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A Heart-Healthy Menu for Two Since it is just the two of you, make it romantic and memorable by decorating the table with some fresh greenery and candles. Today’s new buzzword for appetizers is tapas. And, just so we are all on the same page, tapas hail from Spain, where eateries and taverns offer small portions of food. Tapas comes from a Spanish word that means “to cover.” The first tapa was a slice of ham served on a saucer atop a sherry glass, allegedly to keep out the dust and other nuisances. Many different types of tapas have emerged since then.

Valentine’s Day and the American Heart Association’s campaign against heart disease during February set the stage for me to feature a heart-healthy menu for two. Valentine’s Day is the time to share a special meal with someone dear to you. This menu boasts an appealing assortment of flavors and an eye-catching look. It combines simplicity and portions designed for two. You will find clean-up easier since you won’t have to worry about leftovers. To save time, prepare the white bean hummus, butternut squash curry soup, salad dressing and candied sweet potatoes the day before. The apple cobbler and sweet potatoes bake at the same temperature as the Cornish hens, so you can put the dessert and potatoes in the oven while the hens bake for the last few minutes. The vegetable medley only takes a few minutes to cook, and you can toss your green salad at the same time. Reheat the soup just before the rest of the meal is complete.

WHITE BEAN HUMMUS 2 garlic cloves (I use 4 - it depends on your taste) 1 15.5-oz. can great Northern beans or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 4 T. tahini (sesame seed paste) 1 t. cumin Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 49