4 heart-healthy valentine's day meals you'll crush over

let’s be real: we heart valentine’s day, but the standard dinner-out + box of chocolates is kind of played out - not to mention expensive + lacking nutritionally. have you ever tried to whisper sweet nothings into someone’s ear in the middle of a noisy, crowded restaurant?? no bueno. so what’s the sweetest thing you can do for your love (or heck, even your gal pal) this valentine’s day? take care of their heart (literally) by cooking up a full day’s worth of simple, heart-healthy meals that will make your sweetie swoon from morning to night! now that’s L-O-V-E. a few of our heart-healthy faves we're crushing on:

[hearty protein pancakes]
makes 6 pancakes

if there were a pageant for cholesterol-lowering breakfast foods, oats would take home the tiara. the berries are antioxidant powerhouses, lowering cholesterol, as well as helping prevent cellular damage that could lead to heart disease, while the almond butter’s good fats also work to hammer down bad cholesterol. the ground flax rounds out this cholesterol-lowering quartet with its fiber + omega-3 content.

pancake batter:
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 banana
½ cup rolled oats
1 scoop collagen protein powder
1 tbsp ground flax
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt

coconut oil spray for cooking
blackberries for topping
almond butter for topping

  1. blend all pancake batter ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. spray a cast iron skillet or griddle with coconut oil spray + set over medium-low heat.
  3. put a heart-shaped pancake mold or cookie cutter into the skillet + pour a little batter into the center, letting it cook a couple minutes before flipping (until you see bubbles form on the top). flip + cook another couple minutes.
  4. plate your pancakes, top with blackberries + almond butter + enjoy while gazing into your lover’s eyes (even better if you’re brunchin’ with your bestie!).

[turkey taco lettuce be lovers wraps]
serves 2 - 4

the turkey is a heart-healthy lean protein, the beans help improve your cholesterol, the bell peppers and tomatoes provide phytonutrients and lycopene that also help lower your cholesterol, and the spinach is packed with vitamins + minerals that boost heart health.  

2 tbsp avocado oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 tbsp nutritional yeast powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper
1 cup chicken bone broth
juice of 1 lime
2 packed cups baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup chopped tomatoes
fresh cilantro, chopped
bibb lettuce leaves

  1. heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat + add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, cooking until browned. stir in the beans, green onions, nutritional yeast, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, sea salt + black pepper, along with the bone broth. let it cook down for a few minutes, until all the broth is absorbed.
  2. add the lime juice + spinach + cook until the spinach is wilted.
  3. to assemble the taco wraps, fill a lettuce leaf or two with turkey, bell pepper + tomatoes + sprinkle with cilantro.
  4. eat up with your buttercup!

[broiled salmon with sweet(heart) potato pasta + sauteed spinach]
serves 2

the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, as well as lower triglyceride levels and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. the vitamin B6 in sweet potatoes keeps the walls of your blood vessels and arteries clean + healthy, while their potassium levels help lower blood pressure. spinach is loaded with lutein, folate, potassium + fiber to keep your heart running smoothly.

2 salmon fillets
¼ cup Tessemae’s lemon garlic dressing
sea salt + black pepper
lemon slices for garnish

sweet potato pasta:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled + spiralized
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
sea salt + black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb fresh baby spinach
½ lemon, juiced
sea salt + black pepper

  1. salmon: brush the dressing all over the salmon fillets + season with sea salt + black pepper. broil for 10 minutes. when finished, top with lemon slices.
  2. sweet potato pasta: heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, then add in the sweet potatoes. season with the garlic powder + rosemary + sea salt + pepper + let cook about 5 - 7 minutes, stirring every so often. remove to your plates.
  3. spinach: in the same skillet, heat the olive oil + add the garlic in to cook for a minute or so. toss in the spinach + lemon juice + stir until wilted, a minute or two. season with sea salt + pepper.
  4. enjoy with your sweetie!

[blueberry-lavender dark chocolate hearts]
makes 12

the antioxidant-laced berries and dark chocolate keep your arteries + blood vessels clean and healthy, while the lavender relieves hypertension-causing stress.  

¼ cup dark chocolate
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 drop lavender oil
fresh blueberries
sea salt

  1. melt dark chocolate, almond butter + coconut oil together in the microwave, then stir until smooth. stir in lavender oil.
  2. pour chocolate mixture into a silicon candy mold (we used a heart-shaped mold - because....valentine’s) placed on a cookie sheet.
  3. add blueberries to each candy mold + sprinkle each one with a little sea salt. freeze for 30-45 minutes + remove candies from mold.
  4. devour with your love, make a batch for your bestie, or show some love to your littles with this kid-friendly sweet treat! (no judging if it becomes a "one-for-them one-for-me" situation.)

i mean, really, what says “i love you” more than filling your the belly of someone you love with healthy eats that’ll keep their hearts a’ tickin’ for years + years to come?? okay cupid, final few ideas on how to knock this v-day out of the park:

  • add a glass of heart-healthy vino to any of these meals (ok, maybe not the pancakes, but to each her own) - in moderation, obviously. here are our 5 faves that won't break the bank. 
  • here's a list of 6 perfectly-paired last-minute gifts that you can score at your local target store (for all our procrastinating lovers out there). 
  • here are 5 moves you can do from the comfort of your own home to sweat off your sweets post v-day - because the couple that sweats together, gets fit together. 

so, what are your valentine's day plans, fitbookers? share in the comments below!

we heart you!
your fitlosophy loves

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