What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Celebrate Valentine's Day with slim and sweet homemade treats

Posted February 8, 2014
Updated February 10, 2014

A healthy heart is a happy heart.. So celebrate Valentine's Day this week with a heart-healthy dinner for two.

John Beverly, also known as The Slimdown Chef from from the Structure House weight-loss facility in Durham, offers this three-course, vegetarian menu you can make at home for a romantic meal.

It starts with spinach salad topped with fresh strawberries, toasted pine nuts and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

The second course is a classic Italian dish, eggplant parmesan accompanied by roasted asparagus. 

And even a heart-healthy dinner ends with dessert. This raspberry crepe with dark chocolate drizzle is delicious but on the lighter side.


Spinach Salad 


4 Cups Baby Spinach Washed and Dried
½ Cup Fresh Strawberries Sliced
4 tsp Toasted Pine Nuts
4 oz of Balsamic Vinaigrette

1. Wash and dry baby spinach or buy pre-washed and put 2 cups on each plate
2. Arrange sliced Strawberries on salad
3. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on salad
4. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette
5. Serve chilled or at room temperature

Yield: 2
Nutrition Facts: Calories 90, Fat 3g, Sodium 185

Balsamic Vinaigrette


7 fl oz Water
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ tsp Minced Garlic
¼ tsp Black Pepper
¼ tsp Salt


1. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 parts water. Heat the remaining water to boil
2. Add cornstarch mixture and reduce to a medium simmer for 2 minutes
3. Place in refrigerator or let cool at room temperature
4. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender. Mix in the cooled water base and blend thoroughly for 1 minute

Yield: 14 (serving = 2 Tbsp or 1 oz)
Nutrition Facts: Calories 10, Fat 0g (Saturated 0g), Carbohydrate 2g, Fiber 0g, Protein 0g, Sodium 55mg

Eggplant Parmesan


1 lb Eggplant, Peeled
½ tsp Oregano
4 Egg Whites
2 Tbsp Reduced-Fat Parmesan Cheese, Divided
½ Cup Skim Milk
½ Cup Flour
1 Cup Plain Breadcrumbs
½ tsp Dried Basil
3 ¼ Cups Marinara Sauce
4 oz Mozzarella Cheese, Grated


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
2. Slice eggplant into ¼-inch slices
3. Mix egg whites and skim milk together
4. Combine breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, and 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
5. Line up flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs
6. Dip eggplant in flour, then egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Place slices on cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven
7. Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with approximately ¼ cup sauce. Cover with a layer of baked eggplant slices. Cover eggplant slices lightly with ½ cup sauce. Sprinkle lightly with 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese and half of mozzarella cheese
8. Repeat layers as above, finishing with cheeses
9. Cover with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes or until cheese is golden brown

Yield: 6 (serving = 1 cup)
Nutrition Facts: Calories 255, Fat 4.5g (Saturated 3g), Carbohydrate 39g, Fiber 7g, Protein 17g, Sodium 410mg

Roasted Asparagus


8 Large Asparagus Spears Trimmed
½ Tsp Extra Virgin Olive
½ Tsp of fresh Lemon Juice
3 Each Pan Spray

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Toss the olive oil with the asparagus and cook on sprayed sheet pan
3. Cook for 8 minutes depending on thickness or until al dente
4. Sprinkle with lemon juice when asparagus comes out and serve

Yield: 2
Nutrition Facts: Calories 45, Fat 2.5g, Sodium 0mg

Raspberry Crepe


1 Cup Red Raspberries
¼ Cup Sugar Free Red Raspberry Preserves
2 Six Inch Whole Wheat Crepe
½ oz Dark Semi Sweet Chocolate
2 Sprigs of Mint for Garnish


1. Buy pre-made crepes
2. Clean, wash, and dry raspberries and put aside
3. Heat preserves in thick bottom pan just to begin boiling
4. Toss in the fruit off the heat just to mix
5. Use ½ cup of mix for each crepe and roll up
6. Melt chopped chocolate in double boiler or microwave
7. Drizzle with a spoon over the crepes
8. Serve warm or at room temperature
9. Garnish with mint

Yield: 2
Nutrition Facts: Calories 145, Fat 2.5g, Sodium 35mg



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