“What recipes should I cook to impress my date?”
While I like to think that I can offer semi-solid advice when it comes to dating asks, I was stumped when I received this text from a girl friend recently. My mind instantly did a quick inventory of past meals prepared for crushes.
- Pumpkin Carving Guy: He was a victim of my irresistibly easy go-to: Trader Joe’s frozen pre-made flatbreads. I would simply stick it in the oven 25 minutes before his arrival.
- Tinder Guy: When National Tequila Day neared and a certain Tinder match was coming over for Shark Tank re-runs, I opted for the easiest tequila pairing: mashing avocados together with Fresh and Easy salsa.
- Neighbor Guy: After he prepared swordfish tacos, I wanted something that would wow my Sriracha-loving/macaroni-munching neighbor boy. The dish? Macaroni & Cheese Sushi Rolls. While it was a hit, I can’t say it’s especially easy or universally appreciated.
This left me with one option, two words: Jason Sani.
While convenient comfort food is normally a quick-win, I knew Jason could provide recipes that:
- Guys will like and girls won’t mind making.
- Taste delicious and keep you feeling good – vs. gluttonish – even after dessert.
- Are sure to impress.
While our Arizona cooking/photographing meet up was more seeking-recipes-and-life-advice versus a date, consider me very impressed indeed. Admittedly, it was the first time in years I’ve eaten beef. Between it’s surprising deliciousness and the Aphrodisiac-infused mousse, there were zero regrets, and I appreciated Jason that much more.
Carne Asada “Tacos”
Simple masculine meal that is sure to please any guy. This upgraded classic will please the Paleo guys as well as the low-carb health conscious crowd.
- 1lb Grass-fed beef or bison steak – Flank steak works great
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the marinade
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (you can use jarred minced garlic)
- ½ red onion, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (i used jarred)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped
- pinch of coarse sea salt and black pepper
- juice of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 orange
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup Coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari alternative)
- Lay the flank steak in a glass baking dish or other non-reactive container
- In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients. Pour marinade over the steak making sure it’s well-coated. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours. You can use a ziplock bag if you’re limited on time and dishes.
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove the steak from the marinade, season both sides generously with salt and pepper and place on grill.
- Grill 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how thin the meat is or your preference. Don’t overcook!
- Remove the steak and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain and serve.
- Grill it according to directions, but don’t over cook or it gets tough. I like mine pink in the middle.
- I chose to use “Paleo Wraps” available at Natural grocers, Whole Foods, Amazon, or Thrive market. Low carb, gluten-free and paleo friendly option that feels like a corn tortilla. And that’s fine to if that’s your style.
- Lettuce leaves (butter lettuce, romaine, iceberg)
- Avocado, sliced
- Salsa verde
- Fire roasted salsa
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges
Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Umami Sauce
This is not your boring vegetable dish, filling enough to steal the show and be a main entrée.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Umami Sauce
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup cashews
- Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the oil. When hot, add the Brussels sprouts and garlic, cashews and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add ¼ cup water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes, tossing to cook evenly. Remove the cover and stir in the Umami Sauce, lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook while occasionally tossing until the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce, about 7 minutes.
- Transfer to plate and serve hot.
Umami is the 5th taste, the flavor of delicious. Specific ingredients bring out this full-bodied flavor experience. Originally inspired from True Foods version. This novel, intriguing sauce is so simple to make. This is a true “everything sauce” refrigerator and use it on everything from steamed vegetables to broiled fish. It’s great on salads, but add it at the last minute and don’t toss it with delicate greens, lest it wilt.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 1/4 water (or tea – rooibos or turmeric)
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari alternative)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 4 garlic cloves, mashed
- 3-4 cashews
- Sea Salt (optional)
- Put the vinegar, water, coconut aminos, yeast flakes, and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
- Remove the feed tube and, with the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Blend well until the mixture becomes thick and emulsified, like mayonnaise. Adjust the seasoning with salt as needed.
- Pour the mixture into a lidded jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Bring the sauce to room temperature and shake well before using.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
The healthy fat and quality ingredients are sure to be an Aphrodisiac kickstarter. This is low sugar, high fiber, high protein, with healthy fats to create a healthy blood sugar response. Thus keeping you satisfied while tasting like a dessert.
Tip: Consistency and sweetness is key – Add-in until you get it right. Thicker and concentrated tastes better than diluted and watered down.
- 4 oz Almond milk
- 1 Avocado (texture of banana with more nutrition and less sugar)
- Tbsp of Coconut butter OR nut butter
- 3 Tbsp Cacao
- 1 Tbsp Maca
- 1 Tbsp Mesquite (optional but gives a nice chocolate boost)
- 2 Squirts Chocolate Stevia
- Sprinkle of xylitol (natural sweetener)
- 3 Ice Cubes (if you have high powered blender)
- Add a little extra sweetness if needed for your taste. Great for a low carb day to keep energy up while keeping satisfaction sustained.
- Add cacao nibs for an extra dose of crunchy, chocolate texture and energetic kick
- Extra protein version: Add a tablespoon of chocolate protein powder
- Sugar-free option: Substitute maple syrup for 2 tbsp xylitol + 1tbsp lucuma natural sweetener
- In the bowl of a blender or food processor, blend avocado until smooth.
- Add all other ingredients, blending until mixture is uniform. Ideally Chill for about 2 hours in the fridge or half an hour in the freezer.
- Garnish with fresh fruit or chopped nuts.
Secret Super-Food Ingredients
- Cacao powder (raw chocolate) supports production of serotonin and endorphins because it’s loaded with antioxidants, and essential minerals such as magnesium and sulfur – improving our cardiovascular health, blood sugar, protecting us from free radicals, and lifting our moods.
- Maca – “the Viagra of the Herbal Kingdom” It’s noted for giving you tons of energy and increased stamina for exercise, long days, and your libido! It is a highly nutritious food that has been used traditionally to gain energy, promote sexual desire, support fertility and enhance immune system function.