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Jewish Journal

A Happy, Healthy Valentine’s Day

by Sima Cohen

February 3, 2014 | 8:28 pm

Here's how to Indulge in this sweet, romantic holiday — without feeling guilty and sabotaging your weight-loss progress.

Seems like we can't turn our heads without seeing another box of chocolates or other sweet treat this Valentine's day. And let's not talk about that Valentine's Day tradition: the rich, heavy and high calories restaurant meal, complete with 5000 calories and ZERO nutrients. Don't panic — you can still feel the love without feeling the extra calories and guilt. I've put together a list of surviving tips + a dinner menu complete with my famous guilt-free dessert: Strawberry Ganache FudgeCake- Gluten, dairy and sugar free!

Top 5 surviving tips to feeling the love, having your cake and eating it too:

5. Skip the restaurant and prepare your valentine's dinner at home- Save money, poor service, and a meal high in calorie-carb-sugar. (Complete dinner menu below).

4. Stick to red or white wine instead of the high-sugar cocktails and margaritas.

3. Instead of the usual chocolate cake at the end of your meal, try something else instead: Strawberry dipped chocolate, gluten free dark chocolate desserts, or fresh fruit.

2. Drink 8oz of H2O with fresh squeezed lemon juice before your meal.

1. Relax. Breathe. Enjoy. Kiss. Make love and let go of all expectations.

So here's to a fabulous, delicious, guilt free and a happy valentine's - for you and your loved one!

Sima's Guilt-Free , 30 minutes Valentine's dinner

Start with this yummy dish:
Mediterranean Salad with Couscous
Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 0 mins

This is a refreshing salad that is simple, delicious, and packed with nutrients. Couscous is small granules of semolina flour with origins in Morocco. The whole wheat version increases the fiber and boosts the nutritional value. When you eat whole grains, you get fiber and micronutrients like folic acid, magnesium and vitamin E.

Ingredients
1 C cooked whole wheat couscous
2-3 C arugula lettuce
2-3 radicchio lettuce
One red bell pepper, chopped
5-10 grape tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped (peeled if desired)
4 cans artichokes hearts, chopped
1/3 red onion, chopped
2-3 Tbsp. Fresh mint, chopped roughly
5 Kalamata olives (optional)
1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Season with salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice and olive oil.
3. Serve in 2 salad bowls.


Continue with this delicious, easy to make main dish:
Seared Ahi Tuna
Serves 2
Prep time: 3 mins, Cook time: 2 mins.

Ingredients:
2 ( 6 oz) ahi tuna steaks
2 Tbsp. Low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
1 Tbsp. Fresh ginger, grated
1 clover garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 scallion, sliced thin
Non stick coking spray

Directions
1. Place all ingredients in a ziplock bag. Close tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and hear to medium-high.
3. Sear each side if the steaks for 1 minute ( more if desired)
4. Slice steaks into think slices and top with remaining scallions ( optional: use remaining marinade as a sauce, placing steak on top).


Strawberry Ganache Fudge Cake~ gluten free, sugar free and dairy free!
Makes about 6 servings
This cake is seriously to die for! Guilt and gluten free... And best part? It's ready in 10 minutes!

Fudge cake
3 C walnuts ( or any other nuts you like)
2/3 C unsweetened cacao powder
1 C pitted dates
Pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Frosting
1/3 C pitted dates
1/4 C raw agave ( or grade B maple syrup if you like)
1 avocado, ripe
1/3 C unsweetened cacao powder ( I use Navita's brand)

Fruit
Fresh Strawberries, about 1/2-1 cup ( or any other fruit of your choice: raspberries, mangoes, Peaches, or bananas).

1. Add walnuts, cacao powder, and salt in a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse until coarsely mixed. Add dates and pulse until mixed well.
2. Divide into 2 equal pieces and put aside.
3. To make the Frosting: combine dates and raw agave in your high speed blender and process until smooth (1-2 mins). Then add the avocado and blend.  Add the unsweetened cacao and process till smooth.
4. To assemble the cake, press the first half of the cake into a cake pan, and frost with half of the chocolate frosting. Top with strawberries ( or any other fruit), add the second cake on top and frost with the rest of the chocolate frosting.
5. Serve.
FYI: will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 8 days!

Bon Appetite!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sima (which translates “Joy” in Hebrew) is poised to become the next big hit in health and wellness in America. An Israeli immigrant, Sima came to the states 20 years ago...

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