Did January not seem like the longest month in recorded history? Finally, February is here, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it has me thinking about all the things…Cupid, hearts, chocolate (dark and healthy of course), roses…and just in general how lucky I feel to be loved by my little family. I love Valentine’s Day. But, do you want to know what I don’t love? Pre-fixed, over-priced, limited menus at over-crowded restaurants.  I recently sat down and thought about some of my favorite Valentine’s Days celebrated with Jonathan and the boys in years past. What I realized is that my favorites were all really simple. A sweet card from Jonathan, a treat for the boys and a cozy dinner in. I love cooking for Jonathan and if there’s one thing I’m certain of by now it’s that the way to his heart (and the heart of my boys) is definitely through their stomachs. So this year, I’m planning ahead and I’ve created a dinner menu for a healthy, delicious, sweet, Valentine’s Day dinner at home.  I thought I’d share well in advance with all of you so that you have ample time to prepare too. Maybe you too hate the pre-fix holiday dinner, maybe you can’t get a babysitter so you won’t be able to sneak out this year or maybe a cozy night in is just what the doctor ordered. I’ve got your covered: entrée, side dish and even dessert.

My promise to you is that you do not have to be well versed in the kitchen to pull any of this off. My recipes are always simple, easy, clean and delicious! So without further ado, I’m sharing with you…


Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Whitesons

Main Course: Grilled Salmon with a Sweet Chili Sauce

Side Dish: Roasted Crispy Vegetables

Delectable Dessert: Apple/Berry Crisp Crumble


Grilled Salmon with a Sweet Chili Sauce

Grilled Salmon with a Sweet Chili Sauce


2 8 oz pieces Salmon Fillets (adapt recipe based on number of guests)

4 Teaspoons Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili sauce


Heat broiler on HI

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and place salmon on top

Spread 2 teaspoons of TJ’s chili sauce on the top of each Salmon fillet – spread out evenly all over salmon

Place under broiler for 8-10 minutes until top is brown

Let salmon sit for 2 minutes before serving


Roasted Crispy Vegetables

Roasted Crispy Vegetables


2 Large zucchini’s-chopped

1 large onion – chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes

2 large carrots – chopped

1/2 or 1 whole cauliflower -chopped

1 large red pepper-chopped

Medium bunch asparagus spears – cut in half


Heat oven to 425 degrees

Place all veggies on a large baking tray (covered with foil for easy clean up). Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO and pepper all over and mix well.

Add pink Himalayan salt oil you don’t have a problem with bloating. Use sparingly.

Roast on high heat (425 degrees) for 1 hour or until crispy and delish!

Note from Janine: Above you’ll notice a before shot of veggies pre-roasting. While I’ve including a recipe above, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Use whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand. You can’t mess this one up!!

Apple/Berry Crisp Crumble

Apple/Berry Crisp Cobbler


7 apples (any kind will do)-peeled and chopped

1 cup mixed blackberries and raspberries

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups oats

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/4 cup ground almonds (optional)

1/8 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large sauce pan add the chopped apples, cinnamon, and vanilla – cover the pan with a lid and simmer on low heat for 35-40 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients with the oatmeal and mix until all the oats are covered well.

Place apple and berry mixture into individual ramekins or a medium size baking dish – add a sprinkle of chopped walnuts for extra crunch if you would like.

Add the oat mixture on top of the apple/berry mixture and bake for 45 minutes or until the top browns and gets crispy!


I love sharing my favorite recipes with all of you. Even if you do have plans to dine out this year, I hope you’ll file away the above and create them at another time. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to think about all of you creating and sharing my recipes with your loved ones at home! XX Janine