Forgot the Flowers? Take Heart and Make a Healthy, Romantic Feast

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28803165Did 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

 Shopping list:

  • 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.

 Dessert:

  • 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?

 

 

 


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