The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 12, 2014

Amanda Stone: Celebrate love with healthy meals at home

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

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.


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