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Avocados may be secret recipe for successful Valentine's Day

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Celebrating Valentine's Day with a vegan or vegetarian may be frustrating, especially if her significant other is trying to keep tabs on the cash flow. Eating fruits and vegetables are always useful in the long run. Eat cheap now. Pay large sums in doctor bills later. But for those who just don't have the money to splurge on high-end dishes at vegan restaurants, an avocado can spice up dinner at home.

Web MD suggests that women get 25 grams of fiber per day and men get 38 grams per day. One cup of avocado is 10 grams of fiber by itself. Although an avocado may be high in fat, they're high in "good" fat called monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

So what exactly can you do with an avocado?

For lunch: Try a lettuce wrap or spinach wrap with avocado used as a sandwich spread. Click here for an image.

For sides: Already got the sandwiches prepared? Try avocado potato salad, but lose the mayonnaise. A few red potatoes with black pepper, a clove of garlic and imitation bacon bits do the trick without the extra fat. Click here for an image.

For snacks: The cheesy corn cakes leave much to be desired, but the spicy avocado salsa recipe is perfect for chips. And all you'll need is an onion, chili pepper, 1/2 of a lemon, salt, pepper and fresh coriander. Click here for the recipe.

Dinner items, especially at Italian restaurants, can get tricky. Everything is loaded with meat or cheese. If the vegan love of your life is into pastas, try this:

For dinner: Creamy Avocado Pasta only requires a few spices, noodles and an avocado. Click here for the recipe.

Quinoa avocado timbale stacks from Kimberly Snyder, C.N.'s book "The Beauty Detox Foods" is a great dinner dish, but for those who are new to quinoa, this might not be a recipe you want to try on such a special occasion. They fall apart a bit too easily for first-timers. Click here for an image. Practice makes perfect.

Majority of Valentine's Day candy and desserts are filled with milk chocolate, whip cream, marshmallows and milk. Dark chocolate is the easy way to go to avoid purchasing dairy candy, but should someone want to make a vegan chocolate pie, mousse or cake, avocados come in handy for this, too, and add a load of texture.

For dessert: Try to make vegan chocolate mousse torte or vegan chocolate pudding. The main ingredients needed are dark chocolate chips, avocados, vegan cocoa and syrup. Click here for an image.

The whole party doesn't have to look like an avocado endorsement, but it does help to include healthy treats with a holiday treat.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago vegetarian entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Vegetarian channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Diet & Exercise" and "Vegetarian World" Pinterest boards. She's on Twitter @BlackHealthNews.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago nutrition and fitness entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Diet and Exercise channel at the top of this page.

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