Share “Be Smart with Your Heart on Valentine’s Day”

Be Smart with Your Heart on Valentine’s Day

Registered dietitian Becky Varner shares heart-smart recipes for Valentine’s Day.

BY BECKY VARNER Published: February 13, 2013
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/articleid/3754663/1/pictures/1951889">Photo - Healthy valentines day pork chop on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Healthy valentines day pork chop on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Citrus and other juices are another great way to add flavor to many foods and to make sauces without adding any sodium or fat.

The Balsamic Pork Chops with Rosemary recipe uses lean pork chops, fresh rosemary and a glaze made from chicken broth and balsamic vinegar for a wonderful blend of flavors.


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Balsamic Pork Chops

with Rosemary

Makes 4 servings

1 pound lean pork chops, ½-inch thick (4 chops)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon pepper

½ tablespoon minced garlic

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

•Combine oil, rosemary, pepper and garlic in a medium size bowl and stir to mix.

•Place pork chops in bowl and turn in oil mixture several times to coat the chops.

•Spray a large skillet with a nonstick cooking spray. Place on burner and turn heat to medium.

•When skillet is hot add chops and cook 2 minutes to brown. Turn chops and cook another 2 minutes to brown other side.

•Add 1 cup chicken broth to skillet and cover. Cook 6 to 7 minutes. Turn chops and cook about 10 more minutes until chops are done. Remove from skillet and poor remaining 1 cup of broth and balsamic vinegar in skillet. Turn burner to high and boil about 8 to 10 minutes until liquid begins to thicken to make glaze. Return chops to skillet and turn in glaze to coat both sides of chops. When chops are hot remove and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information: This recipe makes 4 servings. Each serving contains approximately 294 calories, 14 grams fat and 363 mg sodium.

Poached Pears with Pecans Dessert

Makes 4 servings

4 medium pears

2 cups 100% apple juice

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

•Wash and dry pears. If you have an apple corer, insert into the bottom of each pear to within 1 inch of the stem end. Twist to cut around the core and slowly pull the corer out of the pear to remove the core. If you do not have a corer just cut each pear in half lengthwise and remove the core with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler starting at the bottom of the pear.

•Pour apple juice in large skillet and place pears cut side down in skillet. Turn heat to medium and bring to a gentle simmer.

•Cover and cook 10 to 12 minutes until pears are the desired degree of tenderness. They should still be firm enough to hold their shape.

•Remove pears from skillet and place on a plate. Cover with skillet lid to keep warm.

•Bring apple juice to a hard boil to reduce liquid. Boil until sauce is a thick but pourable consistency.

•Place two pear halves on each of 4 dessert plates. Divide ½ tablespoon pecans in the center of each of the two pear halves on each plate. Drizzle the sauce over each dessert and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information: This recipe makes 4 servings. Each serving contains approximately 209 calories, 6 grams fat and 8 mg sodium.

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