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  • A Happy Healthy Valentine’s Day at Home

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

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    Valentine’s day…

    The anticipation….

    The romance……

                   The pressure…..

    Valentine’s day in my house is usually spent cooking together at home. Though Paul and I love a leisurely dinner out, somehow finding ourselves surrounded by other couples on awkward first dates or overly amorous couples taking selfies of their staged kisses and ho-hum food the restaurant decided we’d all eat since it’s such a special day (and pre fixe menus are easy to prepare in massive quantities…and come at a pretty penny, too).

    Dinner at home on Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been a big hit. When we were first dating (nearly 20 years ago…seriously, how does that happen??), I was just learning how to cook healthier on my way to shedding (and keeping off) all the weight. And wow…were there mishaps!

    The year I made vegetarian lasagne with heaps of raw veggies and my newest amazing discovery…fat free cheese. A couple of cooking lessons where revealed that February the fourteenth. First, a bunch of raw veggies in a baked pasta dish makes for a watery, entirely unappetizing slop. And second, and perhaps the more important lesson–some things just aren’t meant to be fat free. You know, like babies, bank accounts—and cheese.

    I beg of you cheese makers of the world…please don’t make cheese fat free. Ever. Ever….

    Seriously, Paul probably hadn’t ever seen anything as unappetizing as that meal in all his years….and this is a man who has eaten Army MRE’s (that’s Meals Ready to Eat to us civilians). Of course, Paul, ever the gentleman, happily ate the Valentine’s Veggie Lasagne, until I issued a reprieve and we ordered out for pizza.

    Then there was the year of the grilled couscous stuffed portobello mushroom. Though I can’t quite recall the recipe exactly, it’s one that often tops the list of my healthy cooking fails, so it must have been pretty bad.

    Fast forward almost two decades together and I have managed to come up with many recipes that are favorites around here. So, I thought I’d round them up in this little post to offer them as ideas for your own happy, healthy and yummy Valentines day at home.

    First up, Poached Cod with Lentils, Fennel and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. This one is simple, can be prepared in about an hour and hey look…it even evokes a little color of romance.

    Poached Cod with Lentils & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    Poached Cod with Lentils & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    Have a vegetarian Valentine? This Barley Risotto with Spring Vegetables is the perfect dish for a special dinner at home and to chase away the winter chill.

    Asparagus barley risotto Kindred-Kitchen2

    Barley Risotto With Spring Vegetables

    The humble crockpot, workhorse of comfort food and now, creator of romance. How about coming home to an exotic dish that’s been cooking all day and is ready to greet you and your sweetie with the aromas of far-away places. Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Stew will cook all day and be perfect for you and your Valentine to put the finishing touches together when you get home. More time for sipping a cocktail and whispering sweet-nothings.

    Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Chicken Stew Kindred Kitchen

    Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Chicken Stew

    Feeling like you want to stretch some creative cooking muscle? This recipe for a healthier take on Pad Thai leaves plenty of room for improvisation. Use chicken or shrimp instead of tofu, vary the spice and seasoning or use your favorite veggies for a quick and healthy dinner with your Valentine.

    Kindred-Kitchen_Quick_Healthy_Pad_Thai_Bowl

    Vegetarian Pad Thai

    Inviting guests over for dinner? This last recipe in the round-up is a favorite standby for simple entertaining and is just as yummy as leftovers the next day. I particularly love this recipe because it requires just a few easy-to-find ingredients, is easy to bring together and, best of all, requires just one pot. Lemony White Wine Braised Chicken Thighs may just become one of your favorites, too.

    Braised chicken thighs

    Lemony White Wine Braised Chicken Thighs

    I hope you’ve found some yummy inspiration for a holiday celebration at home. Best if all, these meals will leave plenty of room for dessert!

    A Happy Healthy Valentine’s Day at Home

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