by Fiona Kirk
Decadent, rich, succulent and seductive foods have become a central part of the Valentines Day celebration and who wants to talk ‘healthy eating’ on such a day ….. BUT……. it can be one of the healthiest days of the year says author and nutritionist, Fiona Kirk.
Here are some ideas, she says could add some ‘flavour’ to the day.
- Make sure you stay on course for your 4 fruits a day with fingers of pineapple, slivers of mango, slices of peach, apple or pear, wedges of melon, quartered figs. Melt some good quality chocolate and dip the fruit in the silky smooth mix (from its earliest days chocolate was considered as a substance of power, a gift from the gods and a source of vitality and life).
- Sharing a platter of raw crunchy baby vegetables (carrots, courgettes, mangetouts, sugar snap peas, corn, radish, peppers, celery stix) with hummus, tzatziki, salsa or guacamole will provide plenty of colour and ensure you get plenty of the all-important vitamins A and C (both healing and immune-boosting).
- A simply roasted chicken is the perfect finger food. Give it a good massage all over with some olive oil, stuff a lemon and some garlic cloves up its bottom, pat some crunchy sea salt all over and roast – then pull apart and eat together, letting the juice run down your chin or wherever else. Get some chunky, crusty bread to mop up the juices – no cutlery, no washing up, just a delicious experience!
- Risotto has to be one of the most romantic dishes to make together (and eat together) and making it with champagne instead of wine gives it a real ‘valentine’s twist’. Sauté 3 shallots in olive oil until translucent, add 3 garlic and a couple of cups of risotto rice and sauté for 1-2 mins, add 1 glass of champagne and stir until almost all absorbed, then continue adding 3-4 cups of chicken stock, 1-cup at a time (stirring slowly till completely absorbed before adding the next one) then add the 2-3 glasses of champagne in the same way. THIS TAKES TIME, SO DON’T FORGET TO SHARE THE STIRRING AND ENSURE YOU EMPLOY THE ‘ONE GLASS FOR THE POT, ONE FOR US’ PRINCIPLE’! Take off the heat and stir in a couple of dollops of crème fraîche, grate lots of crumbly parmesan on top and enjoy. You can add blanched asparagus, courgettes, peppers or peas and/or grilled prawns or prosciutto strips (or whatever you fancy).
- Start the day with a fabulous fruit smoothie – try peach or nectarine with freshly squeezed orange juice and ice cubes and a squirt of lime or lemon juice and add a few mint leaves to freshen the breath! If you want to make more of a meal of it, sling in some good natural yoghurt and maybe even a banana. Thin them down with water if you’re not wild about that thick consistency and add champagne if you’re not heading to work.
- It really is a morning for a couple of boiled eggs and loads of toasted soldiers to share and dip in OR scrambled eggs with some thin strips of smoked salmon and loads of freshly ground pepper on toasted granary bread OR mix some grains (oats, rye flakes etc) with some nuts and seeds, top with some natural yoghurt and red berries (loads of antioxidants in there) and drizzle over some honey (antiviral, antibiotic, antimicrobial and downright delicious) OR a double chocolate milk shake with melted organic dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), the best ice cream you can get your hands on and some ice cold organic milk. Montezuma was the flamboyant Aztec Emporor whose name has become immortalised for the vast quantities of foaming ‘xoco latl’ (chocolate) he used to drink before visiting his harem of wives – this started the legend of chocolate and sex!
- Porridge – the Scots KNOW this to be ‘the food of the gods’ (a fabulously balanced mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fats). But remember – always stir it clockwise (why? well that’s a bit of a secret, but not to be abused, trust me!) Serve with a huge bundle of fresh raspberries, a generous drizzle of honey and a handful of toasted flaked almonds for the sort of energy you need for a GREAT valentines day!
- When it comes to supper time, just graze on all the foods famous for their aphrodisiac qualities. There is no proven scientific evidence but they’re delicious, easy to prepare and just the fact that you believe those properties is enough to make it a night to remember!
- Oysters (rich in zinc for healthy and energetic sperm)
- Ginger (for increased sensitivity in the erogenous zones)
- Mangoes (for increased male libido)
- Vanilla (said to arouse both men and women)
- Red wine (full of antioxidants and very moreish)
- Almonds (said to excite women – hence their use in soaps and creams)
- Passion fruit (it’s in the name!)
- Figs (a fruit that claims aphrodisiac qualities based on its appearance – an open fig is thought to look similar to female sex organs!)
- Cucumber (the scent of cucumbers is believed to stimulate women by increasing blood flow to the sexual organs!)
- Pine nuts (they too are high in zinc and have been used for centuries to make up love potions). Toast them for a great pre-dinnner snack
- Champagne (who needs a reason to drink champagne on Valentines Day!)
- And of course – MORE CHOCOLATE!
For more diet and health tips, head over to Fiona’s blog fatbustforever.com