Ahhh, the most romantic day of the year is beckoning and at Healthy and Delicious love is most definitely in the air. We've been comparing notes and having a browse around the web to see if we can come up with a decadent and delicious, simple supper to share on February 14th.
Following a gluten free lifestyle doesn't have to put a damper on things. There are plenty of romantic dining options that are completely gluten free.
If you know you won't have a moment to spare on Valentine's day but you still want to serve up a sumptuous supper, why not give us a call? If you're based in central London, we can come up with a complete Healthy and Delicious menu for two that'll save time and effort but definitely make a memorable evening.
If however you'd prefer to cook up a storm yourself, how about some of these fabulous dishes. Gluten free but packed full of flavour and healthy and delicious fresh ingredients.
First up, a romantic tipple - and this idea from simplygluten-free.com is super simple: Choose your glasses of choice (champagne flutes or large shot glasses work well) and add about a third of a glassful of pomegranate juice. Top up with chilled champagne, raise a toast and enjoy.
For starters, this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com is ideal for sharing and is a little bit different:
Artichokes & herby olive sauce (bbcgoodfood.com)
You wil need: 1 lemon, 2 globe artichokes, a glug of olive oil, 10 pitted kalamata olives, 1 tomato (chopped), a handful of mint (chopped), a handful of parsley.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil with a lemon half in it. Cut the stalk off the artichokes and discard. Boil the artichokes for 40-45 mins until the base feels tender when the tip of a knife is inserted.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Mix the lemon juice from the other lemon half, oil, olives, tomato and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
To eat, pull off the leaves, dip the bottom end into sauce and discard the tips of the leaves. When you get to the middle, scrape out the hairy ‘choke’ and eat the artichoke heart.
Always one of our favourites, Jamie Oliver has a failsafe pasta sauce, complete with valentine's pink prawns and beautiful rosy tomatoes which will get your appetite racing if nothing else.
A perfect accompaniment to our Healthy and Delicious gluten free tagliatelle (available to order from our pantry).
Shrimp & tomato tagliatelle (jamieoliver.com)
You will need: 8 plum tomatoes, olive oil, 300 g small peeled prawns or shrimp, 1 clove garlic (peeled and finely chopped), 1 lemon (zest and juice), 2 shots Cognac, 142 ml single cream, 400g fresh H&D tagliatelle,1 large handful fresh parsley (roughly chopped).
Blanch and skin the tomatoes, then halve them and chop into small pieces.
Put a pan of salted water on to heat for the pasta. Put a couple of lugs of olive oil in a second pan, and fry the prawns, garlic, lemon zest and tomatoes for a couple of minutes. Add the cognac and allow to flame if you like.
Add the cream, allow to simmer gently for a couple more minutes and then remove the pan from the heat. Season the sauce carefully with salt, pepper and the lemon juice.
Put the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and then toss with the parsley in the pan in which it was cooked. Check the seasoning, then serve straight away.
Add spinach or crumbled feta before serving if you fancy an extra flourish.
If you've managed to make a starter and a main course then why not treat yourself to a ready-made pudding?
If you're based in London one of our gluten-free desserts would go down a storm (there are plenty to choose from). Or if you fancy baking something, we like these delicious little meringue morsels from bakingamoment.com. A little bit trickier than the norm to make, but well worth it, we think.
Raspberry meringue sandwiches with whipped dark chocolate ganache filling (bakingamoment.com)
Filling: 100g dark chocolate, 100ml double cream
For the meringues: 4 egg whites, 250g caster sugar, 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, a few drops pink food colouring
To make the filling, put the chocolate and cream in a pan and bring gently to the simmer, mixing very now and agin until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely then whip until fluffy and spreadable.
To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 140c. Whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, while continuing to whip. Mixture should be very stiff and glossy. Add jam and food colouring and fold in gently. Pipe rosettes onto parchment lined baking sheets, and bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are very dry and peel off the parchment easily.
To assemble, pipe or spread about a tablespoon of the whipped ganache over the back sides of half the meringues. Sandwich another meringue rosette on top. Enjoy sharing.
And here's to a happy, healthy and delicious, gluten-free Valentine's Day.
Recipe photos and related recipes can be found at bbcgoodfood.co, jamieoliver.com, simplygluten-free.com and bakingamomet.com - all great resources for gluten free dining ideas.