Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to make a fuss over your favourite person! While flowers and chocolates never hurt, we reckon rustling up a three-course dinner from scratch is the ultimate gesture to make someone in your life feel special. From sweet, flaky pastry treats you can nibble on while you wait, to cheesy mains and decadent desserts, our impressive candlelit menu is guaranteed to help you make some extra-special memories.
Whether you’re cooking for a partner, friend or family member on February 14th, it’s impossible not to charm them with the dishes we’ve got in store (and they’ll never know all three courses are lower in calories!).
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Valentine’s Day Snacks
There’s no better way to mark the occasion than a heart-shaped bake! Our gorgeous Pastry Hearts never fail to spread some love, and you only need 3 ingredients to make them. With ready-rolled light puff pastry, raspberry or strawberry jam and a dusting of icing sugar, you’ve got the makings to bake a whole batch of perfect little pastries.
Ready to ‘wow’ in a heartbeat (they take just half an hour!), it seems too good to be true that they’re as light as 84 calories each.
They’re at their best served warm from the oven, but there’s nothing to stop you tucking them into your tupperware for your afternoon tea break – they’ll still win hearts all over!
If you’d rather romance them with a treat they can dunk in a cuppa, look no further than our Jammy Hearts. While biscuits aren’t typically the most slimming-friendly indulgence, our recipe replaces half of the sugar with granulated sweetener; they come in nice and light at 48 calories each!
So that they’re the tastiest token of appreciation they can be, we’ve used proper butter instead of reduced-fat spread. With their unforgettable buttery crunch, they’re an irresistible date-night snack.
To make Cupid proud, you’ll want to use a heart-shaped cutter to give your biscuits their adorable shape.
Just like our jammy pastries, these heart-shaped biccies are freezer-friendly, so you can save any leftovers to cheer up rainier days!
Valentine’s Day Starters
Roses are red, violets are blue, you’ll want to impress your date with a starter (or two!). Bathed in a Mediterranean-inspired, garlicky sauce, our Garlic Chilli Prawns are sure to start you off on the right foot. They’re mouth-wateringly satisfying without being too filling, so you’ll have plenty of room left for dinner and dessert.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can always serve your prawns with crusty wholemeal bread rolls. Once you’ve got a taste for the tantalising, chilli-infused flavours, you’ll want to mop up the leftovers!
Our go-to alternative for garlic mushrooms, Balsamic Mushrooms are always a winner. Once they’re coated in our balsamic glaze, all that’s left to do is sit back, relax and let the oven do most of the work for you.
Since our balsamic-honey glaze is both sweet and savoury, they’ve got the flavour to complement pretty much any main meal (they’re especially good with pasta or Creamy Garlic Chicken!).
If you’d rather nibble on a savoury snack for starters, our Pizza Twists with Pizza Dip will whet your appetite. While we’ve gone for a Margherita-inspired cheese and tomato combo, you can always pluck at your dinner guest’s heart strings by serving them a version inspired by their favourite pizza toppings. Romance isn’t dead, after all!
Just be sure to count the calories for any additional ingredients, if you’re keeping track.
Valentine’s Day Mains
When it comes to Valentine’s Day mains, we’re all about dishes that look and taste like they’re from a restaurant, but are cheaper, healthier and quicker to make at home. Our velvety Creamy Pesto Chicken seems so luxurious, it’s tough to believe there’s not a pot of cream in sight.
We’ve combined reduced-fat cream cheese with ready-made green pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, for a decadent-style dish that’s bursting with colour. It’s hard not to love creamy chicken dishes, especially when they’re endlessly versatile.
You can’t go wrong with pesto-covered chicken breasts and your favourite pasta, or turn them into a crispier dinner with a side of fluffy-in-the-middle Parmentier Potatoes if you’d prefer.
If you’re marking the occasion with a cocktail or two, you won’t regret saving 35 ml of vodka to rustle up our Creamy Tomato Vodka Pasta. Traditional ‘Pasta alla Vodka’ is made with heavier, full-fat creams, and we’ve achieved the same level of creaminess for a fraction of the calories by using Arla Tomato and Basil Quark.
Even if they do say absence makes the heart grow fonder, no one wants to spend ages in the kitchen when they could be having fun with their favourite people! This boozy pasta is ready in less than 20 minutes, so you’ll get to spend more time showing the love.
They say sharing is caring, and we’ll admit it’s tough to want to share our Tear and Share Cheesy Garlic Dough Balls – they’re just so good! You’ll need to make the dough from scratch, but we promise your companion will appreciate the effort.
It’s difficult not to fall in love with pizza, so we’d say our Cheesy Chilli Pizza is a great sharing option for the most romantic day of the year. Instead of traditional dough, we’ve used home-baked Naan bread for our oh-so-crispy base and topped it with melty Gouda cheese.
As if our chilli-infused sauce wasn’t enough, we’ve spiced things up even further with a finishing drizzle of sweet chilli.
No matter who you’re cooking for on Valentine’s Day, a rich risotto is never a bad idea. If you’re hoping to impress a ‘Vegantine’, our Roasted Vegetable Risotto will do the trick – just make sure you use a dairy-free alternative Italian hard cheese.
With plenty of nutritious veggies and fluffy Arborio rice, there’s no way you’ll miss the meat.
All you need is… Dessert
Let’s skip to the good part: dessert! Our gooey-in-the-middle Lemon Lava Cakes will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside for only 157 calories per pud. Ready from the oven in 15 minutes (or from the microwave in less than 10!), they’re super speedy without skimping on zesty goodness.
Add a glug of Custard or a swirl of reduced-fat aerosol cream, and you’ve got our idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day match.
If you can’t choose between chocolate or sticky toffee, our Chocolate Toffee Puddings bring you the best of both worlds. Rich and chocolatey with an oozy toffee centre, you’d never guess we’ve used sugar-free creamy toffees to make their melted middles.
So that these delicate little puds hold their shape, you’ll want to bake them inside ovenproof ramekin dishes.
Once they’re ready, you can serve them on plates, in or outside of the little dishes – whichever looks best on your candlelit spread!
You’ll find the full recipe in our latest cookbook, Pinch of Nom: Enjoy. It’s on pages 260-261, alongside plenty more delightful desserts.
Send a love letter to one of your favourite cocktails by whipping up our Espresso Martini Trifles. Almost as fun and easy to make as they are to eat, we’ve layered them up with boozy coffee jelly, chocolatey yoghurt and cream. To make them extra scrummy and save on precious time, we’ve topped them with readymade brownie bites.
If you’re preparing these in advance, leave the cream off until it’s time for serving. You want your puddings to look as pretty as possible for the big night.
Which of our Valentine’s Day dishes wins your heart?
We’d love to know what you’re making for loved ones or friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You can share your caring creations over in our Facebook group, where we have almost 1 million members waiting to support you on your slimming journey!
On the lookout for more inspiration? You’ll want to stop by our PON Gallery too; there’s no shortage of hints, tips, quotes and photos shared by our incredible community.
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