Healthy Valentine’s meal for two

With Valentine’s Day coming up it may be time to start thinking of a healthy way to celebrate. The majority of fattening holidays are out of the way, but this one is no exception with candy and chocolate around every corner. Making a healthy meal shows thoughtfulness and doesn’t have to be flavorless or dull. Lean, boneless pork chops are anything but boring when marinated in lemon juice, pepper and garlic. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and olive oil provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.  

Canned beets have nearly the same nutrition profile as fresh beets, and save you 30-50 minutes of cooking. They both contain folate, manganese, iron and vitamin C. The pigment that makes beets a beautiful dark pink also acts as an antioxidant, reducing risk for heart disease and lowering inflammation. As well as being nutritionally packed, beets are low in calories. A whole cup of canned beets contains less than 50 calories. The vitamin K found in arugula is linked to increased bone density. The beet and arugula salad can be prepared ahead of time as long as the arugula and dressing aren’t touching; this would wilt the greens.

Here is a delicious meal that will show someone you care about them and their heath.

Lemon pepper pork chops

2 boneless pork chops

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Zest and juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Mix all the ingredients except the pork chops in a small bowl and whisk. The mixture should be somewhat thick. Pour mixture in a large zip-top bag and add pork chops, and place in refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours to overnight.

Set oven to broil. Place pork chops in oven safe casserole dish and broil for 12-16 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°. Remove from oven and let the chops rest for 3 minutes. Serve.

Beet and arugula salad

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 a red onion, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 15-ounce can beets, drained

1/2 cup packed arugula

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed

Stir the vinegar, honey, mustard and onions together in a small bowl, then whisk in the oil. Taste dressing and season with salt and pepper as needed. Arrange the beets and arugula on plate drizzle with dressing and sprinkle feta on top.

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