.
4. Beet Risotto With Goats Cheese
Makes 4 serves
- 3 medium beets, cleaned and trimmed
- 3 ½ cups of bone broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry vermouth
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup goats cheese
- ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped for the garnish
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius.
- Tightly wrap beets in foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender (about 1 1/2 hours). Let cool slightly. Peel the beets under running cold water. Place two of the beets in a blender or food processor and process briefly until somewhat smooth. Dice the remaining beet into 1/2 inch cubes.
- While beets are cooling, bring broth and water to a simmer in a 2 – 3 litre saucepan.
- Heat butter in a wide, heavy pot over moderate heat. Cook the garlic and onion until softened and fragrant. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Using a ladle, stir in 1/2 cup warm broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding warm broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next. Do this until rice is tender and creamy-looking (approximately 18 to 22 minutes).
- Stir in beets, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until heated through.
- Top bowls of risotto with crumbled goat cheese and dill. Serve immediately.
5. Sweet Potato Brownies with Chocolate Sauce
Makes 10 brownies
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g oat flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 6 tablespoons cacao powder
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter, optional
- Water from 1x 400g can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Handful of dark chocolate chips
- Pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate sauce
- 1 teaspoon cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons date syrup
- 4 tablespoons coconut milk, from a carton, or any other plant-based milk
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180c, fan setting.
- Place the sweet potato into a steamer or in a saucepan with boiling water for 15-30 minutes, until they become really soft (the length of time will depend on the size of the chunks).
- While the sweet potatoes cook, grind the oats in a food processor until they form a flour (if not already), place to one side.
- Once the sweet potatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart, drain them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates. Blend until smooth. Now add the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate) and blend until smooth. Once blended, stir through the chocolate chips (if using).
- Spoon the mixture into a lined baking dish and cook for 45-50 minutes until you can pierce the brownie with a fork and bring it out clean.
- Remove the tray and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together.
- For the chocolate sauce, simply place all of the ingredients into a pan over a medium heat. Stir continuously until everything is melted and has come together to form a smooth sauce, about 5 minutes. Pour on top of the brownies when ready to serve.
6. Cherry Apricot Freeze
Makes 12 serves
- 2¼ cups water, divided
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 can pear halves (juice pack)
- 1 can unpeeled apricot halves in light syrup, rinsed, drained and chopped
- 1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed ( ¾ cup)
- ½ jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
- Combine 1½ cups water and the sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Boil, uncovered, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, drain pears, reserving juice. Chop pears. Stir chopped pears, reserved pear juice, chopped apricots, pineapple juice concentrate, cherries and the remaining ¾ cup water into the syrup mixture. Transfer mixture to a 2 litre freezer container. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or until firm, stirring occasionally to distribute fruit. Store in freezer up to 1 month.
- To serve, let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour. Scrape mixture into dessert dishes.