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February 14, 2012

Family Italian Valentine's Day Dinner Menu

Lemon Caper Baked Salmon
Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
Strawberries & Banana Cream

Heart-healthy salmon is a delicious mildly-flavored pink fish.  It's a perfect choice for a Valentine's Day dinner menu.  We've baked this salmon with the wonderful Italian flavors of capers and lemons.  A mayonnaise mixture applied to the salmon keeps it moist while baking and the bread crumb topping offers a nice crunchy texture. 

The baked salmon accompanied with flavorful garlic parmesan potatoes, steamed asparagus and a dessert of strawberries with banana cream makes a colorful, healthy Italian-inspired family meal.

Lemon Caper Baked Salmon

1 lb. Salmon fillet, skin removed
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
1-2 tsp. Capers
1 tsp. Lemon Zest
¾ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Lemon Wedges

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Wash salmon under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Slice salmon into 4 serving pieces (for smaller children, cut a serving piece in half for their portion).
Mince capers and add them to a bowl with the mayonnaise and lemon zest. Mix well.  Brush both sides of the salmon pieces with the mayonnaise mixture. 
Pour bread crumbs onto a plate. Working one piece at a time lay each piece of salmon into the crumbs and press gently. Turn the salmon over and press again. Place the crumb coated salmon on the baking sheet.
Once all of the salmon pieces are breaded and on the baking sheet, place the sheet in the oven on the highest rack (closest to your broiler). Bake 10 minutes. Turn broiler on high and allow the bread crumbs to brown (watch them closely, so as not to burn them). Remove the baking sheet from the broiler.

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
1 lb. 4 oz. Mini Yellow or red Potatoes
1 can (14 oz.) Chicken Broth
3 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Italian Parsley, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1-2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Ground Pepper and Salt, to taste
Wash potatoes and place in a large saucepan with the chicken broth.  If broth does not cover potatoes, add water until potatoes are covered. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes until a fork slides easily into the potatoes. Remove from heat. Drain off the broth leaving the potatoes in the pan. Add the butter, parsley and garlic to the plan.  Cover and set aside to let the butter melt.
1 lb. Asparagus
Butter, Salt and Pepper, to taste
Snap ends off the asparagus spears and discard the ends.  Wash the asparagus under cold water. Steam the asparagus for 3-4 minutes (stovetop or microwave) until fork tender. Add butter, salt and pepper, to taste.
This dinner is best served plated.  Plating food (serving portions on dinner plates) instead of serving family style (putting serving dishes on the table) is a recommended healthy eating habit. It can help prevent overeating or choosing too much of one food and not enough of another. Plus there will be fewer dishes to wash.
It is simple to plate this dish for serving. Line up your dinner plates on the counter top and follow these steps:
  • Salmon: Using a flat spatula, place a piece of salmon on each dinner plate
  • Potatoes: Place a serving of potatoes on each dinner plate next to the salmon
  • Asparagus:  Place a serving on each dinner plate
  • Drizzle the butter mixture over both the salmon and potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with parmesan cheese. Serve with lemon wedges.
Berries N' Banana Cream  
The heart shape of sliced strawberries is a festive ending to a Valentine's Day Dinner. A layer of banana cream below the strawberries is a delicious sweet surprise. 

1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 Banana, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp. Milk
2 Tbsp. Honey
1½ cups Strawberries, rinsed and sliced

In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the strawberries. Puree until very smooth (about 2 minutes). Serve on a dessert plate with banana cream under strawberry slices. 

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Ninalazina info said...

Love the pudding - love strawberries. This meal is super healthy. Will try it, but not today as this is a no cooking day and as my hubby normal cooks it will have to be Chinese today so no one has to cook!
Thanks for recipe.

Beauty and the Green said...

Honestly, I just ate but this makes me forget that I did. Looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

This look so yummy! What a treat! I found your blog on the Mom Bloggers website! I'm your newest follower! Please visit my blog too if you want to! x

May said...

My kids made me fall in love with potatoes.. And look at how they cooked those potatoes... Yummy! Yummy! Thanks for sharing and i hope someone will cook and give me..haha

Mommy LaDy Club said...

I'm actually craving salmon right now. The mayonnaise mixture sounds yummy!

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