5 Romantic Mistakes To Avoid This Valentine’s Day

Romantic Valentine's Dinner

One quarter of Americans dine out for Valentine’s Day – that’s 25 percent of the population! Talk about crowded. And you know how it usually goes – you drink champagne and red wine, eat a multi-course meal of heavy foods like blue-cheese salad, creamy lobster bisque, filet mignon, and a sinfully rich chocolate soufflé for dessert. Sure, that dinner sounds delicious, but afterwards you just want to curl up in a food coma.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not the way I like to end the night on Valentine’s Day!

Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Restaurant
Unless you have the date booked at a favorite small eatery with a quiet, romantic atmosphere, you’ll be trying to make your sweet-nothings audible over the persistent roar of the V-Day crowd. Wouldn’t it be more romantic to set the mood with candlelight and soft music at home?

Mistake #2: Dining Late
If you really want that heavy Valentine’s Day dinner, go for it. Everyone deserves to splurge once in a while. But, if you’d like to uh… have your cake and lick the icing off him later too, then plan to eat earlier in the evening. That way you have some time to recover from the inevitable food coma!

Mistake #3: Drinking Too Much
I love champagne to celebrate, and red wine – anytime! But when there’s just the two of you, it’s all too tempting to split the entire bottle of champagne, and then start pouring the red. While a little alcohol can be wonderfully relaxing and help set the mood, too much will lead to an early bedtime and headaches in the morning. So, instead of buying an entire bottle of champagne, buy a split (a half-bottle) instead. That’s just enough for a first-course toast.

Mistake #4: The Slippery, Butter-Laden Slope to Food Coma
Restaurants tend to add butter, cream and salt to everything, which is exactly what you don’t want on Valentine’s Day. The butter and cream will make you feel full fast, but on a multi-course meal, the food keeps coming whether you want it to or not! The result? Food coma. And all the sodium added to restaurant fare will cause you to retain water, which doesn’t feel very sexy.

Mistake #5: Eating All the Wrong Foods
Meat and dairy-based dinners won’t help your libido, but these foods will:

The Right Foods for a Romantic Evening

• Asparagus (raises your histamine levels and may help you climax faster)
• Celery (increases androsterone – a pheromone)
• Watermelon (dilates blood vessels, improving blood flow)
• Pomegranates (may increase testosterone)
• Avocado (its healthy fats are great for blood flow)
• Spicy foods (the active ingredient in hot chili peppers heats up your metabolism and gets your heart pumping!)
• End your romantic dinner with chocolate-covered strawberries and bananas – they’re light, packed with antioxidants, and you can have a lot of fun with a good chocolate drizzle…

Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day with This Aphrodesiac Dinner Menu

Cherry Tomato & Watermelon Salad

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away, and while many of you probably have dinner reservations, I have a menu full of aphrodesiacs that will tempt you to dine in.

Forbidden Fruit

Start the evening off with a salad that includes watermelon, like the one above. Not only does this add a sweet, fresh flavor to your greens, but watermelon is sort of nature’s little blue pill. The phytonutrient citrulline has the power to relax blood vessels, like Viagra. You could even use a cookie cutter to make little red hearts out of sliced watermelon.

A Fine Red Wine

Have a glass with dinner to unwind, and enjoy the heart-healthy antioxidants in the world’s favorite romantic beverage. Besides relaxation, the resveratrol boosts blood flow and improves circulation. Just don’t over-indulge, or you might pass out before the fun really starts!

Spicy in the Kitchen = Hot in the Bedroom

If you like spicy food, then you are in for a treat – in more ways than one. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot, increases circulation and gets blood pumping, while stimulating nerve endings. Of course, you don’t want to go too hot, unless you’re into a little culinary kinkiness. Try my Spicy Chili Rellenos recipe below to get you in the mood.

Forget Chocolate – Try Vanilla this Valentine’s Day

I realize that what I’m about to say is sacrilege to chocolate-lovers, but while chocolate is an aphrodisiac, vanilla too often gets short shrift. When you use real vanilla bean in a dessert recipe, you’ll reap the rewards – it mildly stimulates nerve endings, so you’ll feel electricity in every caress. Try this vegan vanilla cake with lemon coconut frosting recipe (minus the food coloring).

Chili Rellenos
Intelligent Gourmet’s Spicy Chile Rellenos
Yield: Makes 4 peppers (4 servings)

Ingredients:
• 4 medium to large Poblano chile peppers (choose firm vegetables with a shiny dark
green skin)
• 2 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded
• 1 small to medium sweet onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 – fresh lime
• 2 – tablespoons of Cholula* Chili Lime Hot Sauce
• 1 tsp of ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp of red chili powder
• 2 ounces of grated queso blanco (white melting cheese)
• pinch of sea salt
• 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts thoroughly trimmed of all fat
• 2 – 12 ounce bags of fresh spinach, washed, with large stems removed
* this particular brand is gluten free

Preparation:

Wash the 4 Poblano chilies and put in an oven proof pan with a 1/4 inch of water in the bottom, cover tightly and roast in a hot oven 350 degrees for 10 minutes (just until soft.) Remove from oven set-aside until cool to the touch. Poach chicken on stove top in 2 cups of water at a slow simmer for 10 minutes, remove from stove and cool to touch. Take the Chiles from the pan and reserve the liquid. Make a slit lengthwise in the pepper being careful to leave the stem in tack, gently remove all the seeds from the chili pepper and place in a baking safe dish. Mix chopped and seeded tomato with 1/2 the onion, and 1/2 the fresh cilantro, season with sea salt and toss with the juice of 1 – fresh lime, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pull the chicken into 1/4-inch strips into a medium bowl; add grated queso, remaining onion and cilantro, ground cumin, chili powder, Cholula chili lime sauce, and all of the spinach. Toss until everything is blended and well coated with the spices and herbs. Stuff each chili pepper until bursting place in back in backing dish and pour the reserved water over the peppers. Cover with foil and finish in the 350-degree oven for 12- 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately with the tomato, cilantro, onion, and lime salsa on top.

Chef Notes:

  • To make this meal comply with Ideal Protein® protocol we omit the queso blanco, and use flax seed dissolved in water as a binder.
  • To make this recipe Vegetarian change out chicken for quinoa, or lentils. You may also use a vegetable “ cheese” style product. 
  • Average calories per serving: 237; 219 without the cheese, all nutritional information is calculated on the web and is accurate to the best of our ability. Full nutritional information is available on request.