It's date night at your place tonight — so what's cooking for dinner?
Before you ransack your kitchen pantry in desperation ... or worse: resort to your go-to (read: boring) chicken alfredo pasta, there are plenty of easy-to-whip-up dishes perfect for a relaxing, romantic at-home dinner for two. There's no need to make dinner reservations at an expensive restaurant.
We think staying in is the new sexy. That's why we've kicked off our Dinner For Two series! This week, we're serving up a mouthwatering menu that's sure to impress your date — sneakily flavored with aphrodisiac ingredients, like this sweet-and-savory salmon dish.
In honor of American Heart Month and in light of being so Olympics-obsessed these past few weeks, we thought we'd offer a date night plate that's both tasty to your tastebuds and good for your heart. The American Heart Association advises eating salmon and other omega-3 rich foods twice a week, making this salmon dish a perfect guilt-free indulgence. As for the other healthy, romance-inducing additions on the menu? A sweet cherry and chocolate smoothie, and red wine-frosted cupcakes. Put them all together and you've got one sexy, heart-healthy meal!
The Drink: Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Smoothie
By Natalie Slater of Lifeway Foods
- 1 bottle of Black Cherry Heart Health BioKefir
- 1 cup frozen black cherries
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp macadamia nut cream
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 1 cup ice
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips
Macadamia Nut Cream (for Smoothie)
- 1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
- 3/4 cup water
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp honey
1. Reserve 1 cherry, 1 tablespoon macadamia nut cream, and chocolate chips and blend remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2. Transfer to a serving glass and top with cream, chocolate and cherry.
Macadamia Nut Cream (for Smoothie)
3. Completely cover nuts with water in a bowl and soak overnight.
4. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add 3/4 cup water and remaining ingredients.
5. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
6. Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
The Main Dish: Citrus Ginger Honey Glazed Salmon with Whole Grain Rice and Sugar Snap Peas
By The American Heart Association
- 1/2 tsp ginger, peeled and grated (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
- 1 tsp garlic (about 1 clove) or from jar, minced
- 2 tsp vegetable oi
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) or from the jar
- 2 tbsp fresh basil (or 6-8 leaves), chopped (or 1 tbsp. dried)
- 1 lb salmon, skin removed, cut into 4 — 4 oz. filets
- 1 cup (dry) brown rice
- 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
- 8 thin lemon slices (about 1 small lemon)
- Aluminum foil
1. Preheat oven to 450° F. In a large bowl, combine ginger, garlic, vegetable oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and basil and add fish. Marinate in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare rice according to instructions on package, excluding any salt or oil.
3. Cut 8 pieces of aluminum foil; wide enough to fit one piece of salmon and 1/2 cup of snap peas.
4. Remove fish from marinade and discard remaining marinade. Arrange lemon slices on top and bottom of fish filet. Place one fish filet and half of snap peas together on one piece of parchment. Cover with another piece of foil and tightly fold together top and bottom edges of foil to create a seal to the steaming pouch. Repeat for second portion. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Carefully cut open pouch and remove contents. Put salmon and snap peas over rice and serve.
The Dessert: Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes
Recipe by Kamila Gornia of Sensual Appeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- 4 packets Stevia
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cups red wine
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line a muffin tin with liners or parchment cups.
3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer. Working in two batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.
5. Scrape the batter into the cups, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely.
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