, Newburyport, MA


February 8, 2012

Forget candy for your sweetheart, try cobbler

It's almost Valentine's Day again, and I just want to remind people that there are alternatives to chocolate when it comes to showing your love.

Because let's face it, at any given time, many of us are on diets or at least watching what we're eating. And a box of chocolates isn't exactly helping.

So, if you're looking for a romantic Valentine's Day gift that's truly from the heart, why not give the best gift of all: a mouth-watering, healthy meal you make yourself?

This week's recipe is my version of a trendy dish served in restaurants across the country — lobster potpie. A typical potpie like this will cost you around 680 calories and 46 grams of fat per serving. But I've downsized that to just 330 calories and 6 grams of fat.

I did this by turning the pie into a cobbler, which means the crust is only on top. And my crust is made from a lower-calorie pancake mix that gives you the taste of a potpie, but without all the fattening richness of typical crusts.

I've also added lean beef tenderloin, making this a true surf-and-turf delight.

I saved you plenty of fat by thickening this dish with a delicious and pleasantly sweet puree of beets, instead of the usual butter, cream and flour.

One tip: Save yourself some trouble and ask to have your lobster steamed while you shop. The seafood department at most grocers will do this for free. Some will even remove the meat from the shell for you.

Valentine's Day surf-and-turf cobbler

Start to finish: 45 minutes (30 minutes active)

1 1/4-pound live lobster

4 ounces fresh asparagus spears (12 to 16 spears, depending on thickness), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 8 cubes

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