Instead of focusing on indulgent sugar-laden sweets for Valentine’s Day, consider trying a lean, savory, aphrodisiac dish like this ceviche from New York University nutrition sciences professor and chef Lourdes Castro, MS, RD. The shrimp, chiles, tomatoes and avocados all have aphrodisiac qualities and combine for a healthy, sexy starter (or main dish) and visually beautiful plate to tantalize your sweetheart.

“I love this recipe for both its vibrant colors and its fresh flavors,” Castro says. “It is also very versatile: you can substitute any mild white fish for the shrimp. Just keep in mind that shrimp take a bit longer than fish to “cook” in acid, so cut the marinating time in half when substituting fish.”

Find this and many other healthy, delicious recipes in Castro’s latest book, Latin Grilling (10 Speed Press 2011).

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied

3 cups lime juice (from about 36 limes)

1 habanero chile or 2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and finely chopped

4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped

½ red onion, halved and sliced very thin 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped, plus extra sprigs for garnish

2 Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 teaspoons salt

Marinate the shrimp and vegetables. Place shrimp, lime juice, chile, tomatoes, onion and cilantro in large bowl and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Garnish and serve. Shortly before serving, add avocados and season with salt. Transfer ceviche to serving platter and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serves 10.

Per serving: 183 calories; 8.0 grams (g) fat (1 g saturated fat); 20 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 138 milligrams (mg) cholesterol; 628 mg sodium; 630 international units vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C.

Source: Latin Grilling (10 Speed Press 2011).