valentine’s dinner at home + $25 publix gift card giveaway

This is a sponsored post via my ambassadorship with Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon. I was compensated with a Publix gift card for personal use and one to giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

I wear many hats in my home: wife, mom, runner, writer. I am a part of my family team, and we are all on board with keeping our team on track and moving forward to accomplish our goals.

That means taking time out for special occasions, even in the middle of work, training and activities. We don’t always go out for Valentine’s Day dinner, just because it often falls in the middle of the week and it’s one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with a lovely meal that’s both delicious and reasonably healthy (hey, if you can’t splurge on the holidays, when can you?)

And when I’m finished showing you our yummy (and easy!) meal, I’ve got a special giveaway for you!

I wanted something simple to put together but a little fancier than what we might usually eat during the week, so I made my way to our local Publix to scope out the aisles, while doing our weekly grocery shop.

I was in the mood for seafood, so I decided on Pesto Shrimp and Polenta with a Strawberry Spinach Salad.

The strawberries were absolutely beautiful, and a nice green salad was going to be a perfect complement to the main course.


  • 1 lb shrimp (peeled and cleaned; fresh or frozen & thawed)
  • 1 container prepared pesto
  • 1 tube prepared polenta
  • 1 package baby spinach leaves
  • 1 container strawberries
  • 1/4-1/2 container crumbled gorgonzola
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Start with the polenta. While you can make your own, it’s easy enough to grab a tube of the ready-to-eat. Preheat the oven to 350 and cut the polenta into 1/4″ thick slices.

Leave the slices in the circles, or, for a little extra flair, use a cookie cutter to make heart shapes.

Save the scraps for another meal, and line up the slices on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 20 minute (I waited a little to put them in the oven so that everything would be ready at the same time.)

Wash and pat dry the strawberries. Remove the tops and slice in half, lengthwise. Using a small knife, cut a little triangle out of the widest part of each berry half to make little hearts.

In a bowl, combine the spinach leaves, gorgonzola, walnuts. Toss (but do not dress) and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Heat olive oil in a large pan, and then add your shrimp. For frozen, uncooked shrimp, heat until the shrimp turns pink and curls up, tightly.

When the shrimp is cooked, add the pesto. I reserved about 1/4 of the container in case we needed extra with the meal.

While this heats through, take out the salad, and add the strawberry hearts

and toss with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette.

I plated this on rectanglar dishes for the fancy factor, and served it with a lovely rose.

From start to finish, this took less than 45 minutes to prepare and serve.

It was satisfying and not too heavy so I was good to run the next morning.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Comment below with your favorite quick and easy special occasion dinner to enter to win one $25 Publix gift card, and don’t forget, there is still time to register for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon! Save 15% with code PUGS18!

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30 Responses to valentine’s dinner at home + $25 publix gift card giveaway

  1. Meghan says:

    Looks great!

  2. Ooooh, this looks yummy! I have a similar strawberry-spinach salad that I make, and there are never any leftovers LOL The shrimp and pesto sounds like a great combination, too.
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Red Flannel Run 2018My Profile

  3. Rachel says:

    Sounds like such a great Valentine’s Day!

  4. How festive! I’ve never cooked with polenta before!
    Nicole @ fitnessfatale recently posted…5 Ways I’m Changing My Workouts In The Third Trimester of PregnancyMy Profile

  5. Ann says:

    The quickest and easiest is a salad and a Flatout pizza!

  6. I love polenta! What a cute idea to make it into a heart shape. Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day

  7. Wendy says:

    I can’t think of anything quick and easy off the top of my head but I do love Publix! I wish they’d come to the Chicago area. For now, I’ll just have to head south and get my fill!
    Wendy recently posted…Mercedes Half Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

  8. Kimberly G says:

    A quick and easy meal for me would be a salad tossed with some veggies and protein. I love It because you can do some much with salads and toppings!
    Kimberly G recently posted…Win a Cleveland Marathon Race Entry!My Profile

  9. Andrea says:

    Those polenta cakes are adorable! I so wish we lived near a Publix!

  10. Stacie Southall says:

    What a yummy dinner!

  11. That looks great! I have never tried the polenta but you are making it look so good! Publix is the bomb!

  12. We’ve shopped at Publix on many vacations, but we don’t have them in Chicago. I love doing a quick and easy stir-fry in a pinch. I can also make chili pretty quickily!

  13. Publix is just the best. My favorite special occasion meal is a seafood pasta, with a red sauce and lots of garlic! I don’t really have a recipe, I just go with it. Because I’m a little afraid of cooking clams, I actually have Publix steam them for me when I get them from the seafood counter!

  14. Carla C says:

    I like to make vegetarian baked ziti or baked fish and a spring mix salad.

  15. Allen Gibson says:

    Chicken spaghetti. Goes great with wine or sweet tea for any occasion. Just a matter of tossing all the ingredients into a pan, tossing it in the oven and waiting 30 minutes.

  16. Calvin says:

    I like to make quick meat balls and some eggs

  17. bn100 says:

    salad + soup

  18. My husband and I have a mussels and chorizo dish that we love to make.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Princess Half Marathon Training Log – Week 9My Profile

  19. Erin M says:

    Grilled chicken salad is my go to fast meal.

  20. MaryRose Hazzard says:

    I love grilled chicken and fruit salad

  21. Lisa says:

    I like chicken and mushrooms.

  22. Kelsey Vinson says:

    We love using Tyson’s natural grilled chicken and making stir fry

  23. thank you says:

    Unfortunately I dont really have someone special to share valentine with for about 4 years lol. But when I do … I will try this!!

  24. stella methvin says:

    Spaghetti or taco pizza are my go to easy night dinners.

  25. Amanda says:

    My quick and easy meal is scrambled eggs and bacon!

  26. Cassandra D. says:

    My quick and easy meal would be shrimp scampi.

  27. Alma London says:

    My quick to go dinner is tuna fish salad.

  28. Donna Porter says:

    My quick and easy meal is steak and potatoes prepared in the oven. Delicious as well!

  29. Crystal W says:

    I usually do couscous with veggies – just takes a few minutes!

  30. Jessie Redding says:

    Tacos – brown the meat, prep whaever else I want, done!

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