It's date night at your place — so what's cooking for dinner?
Before you ransack your kitchen pantry in desperation ... or worse: resort to your go-to (read: boring) chicken alfredo, there are plenty of easy-to-whip-up dishes perfect for a relaxing, romantic at-home meal. There's no need to make reservations at an expensive restaurant.
We think staying in is the new sexy. That's why we've kicked off our Dinner For Two series! This week, we're serving up a mouthwatering brunch menu that's sure to impress the lady in your life — sneakily flavored with aphrodisiac ingredients, like this guilt-free feast!
In honor of National Women's Health week, we're serving up some healthy recipes just for you ladies. On the list of ingredients are some veggies, fruits and grain superfoods that double as libido-boosters. Among them? Avocados for a healthy heart, chia seeds for a boost of energy, pomegranate for lowered blood pressure, and watermelon for cancer-fighting doses of vitamin C and lycopene ... shall we go on?
Pair this health-conscious lovers' dinner with a bright and boozy watermelon margarita, an antioxidant salad, and a chia seed pudding, and you've got yourselves one sexy meal!
The Drink: Watermelon Margarita
By Valerie Rice of Eat Drink Garden
- 4 cups watermelon (about 1/2 a small watermelon). Save some cubes for garnish!
- Patron Silver or your favorite silver tequila
- 4 tablespoon simple syrup
- 3 limes
- Sea salt for rim of glass
1. Chop up half of a small watermelon which is about 4 cups (rinds removed, of course). Puree the watermelon in a vitamix or blender. Once it’s puréed, strain the purée into a small pitcher.
2. Fill your shaker with ice, 1 oz tequila, 4 oz watermelon juice, 1 tablespoon simple syrup and juice of half a lime. Shake and pour into a salt rimmed glass. Garnish with lime and watermelon cube.
3. To make the simple syrup, simply boil one cup water and one cup sugar until the sugar dissolves.
The Appetizer: The "Antioxidant Salad" (Pomegranate, Clementine and Ricotta Salad with Avocado and Toasted Almonds)
By Serena Wolf of Domesticate Me
For the salad
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 2 clementines (or 1 navel orange if you can’t get your paws on clementines), peeled and segmented
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (Yes, you can use olive oil if you must)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Start by toasting the almonds. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. (Do not put any oil in the pan!) When hot, add the almonds and toast, shaking occasionally for 3-4 minutes until they are lightly browned. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Peel your clementines, removing as much of the white pith as humanly possible, and separate the segments.
3. In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing.
4. In a large bowl toss the arugula, toasted almonds, Clementine segments, pomegranate arils, avocado and ricotta. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss again. Serve immediately.
The Main Dish: The Healthy Quinoa Bowl
By Sharon Chen of Gourmet Persuasian
For the salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
- 1 package of 10.8 oz mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, green beans)
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 stem green onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Cook quinoa in a rice cooker just like how you cook regular rice. It takes about 10 minutes to cook 1 cup quinoa in my Tatung Ricer Cooker and Steamer. If you don't have a rice cooker yet, here's what to do: Rinse quinoa under cold water and drain. Place it in a pot and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep covered for 5 more minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff it with a fork; let cool.
2. Cook mixed vegetables with chopped broccoli florets according to the package instruction.(Empty frozen contents of bag into a saucepan. Add 1 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes.) Stir occasionally. Drain and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well.
4. In a large bowl, combine cooked vegetables, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, basil, and green onion. Add quinoa and pour the dressing over. Stir until even. Dish, serve warm or cold.
The Dessert: Chia Seed Pudding
By Alivia Jane
- 1 cup vanilla-flavored almond milk
- 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus 2 more for serving (agave or honey can substitute)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup blueberries
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, vanilla and a pinch of salt until lightly blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, in a medium bowl, toss the blueberries and pomegranate seeds with the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
3. Spoon the pudding into bowl; add fruit mixture on top and serve.