Valentine’s Day can be a tricky day to celebrate: you may not have the day off from work to prepare for the festivities and you may not have the luxury of enjoying the night out, as babysitters and dinner reservations are often scarce. So, why not enjoy a night in but with a break from the normal dinner routine? Your Valentine’s Day menu should be delicious, but not overwhelming. Here are 7 easy-to-prepare and sure-to-please ideas for your Valentine’s Day feast. Feel free to tweak them wherever you see fit, or accompany them with some recipes of your own.
1) Overnight Stuffed French Toast
1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp. sugar
8 slices cinnamon-swirl bread
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup blueberries
Mix reduced-fat cream cheese and sugar until well blended; spread onto bread. Place 4 bread slices, cream cheese-sides up, in 8-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with remaining bread slices, cream cheese-sides down.
Whisk eggs and milk until well blended; pour over bread. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake, uncovered, 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Serve topped with fruit.
2) Bacon Breakfast Casserole
8 slices white bread, crusts trimmed, divided
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained
2 green onions, sliced
1-1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
Place 4 of the bread slices on bottom of greased 8-inch square baking dish; top with bacon, mushrooms, onions and cheese. Cover with remaining 4 bread slices.
Beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until well blended; pour over bread; cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Bake, uncovered, in preheated 350°F-oven for 1 hour or until center is set. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
3) Cottage Berry Crunch
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. granola
1/2 cup sliced bananas
1/2 cup assorted mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, halved strawberries)
Spoon cottage cheese into small bowl.
Top with remaining ingredients.
4) Berry Orange Sunrise Smoothie
1 pkt. Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange Flavor Drink Mix
1 cup cold water
1 cup chopped frozen strawberries
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 Tbsp. fat-free sour cream
Add drink mix to water; stir until mix is dissolved.
Remove 2 Tbsp. prepared drink; add to blender. Reserve remaining prepared drink for other use. (See Tip.)
Blend prepared drink and remaining ingredients on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.
5) Motuleño Sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
2 Tbsp. refried black beans
1 slice Oscar Mayer Baked Cooked Ham
1 slice American cheese
Heat skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Break egg into skillet; cook 4 minutes or until white is set.
Spread toast slices with beans; fill with ham, egg and cheese.
6) Blueberry-Strawberry Breakfast Shortcake
(Note from Author: This Valentine’s Day recipe is so tasty that it could pass for dessert.)
1 frozen whole wheat waffle, lightly toasted
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/4 cup honey-flavored multi-grain cereal flakes with cinnamon-flavored clusters
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
Top warm waffle with remaining ingredients.
7) Sky-High Brunch Bake
(Note from Author: Want to include some veggies to your Valentine’s Day menu? This appetizing recipe provides the much-needed greens and feeds a crowd.)
1 pkg. (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
Dash hot pepper sauce
2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked, chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped red peppers
Unfold pastry sheets. Roll out 1 sheet to 11-inch square; set aside. Roll out remaining sheet to 12-inch square; use to line bottom and side of 9-inch spring form pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Reserve 1 Tbsp. eggs. Mix remaining eggs with ricotta, pepper sauce and spinach. Layer half each of the bacon, cheddar, ricotta mixture and peppers in crust. Repeat layers.
Cover with remaining pastry sheet; fold under edges of pastry, then tuck inside pan. Brush pastry with reserved egg. Cut slits in top crust.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run small knife around edge of pan to loosen crust before removing rim.