Date nights out on the town can sometimes be difficult to plan and have, due to schedules, kids, etc. Also, it is not always easy finding healthy restaurants.
Those are all perfect excuses to spend your next date night at home and trying these four healthy and fun recipes. These recipes are perfect for gluten-free, dairy-free or paleo diets as well.
Olive Tapenade On A Cucumber Slice
Who doesn't love a great, refreshing appetizer? The ingredients are very simple and may even be things you already have in the kitchen!
- ½ pound mixed, pitted olives such as Kalamata, Alfonso, or Manzanillo
- 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place all into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2-3 pulses or until mixture forms a thick paste.
- Spread on toast points, fill celery or place on a cucumber slice to serve.
Orange Arugula Salad
A salad that isn't drenched with an unhealthy dressing, but still delicious? Count me in!
- 4 cups of arugula
- 2 navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Approx. 3 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
- Wash and dry arugula. Peel and section an orange. Add all to large bowl.
- In small bowl, squeeze juice of an orange; add balsamic vinegar. While whisking juice and vinegar, drizzle olive oil until consistency thickens. Taste your dressing! If still "vinegary" add more olive oil while continuing to whisk.
- Toss with arugula and orange pieces well. Tossing could take a few minutes for coating all pieces! You may not need all of your dressing, start with a small amount and add more if necessary.
- You can refrigerate excess dressing, but bring to room temperature before using again.
Moroccan Chicken With Butternut Squash And Dried Fruits
Try a new spin on a traditional dinner meal. The squash and fruits will make this dish interesting and delicious!
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced in half vertically
- 1 butternut squash, sliced in half vertically, seeded, or 1 package cubed
- 1 onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dried, mixed fruits (such as apricots, mango, dates, apples)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 13 X 18 sheet pan with parchment paper.
- If using fresh butternut squash, paint cute side of squash with olive oil and bake on another sheet pan for 25 minutes or until soft. Let cool and cut into cubes.
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric and ginger.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, half of the minced garlic and 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture.
- Add the chicken breasts to the large bowl and toss with oil-lemon garlic mixture, coating chicken well. Arrange chicken breasts along the center of the sheet pan.
- Add chopped onion, squash cubes, dried fruit, remaining half of minced garlic, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and remaining spices to the large bowl; add salt and pepper as desired and combine well. Arrange onto both sides of the sheet pan.
- Roast chicken, fruit and vegetables for 25-30 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into chicken reads 165°F.
Paleo Zucchini Banana Bread Bars
Last, but not least, dessert! Who says dessert has to be unhealthy? Try this healthy dessert that is topped with chocolate, because who doesn't love a little chocolate?!
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (1 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana
- ¾ cup cashew butter, peanut butter, almond butter or tahini
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄3 cup chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 X 9 sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray to prevent the sides from sticking.
- In a large bowl, mix zucchini, banana, nut butter, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla together until smooth and well combined. In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; then stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until combined. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- To make the topping, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir frequently until chocolate melts; drizzle over bars.
By Ariel Anderson
Social Media Specialist