What is romantic about a big meal on Valentine’s Day? Don’t you want to feel svelte and slinky, not stuffed and bulging? When did a slab of beef, a lobster tail, some out of season asparagus and a heavy buttery sauce become the traditional dinner of Valentine’s Day?
All those traditional Valentine’s delights – filet mignon, lobster, chocolates – add up to overindulgence, which is fine but maybe not for what is supposed to be the sexiest night of the year. May we suggest a light take on dinner with your soul mate this year?
One staple of Valentine’s Day is the oyster and it is one menu item you should stick with. Oysters are light and refreshing and filled with minerals that will buzz through your system giving you a natural high. Just shucked and served on ice with a spritz of lemon they are perfect for the start of the meal.
Think spa food for the main course, no carbs or heavy sauces, lots of fresh veggies and herbs. Steamed fish with sweet potatoes and cauliflower, spiced with chiles and ginger, is an easy to prepare dish that is low in calories yet bright with flavour. The recipe below is super simple and won’t force you to spend hours in the kitchen prepping, cooking and cleaning up.
Make a dessert that will refresh your palate for the smoochfest you’ll indulge in once the plates are cleared. Instead of sporting a set of chompers caked in chocolate, keep it clean with a fresh, fruity sorbet. It will leave your mouth kissably sweet.
Doesn’t that sound better than what we’re used to for Valentine’s Day? You’ve eaten well, you feel great, you are ready for action. Now take the bottle of bubbly and retire to the bedroom.
Steamed Fish with Chilies & Ginger
2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 red Thai chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cauliflower, in florets
1 lb. cod or haddock, cut into four pieces
1 Tbsp, slivered toasted almonds
½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- Marinate the fish in ½ each of the ginger, garlic, chillies and cumin.
- Heat the oil in a pan and sautee the onion until soft. Stir in the other ½ of the ginger, garlic, chillies and cumin; add all the turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the sweet potato and 350ml boiling water; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are tender, lay the fish on top of them, pouring in the marinade as well. Steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Scatter with the almonds and coriander and serve with a wedge of lime.