Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lovely Valentine's Day Dinner For The Grown Ups!

Okay Mommy and Daddy, this one is for you!  Valentine's Day is Monday and if you are staying at home and cooking, I've got the menu for you!
I found this lovely healthy Valentine menu that is rich in aphrodisiac foods. Here are a few other foods that might be worth grabbing if you're cooking at home on Valentine's Day; oysters, figs, pine nuts, and pomegranate.  How about starting with raw oysters for an appetizer followed by the Arugula Salad with Roasted Asparagus?
Try adding figs and pine nuts to the salads to spice it up a bit!  And for dessert how about a bit of  pomegranate syrup drizzled over the chocolate pudding cake and strawberries.  One thing is for sure, the meal will be delicious!  

If you are wondering if I'm serving this for Valentine's Day, I'll never tell!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Serves 2
Roasting asparagus brings out a deep, earthy taste and allows the tender spears to pair more easily with wine.
An aphrodesiac dish.
4 cups baby arugula leaves, loosely packed
8 asparagus spears
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 400° F. Snap off tough ends of asparagus and toss with about 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet lined with foil. Lay spears in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender crisp and slightly charred, about 5-10 minutes depending on thickness of the spears.
While asparagus is roasting, combine remaining olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. To serve, toss arugula with dressing and divide evenly between two plates. Top with asparagus spears, sprinkle cheese on top, and serve immediately.
Per Serving: 160 Calories; 15g Fat; 4g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 2mg Cholesterol; 223mg Sodium

Serves 2
Paella is a classic Spanish dish that is easy to make but looks impressive. If you need to reduce sodium in your diet, use homemade chicken stock so you can control the amount of salt or substitute water for the stock.
Aphrodisiac Recipe
1-1/4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red pepper, diced small
2 ounces pre-cooked andouille or chorizo sausage, sliced
1/2 cup long grain rice
6 large shrimp
6 mussels
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Heat chicken stock for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes in the microwave and dissolve saffron in the stock. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium high heat; add onion and red pepper and cook until barely soft. Add sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and rice and cook one minute, then add saffron stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir rice, then lay shrimp and mussels on top of partially cooked rice, replace cover, and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, the shrimp are cooked, and the mussels have opened, about 5 minutes more. Discard any unopened mussels and sprinkle entire dish with parsley. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Notes:  Some types of rice require longer cooking time and/or more liquid, so adjust cooking time and quantity of stock according to rice package directions; add seafood 5 minutes before rice is finished cooking.
Paella can be made with a wide variety of meats or seafood. To reduce the fat and cholesterol in this dish, substitute chicken breasts (cut into small chunks so they cook quickly) and white fish filets (cut into bite-sized pieces and add along with the mussels) for the sausage and shrimp, and add a little cayenne pepper to kick up the flavor.
Per Serving: 480 Calories; 20g Fat; 24g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 60mg Cholesterol; 684mg Sodium

Serves 2
These decadent pudding cakes are quite rich, and I find that sharing one is satisfying enough. Use organic fair trade chocolate if you can. You can make these up to four hours in advance and keep them at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic, until dinner; refrigerate any leftovers.
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 62-70% cacao
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
Mint leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter the insides of two 6-oz. ceramic ramekins, and then dust liberally with sugar. Place inside a glass baking dish and set aside.
Combine sugar and water in a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. While sugar is dissolving, roughly chop chocolate and place in a small bowl; pour hot syrup over the chocolate, stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until fully incorporated before adding the next piece. Whisk in egg and then flour.
Divide batter evenly between the two prepared ramekins. Create a water bath by filling the baking dish with hot water to halfway up the outsides of the ramekins and place entire baking dish into oven. Bake until cakes have risen and tops just barely begin to crack, about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove ramekins from water bath. Let sit for 2 minutes, then using a hot pad, invert cakes onto dessert plates. (Note that the cakes will be difficult to move once they adhere to the plates.) To serve, spoon sliced strawberries onto cakes and garnish with mint leaves.
Per Serving: 498 Calories; 40g Fat; 8g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 153mg Cholesterol; 217mg Sodium


  1. I think you may have just inspired this queen of the microwave to cook!

  2. Doesn't this menus sound so delightful?

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and congrats on the weight loss. We can encourage each other!

    Come link up on my weekend hop if you would like

  4. Yum! We're probably going to go out on Tuesday because it's less crowded, so I was looking for something a little different and romantic to make for Valentine's night !

  5. Thanks for visiting Go YAY. I am returning the follow.
    The recipes sound amazing! Especially the Saffron Paella.

  6. The dessert picture at the top looks mouthwatering. The hubs and I will probably be staying in and eating. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me on twitter. I'm following you back. Have a great weekend.

  7. Oh my gosh! All of this looks soooo good! I love it! Unfortunately I am not a great cook, but I can follow a recipe. I might just have try all this yummy goodness! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    Yeah, I am super excited about my daughter turning 9 months! They grow up so fast! My other little girl is 2 1/2. Where does the time go. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy every moment! :) Hope you have a great day!

  8. oh, and by the way, if you want to subscribe to my blog, just click on the orange button under "Subscribe & Connect" on the right hand side of the blog. Then just add that URL to your google reader. That way you will know when I update the blog. Hope this helps! :) Take Care!