Editor’s Note: Our special “love” day is coming up – what do you have planned? If you want to stick to your resolutions/health plan, consider cooking a healthy meal at home to celebrate. Today Bindu Grandhi shares a poem and 3 of her flexitarian recipes with us!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you’re spending it with your sweetheart, dear friends or family, resolve to eat a home-cooked meal with your loved ones. If it’s a romantic dinner for two, spend time preparing it together or if you’re hanging with friends and family make the meal pot-luck style.
The key is to choose a simple menu: an easy salad, a one-pan dish to be made the day of the dinner and a scrumptious dessert to be made the day before. And be sure to have a bottle of champagne chilling or select your preferred red or white wine beforehand.
I’m a huge proponent of home-cooked meals because they’re prepared by the people you know best. Even New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman agrees with this sentiment. Keep in mind that home-cooked foods contain, on average, 31.5% of calories from fat compared to an average of 37.6% of calories for restaurant foods.
That’s because you control the ingredients and the cooking process. Select locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce and try locally produced wine and beer – the quality is comparable to well-known national brands.
So stay in, whip up a great meal and enjoy the company – Happy Valentine’s day!
Healthy Valentine’s Day Poem
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue,
Here’s a Valentine’s Day
Dinner menu for you.
It’s sure to be seductive
There’s colorful beets and basmati rice,
Accompanied by a snappy salad and
Strawberry Ice cream delight.
Chickpea, Cucumber, and Bell Pepper SaladPrint This
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas
- 3 kirby cucumbers, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thick
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- In a sieve, drain the chickpeas; rinse under cold water and drain again. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumbers, bell peppers, scallions, and cilantro. Chill.In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cottage cheese, salt and white pepper. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing on the salad and toss.
Spicy Beets and Rice
Go to www.flexcook.com for recipe and demo.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: Overnight
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz. evaporated milk
- 12 medium strawberries, stems removed
- 1/8 cup sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
- 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
Garnish: fresh sliced strawberries and fresh mint sprigs
Add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste for sugar. Depending on the taste of the strawberries, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar. Transfer into a large freezer-proof serving dish, and level with the back of a spoon. Cover and freeze overnight. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries and mint sprigs. Serve in bowls or ice cream cones.
About the Author
Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.
Yum! Thanks, Bindu! Do you have any recipes that would go perfectly with a Valentine’s Day dinner?