Wooed by Food: Love at First Bite


Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you have a Valentine to celebrate with, or close friends and family to share your love, make sure to tell someone you love them today.  Mr E and I have romantic plans of dinner at home since we’re not really into going out to overpriced dinners on sudo-holidays.  As I plan what to make for dinner, it reminds me of the first meal I made for Mr E back in our dating days that started 11 1/2 years ago (eep!).  I was not a dietitian at the time.  A “healthy” meal was less of a priority than a tasty meal. Especially because I wanted to hook my man! So I won him over with my specialty at the time: Chicken Parmesan with homemade sauce.  Obviously it worked!

Food means a lot of things to everyone. Holidays and celebrations center around food. Memories are created around food. So of course relationships have roots in food as well.  Since my Chicken Parm was such a winner with Mr E, it got me thinking what meals won over other couples. So I posed a question to my dietitian colleagues:

“I knew I hooked my significant other when I made them _________”


Did your significant other cook something that totally won YOU over?


Here’s how other dietitians hooked their significant other with love at first bite:

I knew I hooked my significant other when I made him a southwest quinoa salad.  Funny thing is, it was thrown together from random ingredients I had in the fridge. 4 1/2 years into our relationship, he still requests it on the regular!  [The favor was returned when] he made me pumpkin muffins for my birthday. Pumpkin muffins are my favorite and he told me he researched healthy baking substitutions so they were “RD approved.” Julie Harrington, RD of RDelicious Kitchen

I knew I hooked my boyfriend when I made him vegetarian “chicken” parmesan. It showed he was willing to trust me and try new things. He actually ate half of what I made, which is the most of any new-to-him food I’ve gotten him to eat! – Paula Wesson, RDN, The Junk Food Nutritionist

My boyfriend wanted low carb fried rice and was obsessed with this meal I made for him. Love at first bite  – Christy Brissette, MS, RD, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition

Photo by Christy Brissette, MS, RD, 80 Twenty Nutrition

I knew I hooked my significant other when I made them homemade pasta with fresh marinara sauce! – Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life

“He had me at the Romaine!” When I walked into my future husband’s apartment when I met him for the first time, he was washing Romaine lettuce. It made quite an impression! Twenty-nine years and 2 kids later, he is now growing our Romaine. A happy foodie story! – Bridget Swinney MS, RD, author and nutrition consultant

The first meal I cooked for my boyfriend was when we’d been dating for about a month. I made a polenta casserole with a side of sautéed kale. He made a first meal for me shortly after, to celebrate my acceptance into my dietetic internship program. He prepared a mock chicken stir-fry, a sweet thought since I’m a vegetarian. –Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ

No joke, I made my husband Rachael Ray’s You Won’t Be Single For Long Pasta the first time I cooked for him. – Chrissy Carroll, RD of Snacking in Sneakers

For our first Valentine’s Day my husband cooked me this Chicken Tetrazzini recipe. It was SO good that he’s made it for me every year since! With all the butter and cream it’s probably not the best recipe to indulge in during American Heart Month, but it’s only one day each year and it’s SO good, so I let myself enjoy it and then make sure I get my workout in the next day!Jessica Levings, MS, RDN of Balanced Pantry

I wooed my husband by cooking him homemade, 100% organic versions of his favorite fast foods. My take on Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza was probably his favorite! In fact, I even had a blog dedicated to the venture (this was in 2010) and writing about food and health inspired me to pursue my RD so I’d actually know what I was talking about. – Diana K. Rice, RD, The Baby Steps Dietitian

I made my husband a pasta recipe similar to this one almost 7 years ago. Gotta fuel my vegetarian hubby! – Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD of One Hungry Bunny
Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD of One Hungry Bunny
My significant other wowed me by making “shrimp pesto pasta” in the early stages of our dating story. Totally won me over and to top it off, he even did the dishes! We’re now happily married with 2 kids ? – Marissa Martorana, RDN, Nutrition Counseling and Consulting Services

My boyfriend “hooked me” with his French omelettes. I was a die-hard cereal eater, day in, day out, until one morning my boyfriend and I went out for petit dejeuner at Café Presse in Seattle and we each ordered and enjoyed one simple, buttery, decadent, flavorful, petite, herbed French omelette. My boyfriend made it his mission to experiment with making his own, a la “Chef Jacques,” watching Pepin’s technique over and over on YouTube. His first attempt was perfect! Since then, he’s gone from “herbs-only” to omelettes stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, or stuffed w/ garlic and leeks, and even ones brimming w/ parsnips and sweet potato. I’ve eaten a French-style omelettte nearly every morning since! I’m quite lucky to have such a sweet, talented and creative chef in my life! – Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN, KUcumber Nutrition Communications, LLC






10 thoughts on “Wooed by Food: Love at First Bite

  1. This is such a fun post! My hubby of almost 18 years rarely cooks, but when we were first dating, he made me Fettuccine Alfredo with Scallops & it was so yummy. These days, he’s a pro at making scrambled eggs, as well as manning the BBQ. Fortunately, he loves pretty much everything I make, including #alltheveggies. The only thing he refuses to eat is cold soup 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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