Recently I received a personal message from a reader asking for advice on what to cook her boyfriend for Valentine's Day. They've been working out together and eating healthy, so she was looking for a menu that wouldn't ruin their diet. Here, I've come up with a decadent dinner menu that won't pack on pounds. To start, serve an appetizer of the freshest raw oysters (if you dislike oysters, opt for shrimp cocktail) with a glass of sparkling wine. For the main course, pair a huge green salad alongside classic cheese fondue. Select dippers that are diet-friendly like crudités, wheat bread croutons, and lean proteins. Instead of indulging in a calorie-packed dessert, splurge on a high-quality bar of dark chocolate and enjoy with a bottle of port.
What menu would you advise for a health-conscious couple? To check out these recipes, read more.
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
1 tablespoon green peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seed, lightly toasted
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 dozen fresh oysters
- In a small bowl, combine peppercorns, fennel seed, vinegars, and salt.
- Shuck oysters just before serving; arrange on bed of crushed ice.
- Drizzle with mignonette, or serve on the side. Serve immediately.
1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (preferably Swiss, such as Fendant)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons kirsch
1/2 lb Emmental cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/2 lb Gruyère , coarsely grated (2 cups)
cubes of French bread on fondue forks or long wooden skewers
Special equipment: a fondue pot
- Rub inside of a 4-quart heavy pot with cut sides of garlic, then discard garlic. Add wine to pot and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat.
- Stir together cornstarch and kirsch in a cup.
- Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern (not a circular motion) to prevent cheese from balling up, until cheese is just melted and creamy (do not let boil).
- Stir cornstarch mixture again and stir into fondue. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer to fondue pot set over a flame and serve with bread for dipping.
Mixed Green Salad With Tarragon Vinaigrette
4 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 lb frisée (French curly endive), torn into bite-size pieces
1 head Boston lettuce (1 lb), torn into bite-size pieces
1 bunch arugula (1/2 lb), coarse stems discarded
1 bunch watercress (1/2 lb), coarse stems discarded
- Whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in tarragon.
- Toss greens with dressing in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.