As Valentine’s Day approaches, we always seem to think about doing the same thing for our sweetheart – a rose, a restaurant, maybe a movie. But this clichéd routine is sure to grow old. Instead, why not show a little initiative and creativity by creating a wonderful, physique-friendly meal that tastes great?

It’s time to think outside the box of chocolates. Here, we’ll show you how to create a steakhouse-quality protein with a side of Italian goodness that won’t negate today’s workout. And since it is Valentine’s Day, there will be dessert. It may not be as decadent as cheesecake but it also won’t be as predictable.

SEE ALSO: The Valentine’s Day His & Her’s Workout

Main Course: The Perfect Steak

Anyone can throw a steak on the grill, but it takes a little more time and creativity to construct a phenomenal steak.  Tell yourself that they’re worth it and it’ll reflect in the quality of the meat.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Beef Tenderloin                   
  • 4 pinches Coarse sea salt                   
  • 2 pinches Pepper                                   
  • 2 pinches Ground cinnamon               
  • 1-2 tsp. Pure honey (warmed)         
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees with a cookie sheet and a meat rack if you have one.
  • Preheat non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat, lightly coat with spray and place the steak into the pan. Sear until nicely browned (3-5 minutes) and then flip the steak and repeat on the other side.
  • Place the steak into the oven and roast until desired doneness (10-25 minutes). Use a meat thermometer if you’re unsure.
  • In a small bowl mix salt, pepper, cinnamon and honey (warmed).
  • Remove steak and let it rest 3-5 minutes on top of the stove and then serve. Pour small bowl of ingredients over the steak.

Nutrition Data

(Per 6 ounce serving)
CALORIES: 260
PROTEIN: 37.5 g
CARBS: 5 g
FAT: 10 g 

How Done is Done?

Try using a meat thermometer to achieve the ideal level of doneness

Meat Temperature             Doneness

125-130 F                             Rare
130-140 F                             Medium-Rare
140-150 F                             Medium
150-155 F                             Medium-Well
160-212 F                             Well

Side Dish: Roasted Garlic Barley Risotto

Most of us know how to nuke a few potatoes in the microwave. But if you really want to show your sweetheart that you’re committed to some culinary romance, this is the perfect side dish – no microwaves required. This risotto compliments the steak with a nice balance of starch and vegetables. Also, it’s not too heavy, but very satisfying, which will leave room for dessert!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil or butter                       
  • 1/2 cup Onion (finely diced)                         
  • ¼ cup Carrots (peeled and finely diced)             
  • ½ cup Pearl of pot barley               
  • 1 cup Vegetable broth or water    
  •  ½ cup Water                                    
  • ¼ tsp. Thyme (dried)                       
  • ¼ tsp Ground pepper                    
  • ½ cup Roasted garlic (finely diced)         
  • ¼ cup Grated parmesan cheese 

Preparation

  • Preheat a medium-sized pot to a medium-high heat and add the oil, onions and carrots. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the barley. Sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.
  • Add the vegetable broth, water, thyme and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until most of the water is absorbed.
  • Add the roasted garlic and cheese and stir until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Data

CALORIES: 281
PROTEIN: 9.5 g
CARBS: 36 g
FAT: 10.9 g

Dessert: Strawberry Coconut Pudding

Don’t get me wrong, chocolate is amazing. But again, for the sake of being original, it’s time to broaden your horizons. This dessert is protein-rich, light and tastes great. It is a perfect ending to a great meal that will leave you satisfied without putting you to sleep within minutes after your last bite.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Low-fat cottage cheese                  
  • ¼ cup Coconut milk                                                
  • ½ cup Strawberries (frozen)                      
  • 2-3 pinches Stevia                                                 

Preparation

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. This recipe is between a pudding and a shake.
  • To thicken, add a scoop of protein powder (strawberry or vanilla). To thin, add a little water at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Nutrition Data

CALORIES: 135
PROTEIN: 11.5 g (will be higher if protein is added)
CARBS: 5.6 g
FAT: 8 g



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