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A Valentine's Menu That Won't Break the Scale

A Valentine's Menu That Won't Break the Scale

Recently I received a personal message from a reader asking for advice on what to cook her boyfriend for Valentine's Day. They've been working out together and eating healthy, so she was looking for a menu that wouldn't ruin their diet. Here, I've come up with a decadent dinner menu that won't pack on pounds. To start, serve an appetizer of the freshest raw oysters (if you dislike oysters, opt for shrimp cocktail) with a glass of sparkling wine. For the main course, pair a huge green salad alongside classic cheese fondue. Select dippers that are diet-friendly like crudités, wheat bread croutons, and lean proteins. Instead of indulging in a calorie-packed dessert, splurge on a high-quality bar of dark chocolate and enjoy with a bottle of port.

What menu would you advise for a health-conscious couple? To check out these recipes,


Raw Oysters
From Martha Stewart

1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
1 tablespoon green peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seed, lightly toasted
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 dozen fresh oysters

  1. In a small bowl, combine peppercorns, fennel seed, vinegars, and salt.
  2. Shuck oysters just before serving; arrange on bed of crushed ice.
  3. Drizzle with mignonette, or serve on the side. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Cheese Fondue
From Gourmet magazine

1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (preferably Swiss, such as Fendant)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons kirsch
1/2 lb Emmental cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/2 lb Gruyère , coarsely grated (2 cups)
cubes of French bread on fondue forks or long wooden skewers
Special equipment: a fondue pot

  1. Rub inside of a 4-quart heavy pot with cut sides of garlic, then discard garlic. Add wine to pot and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat.
  2. Stir together cornstarch and kirsch in a cup.
  3. Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern (not a circular motion) to prevent cheese from balling up, until cheese is just melted and creamy (do not let boil).
  4. Stir cornstarch mixture again and stir into fondue. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Transfer to fondue pot set over a flame and serve with bread for dipping.

Serves 6.

Mixed Green Salad With Tarragon Vinaigrette

Mixed Green Salad With Tarragon Vinaigrette

Mixed Green Salad With Tarragon Vinaigrette


  1. 4 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  6. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  8. 1/2 lb frisée (French curly endive), torn into bite-size pieces
  9. 1 head Boston lettuce (1 lb), torn into bite-size pieces
  10. 1 bunch arugula (1/2 lb), coarse stems discarded
  11. 1 bunch watercress (1/2 lb), coarse stems discarded


  1. Whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in tarragon.
  2. Toss greens with dressing in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8.


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