Quick, Easy Delicious Recipes from Baptist Health - Valentine's Day Desserts

What better way to celebrate, or end, Valentine’s Day than with dessert? You can even keep how healthy they are a secret. If you’re having trouble finding that perfect gift for your special someone, cooking dinner for him or her can often do the trick. (I could never get away with that at home because this is what I do for a living, but perhaps you’ll have better luck.) I’ve put together three different, very easy desserts to prepare, focused around a few Valentine’s-themed ingredients to enliven the senses: strawberries, Sauterne wine, figs and honey.

Balsamic Marinated Strawberries

  • 4 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Let stand 30 minutes. Toss well again before serving. The key to this is getting good balsamic vinegar – preferably one that aged 7-8 years, or more. Don’t look for the cheapest one.

Nutritional information:  Calories: 57; Fat: 0.6g; Saturated fat: 0.0g Monounsaturated fat: 0.1g;  Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g; Protein: 0.9g;  Carbohydrate: 13.6g; Fiber: 3.9g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg; Sodium: 2mg  

This is a nice, refreshing dessert on its own, or you can serve it with a scoop of ice cream. Most people never think of balsamic vinegar as a topping for ice cream, but few things go better with vanilla ice cream. One brand that can be found in most stores, Breyers, has a product for every taste including ½ the Fat, Fat Free, No Sugar Added, and CarbSmart.

One scoop of fat-free vanilla ice cream will let you indulge while still keeping this dessert on the healthier side. Serve cold or microwave for 15-20 seconds and top with the marinated strawberries.  Serving Size: 1/2 Cup 

Nutritional information: Calories: 90; Calories From Fat: 0; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Trans Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: less than 5mg; Sodium: 45mg; Total Carbohydrates: 21g   


Cantaloupe and Sauterne Wine

  • 1 medium cantaloupe, halved and seeded 
  • ½ cup Sauterne or other sweet white wine
  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Scoop out cantaloupe balls with a small melon baller to equal 2 cups; set aside.

Combine melon balls and wine in a large mixing bowl; cover and chill thoroughly. Stir well before serving and top the cantaloupe with some of the wine from the bowl. Garnish with mint, if desired.

Nutritional information: Calories: 160; Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Carbohydrates: 13g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 10g.


 Grilled Honey-drenched Figs

  • 12 fresh figs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

We’re at the end of the second fig season and a great way take advantage of these seasonal treats is on Valentine’s Day. Grill the figs whole over low heat, or turn on only half of your grill. Continue grilling until heated through, turning occasionally. Warm the honey. Place the figs on serving plates, drizzle with enough honey to lightly coat the figs, and top with almonds.

Nutritional information:  Calories: 253; Fat: 2.8g; Saturated fat: 0.3g; Monounsaturated fat: 1.5g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g ; Protein: 2.6g ; Carbohydrate: 60.8g;  Fiber: 10g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg; Sodium 8mg; Cholesterol: 0.0mg


Chef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was also part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.



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