A Chocolate Date Night
This Valentine’s Day say “I love you” with a romantic and healthy dinner for two that features the holiday’s classic treat – chocolate!
Chocolate and Your Health
Did you know that eating a small amount of dark chocolate may actually provide you with health benefits? Chocolate comes from the cacao plant, and cacao is a rich source of flavonoids, which act as an antioxidant. The antioxidants found in cocoa are similar to those found in red wine, some forms of tea, and cranberries, and are thought to have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain the highest concentrations of these antioxidants, but don’t’ forget they still contain fat, sugar, and calories. For this reason it is important to enjoy each in moderation.
Here is a fun way to add a sensible amount of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and cocoa powder to your Valentine’s Day dinner.
Cocoa and Coffee Rub
This is a great way to flavor your favorite cut of meat without adding salt. Steak rubs work well with red meats because they will not interfere with the natural meat flavor. A rub should be applied right before cooking. You can make this rub ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. For this dish a lean cut of meat is recommended like flank steak, sirloin, or London broil.
- 2 Tbsp ground coffee (unflavored)
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the coffee, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Mix in a shallow dish. Rub the steak with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pat the rub onto all sides of the steak and grill.
Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Chocolate Dressing
The dressing for this salad does not include oil, making it low in total fat. Melted dark chocolate is used to balance the acidity of the balsamic vinegar.
- 1 bag pre-washed baby field greens
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup (25g or two squares) dark chocolate, 75% pure
To make the dressing, add balsamic vinegar and sugar to a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and add in chocolate until melted. Leave to cool at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or dressing will solidify. Toss strawberries and greens with dressing.