Valentine’s Day is a week away, and it’s traditional for couples to enjoy a romantic meal together. But why go to a crowded restaurant when you can create a romantic dinner for two in the privacy of your home (and at a fraction of the cost)? First, spend a little time on a tablescape. Use your best dinnerware and flatware, along with red and white linens. Use heart-shaped paper doilies for placemats or coasters, or sprinkle small valentines across a white tablecloth. Use your imagination to create the ambiance of an upscale restaurant or fresco. Place your valentine flowers as your centerpiece, if you receive a Valentine delivery. Or a vase with a single red carnation will do. Don’t forget a candle or two!
This meal’s simple, affordable, and won’t keep you in the kitchen all afternoon.
Grilled Salmon Fillets
Brown Rice with toasted almonds
Skinny Cow® dessert
2 frozen salmon fillets, approx. 6 oz.
½ pound fresh asparagus spears (smallest in diameter available is most tender)
½ cup raw brown rice
1 cup fat-free chicken or beef broth
2 Skinny Cow® chocolate mint ice cream sandwiches
1 small tub sugar free Cool Whip®
1 piece peppermint candy
Make dessert a day ahead by placing the two ice cream sandwiches in a small freezer-safe container. Cover the sandwiches completely with the Cool Whip® including all corners of the container. Crush the piece of peppermint candy and sprinkle over the Cool Whip®. Freeze.
Take two frozen salmon fillets (Wild Alaskan is best) and thaw in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, cook ½ cup long grain brown rice in 1 cup fat-free chicken broth in a one-quart covered saucepan until done (Time varies according to cookware, but mine takes about thirty minutes on lowest heat if I don’t lift the lid). Preheat a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons slivered almonds. No oil or spray is necessary since nuts contain oil. Stir almonds occasionally until browned (watch carefully; nuts cook quickly), about ten minutes. Empty almonds onto a plate and allow them to cool. Return the skillet to heat.
Season the salmon fillets on both sides with herbes de Provence and place in the hot skillet. Cover and reduce heat to low. While salmon cooks, trim the ends off the fresh asparagus spears, rinse, and drain.
After about ten minutes (depending on thickness), turn the fillets. Add the asparagus spears. Cover and cook an additional six minutes or just until salmon is pink all the way through (Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet; thinner cuts take less time) and asparagus is warm but still firm and crisp. Remove from heat and plate.
Stir in the almonds into the cooked brown rice, divide and add to each plate. Light candles and dine by candlelight with your favorite beverage.
To serve dessert, remove it from the freezer and cut in half. Plate each half and serve with a fork. Enjoy!
A home-cooked meal at home is the most romantic! Round out your evening with a romantic movie DVD. Happy Valentine’s Day!