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This Valentine’s Day will be the 29th one my husband and I are celebrating together. Guess what? While he has given me plenty of bouquets, he always seems to think of more than candy to add to his generosity.

I’ve always been interested in healthy eating and I have food allergies-so my husband gives the gift of true love-he thinks about my health.

Through the many years he has given me healthy alternatives such as tickets to a musical, homemade crossword puzzle books, a gift certificate to a local spa for either a massage or a facial and an appointment for a makeover!  

I know his love of movies, so even though I’d rather go power-walking, I go with him for an afternoon at the cinema.

Now that our budget is tight-due my layoff from my day job-we’ve decided that our gift to each other this year is going to be a romantic and healthy evening together cooking our own dinner, dessert and watching home movies.

What are we going to be making?

BBQ Salmon in a cinnamon-brown sugar glaze, broiled tomatoes with fresh basil and roasted vegetable brown rice pilaf. For dessert? Strawberries with a drizzle of melted 70% chocolate and non-alcoholic champagne.  

I’ll be making some very good use of our wedding china and linens as well.

Want some of the recipes? Here they come! Rice should be started first as it takes the longest to cook.

Salmon

2 4-6 oz salmon fillets
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Simply mix the dry ingredients and rub onto the fillets. Heat up your grill and cook until medium rare. Start rub side down.

Broiled/BBQ tomatoes

2 large Roma’s, cut in half
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tsp olive oil

Brush cut halves with oil, sprinkle with herbs and salt and pepper. Broil for about 2-4 minutes depending on the heat of your grill/broiler. Serve hot!

Roasted Veggie Pilaf

Step 1:

Finely chop 1/4 C each: carrot, onion, green pepper. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and roast on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Keep warm.

Step 2:

1 C brown rice
2 C chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 tsp salt

Bring stock, salt and margarine to a boil, add rice. Cover and lower heat-simmer for 30-40 minutes or until water has evaporated. Gently stir in veggies and serve.

Finish with the fresh strawberries (or any berry that looks wonderful in your produce department) and melted chocolate. We prefer non-alcoholic beverages-but if you want the high octane stuff, one glass is still a healthy thing to do.

This meal is high in flavor, low in fat-except the healthy omega 3’s and has a great amount of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Enjoy!

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