February is a month dedicated to expressing affection. This year, food is the language of love.

According to a survey conducted on behalf of the beef checkoff, on Valentine’s Day, Americans would rather have a nice meal than a card, flowers, chocolate or even a gift; and 62% of Americans say steak is their most-desired V-Day meal.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, consider these statistics that reveal Americans hold a special place in their hearts for beef, especially when sharing special moments with family and friends.

  1. Nothing says love like beef and backrubs. In fact, 43% of Americans said they’d choose a steak dinner to follow a romantic evening of Jacuzzi time, back rubs and champagne.
  2. Steak dominates candlelight dinners. Fifty-three percent of Americans identify filet mignon as the food most associated with candlelight romance, and 50% think filet mignon is the best way to say, “I love you,” compared to other dishes such as chicken cordon bleu (13%) or pork tenderloin (6%).

Looking to create some sparks over a special meal? Beef is more often associated with “magnetism” than pork, chicken or fish.

It’s also important to know that many of the most popular steaks are lean. Research shows naturally nutrient-rich lean beef can easily be part of a heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering diet. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government guidelines for lean. On average, a 3-oz. serving of lean beef is only 150 calories and provides 10 essential nutrients, including protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins. All these nutrients are needed to sustain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Show your loved one how much you care this Valentine’s Day by preparing this delectable T-Bone Steak for Two recipe. It’s an easy recipe that lets you choose a complementary sauce of your choice. Take a little time and relax. Let this beef dinner be your ticket to creating a spark that lasts throughout this winter season.

For more healthy beef recipes and information contact Holly Swee, RD, LN, director of nutrition and consumer information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722 or Beef It's What's For Dinner.