Photos by Kate Robinson


As you may have read in our recent relationships advice post, date night is very important to us as a married couple with children. It’s our way of making sure we have one on one time outside of the house together at least once a week to catch up and enjoy “adulting.” While dinner out on Valentine’s Day can be a nice treat, it can also feel a bit overwhelming and unromantic with reservation-only seatings, pricey prix fixe menus, and a swarm of people.

Our kids are in bed by 7pm, so we’re taking advantage of a quiet date night in this year, which can actually feel just as romantic (or even more) as dinner at a nice restaurant — you just need to plan ahead of time. Below we’re outlining five ways to make Valentine’s Day date night at home a relaxing, romantic treat. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! xo

1. Don’t Skimp on the Ambience

It’s easy to opt for casual comfort and stick to your usual dinner routine at home, but use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to break out your china and favorite flatware. Candles, flowers, a linen tablecloth, and pretty napkins will set the tone for your date. Cue up your favorite music and avoid getting into your comfy clothes until after dinner.

2. Prepare a Delicious Dinner in Advance

Whether you like to cook as a couple or one of you prefers to take the lead in the kitchen, plan and prep your date night meal in advance to avoid any last minute stress about making dinner (or settling on takeout instead). Pick your recipe and make your grocery run a day or two before so you don’t have to think twice about it.

We decided to start with a “Spring Festive Salad” and beet soup, delicious and healthy recipes by Erin O’Leary Stewart, Co-Owner of DEFINE Body and DEFINE Foods. Both dishes are beautiful plated — and the bright pink soup makes the table very festive! This meal looks like it would be served at an elegant restaurant, but it’s actually simple to make! Find the beet soup recipe below, and Spring Festive Salad recipe here.  We finished with our favorite go-to date night meal- roasted vegetables and a mini filet off the grill.

3. Open a Bottle of Your Favorite Wine

The great thing about cooking at home is that you can pick up your favorite bottle of wine for much less than it would be at a restaurant. Date night is also the perfect opportunity to splurge on something new. Visit your favorite local wine store and ask which bottle goes best with your dinner menu selection. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for something “funky” or for a natural wine to change it up from your standard cab choice.

4. Buy a Special Dessert

Valentine’s Day is not the time to count calories — you need a sweet treat at the end of the meal! Instead of getting out all of your baking equipment, pick up your favorite dessert from a restaurant or bakery, or a box of luxurious chocolates, to indulge in after your dinner. We enjoyed these amazing truffles from DEFINE Foods that are actually healthy for you! But if you want to go with the chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream and not feel a twinge of guilt, today is the day! 🙂

5. Turn Off Your Cell Phones

This might be the most important step! When you’re at home, it’s easy to be absent minded about scrolling through Instagram and checking emails, but this takes away from the romance!! Turn your phone off or on airplane mode. If you have kids, dining at home gives you the freedom of not keeping your phone handy, so you don’t have an excuse!



Recipe Courtesy of Erin O’Leary, Co-Owner of DEFINE Foods



2 medium beets, scrubbed and quartered 2 Tbsp olive oil

pinch Celtic sea salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

1/4 onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 small piece of ginger, roughly chopped

1 cup vegetable broth

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/4 – 1/2 avocado

1 Tbsp tamari (or good quality soy sauce)

pinch red pepper flakes

juice from 1/2 lemon

2-4 Tbsp lite coconut milk

Optional garnishes: toasted, chopped hazelnuts


1. Heat oven to 375 °F.

2. Toss the beets with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes until fork tender. Set aside.

3. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add in the onions and season with sea salt and pepper. Sauteģ until just cooked through, about 10 minutes.

4. Add in the garlic, ginger and sauteģ about 5 minutes longer until the vegetables begin to stick to the bottom, stirring frequently.

5. Add the vegetable broth and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes, until warmed through and flavored.

6. Remove the thyme from the broth mixture. Puree broth mixture with the beets in a blender or Vitamix, along with the avocado,Tamari, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice until smooth. (Added bonus: blend 1 Tbsp sweet miso if you have on hand).

7. Add a little water, if necessary, depending on desired thickness. Season with more Tamari, if needed, and blend once more. Divide the soup between 2 bowls. Stir in the lite coconut milk and garnish as you wish.