A Valentine’s Day Feast

We’ve all heard it…. “The way to a mans heart is through his stomach.” I am prrreeeety sure that’s true! ;)- And since I like to cook….. it works out great for us! I wanted to do something special for valentines day (feeling a little guilty since its too hard to attempt to go out to a restaurant and find gluten, dairy and tomato free food! Tack on yeast and soy free and I’m screwed! LOL!) So….needless to say…..staying home for a romantic home-cooked dinner for 2! But….I wanted to make the whole days worth of meals special….so I got up nice and early and made a delicious banana coffee cake and fresh fruit parfaits! Lunch was a quick trip home for grilled steaks (on my wonderful George Foreman!!) and homemade Ramen soup, which needs some tweeking before I post! Then for my masterpiece of a dinner! Parmesan-basil stuffed chicken breasts with pasta and mixed green salad. Dessert was easy (thank you Bobs red mill for your awesome chocolate cake mix!!) …chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting (Betty Crocker)! I was a good girl though…. most of these ended up in the freezer! Then I can pull one out for special occasions, or whenever I’m having a serious chocolate craving that I can’t resist LOL….I always wonder what in the world I’m going to do with an entire cake every time some event comes up! I don’t need to eat the whole thing, that’s for sure! Now I’ll be set for awhile!  Overall, it was a great food day and a nice Valentines day! And lucky you!! You’re going to get some amazing new recipes outta me! Hope you give em a try! Well worth it! Enjoy! 🙂

The topping was a little sweet for me….I think next time I’ll cut the streusel in half! You can try it either way though!

Banana Coffee Cake (Printable Version)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup diced walnuts/pecans

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups GF flour

¾ tsp xanthan gum

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup non-dairy butter, softened

1 large egg

2-3 Large ripe bananas, mashed

3 tablespoons almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch glass baking pan. Stir brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl until well blended; set streusel aside.

Sift flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and egg in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and blend well.

Spread half of batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel.

Bake coffee cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool coffee cake in pan on rack.

Parmesan- Basil Stuffed Chicken with Strawberry Sauce (Printable Version)

Ingredients

1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

2 Tbsp strawberry jam

Sea salt and black pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 oz Parmesan (or other white cheese)

2 large fresh basil leaves

2 tsp minced garlic

Chopped fresh basil

Directions

1. Preheat George Foreman grill to medium.

2. Cut all fat off of chicken. Cut a lengthwise “pocket “in each chicken breast half by cutting down through the middle of the chicken about an ¾ inch wide, but not through. Cut Parmesan cheese in 2 3×1/2-inch pieces. Wrap a basil leaf around each piece of cheese; stuff into chicken breast pocket. Secure pockets closed with wooden toothpicks or skewers. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic and rub in on both sides. Place chicken on grill with the hold side at the top of the grill. Close grill and cook for about 12 minutes or until a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast reaches 180 F.

3.  In a small saucepan, combine strawberries, vinegar, and jam. Over high heat, cook sauce until strawberries are softened and sauce has thickened.

Serve chicken with strawberry sauce. Sprinkle with basil.

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