Valentine's Day Low-Carb Menu Ideas

Fancy but easy romantic meals for two on a low-carb diet

Valentine's Hearts
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Are you thinking about making your honey a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day? Here are some tips to make the evening memorable, stay within your low-carb diet, and not feel too stuffed for intimacy.

Menu Planning Tips

  • The overall effect you're going for is elegant simplicity. This is most easily achieved by getting excellent ingredients that you don't have every day, and cooking them simply so their flavors can shine.
  • Everything should either cook quickly or be made ahead. The exception would be for rare favorites in which you're willing to invest extra effort.
  • Don't feel you have to do everything yourself. Sharing in the preparation can enhance the experience.
  • Get out your best plates, serving pieces, and special wine glasses.
  • Candles set a romantic mood unless your dinner partner doesn't like low lighting.

Beverages

Often a cocktail or wine is part of a Valentine meal, but be aware of how carbs vary for alcoholic drinks and cocktails. You can make a low-carb Cosmopolitan cocktail. Select dry white or red wines and check the carbs on any low-carb beer. Use sugar-free mixers with distilled liquor.

First Course

A first course isn't obligatory, but if you do it, keep it light with ideas like this:

  • Smoked salmon on cucumber rounds, perhaps with a touch of creme fraiche cream cheese

Main Course

All these recipes cook quickly, and the results are sure to please:

  • Ribeye steak or filet mignon. Splurge for an excellent cut. Cover it with plenty of salt and pepper, and grill. Top it with butter or blue cheese. It's best to share a steak rather than overstuff yourself, especially if a rich dessert is planned.
  • Oven-baked salmon with herbs is ultra-easy and succulent.
  • If your sweetheart is a chicken fan, get boneless skinless breasts or soak regular chicken breasts in salt water for a couple of hours, which will keep them from drying out when cooked. You can also marinate the chicken breast in olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs, then wrap it in prosciutto before pan frying.
  • Chicken Marsala made with mushrooms and wine is a romantic entree that is easy to make.
  • Pan seared scallops are elegant, easy, quick cooking, and delicious. What more could you want?

Side Dishes

Start with your favorite simple vegetable dishes and consider dressing them up with a sprinkle of nuts or herbs. Ideas include:

  • Dress up a simple green salad with cut up fruit such as melon, apple, or strawberries, and use an olive oil-based dressing.
  • Oven-roasted asparagus or other roasted vegetables are easy and delicious. The dry heat concentrates the flavors.
  • Saute mushrooms and garlic, and then add some wine and cream, and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Enliven mashed cauliflower with cheese and chives or chopped green onions.

Dessert

For most, chocolate is a Valentines Day "must." Look for low-carb chocolate recipes. Here are some favorites:

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