Did you wake up this morning to the realization that it’s Valentine’s Day and – oh no – you haven’t gotten the gift. Although there’s still time to get flowers, chocolate and other traditional presents, don’t panic, I’ve got a plan ready to go so you can wow your main squeeze with your culinary prowess.
Follow these instructions and you can serve a simple, tasty and elegant meal. And, it’s packed with colorful, cancer-fighting, health promoting foods – with just the right balance of a sweet ending.
Menu: Fruitful Salad with Walnuts, Cranberry Roasted Chicken, Maple-Topped Sweet Potatoes, Hot Broccoli, Chocolate & Strawberry Angel Cake
- Pre-washed salad greens in bag or box
- 1 Small head of broccoli crown or 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 Apple or pear
- 12 large fresh strawberries (sliced, frozen berries work too)
- Cranberry chutney (jar)
- Small bag walnut pieces
- Maple syrup or honey
- Red pepper flakes
- Raspberry vinaigrette
- Store roasted chicken, whole or breast
- Prepared Angel food cake
- Dark Chocolate bar (70% cocoa)
- Candles, red napkins, red rose(s)
Preparation: 1 hour before dinner:
- Wash sweet potatoes and place on chopping board. Slice crosswise into 1-inch rounds. Peel each round and place in microwaveable casserole dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey. Set aside.
- Wash broccoli (or asparagus) and cut broccoli into florets. You can see picture of florets here. Put ½ cup water in small saucepan.
- Wash and slice strawberries, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons sugar and gently toss to bring out a little juice. Put chocolate in small microwaveable bowl and set aside. Have dessert plates ready.
- Set table with candles, red napkins and your best flatware.
30 minutes before:
- On each of two salad plates, arrange 1 cup of salad greens. Dice apple or pear into ½-inch pieces. Sprinkle each salad with ¼ cup fruit and 1-2 tablespoons walnuts. Pour vinaigrette into small pitcher and place on table with salads. Light candles.
- Slice chicken and arrange on dinner plates (remember to follow the New American Plate – 1/3 or less of plate contains chicken, leaving the other 2/3 for sweet potatoes and broccoli).
5-10 minutes before:
- Put sweet potatoes in microwave and cook until soft.
- While potatoes cook, bring water in saucepan to gentle boil. Lower heat, add broccoli or asparagus and steam for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Add 1 teaspoon butter to broccoli or asparagus and sprinkle with a dash of red pepper flakes.
- Top chicken with 1-2 tablespoons chutney. Warm in microwave. Arrange sliced sweet potatoes and green vegetable on plates. Serve.
- Turn on the romantic music, invite your sweetie to the table. Sit down and enjoy.
- Melt chocolate in microwave.
- Place slice of Angel food cake on each dessert plate. Top with sliced strawberries.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over fruit and cake.
- Garnish plate with red rose petals, if desired and serve.
What will you be serving for your healthy Valentine’s Day menu?