Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | 10 months ago

Healthy Valentine's Day Recipes You'll Love

Everything you need to make your healthiest (and tastiest) Valentine’s Day dinner ever.

Let’s get romantic! These inspired dishes are sure to set the mood for a perfect Valentine’s Day. Add some heart-healthy red wine to the mix, and you’re ready for an irresistible evening.

SALAD

Light Caesar Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Fun, fresh and oh-so-flavorful, this salad nixes creamy Caesar dressing in favor of red wine vinegar and lemon juice to brighten your most savory main dishes. Ingredients:
  • 2 large hearts of romaine, rinsed and chopped (can also use 1 bag of pre-chopped hearts of romaine)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup whole grain croutons
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Put chopped romaine lettuce in a large salad bowl; set aside. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and pour over romaine lettuce. Add parmesan cheese, croutons and salt and pepper. Toss until thoroughly mixed. Serve immediately. Why We’re in Love – Calories in the average store-bought creamy Caesar salad dressing amount to a whopping 180 calories per serving – and that’s before you tack on calories from croutons and cheese. This lightened up Caesar dressing (with hearty whole grain croutons) cuts those calories in half, without sacrificing flavor. Plus, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic and lemon juice offer powerful health benefits in the form of good fat, minerals and antioxidants.

MAIN COURSE

Gnocchi is a hearty Italian pasta made from potato and whole wheat or semolina flour. Rich and delicious, this recipe looks as good as it tastes – brown butter balanced by fresh parsley is a match made in heaven.

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi, fresh or frozen (can use sweet potato gnocchi if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini (about 3 small), very thinly sliced edgewise – use potato peeler if possible
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon (to squeeze over dish immediately before serving)
Directions: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parmesan and parsley. Add the gnocchi and toss to coat. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and serve immediately. Why We’re in Love – Potatoes are packed with complex carbohydrates, plenty of potassium, vitamins C and B-6, and lots of great minerals, making gnocchi an excellent alternative to flour-made pastas. Zucchini and cherry tomatoes boast many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B and C as well as fiber, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper and phosphorous.

DESSERT

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something chocolate! This decadent, melt-in-your-mouth cake will make you question why you ever put flour in a cake to begin with.

Flourless Salted Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
  • 200 g good quality (70%) dark eating chocolate such as Lindt
  • 175 g good quality butter (see notes)
  • 6 organic eggs – room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract or paste
  • Good pinch sea salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Lightly oil or butter a cake tin and line completely with baking powder. Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl; set over a pot of gentle simmering water so it doesn’t burn. Stir the chocolate and butter well until melted; remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add room-temperature eggs to a mixing bowl and beat for 10 to 15 minutes until light and creamy. Beat in sea salt, vanilla and coconut sugar until combined. Fold half of the melted chocolate mixture through the beaten egg mixture, then add the rest of the melted chocolate and fold through gently until combined. Pour into prepared baking tin and bake for 35 minutes or until just set (it should spring back lightly when touched). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place in fridge to cool completely before removing from the tin – it’s best to make this cake the day before so it has sufficient time to cool. Serve as it is or drizzle smashed raspberry or strawberry puree over the top. Why We’re in Love – Chocolate is rich in magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and essential micronutrients for health and vitality. The high flavonoid content of cacao has been scientifically linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth.