Valentine's Day: Heart-Healthy and Romantic Meal

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First Course: Arugula Salad with Pears and Gorgonzola


1 (15-ounce) can pear halves, drained and sliced, reserve 2 tablespoons juice
2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons Gorgonzola, crumbled
2 tablespoons of dried cranberries or dried cherries
4 tablespoons glazed pecans


In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons reserved pear juice and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Season salad to taste with pepper. Add arugula and toss to coat.

Divide dressed arugula among 4 chilled salad plates. Top each salad with 4 pear slices, Gorgonzola, dried cranberries or dried cherries and pecans. Serve immediately.

Second Course: Chili-Garlic Glazed Salmon


3 tablespoons chili sauce with garlic
3 tablespoons minced green onions (about 3 green onions)
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sugar orange marmalade
3/4 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray


Preheat broiler.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; brush half of chili sauce mixture over fillets. Place fillets, skin sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil fish 5 minutes; brush with remaining chili sauce mixture. Broil 2 more minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Side: Brown Rice


1 cup brown rice
2 1/2 cups cold water


Start by bringing the water to a boil. Add the rice and give it one stir. Cover the pot. Return the pot to a boil, and then turn the stove down to simmer and set the timer. It can take 45-55 minutes to cook brown rice until the water is absorbed.

Third Course: Chocolate Zucchini & Banana Squares


Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground flaxseeds or wheat germ
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
½ cup applesauce or Greek yogurt
1/3 cup non-fat milk
1 cup peeled (if desired) and shredded zucchini
1 medium-size ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flaxseeds or wheat germ, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, canola oil, and milk until well mixed. Stir in zucchini and banana. Add zucchini mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Fold in chocolate pieces. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake about 25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

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