There is not much that tops preparing a meal for that special someone to show them that you love them. Food speaks to our need and desire to nurture and take care of someone and aiming to impress in the kitchen has been known to earn serious ‘brownie points’.
As a woman I can speak from experience, a man that can cook is sexy, and a man that can cook well is even better! A man that prepares a romantic meal for a woman shines with masculinity. And as women, we are all very well aware of the old English proverb: "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."
Honestly, it really doesn’t matter who is doing the cooking this Valentine’s day. I do say, however, forgo the overly-busy restaurants (which often fail to live up to your expectations), be done with the clichéd box of chocolates and fluffy stuffed animals and get in the kitchen, don your favorite apron and create some memories.
Focus on an evening that is a true experience, not just another meal. Have some great music ready to go – something old and classic or something new and wonderfully romantic. Think anything from Barry White to Bruno Mars. Turn off all external and outside distractions and make this moment really, really good.
I have put together some meal suggestions and recipes for you, each with a purpose. Valentine’s Day is the day to (hopefully) get a little naughty and I have incorporated foods that are thought of as aphrodisiacs to possibly support the naughty department a little. In last week’s post I discussed how some foods are considered aphrodisiacs based on their aromas, chemical basis and even their shape.
All suggestions follow Paleo principles so they will leave you feeling energized and ready to go for any after dinner ‘activities.’ No post-meal food coma or belly bloat here! Plus, as a bonus, if you’ve been following the Paleo lifestyle for a while, you might be excited to show off how much better you are starting to look naked!
If you are looking for a non-alcoholic, fun drink to get things going, this Pomegranate Spritzer is sure to please.
For starters, how about playing it simple (and sexy) with some raw Oysters on the Half Shell served with a tangy vinaigrette.
Follow that up with a few decadent, delicious and simple to prepare roasted figs…
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs
Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the center of each fig half, with the ends overlapping. Brush with olive oil and arrange cut-side up on a sheet pan. Roast the figs for 10 minutes, until the prosciutto is a little crisp and the figs are warmed through. If you are fortunate enough to have some, garnish with shaved black truffle slices. Serve warm.
In Middle Eastern cuisine, lamb is considered an aphrodisiac and is touted to raise testosterone levels. Slow Roasted Lamb is one of my favorite main dishes of all time, unctuous and delicious. This recipe will go a long way to convert even the toughest of lamb skeptics.
Serve with some
Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
- 8 oz. mushrooms of choice
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt, or more to taste
- ½ tsp Provence herbs
- ½ Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- Brush and clean your mushrooms then place in a bowl.
- In a blender pulverize the garlic, salt, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Add the mushrooms and mix with a spoon to cover the mushrooms with the marinade sauce.
- Set aside and let the mushrooms marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish and spoon the leftover marinade sauce on top of the mushrooms.
- Add a little drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are nicely brown.
- Serve hot.
A salad of your favorite greens, some ripe avocado, a few roasted pumpkin seeds for crunch and a simple dressing of some high quality balsamic vinegar and some great extra virgin olive oil can round off this plate beautifully.
And for the grand finale, let us not forget dark chocolate which is loaded with stimulants and neurotransmitters that can mimic falling in love and orgasms. This cake can be served warm or cold, garnished however you please – get creative and enjoy!!
My Favorite Chocolate Mud Cake
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 400 grams dark chocolate, roughly broken into pieces
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- Coconut whipped cream, berries, chocolate shavings, chocolate ganache to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 150°C or 300°F and grease and line 2 round 8” cake pans.
- Place the coconut milk, chocolate and honey into a medium sized saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously until chocolate has melted and the mixture is well combined. Keep the heat low as you do not want to burn the chocolate. Once melted and well combined remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs until the yolk and whites are well combined. Stir in the almond meal, baking soda, ACV and coffee.
- Stir in the chocolate mixture.
- Once well combined divide the mixture evenly into prepared pans.
- Place into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 30 minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Serve each cake separately naked or garnished any or all of your toppings of choice. Alternately, you could use some whipped coconut cream to sandwich the cakes together and top with berries, chocolate shavings.
Easy Coconut Whip
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- Honey or maple syrup to taste
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Remove the lid of the can of coconut milk.
- Cover with parchment paper secured with an elastic.
- Place can in the refrigerator over-night. The milk will separate into solid and liquid parts.
- When ready to prepare the whip, remove the can from the refrigerator and scoop the semi-solid part into a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment). The liquid can be discarded or used in a smoothie.
- Whip using a hand blender (or stand mixture) until still peaks form and the mixture has increased significantly in volume.
- Add remaining ingredients and whip quickly to blend.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Recipe can be doubled and other flavouring can be used is desired. For chocolate whip, add 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder with other additions.
I hope this has served as some inspiration to throw caution to the wind, cancel the reservations, send the kids to grandma’s house, unplug and opt for a night-in filled with primal food and activities. Happy Valentine’s Day!