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  • Healthy Valentine’s Dinner for Two

    by Mia Zarlengo, MS, RDN

    Course 1 (Appetizer):

    Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas

    Recipe courtesy of Cookie and Kate​


    Green salad

    • 5 ounces (about 5 cups) spring greens salad blend
    • 1 large Granny Smith apple
    • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
    • ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
    • 2 ounces chilled goat cheese, crumbled (or about ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese)

    Apple cider vinaigrette

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    1. Toast the pepitas: In a medium-sized skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are turning golden on the edges and making little popping noises. Transfer the pepitas to a small bowl to cool.

    2. Make the dressing: In a cup or jar, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

    3. Just before serving, chop the apple into thin, bite-sized pieces. Place your greens in a large serving bowl. Top with sliced apple, dried cranberries and toasted pepitas. Use a fork to crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Drizzle the salad with just enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves once tossed (you probably won’t need all of it). Gently toss to mix all of the ingredients and serve!

    Course 2 (Main Course):

    Sautéed Samon with Citrus Salsa


    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 2 (6-oz.) salmon fillets, skinned
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup grapefruit sections
    • 1/2 cup orange sections
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


    Step 1

    Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fillets evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add fillets to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

    Step 2

    Combine remaining 2 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, grapefruit sections, and remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss. Spoon grapefruit mixture evenly over fillets.

    Course 3 (Dessert):

    Sesame Chocolate Shortbread Cookies


    • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
    • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
    • 2 tbsp. buckwheat honey
    • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
    • 4 oz. of dark, high quality chocolate
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

    Mix all ingredients together until you have soft dough that you shape into a ball and flatten. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Bake in a 350 oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Once fully cooled, dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate, sprinkle with sesame seeds and cool on a piece of parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened.