Happy (light) Valentine’s Day!

This day is mostly a Hallmark holiday, a day where we all feel “forced” to do something special; if you are in a relationship you “must” give gifts or do something wonderfully romantic, and if you’re single; well it’s just a day that reminds you of that fact. Regardless, I think this day is a great reminder to remember to practice kindness, show love and appreciation for everyone around you. Not just a romantic partner, but your friends, your family, your co-workers… it’s a positive day!

Today is a day I would definitely drink a glass of bubbly – if nothing else, just because.  Most people also prefer a lighter meal on this day, because let’s face it; nobody wants to feel bloated or ‘fat’ when out on a date or perhaps looking for one! 🙂 So in the spirit of love, I’ve included a couple of recipe ideas for you below on what to cook up for dinner and dessert tonight, either for your better half or yourself! Enjoy the day and hope you spend it doing something nice for YOU, whether it’s going to the gym, getting a massage or just reading a good book!

MIDDLE EASTERN SHRIMP WITH CUMIN

Adapted from “Mediterranean Light” by Martha Rose Shulman”

Makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 pounds shrimp in their shells

3 cups water

2 strips lemon zest

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 peppercrns

handful celery leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 additional garlic cloves, minced or put through a press

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

pinch cayenne pepper

2-3 tbsp chpped cilantro or fresh parsley

lemon wedges for garnish

cooked rice for serving

Peel the shrimp and place the shells in a saucepan with the water, lemon zest, parsley sprigs, 2 garlic cloves, peppercorns and celery leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Strain and measure out 1 cup of the liquid.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the onion and 4 garlic cloves. Saute over medium-low heat until the onion is tender and beginning to color and add the cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste, and shrimp. Stir together for a minute or so, and pour in the cup of liquid from the shells. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 4-5  minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the cilantro or parsley, and serve with rice underneath or on the side, and lemon wedges for garnish.

Calories per Serving: 134, 4 g fat, 19g protein, 4g carbohydrates

shrimp1

BUTTERMILK PANNA COTTA WITH FRESH BERRIES

Adapted from Fitness Magazine

3/4 cup low fat (1%) milk

1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature

For Fresh Berry Medley:

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 of a vanilla bean

1 1/2 cups mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, large berries quartered

Sugar-free substitution: Substitute 5 packets of Truvia for the sugar in the panna cotta. Substitute 3 packets of Truvia for the sugar in the berries.

  1. To make the panna cotta: Pour the milk into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Whisk to combine, then set aside for 3 minutes to soften the gelatin. Whisk in the sugar or stevia.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk frequently until the milk begins to steam and the gelatin dissolves completely. Do not allow the mixture to fully boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Whisk in the buttermilk.
  3. Pour the mixture into four 4-ounce ramekins. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate about 3 hours, until it is set.
  1. To prepare the berries: Just before serving, put the sugar into a bowl large enough to hold the berries. Use a paring knife to slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the sugar. Rub the seeds into the sugar with your fingertips. Add the berries and gently mix with a spoon or your hands for about 1 minute, until the berries are well coated and begin to release their juices.
  2. Distribute the berries and their juices evenly over the tops of the panna cottas and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 1.5g fat

panna-cotta-blog

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