Valentine's Day menu that won't weigh you down

Here's a Valentine’s Day menu that will shrink your love handles without assaulting your taste buds and get that lovin' feeling flowing.

Just because you are losing weight, you do not have to forsake the foods you love when romancing your loved one.  These mouth-watering recipes are not only healthy, but they are also packed with aphrodisiacs that may have you burning off those unwanted calories later in the night!

Foods such as salmon are packed with omega 3, a well-known mood-elevator.  Amino-acids found in chocolate also help to boost serotonin levels in the body have also been linked to feelings of attraction and desire.

The Valentine’s Day menu your waist will love starts with  Grilled Salmon with Asparagus and baby greens (Healthy Living for Families Cookbook) and finished with the eye-pleasing Chocolate Strawberry Crepes (Healthy Living for Life Cookbook}.

While the jury is still out on the actual physiological effects of aphrodisiacs, the psychological effects are a different matter!  So what are you waiting for?

Happy Valentines Day!

Grilled salmon with asparagus and baby beans

 Serves 4 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cooking time 10

1 bunch asparagus, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon dill, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon baby capers, chopped
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil
olive oil spray
4 x 135 g salmon fillets
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
100 g mixed baby greens or mixed salad leaves
4 lemon wedges


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to the boil. Blanch the asparagus in the water for 1 – 2 minutes, or until tender and cooked through. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then set aside. For the dressing, place the herbs, capers, lemon juice and zest plus oil in a bowl and mix together well. Set aside.

Spray a non-stick frying pan or grill pan with olive oil spray and place over medium to high heat until quite hot. Place the salmon fillets on the grill and cook until crisp, about 4 – 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and flip the fish, cooking the other side for 3 – 4 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Divide the asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and salad greens between four plates, top with salmon, and spoon over the lemon caper dressing.

Serve with cracked black pepper and a wedge of lemon.

Chocolate strawberry crepes

Serves 4 (makes 8 crepes) / Prep time: 10 minutes + 20 minutes’ resting time / Cooking time 25 – 18 minutes

1/2 cup wholemeal flour
2 eggs, beaten
250ml skim milk
t teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 punnet strawberries hulled and halved
1 teaspoon caster sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice
olive oil spray
40 g chocolate, melted
icing sugar to dust


Place the flour in a mixing bowl and whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla until you have a smooth batter. Over and rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Place the strawberries sugar and orange juice in a pan over a low heat, and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until the strawberries are warmed through and the juice thickens a little. Set aside.

Lightly spray a well-seasoned crepe pan with olive oil spray and place over a medium to high heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, tilting and moving the pan around until the batter has completely covered the base in a thin, even layer.
Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, until the crepe is golden underneath. Flip the crepe with a small palette knife, then cook for a further 30 – 40 seconds until cooked and golden. Transfer to a plate. Continue with the remaining batter.

To serve, fold each cooked crepe in half, then in half again. Place two crepes on each plate, top with a quarter of the strawberries, drizzle with the melted chocolate and dust with icing sugar.