What better way to show you care about someone than fixing a healthy, home-cooked meal? Valentine’s Day dishes can be challenging for clean eaters, but there are plenty of ways to make them special without being bad for you.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to recommit to your New Year’s resolution. If your resolution is food related, Valentine’s Day presents the perfect challenge to keeping healthy eating in check. Chocolate-covered-everything is everywhere. Your significant other may even inadvertently try to sabotage your clean-eating resolution with a Valentine’s Day gift of chocolates. That’s no problem — have a bite every once in a while.
Whip up a fancy, healthy meal to commemorate the special occasion, or break out your cookie cutters and make everything heart-shaped. It may be a little silly, but why not keep things light? Love should make you laugh. Heart-shaped everything will distract your loved ones from the fact that they’re not eating artificial colors and flavors for Valentine’s Day.
Start with breakfast. Beet puree makes a beautiful, red-heart pancake — serve it with bacon shaped into a heart. Pack a lunch with a whole-grain sandwich, cheese, apples, kiwi and melon, all cut into heart-shaped designs. Dinner could be heart-shaped pizza, heart-shaped burgers, or soup with floating heart-shaped carrots and potatoes. Add a side of polenta cut-out hearts, and you’re good to go.
Make a yummy, healthy Valentine’s Day meal, then try these recipes for a special dessert.
Molten lava cakes
Olive oil cooking spray
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄3 cup Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural)
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white
1⁄2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange or pear slices, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray four 4-ounce custard cups or small ramekins with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder and Sucanat; whisk in applesauce and oil. In a small bowl, lightly whisk egg and egg white and add to cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in flour and vanilla until flour is completely combined; do not over mix. Divide mixture evenly among prepared custard cups. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Centers should be soft but sides firm. Invert cups onto serving plates; let stand a few minutes before removing cups. Garnish each cake with fruit slices, if desired. Serve warm.
Three-ingredient peanut butter cups
1 to 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
30 grams dark chocolate
Mix honey and peanut butter together using an electric hand mixer until thick. Heat chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Pour half of the melted chocolate mixture into a lined muffin tin. Add peanut butter and honey mixture. Add the rest of the melted chocolate. Place in the freezer until hardened, approximately 30 minutes.
Clean-eating balsamic strawberries
3 cups strawberries, stemmed and chopped
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
Wash strawberries and place in large mixing bowl. Put the vinegar in a small pot and boil until it boils down to 1 tablespoon. Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl and serve.
Adapted from thegraciouspantry.com
11⁄2 cup walnuts
8 Medjool dates
1⁄2 cup cocoa
Blend walnuts into a powder in food processor. Pit the dates, then add walnut powder to a bowl with the pitted dates. Mix with your hands until the two ingredients are completely incorporated. Add the cocoa. Shape into a mold. Top with dried fruit, coconut, granola or peanut butter.
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