With Valentine's Day right around the corner, many of you are going to be planning out a surprise for the special person in your life. Usually this surprise will include some type of dinner and with traditional Valentine's Day choices ranking rather high up on the total calorie count level, you'll want to think carefully about what you're going to prepare.
Fortunately, if you take the time to get a bit creative with what you plan to cook, you can not only stick to your nutritious diet plan but create a night to remember.
The trick is looking at some of the usual options and seeing what you can do to help boost the overall nutrition while bringing down the calories.
On tonight's menu, we're going to show you how to prepare your appetizer, main course, as well as dessert so you have everything covered.
Your Appetizer: Low Fat Crab Cakes
- ½ cup chopped Green Onions
- 2 tbsp fresh Parsley
- 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp fat free Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Worshestershire Sauce
- 1 pound flaked Crab Meat
- 1 cup Oatmeal
- 2 Egg Whites
Combine the green onions, parsley, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mayonnaise, worshestershire, and egg whites in a bowl. Add to this the crab meat and 1/4 cup of the oatmeal, mixing well.
Form into 8 patties and then coat them in the remaining oatmeal.
Place the crab cakes on a plate that's been lined with wax paper and then allow to sit in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
Once finished, place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown in color.
You can add whatever additional spices you prefer to the oatmeal when coating.
Low Fat Crab Cakes PDF (92kb)
Main Course: Cod Fish With Mandarins And Walnuts And Toasted Quinoa
Serve the quinoa as a side dish and you have all your basic macronutrients covered.
- 2 Mandarin Oranges
- 10 oz Cod Fish
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp freshly Ground Pepper
- ½ tsp crushed Garlic
- 1 Green Onion, minced
- 1 sliced large Carrot
- ½ sliced Red Pepper
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp white-wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped Walnuts
Peel the mandarin oranges and then cut each slice in half to form small pieces and set aside. Next, sprinkle the cod with salt and pepper and then gently rub the garlic in.
Coat a large non-stick pan with half of the olive oil and then place the fillets in to cook over medium heat, flipping after 2-3 minutes on the first side.
Continue to cook until the fish has a white color and flakes easily with a fork. Place each fillet on a plate and place in a pre-heated oven on low heat to keep warm.
Next, add the remaining olive oil to the pan and once heated, add in the sliced carrot, red pepper, and green onions, cooking for 1-2 minutes or until slightly tender. To this add the vinegar and oranges that were set aside and continue to cook for one minute to allow flavors to blend.
Spoon the vegetables over top of the fish now removed from the oven and then sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
- 4 tsp light Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 ½ cups Quinoa
- 2 tsp minced Garlic
- 2 tbsp Onion Flakes
- 3 cups Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Snow Peas, sliced
- 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
- 1/3 cup sliced Mushrooms
- ½ cup baby Shrimp, pre-cooked and thawed
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and once bubbling, add quinoa and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and onion flakes and cook for one more minute and then add the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Cover and turn heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Once 15 minutes are up, remove from the heat and let stand for another 5 minutes, covered.
Add in the snow peas, mushrooms, and shrimp and then continue to let stand, covered, for another five minutes. Finally, drizzle over the soy sauce and then serve alongside the fish from above.
Your Dessert: Chocolate Crepes With Strawberries And Whipped Topping
To finish off your meal, you can't go wrong with Chocolate Crepes served with Strawberries and Whipped Topping.
This high protein, lower carb recipe is sure to please and won't weigh you down for the rest of the evening.
- 1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
- 4 Egg Whites
- Whipped Topping packet
- ½ scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Skim Milk (volume called for by the whipped topping package instructions)
- 2 tbsp Caramel Protein Powder
- 2 cups sliced Strawberries
Mix together the chocolate protein powder with egg whites to form a very thin batter. Pour this batter over a non-stick sprayed skillet and cook as you would a normal pancake. You should have enough batter for two large crepes.
Meanwhile, whip the whipped topping with skim milk and vanilla extract according to package directions. Once soft peaks have formed, add in ½ scoop of vanilla protein powder for added flavor.
Spoon this over top of the crepes and then place over sliced strawberries. Roll up and then after mixing a small amount of water to the caramel protein powder, drizzle this sauce on top and serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or sweetener.
So this Valentine's Day, show your partner that you care about not only them, but their health as well. Serve up something nutritious that's high on taste and will help them achieve their fitness goals.