A Gut Healthy Galentine's Day Meal Your Gal Pals Will Love

Galentine's is Day For The Gals!

When you're childless, Valentine's Day is the day for lovers. When you have kids, Valentine's Day becomes about cute crafts and conversation hearts for your offspring. The kids end up horning in on your romantic Valentine's plans just for two.  And that's when you realize that with all the chaos of trying to find time to hang with your beloved and make just one more Valentine's card for the class celebration, what you really want is some good old-fashioned gal pal time to celebrate the gals who mean the most to you. 

And thanks to Leslie Knope and a little show called "Parks and Recreation," we now have a day dedicated to friendship and that day is it's right around the corner-- Galentine's Day on February 13th. Have you and your girlfriends made plans yet? If not, there's still time. No matter what you're planning, the one thing you don't have to worry about is the food because I've got you covered with the perfect gut healthy Galentine's meal all the gals in your pack can enjoy!

Near or Far, Gal Pals Celebrate Their Love for Each Other

With Covid still looming large, some gals are opting for a socially distant Galentine's Day. Whether you're celebration happens near or far, I highly recommend using this special day to connect with those gals who are your "through thick and thin" moms. We deserve a day to celebrate each other.  

My favorite gal pals live all over the country. We met when our partners were stationed in England almost 20 years ago and no matter where we all live, we still get together as often as we can. These days, there's alot of Zoom dates and Galentine's Day will be no exception. We'll share a meal (the one I'm sharing with you below), we'll share some laughs, and we may even share some tears too.

Galentine's Day is about all the feels!

We're all making the same meal separately and coming together virtually to "break bread" and celebrate our love for each other. Whether you are with your friends or you're socially distant, you will enjoy this gut friendly meal too. It's a Galentine's Day winner winner chicken dinner!

The Galentine's Day meal below includes a main dish and a dessert, but you might be wondering what to serve as a side dish. Here's some ideas that have been huge hits with my family for this dish over the years: 

  • Cauliflower mash
  • Fresh green beans
  • Roasted red potatoes
  • Jasmine rice
  • Against The Grain garlic bread
  • Roasted spaghetti squash with the chicken juices poured over
  • The salad of your choice

Rich with apricots, prunes, capers, and olives, his dish alone can be a meal in itself. But if you want to do something extra special to go with it, go for it with one of the sides mentioned above.

Chicken Marbella

I've been making Chicken Marbella since my days living in England, 20 years ago when I met the friends I mentioned above. Someone brought it to a book club pot luck and I just had to have the recipe. It's so rich and flavorful, while still supporting our gut health at the same time. I love that about a recipe! One gut loving mama note to keep in mind: even if you feel like your digestive system is not up to the prunes, apricots, or olives, I highly recommend you include them with while making it. These ingredients impart such a rich flavor that even if you can't eat them, you'll be glad you included them. And of course, all this goodness won't go to waste. It's just more for your your family or gal pals to savor.


  • 2 1/2- 3  lbs chicken pieces
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 8-10 pitted prunes
  • 8-10 dried apricots
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed 
  • 1 whole jar large green olives (no juice)
  • 1 whole jar of capers with the juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Step 1

Add all ingredients to a large ziploc style bag. Seal and place in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2

When it's time to cook your Galentine's meal, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Open the bag that's been marinating in your frig (it will already smell delish). Pour the contents into a 9 X 13 pan and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan in the oven for about 40 minutes.

Step 3

Open the oven and remove the the aluminum foil. Spoon the juices over the top of the chicken to baste. Turn the temp up to 400 degrees. Continue to bake in 10 more minute increments until all the chicken pieces are fully cooked and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes covered with foil before serving.

Step 4

Plate up your Chicken Marbella on a platter. Take the reserve juices and pour into a gravy boat so everyone can spoon over the top as they wish. Serve with a delicious side dish like the ones mentioned above and a vegetable or salad.

Sweetheart Cupcakes

(gluten free/grain free)

I cannot say enough about these cupcakes. They are truly the most delicious cupcake I've ever put in my mouth. Rich and chocolatey, but not overpowering. They are so moist and so light at the same time. And of course, they are gut healthy so your belly will say thank you too. Trust me, you are going to love every bite!

I highly recommend making a double batch and sticking it in the freezer for later use. Pull one out at a time and heat it cup for a guilt free sweet treat.


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For Cashew Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups of boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2-4 Tbsp non-dairy milk (if needed)
  • Toppings like strawberries, raspberries, or all-natural sprinkles are optional

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 muffin cups and set aside. Place almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Step 2

Add in eggs, honey, applesauce, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir with your whisk or a spoon until your batter is smooth and creamy with no lumps. Spoon batter into each muffin cup filling until each it's about 2/3 full. Place muffin tin in the oven and set timer for 25 minutes.

Step 3

Once timer goes off, check muffins for doneness. They should spring back when you lightly touch the tops. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Step 4

For the cashew cream frosting, place your cashews in a bowl. Boil 3 cups of water and pour over the cashews. Cover with wax paper and allow to sit 30 min to 1 hour. Drain and pat dry.

Step 5

Place cashews in a high speed blender and blend 30-45 seconds. Add coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and salt. Blend again until mixture becomes smooth and creamy, adding in non-dairy milk 1 Tbsp at a time if the mixture becomes to thick.

Step 6

Once blended, place the cashew cream frosting in a container and into the refrigerator. It will continue to thicken over time. Keep frosting in the frig for 1-2 hours before frosting the cupcakes. Frost and add whatever toppings you choose.