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CalorieKing’s Valentine’s Day Meal Makeover

If your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day is a quiet, romantic meal at home then these recipe makeovers are for you.  You can cook an entire meal – including dessert – and not feel guilty.

Here are some classics.  For more, visit our Valentine’s Day recipe guide.

Stuffed Mushrooms

An elegant appetizer – mushrooms filled with ricotta, shallots, cucumber and tomato.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

1 cucumber finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp fresh dill or chives chopped

8 large mushroom caps (approx. 3.5 oz each)

1/2 cup spring onions, finely chopped

Directions:

In a bowl, mix ricotta, onion, cucumber, tomato and pepper.

Sprinkle mushroom caps with lemon juice and fill with the mixture.

Garnish with dill or chives. Serve immediately or bake in a moderate oven for a few minutes.

CALORIES 89 cals
Kilojoules 371 kJ
Fat 3.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 97 mg
Carbohydrates 8.0 g
Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars -
Protein 8.0 g
Calcium -

Asparagus and Citrus SaladAsparagus Salad

A refreshing salad with the pizzazz of asparagus and orange.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp finely chopped shallots

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar or dry sherry

4 oranges (preferably blood orange)

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 lb fresh California Asparagus, trimmed

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

Directions:

In a small bowl combine shallots with the vinegar and sherry; let stand at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, zest 1 of the oranges, avoiding the white pith. Finely chop the zest and add to the shallots. Squeeze 1/3 cup juice from the zested orange and add to the bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Cut asparagus spears in half or in fourths and cook in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender; drain well and remove from pan to cool. Toss the vinaigrette with the cooled asparagus.

Cut the ends of the remaining oranges and peel them by cutting down the fruit vertically, following the contours of the fruit.

Slice the peeled orange horizontally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the orange slices and asparagus spears on salad plates and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts.

CALORIES 177 cals
Kilojoules 740 kJ
Fat 7.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 151 mg
Carbohydrates 25.0 g
Fiber 7.3 g
Total Sugars 16.2 g
Protein 6.2 g
Calcium 103.0 mg

Two-Cheese Mediterranean Stuffed ChickenMediterranean Chicken

An elegant dish with lots of flavor – you and your Valentine will love this!

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 tsp minced garlic

1 (6 oz) bag baby spinach

1 cup part-skim, shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup shredded, reduced-fat parmesan cheese

4 boneless, skinless, medium chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 lbs)

2 tsp Italian seasoning blend

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and garlic. Add spinach, cover and cook for about 3 minutes until spinach is soft. Remove from heat. Let mixture cool slightly; stir in mozzarella and parmesan.

Heat oven to 375°F. Beginning in the center of the thicker end of the breast, insert a small knife horizontally, stopping about 1 inch from opposite end. Open incision to create a 1-inch-wide pocket and pack 1/4 of the filling mixture into each breast.

Season chicken with Italian seasoning blend and place in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Pour broth over chicken. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Keep warm until served.

CALORIES 311 cals
Kilojoules 1,302 kJ
Fat 13.9 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 92 mg
Sodium 374 mg
Carbohydrates 8.4 g
Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 37.0 g
Calcium 305.0 mg

Eggplant Parmigiana

Are you and your Valentine vegetarians? This delicious casserole will warm your heart.

Ingredients:

2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce, no salt added

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1 lb eggplant, sliced into 3/8″ rounds

10 oz light/low-fat ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1 oz Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

2 Tbsp bread crumbs

Directions:

Pre-heat broiler.

SAUCE: Blend the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce; set aside.

EGGPLANT: With cooking spray, spray both sides of each slice of eggplant. Place on cookie sheet, do not overlap. Broil 4 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes; turn over and repeat for other side. Do not burn.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Blend the ricotta cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese. In an 8″ x 8″ oven-proof casserole dish, layer ingredients as follows:

1/3 sauce, 1/2 eggplant slices, 1/3 sauce, most of the mozzarella (reserve some), all the ricotta mixture, remaining eggplant, and remaining sauce.

Bake covered in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 25 more minutes; then add remainder of mozzarella and bread crumbs. Bake 5 minutes until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.

CALORIES 193 cals
Kilojoules 808 kJ
Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 60 mg
Sodium 361 mg
Carbohydrates 21.1 g
Fiber 5.9 g
Total Sugars 11.6 g
Protein 13.0 g
Calcium 280.0 mg

Bittersweet Chocolate TorteChocolate Torte

A symphony of contrast, this rich desert is a 46% calorie reduction from traditional recipe.

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp stick margarine

4 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup fat-free milk

1/3 cup sugar-free apricot preserves or apricot spreadable fruit

2 tsp instant coffee crystals

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup Equal® Spoonful (or use 36 packets Equal® Sweetener)

3 egg whites

0.10 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

0.10 tsp salt

1 oz semi-sweet chocolate (for rich chocolate glaze)

1 Tbsp stick margarine (for rich chocolate glaze)

Directions:

CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F.

In small saucepan, heat the butter, chocolate, milk, preserves and coffee crystals, whisking frequently until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove pan from heat; continue whisking until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in egg yolk and vanilla; add Equal®, whisking until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar, beating until stiff peaks have formed. Fold the chocolate mixture into egg whites; fold in the combined flour and salt. Lightly grease bottom of an 8-inch cake pan and line the pan with parchment or waxed paper. Pour cake batter evenly into pan.

Bake in preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Carefully loosen side of cake from pan with a small sharp knife, which will keep the cake from cracking as it cools. Cool cake completely in pan on wire rack; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until chilled.

Remove cake from pan and place on serving plate. Pour Rich Chocolate Glaze over top of cake, letting it run down sides. Let cake stand about 1 hour or until glaze is set. Garnish top of cake with prepared whipped topping, fresh raspberries and fresh mint, if desired.

RICH CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over medium heat. Stir frequently. Pour glaze over the torte (see recipe above).

CALORIES 144 cals
Kilojoules 603 kJ
Fat 10.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.7 g
Cholesterol 18 mg
Sodium 100 mg
Carbohydrates 14.0 g
Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 10.0 g
Protein 2.3 g
Calcium 12.0 mg

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