Valentine’s Dinner Recap

Hello my friends and Happy Presidents day!

How was your weekend? Did you get your fill of Olympic viewing like we did? My hubs has a serious love for the Olympics and his enthusiasm is rubbing off on me. I am loving it!

So, the last time we touched base I was trying to decide on my Valentine’s Day menu. I had asked for your help in my decision-making process and after much consideration I decided on coconut shrimp, parmesan baked fries, artichokes, and banana almond chocolate squares!! The whole dinner prep process took us about an hour and a half, but it was so worth it!

Check it out…

Coconut shrimp with recipe inspiration from Skinny Taste.

My modifications to Coconut Shrimp

  • 3/4 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flake
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil to coat pan

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • a dash of cayenne pepper

We followed Skinny Taste’s recipe instructions here: Coconut Shrimp Instructions although we had to broil ours for a while towards the end because they weren’t crisping up. coconut shrimp coconut shrimp End product… coconut shrimp parmesan fries Baked parmesan fries: recipe from 101cookingfortwo. We didn’t change a darn thing except instead of mixing the fries with the oil and cheese in the bowl, I just coated the pan with olive oil, coated the top of the fries with olive oil, and sprinkled the parmesan cheese over the tops, along with some salt. parmesan fries parmesan fries Steamed artichokes! artichokes   valentine's dinner   artichoke Banana Chocolate Almond Squares from PopSugar almond banana bars almond banana bars

I am obsessed with these babies! They are gooey and chocolatey, banana-y, perfectly sweet and just so darn delicious! I keep them in the freezer and cut off a square or two everyday. So there you have it. Valentine’s dinner was a success!

Did you have any special treats on Valentine’s Day? 

My Valentine’s Day Menu Inspiration

This year, Dana and I have decided to stay in for Valentine’s Day. Come to think of it, that is what we usually do. I prefer to make dinner especially when I know the restaurants will be swamped. I prefer the quiet comfort of home. Don’t get me wrong though because I enjoy going out to eat too!

Check out Valentine’s Day from last year: Valentine’s Day 2013. Last year we had grilled chicken with artichoke salsa and it was TASTY!

I have a tantalizing menu planned for tomorrow evening but I still have some final decisions to make. Maybe you all could help me decide?

Menu Inspiration

I know for sure that I am making some version of a gluten-free baked coconut shrimp. Skinny Taste’s photo is my inspiration! Num!!

coconut shrimp

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I know for sure I will be making clean and simple steamed artichokes. We bought four at Costco and they look fab! I hope they taste as good as they look.

artichoke

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I haven’t decided whether or not to make potatoes or cilantro lime brown rice. I realize the rice goes well with the shrimp, but I thought it might be fun to have the whole dinner be finger food friendly in which case I would go with the potatoes.

I could do baked potato wedges…

potato wedges

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Or these oven-baked parmesan french fries (OMG!)!

potato fries

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Or cilantro-lime brown rice which is always good.

cilantro lime rice

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Dessert

Since I decided to steer clear of refined sugars for a little while, I searched for a couple of dessert recipes that would fit my needs.

The first one is a no-bake chocolate banana almond square that is sweetened using dates, bananas and honey.

valentine dessert

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The second one is a clean eating brownie that is sweetened using maple syrup.

valentine dessert 2

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I need your votes! 

Potatoes or rice?

Chocolate almond square or brownie?

Or maybe you have an even better recipe I should try? Let me know!

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New Grocery Store Gift Card WINNER!

I only heard from one of my winners (Congrats, Laura!) from the grocery store gift card giveaway but never heard from winner #2, so I am selecting a new winner.

So…..Congrats to Laura and TANYA!! Please send me your addresses and I will get your $20 (originally I said $10 but it’s actually $20—whoop whoop!) in gift cards mailed to you asap!

Thanks!