Our favorite easy lunch (and brunch) recipes using aphrodisiac ingredients.

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Vegetarian White Bean Chili with Chocolate

White Bean Chili with Chocolate from Romancing the Stove by Amy Reiley

Chili with Chocolate?

This recipe comes from my cookbook Romancing the Stove: the unabridged guide to aphrodisiac foods. I love the use of cacao in Mexican cuisine. It’s a culture that’s been using chocolate since before it was even discovered by the “civilized” world. Now, I can’t accurately call my White Bean Chili with Chocolate Mexican. But what I can call it is aphrodisiac! By layering a tongue-tingling dose of chile pepper with both antioxidant-rich cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, I’ve given the pot of chili an earthy base. On top of it, the tang of tomato and sting of chile truly shine.  Read more

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White Bean Hummus Style Dip–flavored with pine nuts, basil and Meyer lemon

White Bean Hummus-style dip with basil, Meyer lemon and pine nuts

Food writer Beth Lee of the blog OMG! Yummy took a deep dive into the world of aphrodisiacs when she was asked to contribute a course to a virtual Valentine’s dinner party. (I love that concept, by the way!) Excited to share her newfound knowledge, she kindly offered to let us publish the White Bean Hummus recipe she created for the occasion. Read more

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Curried Tuna Salad with Golden Figs

Curried Tuna Salad with Golden FigsI love curried tuna salad but I do not enjoy raisins in savory dishes. I agree with most cooks that a curried version of tuna salad needs something sweet to offset the earthy and bitter notes of the curry powder. I’ve tried apricots, which I find too sour to support the other flavors in the salad. Currants are fine but don’t quite provide the punch of sweetness I desire. Dried figs, on the other hand, have texture and a very direct sweetness–best of all, the fig is a legendary aphrodisiac! (I should also note that all of the ingredients that come together to make a classic curry powder blend, including coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom and mustard are historically aphrodisiac as well.)  Read more

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Coconut Fudge–a treat for those with a taste for the exotic

Coconut Fudge with a Pinch of Cardamom

A sneak preview

Author Nandita Godbole shared with me this Coconut Fudge recipe as a sneak preview of her upcoming book, Not For You: Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods Book 2And, of course, I just had to share this one. It combines the unmistakable flavor of coconut (also an aphrodisiac as I recently learned) with one of my favorite aphrodisiac ingredients, cardamom. (You might remember the Persian Love Cake from Fork Me, Spoon Me: the sensual cookbook?)  Read more


American Wagyu Beef Chili–a recipe for a Wine Country experience

American Wagyu Beef Chili

The magic of Wagyu and Zinfandel

I discovered the magic Wagyu makes when it’s the base for a decadent chili. This particular Wagyu beef chili was created by Chef Rick Warkel of Calistoga Kitchen for the Northern California (Sonoma County) Wine Road Food & Wine Affair. The event included wineries from the Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. Read more