There’s lots to love about Valentine’s Day, but health-conscious individuals are often faced with this challenge: How can you have a meal that’s both delicious and diet-friendly?
For a number of reasons, cooking a meal at home is a better option than going to a restaurant; for starters, it’s cozy and romantic. Also, you’ll be in charge of the cooking process and what goes into the food you eat.
This indulgent yet healthy three-course dinner menu, thanks to recipes by Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and author of the book, “The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice,” can eliminate any diet concerns on Valentine’s Day.
The Meal: Begin with a nutrient-packed pecan berry arugula salad, a delightfully tasty appetizer with just the right amount of sweetness (plus, it’s high in calcium and fiber). For the main course, a satisfying and savory steak filet, full of protein and tasty vegetables. Last but not least, a tasty, rich, batch of flourless brownies with protein and fiber.
Check out the appetizer, main course and dessert recipes below!
Pecan Berry Arugula Salad
Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time – 10 min.
Number of servings – 2-4
Serving size – ½-1c salad
Difficulty – easy
Tags – Gluten free, high fiber, antioxidant rich, no sugar added
2 c fresh arugula
2 oz. (approx. 1/4 c) pecans
2-3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. local honey
1. Roast pecans in oven on 350 for 8-10 min. or until fragrant.
2. Add raspberries, olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar in large bowl.
3. Toss in arugula and serve.
Steak Filets with Mushrooms and Shallots
Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time – 20 min.
Number of servings – 2
Serving size – 6 oz steak with mushroom mixture divided by 2
Difficulty – Normal
Tags – Gluten free, dairy free, Valentine’s Day, no sugar added, high protein
2 – 6-oz steaks filet
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 lb mixed wild mushrooms (e.g., cremini, portobello, oyster and shiitake), cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine- merlot or shiraz
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1. Pat steaks dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then rub with half the olive oil.
2. Heat a heavy skillet and brush with remaining olive oil. Add steaks and cook to medium rare—5 to 6 minutes per side if steaks are 1½ inches thick. Remove steaks from pan. Return pan to heat.
3. There should be a little oil left in the pan; if not, add about 1 tsp. Add shallots and cook for about one minute. Add vinegar. Cook, stirring, until vinegar evaporates and shallots begin to brown. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring, until about half the wine has evaporated. Add oyster sauce and cook the mixture for a few minutes, until mush-rooms are glazed and there are a few tablespoons of sauce in the pan.
4. To serve, top the steaks with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.
5. Serve alongside a baked potato, roasted vegetables, salad and/or a rice pilaf.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Number of servings – 4
Serving size – 0.5 cup
Difficulty – normal
Tags- dairy free, gluten free, dessert
0.5 cup sliced almonds
0.5 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
0.25 cup agave nectar
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
0.5 tsp. baking soda
0.25 tsp. salt
0.5 cup packed pitted dates
0.25 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil and coat lightly with oil.
In a food processor, blend almonds, cocoa, chocolate, baking soda and salt until ground. Pulse in dates, agave nectar, almond milk, oil and vanilla until a smooth paste forms.
Beet egg whites until medium peaks form. Stir in 1/3 of almond mixture, then fold in remaining mixture. Spread in baking pan.
Bake until a toothpick comes out almost clean, about 30 minutes.
Recipes above were created by Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and author of the book, “The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice.”