Date Night In? Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two

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Couple Cooking Together in Kitchen
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday May 15, 2024

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Are you and your partner trying to get your eating habits on track? Maybe you’ve set weight loss goals for the new year or are learning to cook to save money on date nights. You could probably use some healthier dinner ideas for two to make dining in extra special.

These meals are usually easy to whip up and use fewer ingredients, making them more sustainable by creating less food waste. Most importantly, they deliver the most essential nutrition for healthier bodies and minds. 

Make dinnertime nourishing and fun for you and your partner by scheduling dates at home and cooking your favorite healthy meals together. 

Does Eating at Home Equate to Healthier Eating Habits?

According to research, sitting together during family meals is associated with a higher intake of fresh produce, less fried and sugary foods, and more nutrients. For children, the risk of childhood obesity also decreases significantly when eating at home. 

Couples who cook healthy meals together hold each other accountable for working toward their weight loss goals and achieving healthier lifestyles. These positive interactions with loved ones are particularly ideal for receiving emotional support. 

Whether you’re making a nourishing meal on a weeknight or keeping the love alive with a candlelit dinner, you’ll want to start collecting your favorite healthy recipes you can make in a cinch. 

8 Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two

Is there anything more romantic than whipping up a delicious meal with your spouse? It is even better if it helps you hold each other accountable for better overall well-being. Spice up your love life with these eight healthy dinner ideas for two.

Salmon Over Spinach

1. Balsamic Salmon Spinach Salad

Salmon is one of the most beneficial proteins, with ample omega-3 fatty acids to fight depression and improve cognition. Served alongside a superfood like spinach, you and your spouse can rest assured you receive all the nutrients your bodies need. 

Broil salmon fillets with vinaigrette for 10-15 minutes until it flakes with a fork. Toss fresh spinach with the remaining vinaigrette dressing in a bowl and divide into two salad dishes. Then top the spinach with the salmon, walnuts, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

2. Penne With Veggies and Black Beans

Substitute whole wheat pasta, bean pasta or zoodles for any pasta dish to make a healthy dinner for two. Using black beans and veggies, toss a delicious 300-calorie penne dish with 14 grams of protein. 

This recipe calls for mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini, carrots, onions and fresh herbs, although you can modify it by incorporating any other vegetables you enjoy. 

3. Mediterranean Chicken With Tomatoes and Olives

For the seventh year in a row, U.S. News ranked the Mediterranean diet No. 1 globally for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Naturally, you’ll want to prepare a healthy Mediterranean chicken recipe with your spouse for a romantic at-home date night.

This one-pan dish takes only 20 minutes to make, with little preparation required. Sear chicken breasts — seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic — in a cast-iron skillet with olive oil and reduced white wine. Braise it with lemon juice, chicken broth and extra oregano, covering it with a lid and cooking for five to six minutes. Serve with chopped onions, cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley and feta cheese.

4. Banh Mi Rice Bowls

Turn a fun Korean street food into a healthy bowl for you and your partner. Banh mi rice bowls are an easy, 25-minute dinner idea under 600 calories to help you stay on track with your diet. They use fresh, zesty and flavorful ingredients, including cilantro, ginger, picked carrots and tamari. Top with chicken and steak for a satiating entree.

Fajitas on Plates

5. Easy Chicken Fajitas

After a long day at work, you and your spouse will want a healthy dinner for two in a short amount of time. Thirty-minute dinners make the best weeknight meals, allowing you both to stay on track with your health and weight loss goals while leaving enough time for other activities in the evening.

To make satisfying, nourishing chicken fajitas, you only need chicken breasts, onion, bell peppers, lime and spices — chili powder, paprika, onion powder and cumin on hand. Soaking the onion in water can remove the bite if it’s too potent. Serve on tortillas or eat plain.

6. Peanut Zoodles With Edamame

While pasta may be a favorite, there are better options than the extra carbohydrates for losing or maintaining weight. Swap spaghetti for zucchini noodles instead. You can now buy already-spiralized zucchini noodles in the frozen section at the supermarket. Frozen, shelled edamame can keep this zoodle dish vegetarian with plant-based protein. Stir peanut or Thai chili sauce with the zoodles to complete this tasty Asian meal.

7. Easy Jerk Shrimp 

Embark on a Caribbean-style date night with an easy jerk shrimp healthy dinner for two. Purchase a pre-mixed mild or spicy jerk seasoning blend to save time gathering the essential ingredients. Sprinkle the seasoning over the shrimp and allow it to marinate for 10 minutes before cooking. 

Sear the shrimp in a skillet, adding bell peppers, onion and red pepper flakes until cooked through. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable or chicken broth to release the caramelized bits from the pan, and serve over rice, bulgur or quinoa.

Black Steel Wok Stir Fry

8. Stir-Fry Chicken and Vegetables

Stir-fried chicken and vegetables is a well-rounded dish under 400 calories that takes less than an hour to prepare. Combine cut chicken in a bowl in strips or cubes with sherry, soy sauce and cornstarch. Then, stir-fry bell pepper, zucchini, broccoli and garlic in a skillet or wok. Add some broth and steam the vegetables until they are tender. 

When the vegetables are finished cooking, remove them from the pan and cook the chicken. Serve the chicken and vegetables over brown rice with spring onions.

Cook, Eat and Live Healthier Together

Adopting healthier eating habits is easier when you have someone special to do it with. With healthy dinner ideas for two, you and your partner can lose and maintain weight and improve your well-being. 

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