The way to my heart is through my stomach, so I wanted to share with you a few fantastic Valentine’s Day recipes that are sure to win over your sweetheart’s affection.

Oysters, pine nuts and wasabi all have a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. So I turned to my cookbook, Too Hot in the Kitchen, to focus on these foods and come up with recipes to set the mood. 

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Oysters are high in zinc, a mineral that aids in the production of testosterone. (It was rumored Casanova, known for his many affairs of the heart, ate over 50 raw oysters a day to boost his libido.) Even if you don’t like raw oysters, you are sure to love this combination of savory flavors. Parmesan cheese, red pepper and garlic are baked atop oysters, really bringing out the classic taste of New Orleans in this outstanding Baked Italian Oysters dish.

Pine nuts also are rich in zinc, and this Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with Pine Nuts recipe is a perfect light and flavorful side dish that pairs with just about anything. I recommend using fresh parsley and fresh lemons, but bottled lemon juice will do the job, too.

If hot food is your thing, these Wasabi Crab Cakes with Ginger Sauce are wonderful savory bites of seafood. Accented with ginger, the creamy sauce stimulates circulation.

Now to set the mood. You can create a romantic atmosphere in your home with little effort. Bring out your good dishes, pick up some flowers and light a few candles, then dim the lights and serve up this romantic menu.

Trim and Terrific Tips:

  • High in vitamins A, C, D and other important minerals, oysters are low in calories at only about 20 calories per ounce.
  • A good source of selenium, oysters also have anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Be watchful when toasting pine nuts; they burn very quickly.
  • Make the crab cakes early, refrigerate and cook when ready to serve.
  • Spicy foods may also boost metabolism.
  • Poblano peppers, lobster and figs, like my Fig Pizza, also are considered aphrodisiacs.

Holly Clegg, best-selling national cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC & Eating Well cookbook series, specializes in easy, healthy, everyday recipes. Visit her website, The Healthy Cooking Blog. Follow her on facebook.com/HollyClegg, instagram.com/holly_clegg and twitter.com/hollyclegg. Email her at holly@hollyclegg.com.

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