Many people celebrate Valentine’s Day with a nice meal. Thankfully, you can keep the love alive without ruining your diet or wreaking havoc on your health with these healthy, nutritious recipes. Flavourful and good for you, these dinners-for-two are perfect for you and your Valentine.
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1. Butter Salmon With Slivered Almonds
Savoury and light, this fish dish is heart-healthy and tastes like a gourmet restaurant meal. The many vitamins and proteins in this dish will leave you feeling full after just a few bites. The fish is best served alongside seasoned rice or a fresh, flavourful salad.
- 2 salmon fillets
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
Begin by melting the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. When the butter begins to bubble and brown, add in the slivered almonds. Stir the almonds in the butter for about two minutes and then scrape the sides of the pan.
Place both fillets of salmon, flesh side down, in the skillet. Sear two minutes on one side before flipping. Cook two more minutes and reduce the heat to medium. Coat the fish in the almonds and butter, allowing the fish to cook four or five more minutes. When the fish is fork tender, serve over rice.
2. Cranberry Chicken Salad
While a salad might not sound like an elegant, full-course meal, this one is so full of flavour and nutrients, that it’s luxurious enough for a celebration.
- Fresh baby spinach
- Dried cranberries
- Tender cranberry chicken strips
- Cranberry sauce
- Shredded carrots
- Almonds or walnuts
- Shredded celery
- Shredded provolone cheese
- Balsamic vinegar
To make the tender cranberry chicken strips, sear thin slices of chicken breast in a skillet. Once the outside of the chicken is lightly browned, reduce the heat to low. Add in cranberry sauce and lightly season if desired. Simmer over low heat 10 to 15 minutes with the skillet covered. You’ll have ultra-tender, flavorful chicken that’s tinted a festive Valentine’s pink.
Spread a bed of spinach across a plate and sprinkle on the chicken, shredded veggies, nuts, cheese and balsamic vinegar as desired.
3. Vegetable Lasagna
Italian food is classic for date night and this recipe is also meatless (for the vegetarians out there). Using whole wheat noodles, low-fat dairy and sauce, and fresh vegetables gives this lasagna an A+ rating for nutrition and flavour.
- Whole wheat lasagna noodles
- Pureed cooked vegetables like spinach, zucchini, cauliflower, carrot, asparagus
- Shredded provolone cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Low-sodium tomato sauce
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. In the meantime, puree vegetables of your choosing. Add seasoning to taste. Mix together provolone, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese according to your preferences.
Layer lasagna noodles in a lightly greased pan. Spread a layer of the cheese, then a layer of the pureed vegetables. Continue layering with noodles, cheese and veggies. Pour tomato sauce on top, sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
4. Caribbean Pork Panini
A combination of the bright, sweet flavours of Caribbean cooking and the panini of Europe, this recipe is a refreshing breeze to make and is light enough to be diet friendly. Made in the slow cooker, this recipe takes only a few minutes in the morning and right before dinner to make, freeing you up to enjoy the holiday.
- 1 lb. pork shoulder or roast
- Chicken broth
- Bell pepper
- Sweet pepper
- Shredded low fat cheddar cheese
- Whole wheat soft tortilla shells
Chop all fruits and vegetables and trim the fat off the meat. Add all ingredients except cheese and tortillas to a slow cooker, pouring in just enough broth to cover the solid ingredients. Cook over low heat for 8 to 10 hours. Scoop the food out of the pot onto half a ciabatta bun. Sprinkle with cheese, add a second half of the bun and grill.
5. Chicken Divan
Rich and attractive on the plate, chicken divan isn’t hard to make and its got a brilliant, fresh flavor.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 cup pureed broccoli
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat milk
- 1/8 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 cup sherry
Pound chicken breasts until less than an inch thick. Season as desired. Spread pureed broccoli over chicken and roll, tying with cooking string or piercing with a toothpick. Bake in a greased pan for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.
In meantime, whisk together flour and broth in a skillet over medium heat until slightly thickened. Slowly add sherry and milk, whisking as you go. Add parmesan for a thin sauce to serve over the cooked chicken.