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


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.



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


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

potato fries


Or cilantro-lime brown rice which is always good.

cilantro lime rice



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


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

valentine dessert 2


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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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.

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This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Emily

    Potatoes for sure! Either dessert looks great 🙂

  2. Kendra

    We always order coconut shrimp for special occasions. We’re going to have to try that recipe. Potatoes and chocolate almond squares.
    It was nice to see you yesterday. The Asian salad was a hit and I’m thinking the leftovers will be just as tasty today. I did add agave and hoisin and ground ginger to the dressing. The sweetooth in me couldn’t help myself. And served it with potstickers and rice on the side. Yum!

    1. Melanie

      Oh my goodness, yum!!! It was great to see you too!!

    1. Melanie

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!!

    1. Melanie

      We seriously only eat artichokes a couple of times a year (why I am not sure because they are SO good) but whenever we we eat them Dana has to give me artichoke eating 101.

  3. At Valentine’s Day at home is exactly how I like to spend the holiday too; although, this year, we’re going to a 1 year old birthday party V-Day evening. Pretty random…I know!!

    The gluten free coconut baked shrimp sounds wonderful!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…A Typical Week of WorkoutsMy Profile

  4. Diane Creager

    All of these look great. I vote for the rice, and chocolate almond square!

    1. Melanie

      I am really into that chocolate almond square but I still haven’t decided!

  5. We’re staying in this year too 🙂 Last year we went to Nicollet Island Inn which was gorgeous but date night on a Friday AND Valentine’s Day would just get too expensive. Plus, you know, we’re doing the whole Jamaica thing a few days after 😉 Potatoes over rice too by the way!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted…Creamy Avocado HummusMy Profile

    1. Melanie

      Yea I’ve decided on potatoes for sure!
      Oh yea….that whole Jamaica thing. NBD. 🙂

  6. Laura Gozola


    1. Melanie

      Oh no I’m sorry. Laura J. Awww I feel bad!

  7. My vote is for potatoes and the chocolate almond squares!!!
    The coconut shrimp looks amazing! That is one of my favorite things to eat!
    You have one lucky hubby! Scott and I both work friday evening so no dinner for us 🙂 Atleast no dinner together 😉
    Alex @ Alex Runs For Food recently posted…Homemade Seasoned AlmondsMy Profile

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