Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market. I was compensated for my time and ingredients were purchased using a WFM gift card. All opinions are my own.
Let me preface this post by saying, Mr. Street Smart and I are not exactly what you would call a romantic couple. Our love language is more along the lines of, “OMG you remember to pick up cat food on your way home – you’re the best” and “Thank you for remembering to not throw your socks on the bathroom floor AH-gain.” We have busy schedules just like everyone else but it’s not always our highest priority to go out, display affection publicly, or plan a big night on the town.
It’s a lot more meaningful to me to spend that time together since we both have such busy schedules. We’re young and in that season of life where we don’t have kids so we’re just out there #hustlin. At this point we both travel often for work and this year, one of Mr. Street Smart’s client trips happens to fall on Valentine’s Day. Times like these make me glad we don’t get wrapped up too much in holidays but it’s the perfect reason to plan a Date Night In!
Cooking Can Be Self-Care
Lately I’ve been having a lot of conversations with clients about self-care, or the practice of taking care of your most basic physical and emotional needs. That’s a good reminder to myself to practice what I preach and take a minute to assess what I really need. We often think about self-care in terms of running a bubble bath, playing our favorite music and soaking away with a good book. That could be part of it, sure, but the reality of daily self-care habits is usually far more simple than that.
With such busy schedules, it can be hard to find a night to enjoy a meal together. Eating meals together can be hugely beneficial – food is a powerful connector and eating a meal without distractions can support your relationships with people you care about. It also serves the dual purpose of giving you an environment to slow down and be more mindful while eating, meaning you might get more satisfaction and enjoyment out of that meal than if you scarfed it down while standing in front of the TV. (Something I am not ashamed to admit I have done…it happens, that’s life).
That’s why I was excited to highlight my Valentine’s Day plans with Whole Foods Market this year. Instead of booking a reservation at a nice restaurant, we opted to cook an amazing meal right at home. Here’s how we did it!
- Smoked Scallops
- Fresh Salmon Fillets
- Fresh Pasta
- Shatto Butter (Garlic & Herb)
- Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
- Spring Mix plus salad toppings
- Mini Desserts
- Chocolate Croissants
Mr. Street Smart and I both love seafood so we knew we wanted to include that. I picked up a few smoked scallops for each of us (amazing flavor!) as well as two fillets of salmon. For the quality you get, I’m convinced this is some of the best salmon I can find in Kansas City. As a seafood lover it sometimes kind of stinks to live in a land-locked state, but when I want to cook with fresh seafood I head to Whole Foods Market because I trust the freshness and quality is going to match what I want if I’m going to spend the money. And at just $4.99 per fillet, it’s easy to see how much less we spent than if we would have had this same meal in a restaurant!
We decided to use a very simple recipe – this Roasted Wild Salmon recipe from Whole Foods Market is so easy, and regardless of which seasoning combination you want to use, it turns out perfect every time! If you’re looking to get more adventurous with your salmon, try this recipe for a Pomegranate Glazed Salmon with roasted veggies.
We tossed up a fresh salad and served it all with the fresh pasta. We both love pasta too, so it was a no-brainer to treat ourselves to some of the fresh pasta that Whole Foods Markets stocks near the deli section. This time, I went for the Porcini and Truffle Mezzaluna. One package was the perfect amount to serve the two of us. I made a quick sauce of browned butter and roasted cherry tomatoes (halved and tossed on a sheet pan to roast alongside the salmon) and the flavor was spot on.
Don’t Forget Dessert!
As an advocate for intuitive eating and a non-diet approach, I don’t need a special occasion to have something sweet. Dessert is a routine part of my eating pattern and I love to enjoy something sweet at the end of a meal (along with a nice hot cup of coffee!). Sugar is not something to be feared and I don’t think restricting desserts in anticipation of a holiday meal is a good idea.
So for me, Whole Foods Markets’ bakery case has a lot to offer. I really enjoy the mini desserts because for only $2 each, I can get a wide variety of flavors that lets me try each one and settle on my favorite. In this batch alone I mixed Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Raspberry Torte, and an espresso flavored cheesecake.
Mr. Street Smart and I had plenty of options and had the chance to share a few bites of each before saving the rest for the next day. I also picked up a special breakfast option for us: Chocolate Croissants from the bakery. There’s just something really delicious about a crispy, flaky croissant enjoyed over coffee on a slow morning that signals you to really savor and enjoy it.
So that’s exactly what we did!
Although it’s not ideal to have to spend Valentine’s Day apart, this special dinner (and breakfast!) more than made up for it. So now I want to know – how do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you go all out, keep it low key, or skip it altogether?