February 11, 2023

Between making the reservations, purchasing the perfect bouquet and finding the right gift, Valentine’s Day can be stressful. Skip the stress and enjoy a lovely night in with help from Hy-Vee dietitians. We have your menu planned from entrée to dessert, featuring some of our favorite ingredients to help you keep your health in mind without sacrificing the flavors you crave!

Enjoying a Valentine’s night in makes it easier to stick to your health goals by allowing you to control the fat and sugar content of foods you consume. If you are watching your heart health, managing your diabetes or just monitoring your waistline, it is important to select ingredients to help you meet your health goals.

Start the evening off with a delicious entrée of rich and creamy Vegetable-Stuffed Pasta Shells! Opting for a veggie-filled entrée can help reduce saturated fat content of the meal, supporting cholesterol management and overall heart health. This entrée incorporates a variety of veggies – from mushrooms to roasted red peppers – providing you and your valentine with a dose of fiber. Fiber has numerous health benefits, including preventing rapid rises in blood sugar after a meal, helping with diabetes management. Plus, fiber can keep you on track when it comes to your weight management goals by keeping you full longer – especially when paired with the protein found in BelGioioso Ricotta Con Latte and Parmesan cheeses used in this recipe!

If your valentine is worried about enjoying a sweet treat at the end of the meal, focus on lower-sugar options that will satisfy any sweet tooth while avoiding rapid rises in blood sugar. Try dietitian-favorite Sweet Loren’s Less Sugar Chocolate Chunk cookie dough. It’s safe to enjoy raw or simply pop in the oven for a warm dessert to enjoy in 15 minutes or less.

Don’t forget to enjoy quality time with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day and know your Hy-Vee dietitians are always here to support your health goals!

Vegetable-Stuffed Pasta Shells
Serves 6 (4 shells per person)

All You Need:
2 tsp Hy-Vee Select garlic-flavored olive oil
1 (8 oz) container sliced mushrooms
¼ cup sliced roasted red peppers, drained
2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup Greek olives, pitted
1 (1 lb) container BelGioioso Ricotta Con Latte Part Skim Milk
1 cup BelGioioso Parmesan cheese, divided
24 large pasta shells, cooked, drained
1 (26.5 oz) jar Gustare Vita Mediterranean Pasta Sauce, divided

All you do:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet; sauté mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and olives in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  4. Stir together mushroom mixture, ricotta cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Stuff each shell with about 1 tablespoon mixture.
  5. Pour ½ cup pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place stuffed shells in dish. Top with remaining pasta sauce; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from: https://www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/recipes/vegetable-stuffed-pasta-shells. Nutrition Facts per serving: 380 calories, 19g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 520mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 9g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 13g protein. Daily values: 20% calcium, 10% iron, 15% potassium. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.