gluten-free paleo sides vegan

{Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner} Lemon Ginger Asparagus with Toasted Almonds

February 3, 2014

When Lee proposed the idea of a Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu to Lexi, Kelly, Olena and me, I was beyond ecstatic. A) Because I am absolutely obsessed with Valentine’s Day (see Friday’s post) and b) because I have an unhealthy infatuation with tricking people into eating healthy food….it’s weird.

VDAYLOGO2The concept for this post was simple, each of us was assigned a dish and then we had free reign over what to make. The only guideline was to keep it healthy and use whole, real food.

I got this.

I’ll be honest, I was thrilled I got the side dish. Mains make me nervy (Olena you’re seriously my idol for championing lamb!) and my drink of choice is wine. If I was put in charge of a cocktail I probably would have thrown some ice cubes and club soda into some wine and called it a spritzer. Now I can almost guarantee you that if we do another meal together they are definitely giving me a cocktail. I sort of regret typing this.

Meet-The-TeamSo why exactly is Valentine’s Day my favourite holiday? Because I am absolutely, head-over-heels in love with love. I have no idea where I got it from since my family is not the most lovey-dovey, but nevertheless I have turned out to be a real hopeless romantic.

I love love in all forms. A mom hugging her kid, a couple greeting each other after a long day, Oprah (Oprah = love). And don’t even get me started on weddings…I bawled my eyes out watching The Bachelor’s Catherine and Sean’s Wedding the other day. Then promptly called C and told him I started a pinterest board dedicated to all things wedding. He thinks I’m totally nuts, but was not at all surprised. Like I said, hopeless romantic.

lemon ginger asparagus with toasted almonds

Scroll Down for Recipe

I hope that we are able make your Valentine’s Day a little less stressful by doing the meal-planning for you. Plus all of these dishes are so delicious, your spouse/parents/bestie/baby doesn’t have to know that the whole meal is healthy!

Pick one, pick two or make the whole darn meal! You have 11 days to get your act together and start spreading the love. Get cooking!

Walnut Encrusted Sea Scallops from Nosh and Nourish

Walnut encrusted sea scallops

Blood Orange and Grapefruit Mocktail from Fit Foodie Finds

Blood Orange and Grapefruit Mocktal

Lemon Ginger Asparagus with Toasted Almonds from your’s truly. Scroll down for the recipe.


Easy Roasted Lamb Shoulder from iFOODreal

Easy Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake with Berry Sauce from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake

Lemon Ginger Asparagus with Toasted Almonds

by The Healthy Maven

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Keywords: cook roast side gluten-free dairy-free paleo asparagus almond Valentine’s Day


  • 2 bunches of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • zest of one lemon (then chop lemon into slices)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, ginger, lemon zest and sea salt.

3. Add asparagus to bowl and coat with sauce (or use a large ziploc bag).

4. Line TWO baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

5. Spread asparagus on sheets and top with sliced lemon.

6. Place sheets in oven and bake for 7 mins.

7. While asparagus is roasting add almonds to a small frying pan and cook over medium heat until browned (about 3-5 mins). Or use toaster oven.

8. Remove sheets from oven and turn over asparagus as best as you can.

9. Swap the rack each sheet was on and bake for another 8 mins.

10. Remove from oven and top with toasted almond.

11. Serve warm.

Powered by Recipage
Featured on: Wellness Weekend

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If so, what will you be making for your Valentine’s Day Dinner?


Join 20,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness
    February 3, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Ohmygosh what a fun thing to organize! Love that you did this girl!
    Seriously that asparagus looks delish. I’m really lazy and can never think of a vegetable side dish to make, so I make asparagus in olive oil about 82 times a week.
    My husband will thank you for the variety. 😉

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    February 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

    All of these dishes look scrumptious, and yours is absolutely perfect, love!! The pictures turned out great!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Thanks Am 🙂 Was a struggle but it worked out! Of course FoodGawker won’t accept them…fml.

  • Reply
    erin @ The Almond Eater
    February 3, 2014 at 6:47 am

    So much yummmmm–you totally nailed it! The asparagus looks delicious–actually the whole meal looks delicious. I’m glad to hear you’re also a hopeless romantic too. It’s kind of pathetic sometimes but, like you said, I just love love.

  • Reply
    Elise @
    February 3, 2014 at 6:57 am

    This all looks so incredible, such a good idea by Lee!

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    February 3, 2014 at 7:03 am

    This is such an adorable idea! You guys rock. I also have to say I love that you are such a romantic! It’s so refreshing! Most people are so jaded these days it’s depressing. I’m not a traditional romantic but like you I LOVE love and will dissolve into a puddle of tears for anything even remotely sentimental.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 7:25 am

    I’d LOVE to make this for Valentine’s Day but will have to make it another day because we are going to a wine/food tasting on V day! I know you that. That just means another day I’ll have to make a special meal for my man. Whoop Whoop! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness
    February 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

    What a fun post! My boyfriend and I both love asparagus so we will have to try thi for sure. Too bad my boyfriend doesn’t like scallops or thi would be a great meal all together.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Maybe that will be his gift to you for Vday?! My Dad swore off scallops for years but I just recently got him to try them and he loved them!

  • Reply
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
    February 3, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Oh this sounds so amazing! I love everything! My husband is a huge fan of asparagus, and this is definitely a great way to spruce them up. Yum!

  • Reply
    Carly @ Snack Therapy
    February 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Wow, this entire meal is gorgeous. These asparagus look so tasty and so beautiful, but to be honest, I probably wouldn’t make them on V-day on account of the whole stinky pee thing ;). Hahahahahaha.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food
    February 3, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I love this whole meal plan!! I’ll be spending my Valentine’s night eating dinner with over-acheiving high schoolers at a scholarship dinner for work, but Saturday Riley’s taking me out for a real Valentine’s dinner/early B-day celebration for me. I can’t wait!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Can Riley come make one of his famous pizza’s for me on VDay?! Seeing as you’ll be busy he may need to find a way to occupy his time lol

  • Reply
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green
    February 3, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Oh my, everything looks incredible!! The perfect Valentine’s day meal. Grant and I celebrate V-day but we do it low key. We make eachother dinner/dessert and write cards to each other. It’s a nice inexpensive tradition we have because our birthdays are in Jan/Feb so it’s a lot of celebrations in a few months haha.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I love that! After this week of baking craziness I feel like we’ll end up ordering in. But if C gives me shit for it I’ll remind him of the 10 lbs worth of baked goods currently sitting in our kitchen…which for the record you are welcome to anytime!

  • Reply
    kathy @ vodka and soda
    February 3, 2014 at 9:38 am

    i don’t celebrate valentines day but i will if you invite me over and cook for me. i will eat all of the above and drink your wine, thankyouverymuch.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

      After this stupid bakeoff idea, there’s a zero percent chance I will be cooking. You can come eat my scraps though…

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Wow! All of this looks amazing! I will be pinning for later use. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I never know how to season asparagus… I end up drizzling on balsamic and calling it a day. ANYWAY I’m not celebrating (that I know of) because I’m single AF but honestly I’ll probably make dinner with my dad or go out with him or something. Watch him have a date since he has a secret girlfriend I don’t know about. I don’t really mind though, to me it’s another day – people shouldn’t need a day to tell them to tell people they love them.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

      VERY true. But I am a sucker for chocolate, and sugar and mussels and fries (our tradition) so I’ll take any excuse to celebrate. Plus it forces me to put on real pants which is a rarity these days…

  • Reply
    Nikki @ Quest for Balance
    February 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I’m the biggest hopeless romantic as well and love love! Like you, it’s not just romantic love, it’s love in all forms. Love is such a beautiful force and is what connects all of us. Do you read The Daily Love? If not, you definitely should. I’m such a sap that I even cry from commercials sometimes.

    This meal looks amazing. Such a great idea for your ladies to put this together.

  • Reply
    Shashi @
    February 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

    What an awesome side dish, Davida!
    These asparagus would be gone in 10 seconds flat if I served them to my daughter – love the combo of mustard with the ginger and lemon – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    February 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Don’t hate meeee… I don’t really love Valentine’s Day! I never really have but maybe it’s manifesting itself more this year because I’m super single. I’m also not the type to go out with a rando of Vday though, so I guess it’ll just be another year of me eating chocolate in my bed while I watch TV :p Love the simplicity of this recipe and the group meal thing is a really cute idea. I also love Lexi and Lee’s additions! I’m a sucker for a grapefruit mixer and a chocolate cake.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:51 am

      You can join me and C…in fact I would appreciate if you cooked for us cause this bakeoff is going to kill me. You can hang out with C while I sleep off Vday!

  • Reply
    Meghan @fitnesscrEATures
    February 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    You girls are all so cute but for real, I am drooling over those scallops and your asparagus. LIKE FEED ME WITH THESE THINGS NOW or we aren’t friends anymore. SO GOOD.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:53 am

      That can happen. I’ll put on your bib and coddle you while I feed you stalks of asparagus!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

    This entire meal is mouthwatering! Love what you did with the asparagus. I might have to make this immediately- like, tonight. We’ve always cooked dinner at home for Valentines Day but decided to go out this year, although now I’m wondering if maybe we should stay and make this!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:56 am

      We usually stay in but after this week of crazy baking for the VDay bakeoff I think ordering in just may happen!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    February 3, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I’m still not quite sure how Valentine’s Day works in a long distance relationship… or whether or not my man will even be around 😆 I’m seeing a Skype date with a dinner for one in my agenda though…

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    February 3, 2014 at 11:38 am

    What a fun idea! All of the food and the drink looks fabulous! Just how did you manage to make asparagus look so beautiful?!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

      I won’t lie, it was a struggle! Especially beside all of the other bloggers who are unbelievably talented!

  • Reply
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries
    February 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This post is adorable! I love that you love love so much! Too many loves?

    Anyways, this asparagus dish is perfect because I have all the ingredients at home right now!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Well asparagus is one of my fav veggies so it’s a given I’ll be obsessed with this ;). And aaaaaaaah I want that cocktail with it please!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Davida, you are hillarious.:) Asparagus looks delish! And that #lambisfordummies recipe.:)

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    February 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    OMG…can I make this all AND eat it all myself for my solo V-day festivities?! I think yes.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    This looks amazing! I usually cook for Valentine’s Day because it is only a few days before my bday and I like to be taken out for the big day. This year I’ll be traveling so I will probably eat out BUT I pinned this because I would so make this next year! What a fabulous idea! Everything looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Thanks Britt! I might be making this next year too cause after this bake-off I’m thinking of sleeping all through vday lol

  • Reply
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
    February 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Aw I love this! Valentine’s Day is a great holiday 🙂 I love your attitude about loving love. It shows through your food.

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    February 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I’m becoming a hopeless romantic after this post – I’ve fallen in love with this dinner! Everything I could even want in a meal; bam, right here in these photos. Yum! You definitely got this!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    We don’t celebrate Valentines Day, but we fly on a 1 week vacation in Spain on that day – does that count? I will have a huge piece fo salmon on a hot stone in my favorite restaurant at the beach.
    Though I wouldn’t mind your side dish with it – I LOVE asparagus!! Would you consider joining me at the beach and serve? You can have my wine!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

      If you’re promising a beach and wine I am legit halfway across the atlantic. See you soon.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    February 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Urgh V day. I expect to be peppered with love, hearts and all things tasty from you!

    Asparagus is amazing and it’s meant to be in season here but $3.99 a tiny bunch does NOT seem to be a seasonal friendly price. I’ve tried asparagus with pine nuts but not almonds….Hello whole30 friendly food 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

      It’s $5 here IN season if that’s any consolation!

      The whole meal is whole30 friendly cause Lexi is paleo!

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    February 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    That asparagus looks SO GOOD!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Run Like a G!
    February 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Looks amazing!!!!
    We are actually going out to lunch this year since V.Day is on a Friday! It is going to be crazy busy!!! 🙂 Plus we haven’t had a “date” in a long timeeeee!

  • Reply
    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods
    February 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    What a great idea! What can be better than a healthy dinner to share with the one you love 😀 Asparagus happen to be one of my most favorite veggies ever! Lemon ginger sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    YES I love Valentines day. Even though I am single this year, I am totally not a hater, but a full time lover!! I think I will be getting dressed up and going to dinner with my girlfriend, but I will have to make this asparagus just because. JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS SO GOOD. Lemon makes anything like 10x better.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I have a lady boner from looking at all of these beautiful photos. I just finished a Bodypump class and now I must eat everything in sight.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I could make a meal from that asparagus and cake alone! YUM!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
    February 3, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Tricking people into eating healthy food is my main pleasure in life. Obviously I need to get a hobby. But this looks fabulous! Perhaps my Valentine’s will be this asparagus? 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

      If tricking people into eating healthy food could be my living I would do it for minimum wage. Seriously, I get off on it…

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Oh wow….you guys have really outdone yourself! Every single thing looks sooooo so good!! Can’t wait to try out this asparagus…it sounds and looks so delicious.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Oy, I don’t know what we will have on Valentine’s Day – I still have over a week, right?!
    I love y’all’s dinner plan!!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    So many delicious dishes in one post – ah I can’t take it! I kid I kid.. I’m already loving the meals/appetizers/desserts/beverages your sharing – and it’s only day one 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff
    February 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    This such a great idea and a fun collaboration!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    February 3, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    What a great idea ladies! I used to not like asparagus but in the last few years have become more of a fan, and I enjoy dressing it up with some EVOO, balsamic and almonds like you did here.

    I love that you love love, because I just love love too!! Since food is love to me, I love to make a really nice meal on Valentine’s Day for my hubby. We have been apart for like 4 V-Day’s in a row I think… but this year we’ll be together! WOOHOO!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

      plain asparagus ain’t so fun but adding all of the sprucings makes it awesome!!!

      So happy to find another Vday lover out there amongst all the haters!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 3:42 am

    This not only is healthy, this also looks delicious. Props for the originality but also for the amazing pictures!

  • Reply
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats
    February 4, 2014 at 4:43 am

    What a great idea! I love all the graphics you guys used so awesome. I have come more on board with asparagus in the last year, I used to absolutely hate it.

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    February 4, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Ok I have to admit I’m not even the biggest fan of asparagus, but this dish looks so good! Love all the flavours you used.

    It almost makes me wish we were staying in and cooking on Valentine’s Day… but we decided to go out somewhere. We’re just in the process of deciding on a restaurant! So far we’re looking at The Chase, Woodlot, Bar Isabel, and Aria in Toronto – have you been to any of those? Or do you have any other recommendations? 😀

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 9, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Woodlot and Bar Isabel are amazing!!! Havent tried the others but if you do make sure you report back 😉

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    February 4, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Beautiful! The only snag is that I have to eat that platter ALL to myself on Vday 😉 #singlegirlproblems #iloveveggiessoitsnotreallyaproblem

  • Reply
    Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner
    February 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

    You are super cute! Definitely heading over to check out those blogs. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    This all looks great. So big question: do you all make house calls? 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Grace
    February 5, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I love how you all planned this out! So fun and creative. And each and every recipe looks absolutely delicious!

    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

  • Reply
    Consuelo - Honey & Figs
    February 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Dishes like this do actually make me want to celebrate Valentine’s day. (I like the whole concept, but it’s not quite as fun when single, I guess???). Anyway, I think these will be happening on Friday hehe. No man means more asparagus for me, and more asparagus means h a p p i n e s s ;–)

  • Reply
    hamilton beach toaster
    May 11, 2014 at 1:21 am

    This Black and Decker Toaster Oven features magnificent Even Toasted bread Modern technology, which optimizes inside heat delivery to toast bread up to 30-percent a great deal more evenly compared with foremost rivals. With it’s curved interior, you can actually fit as much as 4 slices of bread and also a 9″ pizzas. Roasting flexibility is right on your kitchen counter with easy-to-use toasted bread, broil, bake and keep heat features in addition to a 30-minute timer that includes a stay-on feature for longer bake times. An energy signal light bulb and also audible “ready” indicator help to make food preparation possibly even more easy. At last, cleansing is a snap with the easily removed crumb tray for a mess-free counter top

  • Reply
    October 19, 2014 at 10:32 am

    OMG, that chocolate cake with those berries on top looks delicious. I love when I can try food that is tasty and healthy at the same time.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      haha yes, Lexi’s cake is amazing! Thanks for stopping by:)

  • Reply
    Blaz @ Shampoo Truth
    November 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Very enjoyable article. I really love this dinner plan and will definitely try it. Great share!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Great post. That’s all i need

  • Reply
    September 19, 2015 at 2:20 am

    What an awesome side dish, Davida!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 7:45 am

    The Lemon Ginger Asparagus looks amazing. It’s very early here in Alabama, but I’m actually considering having asparagus for breakfast. LOL!


  • Reply
    September 13, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Asparagus is my favourite ingredient in spring. I really love preparing food with ginger and lemon also. I really like your recipe.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Hi, just found your blog from google. And I read many you guys’s articles. I love your stuffs. Especially this post, thanks for your recipe for Valentine’s Day. I will try it.

  • Reply
    Trendy Damsels
    October 1, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    My husband brought Asparagus and I didn’t know how to cook it. I think yours is a perfect recipe to cook Asparagus. Lemon and almonds certainly give a delicious taste to this recipe. I will surely try it out and let you know how it turned out.

  • Reply
    Dawn Wells
    November 4, 2017 at 8:45 am


    My hubby has heart problem and want to serve some healthy recipe during this valentine day. Can I try your recipe for cholesterol patient?

    thank you

Leave a Reply

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community and get my free 10 Day Guide to Busting Your Stress.