Healthy Valentine’s Recipes

Say “I love you” with a healthy Valentines meal to make your sweetie’s mouth water!

If you’re looking for new ways to stay trim this year, check out all the delicious health-conscious dishes on  Here are a few of my favorites:

Start your meal with a wonderful warm winter salad for two.

Warm Winter Salad

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pear, sliced
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small head radicchio, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
6 large butter lettuce leaves
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or goat cheese

1. Poach chicken (see Tip). Use 2 forks to shred into bite-size pieces.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Whisk shallot, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl; add to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the cooked chicken, radicchio, fennel, carrot and walnuts. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Return the pears to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Divide lettuce leaves between 2 plates. Top with the warm chicken salad and sprinkle with cheese.

Follow it up with a healthy poached salmon dish:

Poached Salmon with Creamy Piccata Sauce

8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 2 portions
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

1. Place salmon in a medium skillet. Add 1/4 cup wine and enough water to just cover the salmon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, turn the salmon over, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining
1/4 cup wine; boil until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and capers and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat, stir in sour cream and salt. Serve the salmon topped with the sauce and garnished with dill.

Here are 2 of my favorite side dishes to compliment the main course:

Mashed Maple Squash

1 acorn squash (1 1/4 pounds), halved and seeded
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Place squash halves cut-side down in the prepared pan. Bake until soft, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Scrape the soft squash flesh into a medium bowl. Stir in syrup, butter, cinnamon and salt with a fork, mashing the squash until somewhat smooth.

Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach (see Ingredient note), tough stems removed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add raisins, pine nuts and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and salt. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and pepper.

Finish off your meal with this quick and easy pear sundae:

Sauteed Pear Sundae

1 teaspoon butter
1 pear, sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt

Melt butter in a small nonstick pan. Add pear slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and ginger; stir until the sugar melts. Serve over scoops of nonfat frozen yogurt.


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