Valentine’s Day this year is the perfect time to skip the restaurant and cook for your beloved at home. Perhaps you’ve been with your sweetheart for so many years that you know each other’s favorite recipes inside and out, or maybe you’re celebrating with a new love this year.

Either way, these recipes will impress your partner this Valentine’s Day since they all combine bold flavors with healthier ingredients. Whether you’re looking for an elegant dinner or a casual picnic under the stars, these meals will leave a lasting impression.

Tandoori Chicken Pita Pizza

Rather than preparing a romantic meal for your sweetheart alone, make the dinner date interactive with a pizza-making experience. This tandoori spiced chicken pizza offers a chance to try exciting new flavors while keeping the dish healthier than typical pizza parlor fare. Choose whole wheat pita for extra fiber and nutrients, and don’t skimp on the protein-packed Greek yogurt in the sauce. The tandoori spice blend packs a punch but also offers nutritional benefits with the turmeric and ginger.

Have some fun and make your pizza night into a picnic on the living room floor (or dining table if all that kneeling sounds less than ideal), complete with candles and a checkered cloth.

Lemon Butter Chicken with Asparagus

Not everyone has access to asparagus during February (it’s a spring vegetable in many parts), but if your local grocery has some in stock, take advantage of this nutrient-rich option! This one-pan chicken dish is easy to make but packs a flavor punch. Because the ingredients are simple, you can easily adjust them to your tastes. If you’re feeling adventurous, add some spice to the evening by including a bit of cayenne pepper in the honey lemon butter sauce.

Grilled Flank Steak with Cherry-Pecan Rice

A good steak is synonymous with an elegant and romantic night out. Rather than spending that time away from home, make the evening more intimate by grilling a flank steak yourself. This cut of meat is easy to cook and only needs a few minutes to get right. By pairing the dish with brown rice, you have a healthy and filling meal for two! Adding the unexpected cherry and pecan components to the rice will make this dish extra-special for your extra-special someone.

Photo: Aleksei Gorodenkov via 123RF

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese

Showing someone you care does not have to mean spending hours in the kitchen cooking for Valentine’s Day. Instead, plan ahead and make this delicious turkey Bolognese in the slow cooker. Make sure to sauté the onions and garlic when you start the process. That caramelization will add a depth of flavor to the dish. Since you don’t have to spend much time working in the kitchen, you can use that energy for other romantic activities! Share a drink over appetizers, play a game of cards, or even go through old photos and reminisce. This recipe makes enough that you can freeze half for an easy meal later in the month. Choose your favorite pasta to serve alongside the Bolognese, or be adventurous and make your own!

Red Lentil Spinach Soup

There’s something so comforting about cooking a pot of warm soup during the (still cold!) days in mid-February. While soups are usually simple to make, the care that goes into getting the flavors just right and keeping an eye on that simmering pot all day can really show your special loved one you care. This red lentil and spinach soup is the perfect balance of healthy and rich, and it’s easy to adjust the vegetable content based on your preferences. Want to impress your dinner date even more? Pair this delicious soup with homemade whole-wheat bread. By choosing whole wheat instead of sourdough or white bread, you’ll up the fiber content and stay full longer.

Linguine with Clams

Are you looking to impress this year for Valentine’s Day? Break out the apron and plan this fantastic linguine with clams recipe for the ultimate romantic meal. Seafood is a healthy way to add delicious protein to a meal, and the added bacon bits in this recipe round out the flavor without too much extra fat. Choose whole wheat or lentil linguine for an even healthier dish.

Whether you’re cooking for a new love or celebrating several decades’ worth of romantic meals, these recipes will set the tone for a wonderful night spent in each other’s company.

The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 27 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home.