Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Hearts

Guesting today is Wendy Lyn Watson, author of the *wonderful* I Scream, You Scream and the upcoming Scoop To Kill... There is a FREE copy of I Scream to a lucky commenter today. Winner will be randomly drawn at 7 pm today...


The temporal proximity between New Year’s Day (ground zero for every diet I’ve ever been on) and Valentine’s Day (when we show our honeys our love with rich food and chocolate) has always struck me as cruel. It’s like the whole world telling you, “Give it up, sister. Stop pretending you’ll stick to that resolution.”
This year, though, I’m bound and determined to have the best of both worlds.

Last fall, Mr. Wendy was very, very sick. He’s on the mend, but we’re still dealing with the fallout. On the one hand, we’re ready to celebrate making it to the other side of ugly with a very special night. And let me tell you, I am in a mood to nurture my sweetie.

On the other hand, while Mr. Wendy lost weight the hard way, I found every ounce and then some. Between vending machine breakfasts and self-medicating with huge platters of nachos, I, um, grew? My cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight all inched up a tick.

So I want to make Mr. Wendy the elaborate, candlelit dinner, and not have to break out the sweatpants the next day. Oh yeah, and I don’t want to spend the whole day slaving over a hot stove, either. Is that too much to ask?

I think not.

Here’s what’s on the menu Chez Wat-Hawk (that’s us) for V-day, complete with links to the recipes:

Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic
In the dead of winter, when most of the grocery store tomatoes are woody and bland, cherry and grape tomatoes are still reasonably flavorful (and if you belong to Costco, you can get big containers of grape tomatoes for a song). Roasting the tomatoes with a little olive oil and balsamic intensifies their flavor and, with minimal work, creates a colorful sauce for any chunky pasta. A little fresh parmesan packs a flavor punch without adding much fat.

Indeed, most of the fat in this recipe comes from relatively heart-healthy olive oil. Because the flavor profile is relatively simple, this is a good place to use that nice bottle of oil that’s been collecting dust in your pantry. Add the lycopene from the tomatoes, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and you can feed your love without hurting your heart. The recipe makes 6 generous servings, each serving providing 450 calories, 15 g fat, and 8.2 g fiber.*

Lower-Fat Deep Chocolate Bundt Cake

This wonderful chocolate cake just happens to be moist, decadent, relatively low-fat, and vegan, too! Trust me, you won’t miss the eggs and butter at all. The flavor is complex enough--and the cake rich enough--that a few fresh berries or a dollop of freshly whipped cream are all you need. (We’re opting for a handful of fresh raspberries, a splurge in honor of the holiday.) The cake makes 12 servings, each one coming in at 255 calories, 6.9 g fat, 2.3 g fiber (with the white flour).*

So love your honey, love yourself, love your skinny pants, love your heart ... and have an extra slice of cake on me.

What are you planning for Valentine’s Day? Are you cooking or eating out? Pampering yourself or someone else?


* Nutrition information was calculated using the recipe calculator on

Heather's truth?
I once sent Ellen Degeneres a signed copy of A Hoe Lot of Trouble after her interview with Sex and the City actress Kim Catrall turned to gardening hoes...and well, the other kind of ho, too.
Oddly, I never heard back from her. :)
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