Valentine's is the busiest night of the year for most restaurants, resulting in cramped tables and slow service -- generally causing feelings of exhaustion rather than romance. Skip the overpriced bubbly, and instead cook a romantic dinner together from the comfort of your own home! Here's our suggestion for a menu sure to result in some quality snuggle time.
Pomegranate seeds and a little bubbly make this the perfect option for a romantic dinner for two. To make an extra-special garnish, add a few pomegranate seeds to each well of an ice cube tray and top them up with water. Freeze and then serve alongside the sparklers.
Risotto is at its best when served straight from the stove, as it loses its silky texture while it sits. Roasted beets give this risotto its subtly sweet flavour. For the most beautifully hued dish, we've added the beets toward the end of cooking.
The strong flavour of molasses stands up to lamb shanks, while braising mellows out the complex flavours. Serve with a side of couscous and an extra sprinkling of fresh thyme.
Chocked full of vitamins and nutrients, adding kale - both raw and cooked - to your snacks and meals can provide you with great health benefits! Find out which ones:
Although kale seems like just another trend that people are going crazy over, and looks like any other leafy green in the stores, you shouldn't pass it up! Kale contains multiple vitamins and all the good stuff to keep your body happy and healthy when incorporated into a well-balanced diet.
1. It's good for your bones.
One of the vitamins in kale is vitamin K. Deficiencies of this vitamin, or even just low intakes of it can be linked to a higher risk for bone fracture. According to Medical News Today, when you get enough vitamin K in your diet, it acts as a modifier of bone proteins and helps your bones absorb calcium. You get the most out of this vitamin if you pass on cooking up your kale and consuming it raw, like in a salad or smoothie!
2. It promotes heart health.
Kale contains fibre, potassium and vitamins C and B6 which all are good for your heart health. If you increase the potassium in your diet, while keeping up healthy eating and reducing sodium intake, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases according to Mark Houston, M.D., M.S. The intake of potassium is also super important for lowering blood pressure (almost just as important as reducing sodium consumption)!
3. It helps move you along.
Digestion health is a big benefit of kale. It is full of fibre and water content that both prevent constipation and keep you on track in terms of digestion. The B vitamins in kale also are essential for the release of energy from food, which also helps you keep good digestive health.
Note: Those who's kidneys are not fully functional and have a hard time removing extra potassium from the blood should enjoy high-potassium foods like kale in moderation. Always consult your doctor if you have concerns about adding foods to your diet.
Check out these recipes that feature the leafy green as it's main ingredient:
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Image by: Yvonne Duivenvoorden
These quinoa salad recipes are guaranteed crowd pleasers and will ensure your contribution to the summer potluck is a total winner!
Summer harvest vegetables and quinoa get royal treatment with a subtly-spiced chipotle honey vinaigrette. The recipe doubles easily for a large crowd.
Dill gives this easy salad a fresh herbal note that complements the creamy cheese. It's delicious as a side dish and makes a tasty lunch main.
The amount of water you need to cook quinoa varies from brand to brand, so check package instructions for best results. Or see the last slide for no-fail quinoa cooking methods. For an easy twist, top the salad with toasted slivered almonds.
This pretty multi-coloured salad packs not only a protein punch but also good amounts of fibre and iron.
Middle Eastern tabbouleh is usually made with cracked bulgur wheat. By using quinoa (that's actually a seed), this traditional salad becomes gluten-free.
Don't suffer soggy, mushy overcooked quinoa anymore! Either of these two fail-proof methods will have you cooking quinoa to perfection in no time.
Shopping for that special man in your life can be struggle, so let us help. We've got something that will appeal to all sorts of men this Valentine's Day—at every budget.
Whether you’re looking for something for your fling, boyfriend, partner or husband here are the perfect manly, or just plain quirky, gifts of you guy.
For the proud Canadian
Let your man show everyone just how much he loves his home an native land with one of the most Canadian things in existence, a toque covered with mounties.
Arborist mountie toque, $30, drakegeneralstore.ca.
For the baseball buff
If your partner already has a Blue Jays hat and jersey surprise him with this handsome—and darn right cute—blue jay pin. This tiny treasure will allow him to sport some pride on the lapel of his jacket or event suit.
Blue Jay lapel pin, $10, crywolfclothing.com.
For the Clean Freak
If the smell of synthetic pine won’t cut it for your man (you got a keeper) gift him with a car smell that's more refined, and customizable. Infuse his vehicle with his favourite essential oil blend to feel soothed, uplifted and refreshed while you're on the road.
Saje Car Scenter, $17, saje.com.
For the gym rat
Do you lift bro? Well if your man does then headphones, sans strap, will make all the difference while he’s pumping iron. These wireless Jaybird in-ear bluetooth sport headphones are sweatproof, which means no slipping our of your ears, and offer a long battery life, eight hours, before it needs a charge.
Jaybird Freedom Wireless Headphones, $200, indigo.com.
For the coffee addict
Does your main squeeze appreciate a strong cup of coffee every morning? Buy him this french press with a cute little message, he’ll be sure to think of you fondly before he starts his day.
Brewed with love french press, $39.50, indigo.com.
For the fitness fanatic
This stylish little band automatically tracks steps, distance, calories and sleep. If your man is a triathlete this fitness tracker is swim proof and it also uses a replaceable battery (that lasts up to six months), so you'll have no hassle with daily charging after a training session.
Misfit Shine 2 Fitness tracker, $140, misfit.com.
For the fragrance aficionado
If your man has more than five fragrances, that he actually alternates between, that means he’s a fragrance guy. Try gifting him with the newest scent from Clean; Black Leather. The juice is a spicy blend of smoky musk, bergamot and black peppercorn.
Clean Black Leather, $98, sephora.com.
For the homebody
Nothing’s cozier than a plush natural wool lined pair of leather slippers. If he's a slippers guy, he'll love these from Ugg, consider them them the Rolls Royce of the slipper world.
Men’s scuffed Deco Slippers, $135, ugg.com.
For the bearded hipster
A freshly laundered man is something any woman can get behind, so consider this gift a win win. Give him this trio of male grooming essentials: facial cleanser, beard conditioning shave lube and beard oil.
Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit, $43, sephora.com.
For the music man
If your paramour is into his beats and always on the move gift him with this retro looking amp shaped portable speaker, the smallest from the music minded brand. It’s got a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will allow him to blast his tunes for a solid 25 hours before needing a charge.
Marshall Stockwell speaker, $300, indigo.com.