Valentine’s Day

After much discussion about what makes a balanced Valentine’s day meal, ( my husband thinks similarly to my sister, that no meal is complete without meat) we have decided on a menu.

Tonight we are having:

Lobster (now, before you begin thinking we are particularly rich, it was from Lidl at Christmas and has been in the freezer ever since.) Haven’t worked out how to serve this yet. Probably something simple like hot with a salad or a butter sauce.

Then mixed game pie (currently marinading in red wine and spiced.) Served with cabbage probably.

Finished off by a soufflé of some variety- lemon probably as my husband asked for chocolate brownies as his Valentine’s present. We know this isn’t a healthy meal but I find it hard to think that healthy food could really have that ‘celebration and indulgence’ feel. Therefore, as a challenge to myself, I have re-written tonight’s menu as it could be if we were not really fat/foodie people at heart (this doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up on the diet/healthy eating plan but that we want a really nice meal this evening without thinking of calories or butter content.)

First course:

Nothing much wrong with lobster, it’s a steamed shell fish. So, we could have that in a salad in chunks/claws  with a lovely citrus dressing.

Second course:

It all depends on how you start off your pie. If you are frying the onions and garlic, etc then it may not be all that healthy. You could cook it all in the sauce. The red wine is a difficult one, as some people argue that a glass a day isn’t that bad for you and in fact is good for the health, but I know there are arguments otherwise. Everything in moderation. Not too much flour to thicken the sauce. For the pastry topping it’s difficult. My immediate reaction is to make it with equal parts butter and flour and it has beautiful, slightly salty, crumbling results. However, we all know that too much butter, however sumptuous, is not good. Perhaps it could be swapped for a low cholesterol spread or substituted for a crumble topping so that less is used. All round- less pie more side veg or at least equal parts so that the accompaniment is not a second thought.

Pudding:

Size is important. I guess there are things you could use instead of the sugar, but I have mixed feelings about man made substitutes. I feel really that less is better than an instead if the ‘instead’ is high in chemical content. Perhaps I am a green person somewhere deep down. (Seeing the carnivorous elements of the menu, I presume truly green people would disagree.) There’s the free range egg thing as well. We use free range because we have chickens and therefore have high standards of how we think they should be treated but this doesn’t really affect the health element. A few eggs, like many things, are ok AND could even be good. Not mixed with sugar perhaps. I searched for healthy soufflés on google and it comes up with things like this: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lemon-almond-souffles-50400000113000/ looks nice but not any better for the waistline. Back to the original thought, everything in moderation and a walk/jog the next day?!

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