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10 Sexy Dinner Ideas for the Best Date Ever

author image Arthur Bovino
Expert restaurant, food media, and travel writer with strong opinions about pizza, bagels, and sushi who has mastered the art of pinning chefs against critics with his own rating system. Arthur is the managing editor for online indie food site Previously, he was the executive editor and a founding editor for The Daily Meal, one of the highest-trafficked food sites. A trained cook with experience reporting at The New York Times, Arthur has written for Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s, Rough Guides and Time Out and has appeared on New York One and the TODAY Show.

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10 Sexy Dinner Ideas for the Best Date Ever
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

Valentine’s Day is upon us again, and if you’ve forgotten to make dinner reservations, don’t fret. Instead of perusing expensive prix fixe menus and dealing with crowded restaurants, enjoy an enchanting dining experience from the comfort of your own home. We’ve created 10 elegant and healthy meals to help you celebrate this romantic holiday stress-free. From risotto and scallops to boeuf bourguignon, each of these restaurant-worthy recipes is guaranteed to impress your valentine.

1. Surf and Turf With Steamed Spinach
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

1 Surf and Turf With Steamed Spinach

It doesn’t get more classic than this steakhouse favorite. And it’s actually not hard to make well at home, either. While filet mignon is a little pricier than other cuts, it’s a lean, low-fat source of protein and iron. A three-ounce serving provides a little less than 250 calories too. Pair it with an eight-ounce lobster tail that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids and adds just 121 calories. And instead of creamed spinach, we’re complementing this dish with steamed spinach. Low in calories and high in vitamins, one cup of these greens more than meets the daily requirements of vitamins A and K.

Related: Surf and Turf (Filet Mignon and Lobster) With Steamed Spinach Recipe

2. Easy Grilled Chicken and Mole Poblano
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

2 Easy Grilled Chicken and Mole Poblano

Classic mole poblano is usually a dark-red or brown sauce served with tortillas and meat. It’s luxurious and romantic, but also infamous for requiring a laundry list of ingredients that need to be cooked for hours. But you can make it in just three easy steps: Saute or roast your ingredients, blend them and simmer for as much time as you have available. Then just grill your protein! This homemade mole comes in at just 250 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving. Remember, if you don’t have every spice, use what you have with these essentials: chilies, onions, chocolate, peanut butter and broth.

Related: Easy Grilled Chicken and Mole Poblano Recipe

3. Thai Mussels
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

3 Thai Mussels

Craving Thai food? Make these Thai mussels cooked in light coconut milk. The coconut milk adds an indulgent, velvety smoothness. Then there’s the zip from chilies that can help send sparks flying during any Valentine’s Day meal. According to Simply Seafood, meat from 20 mussels contains 292 calories. And a six-ounce portion meets your daily requirements for selenium and manganese. Manganese helps your body synthesize sex hormones and regulate blood sugar levels, while selenium helps maintain healthy immune functions.

Related: Thai Mussels Recipe

4. Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

4 Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Show your loved one how much you care with a homemade tomato sauce. Besides the fact that you’re cooking it from scratch, a homemade sauce contains zero preservatives and far less sodium and sugar than the store-bought versions. And you can forego the fatty, ground cuts of pork, beef and sausage that usually go into making meatballs. Ours are made with turkey, baked in the oven and then simmered in sauce. Low in calories and high in protein, turkey is also a good source of iron, zinc and potassium.

Related: Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

5. Sea Bass en Papillote With Mushrooms and Steamed Vegetables
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

5 Sea Bass en Papillote With Mushrooms and Steamed Vegetables

A time-honored French preparation, en papillote may sound complex, but it’s actually a very simple dish. It translates to “in parchment,” and that’s all you’re going to do here: Seal the fish in a semi-airtight paper pouch with some vegetables, stick it in a hot oven and steam it for about 12 minutes. While you can use any fish or shellfish, sea bass is low in calories and an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Related: Sea Bass en Papillote With Mushrooms and Steamed Vegetables Recipe

6. Grilled Oysters
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

6 Grilled Oysters

Notorious for being an aphrodisiac, oysters contain amino acids that trigger the production of sex hormones. They’re also high in tissue-repairing protein and disease-fighting zinc. To prepare this recipe, fire up the grill and top shucked oysters with chopped tomatoes, shallots and garlic. We’re also adding a touch of honey and sriracha to turn up the heat. Grill for a few minutes and enjoy! It’s a savory, sweet and spicy side dish that’ll make for a memorable meal.

Related: Grilled Oysters Recipe

7. Boeuf Bourguignon
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

7 Boeuf Bourguignon

Bacon is great, and Julia Child’s famous boeuf bourguignon that uses lardons to cook and flavor the meat is a classic. But this French dish is so flavorful already that you can skip the bacon. It relies on beef chuck, a flavorful and tender piece of shoulder meat that should be eaten in moderation because of its high fat content. For a healthier dish, cut down on the beef, up the accompanying carrots, onions and mushrooms and enjoy a rich, delicious meal that’s just as filling.

Related: Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

8. Shrimp Cocktail
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

8 Shrimp Cocktail

This classic steakhouse-and-oyster-bar dish is a classic for a reason: It’s spicy, refreshing and an easy finger food. Shrimp is a high-quality, lean protein that’s low in calories. A four-ounce serving of about six to nine shrimp contains only about 112 calories. Plus, it’s easy! You just need a court bouillon (that’s a fancy term for a liquid to give your shrimp flavor) and a homemade cocktail sauce that’s incredibly easy to make.

Related: Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

9. Lamb Chops With Mint Sauce and Mushrooms
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

9 Lamb Chops With Mint Sauce and Mushrooms

This dish features pan-seared lamb chops paired with sauteed mushrooms and a savory mint sauce. Lamb provides an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which can decrease inflammation and heart disease risk. It’s also an excellent source of protein and a good source of zinc, which supports the immune system and reduces stress levels.

Related: Lamb Chops With Mint Sauce and Mushrooms Recipes

10. Skinny Risotto and Scallops
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

10 Skinny Risotto and Scallops

If you’re a foodie, you’re probably familiar with the infamous risotto challenge that seems to happen on every show: The chefs have an impossibly short amount of time to cook this luxurious Italian dish that needs to be constantly stirred for several hours. This recipe simplifies the process. Use a slow cooker, forego the stirring and take credit for all the flavor and luxury of this skinny risotto that takes less than 20 minutes to prep.

Related: Skinny Risotto and Scallops Recipe

What Do YOU Think?
Photo Credit: mikhail_kayl/Adobe Stock

What Do YOU Think?

How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Do you typically prefer to dine out or in? Which of these recipes would you try? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Related: 7 Brunch Ideas to Make Your Morning Super Romantic

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