Happy Valentine’s Day! Healthy at Home Meals (And Desserts) for Two
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Valentine’s Day would not be the same without enjoying a delicious meal with your special Sweetheart. If you prefer annual sweethearts day at home, here are some great recipes tailored especially for two. These recipes will also keep you on track with your heart healthy eating plan!
Life is short, enjoy your dessert first!!
“Unfried” Fried Ice Cream
2 large scoops of your favorite ice cream
1 cup corn flakes
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
Optional: warm chocolate sauce
For the prettiest presentation, scoop your ice cream into a nice ball, place on a pan and return to the freezer.
In a food processor, combine the corn flakes, powdered sugar and cinnamon and pulse for 10-15 seconds. Pour the mixture out into a shallow bowl. Drizzle the honey on top, then use your fingers to incorporate the honey into the flakes evenly. It’s sticky, but worth it.
Take your ice cream balls out of the freezer, then roll them quickly in the crumbs. Serve drizzled with warm chocolate sauce and topped with a cherry. Serves 2.
Chocolate Soup for Two
Honestly I have never heard of chocolate soup, heavy or light, but this recipe sounds really yummy!
1 cup of skim milk
1 cup of fat free half and half
1/3 cup fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or 6 oz. chocolate bar (you can also experiment with some of the flavored chocolate bars)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. cold water
2 oz. low fat cream cheese
2 heaping Tbsp. marshmallow crème
Garnish, choose your favorite but shaved chocolate or even a cherry will be nice.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the skim milk, half and half, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture almost to a boil.
Put the pan on low heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate starts to melt. Combine the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Add the slurry a little at a time, whisking constantly, until the soup is thick and smooth. You will know it is ready when the bubbles are gone and the chocolate has thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully pour into two bowls and garnish.
Topping: Microwave the cream cheese at 10 second intervals or until it can be stirred smooth. Add marshmallow crème to the cream cheese and mix well. Dollop on top of soup, or transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe design. Serves 2.
For the main event, you might like these comfort meals. Warms your heart!
Beef with Onions over Creamy Polenta
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Sugar
1/2 Rosemary Spring
2-3 Sage Leaves
1-2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
12-14 oz. of Beef Flank Steak /for 2 servings, sliced into strips, this can easily be done with pork as well
2-3 Tbs. Oil
1/2 Red Onion, Sliced
2 Garlic Cloves
Marinated Beef Flank Steak
4 Tbs. Marinade
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cup water
1/2 tsp. Oil
2 tsp. salt or to taste
8 Tbs. Instant/Quick-Cooking Corn Meal
1 Tbs. Butter
Cheese /sour cream or Greek yogurt optional
In a Large Ziploc bag place all the ingredient for the marinade, mix then add cut into strips flank steak. Mix the bag to cover all the slices then let it marinade for 10-15 minutes, but it could be in the fridge overnight *it will give you even richer and deeper flavor.
While beef is marinating, start with polenta. In a medium saucepan add water, oil and salt, then let the water boil. Measure Corn Meal then put it in a cup or small a bowl so that you will be able to add it easier in the boiling water. LOWER the HEAT. When the water is ready, slowly add the polenta while whisking quickly. Continue whisking over medium heat until the polenta thickens and the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat, keep mixing and at this point you may add butter, mix it, then add cheese if you desire/OR Sour cream/Greek yogurt etc. Set aside and cover with the lid. This is done in matters of 5-7 minutes.
Preheat the oil over high heat for stir-fry, then add garlic and onion. Lower the temperature and let oil get infused by both garlic and onion. Don’t let it burn. Take the flank steak strips out of the marinade and reserve about 4 tablespoons of marinade for the stir-fry. Let the beef strips get slightly brown color on both sides, then add marinade, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook over medium high and under the lid until marinade/liquid evaporate almost in half (about 5 minutes). Turn the beef few more times.
Serve it over the creamy hot polenta. Serves 2.
Salmon (or Tuna) Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce
8 ounces angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 salmon fillet (8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 pound roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in boiling water according to the package directions. Drain, reserving pasta water. Toss pasta with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Keep it warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions. Cook and stir until softened. Add red pepper flakes, oregano, and salmon. Break up the salmon with a spatula as it cooks. Stir in dill, chopped tomatoes, and wine; bring to a boil. Turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add some reserved pasta water if the sauce gets dry.
Mound the pasta on plates. Make a well in the center of each mound and ladle in the tomato-salmon sauce. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve warm. Sorry “lovebirds” this one does serve 4.
If you want to pare this recipe down even more, serve over zucchini “noodles”. You can serve any of your favorite pasta sauces over these zucchini “noodles”
1-2 zucchini (or summer squash), general rule one small zucchini per person
A julienne peeler (or if you have not yet purchased a Veggeti, you should check one out, it’s a great little tool turns veggies into noodle like shapes)
Use firm strokes as you peel the zucchini lengthwise with the julienne peeler. Do one side until you reach the seeds. Rotate and peel the other side. Keep peel each side, avoiding the seeds in the middle of the zucchini.
The seedy core will not change the taste but will be slightly different in texture and may not have the appearance of a noodle. You can save the core and throw into some soup!
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini noodles and boil for only about 30-60 seconds. Taste a noodle before removing to see if it is cooked enough. It should be firm but not crunchy or mushy.
Drain the noodles and add your favorite sauce and pasta toppings. Enjoy!
You can peel the zucchini and store the noodles in the fridge for a day or so. But the noodles don’t hold as well once they are cooked.
Yummy Grilled Fish Tacos
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed, (if you can’t find a fresh mango, you can surely use pineapple)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
½ red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and black pepper
2 large Mahi Mahi fillets (1 ½ lb. total)
1 Tbsp. Blackening spice
8 corn tortillas
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
Mix the mango, avocado, onion, and the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Season with cilantro, salt, and pepper.
Heat a grill or stovetop grill pan until hot. Drizzle a light coating of oil over the fish and rub on the blackening spice. Cook the fish, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove.
Warm the tortillas on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes or wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute until warm and pliable.
Break the fish into chunks and divide among the warm tortillas. Top with the cabbage and the mango salsa. Serve with the lime wedges.
Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 405, Fat 11g, Cholesterol 124 mg, Sodium 614 mg, Carbohydrates 42 g, Protein 36 g, Fiber 8 g.