Why is chocolate the candy of choice on Valentine’s Day? Chocolate contains phenylethylamine. When people are in love, there are higher levels of this endorphin in our brains. Therefore, chocolate makes us feel good and increases loving feelings. That is why it is considered an aphrodisiac.
Besides the fact that it is the most delicious thing in the world, it is also more versatile than you think. You can incorporate into every meal of the day. It is not just for desserts and treats so indulge your Sweet Heart with lots of love by cooking up some of these recipes.
Chocolate for Breakfast
Triple Chocolate Raspberry Oat Bran Muffins
This decadent recipe for chocolate breakfast muffins is not only yummy, but it is good for you too. The cocoa and the oat bran both promote heart health.
Chocolate for Lunch
Spinach Salad with Mangos, Dried Cranberries and Chocolate Vinegarette
Sandra Lee of the Food Network has this incredibly easy, colorful and flavorful salad. Toss 8 cups of baby spinach with 1 1/3 cup of fresh diced mango, 1/3 cup of dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of walnuts. The vinaigrette uses a 1/2 cup of your favorite bottled balsamic vinaigrette (she suggests Newman’s Own) a teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of cocoa powder (the unsweetened kind)
Chocolate for Dinner
Slow Cooker Chicken Mole
This recipe is adapted from Food.com is an interesting choice for Valentine’s Day because, as the legend goes, it was created by 16th-century nuns as a dish to serve the archbishop. However, our intent is much more seductive.
Just throw everything in the crockpot on low and in 6 hours you have a meal that will really spice up your Valentine’s Day. Plus, you can use all of that spare time while the dish is cooking for more amorous activities.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup of raisins
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped (2 if you like it hot)
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or bone-in drumsticks and thighs
Before serving, shred the boneless breasts and serve with tortillas, spooning the sauce on top. If you are using bone-in chicken, put a drumstick and a thigh over rice and spoon a generous ladle of mole over it. Garnish with sliced green onion and cilantro. Enjoy.
Chocolate for Dessert
This is my favorite chocolate dessert without question. It is so versatile. Dipping fruits, cakes and other treats in warm, melted chocolate is a sensuous treat for lovers. You can use your favorite type of chocolate. I prefer dark or semi-sweet but you can use anything including white chocolate. Just melt an eight ounce bag over a double boiler and add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream. If you desire, you can also add a tablespoon of liqueur. I really like Grand Marnier or Frangelico. Serve it with a platter of strawberries, banana slices, cubes of pound cake, and bite-sized rice crispy treats.
Who needs a box of chocolate when you can have these dishes instead. Happy Valentine’s Day