We all know there’s a world of food out there that comforts us and wants us to curl up and take a nap (looking at you burgers and daal chawal).
But did you know there’s a (not so secret) world of food filled with nutrients and all things good that is sure to get your libido up and running? Now that you’ve made your promises and gifted those gorgeous roses, check out these quick and easy to cook recipes (let’s keep the kitchen time to a minimum on V Day, shall we?) which will take your valentine’s day to the next level.
1. Easy Chocolate Lava Cake
As ancient as grains and wisdom, chocolates had a mythical importance in all ancient cultures. The Mayans and the Egyptians have waxed lyrical about this not so humble staple. For me, my favourite way to charm the partner has to be the oozy gooey decadent choco lava cake served with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. Here’s my go-to 5-minute lava cake recipe.
- ¼ cup flour (30 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2-3 pieces of your favourite chocolate bar
- In a bowl, add flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Then, add 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp milk and mix to paste.
- Transfer this mix to a microwave-friendly bowl and add a chocolate truffle in the middle.
- Heat in the microwave for about 70 seconds and then top it off with ice cream and strawberries (optional).
2. Figs and Green Beans on Brie
Figs are rich in amino acids and are also said to be an aphrodisiac because of their appearance and flavor. They are a luscious fruit to eat yourself or feed to your lover. Try carrying them in your pantry but don’t pack them in your office lunch. Check out the amazingly gramworthy recipe that will get your heart racing!
- 400g green beans, trimmed
- 4 dried figs, thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
- 120g feta
- 2 tbs sunflower seeds, toasted
- 3-4 thick cut slices of Brie bread
For the dressing:
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (60ml) tonic or ginger ale
- 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
- For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside
- Blanch the beans in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a bowl of iced water until cool, then drain again and pat dry with a paper towel
- Thinly slice beans lengthways.
- To serve, toast the brie slices with butter and place beans on the toasted brie, top with fig, mint leaves and feta. Drizzle with dressing and scatter sunflower seeds.
3. Avocado on Sourdough
It could be the sensuous pear shape, or the rich flavor of the fruit that gave avocado its aphrodisiac reputation as far back as the Aztecs. And while the jury is still out on just how lustful avocados are, the fruit’s vitamin E could help keep the spark alive. The ultimate millennial V-Plate.
- 2 slices of bread (I like thick-sliced whole-grain bread best)
- 1 ripe avocado
- Pinch of salt
- Optional Toppings: Proscuito, ham, bacon, strawberry and bananas with honey, or roasted figs
- Toast your bread until golden and firm.
- Remove the pit from your avocado. Use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh. Put it in a bowl and mash it up with a fork until it’s as smooth as you like it. Mix in a pinch of salt and add more to taste, if desired.
- Spread avocado on top of your toast. Enjoy as-is or top with any extras mentioned above
4. Smoked Salmon and Lime Risotto
Salmon enjoys a rich history as a natural aphrodisiac. But it is only in recent times that we’ve pinpointed this fish as a sexual powerhouse. An excellent source of protein which is essential for stamina and is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are proven to elevate serotonin levels in the brain and thereby enhance mood. In addition, this fish is rich in vitamins such as A, D, B along with calcium, which are all known to be necessary for giving the all-important libido lift. The smoked salmon risotto is a stunning dish for that candlelit dinner but also cosy and comfortable for the undercover dinner.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 350g risotto rice, such as Arborio or any starchy small grained rice
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1.5 L vegetable stock
- 170 - 200g smoked salmon
- 85g mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Grated lemon zest, plus squeeze of juice
- Handful of rocket leaves for garnish
- Fry the onion in the oil for 5 mins. Add the rice and garlic, then cook for 2 mins, stirring continuously.
- Pour in a third of the stock and set the timer to 20 mins. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed, then add half of the remaining stock and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Pour in the remaining stock, stir, then simmer until cooked and creamy.
- Remove from heat and add the chopped salmon (leave some for garnish), mascarpone, parsley and lemon zest.
- Grind in some black pepper, but don’t add salt as the salmon will be salty enough. Leave for 5 mins to settle, then taste and add a little lemon juice if you like.
- Serve topped with reserved salmon (roughly torn) and some rocket.
5. Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Whipped Cream
We end with a classic. Does it get more sensual that luscious strawberries covered in chocolate and dipped in freshly whipped cream? I think not. Strawberries are rich in the antioxidants that will keep you looking and feeling young. And the hefty dose of vitamin C they serve up promotes blood flow. Vitamin C is also known to promote the production of estrogen. In addition, strawberries contain several minerals which support a healthy sex drive including magnesium, potassium and folic acid. The perfect shape and size for dipping in chocolate, strawberries are a simple tool of seduction.
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons cream
- 12 strawberries
- ½ cup whipping cream like Tropolit
- Melt the chocolate and cream together in a bowl set over simmering water until just melted. Stir and remove from the heat.
- Dip each strawberry in the chocolate and set aside on waxed or parchment paper to dry.
- Now whip the whipping cream with a hand blender for 4-5 minutes till soft peaks form.
- Serve strawberries with cream and a lot of love. Enjoy!
(The author is a lawyer turned business intelligence consultant turned chef. He also designs weekly and monthly meal plans for clients and conducts baking and cooking workshops.)