Finger Foods for Supporting Sensuality

feb15–food2Food and sex have long been correlated. Eating is sensual, after all. While no specific food will make you immediately remove your clothes, there are nutritional components in certain foods that make your body and organs perform better or worse—sex organs included. A few of our feel good faves that keep the body nice and juicy are:

Chili peppers, which can increase blood flow to all the–ahem–right places.

Cacao (aka chocolate). The sweet stuff contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid necessary to produce the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which enhances arousal; and phenylethylamine, a mood-boosting stimulant also released when we fall in love or achieve orgasm.

Cruciferous veggies, which purify the blood, enhance circulation, and speed up stimulation.

The following recipes use some of these ingredients. Enjoy making them and even eating them in bed; they both taste delicious and do the body good.

 

Polenta Cakes with Chili-Garlic Sauce

Prep time: 8 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Serves 2

I love the texture of corn polenta. While creating a restaurant menu, I came up with a quinoa cake similar to this. However, I later swapped in polenta, because I find the grain to be heartier in this dish. The addition of your favorite chili-garlic sauce is guaranteed to get the blood circulating to all the right parts.

2 tablespoons grapeseed or safflower oil, divided

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup dry corn polenta

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Chili-garlic sauce, to serve (choose your favorite)

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for approximately four minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.
  1. Add the rosemary, basil, garlic powder, cayenne, and red pepper flakes and sauté for an additional three to four minutes. Remove from the heat.
  1. Heat the water in a medium saucepan until boiling. Add the polenta and salt, whisking to incorporate and smooth out lumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for three to five minutes. The polenta will start to thicken. Add the almond milk and mix well with a whisk. Remove from heat once the mixture has thickened. Fold the sautéed veggies into the polenta and mix until well combined.
  1. Pour the mixture into a lightly oiled eight-inch square baking dish and refrigerate until firm, eight to 10 minutes.
  1. Once the polenta has cooled and firmed, cut the polenta into triangles and flash-grill it in a hot skillet with the remaining one tablespoon of oil. Cook until lightly browned on both sides, approximately three minutes. Serve with chili-garlic sauce.

Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Medjool Dates

Prep time: 8 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Serves 4 to 6

The natural flavor of the sprouts really pops when matched with the sweet creamy consistency of dates and the sharp spiciness of garlic. The complex combination makes this dish satisfying on a lot of levels. It’s a great addition to any meal as a side, and for Brussels sprouts lovers, it’s a whole meal.

1 (10-ounce) package shaved Brussels sprouts (see pro-tip below)

2 cups pitted dates, torn into quarters

3 tablespoons grapeseed or safflower oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish combine the Brussels sprouts and dates with the oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to make sure all the pieces of dates and Brussels sprouts are covered evenly. Sprinkle the garlic on top.
  1. Roast for 20 minutes or until the garlic has caramelized and the dates and Brussels sprouts have browned on top.

Pro-tip: If you cannot find shaved Brussels sprouts, take the Brussels sprout and cut from top to bottom; lay flat and then slice thin shreds as if it were an onion.

 

feb15–foodMexican Hot Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 3 minutes

The combination of sweet strawberries, creamy chocolate, and a tiny kick of cayenne creates the ultimate trifecta of deliciousness.

1 (3-ounce) block semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped or grated

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 pound strawberries, cleaned

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate, stirring with fork or whisk so it melts evenly and doesn’t burn. Add the cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. When fully melted, remove from the heat to prevent burning.
  1. Holding the strawberries by the stem end, dip them in the melted chocolate, coating them on each side.
  1. Place the dipped strawberries on the prepared cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set the chocolate, or until ready to serve.

All recipes and photos From The Lusty Vegan © 2014 by Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg. Used with permission from Vegan Heritage Press.