Is Food The New Sex? (Recipes included, as promised)

I remember standing next to my aunt as she prepared an enormous pot of gumbo. After a taste or two and then adjusting her seasonings, she ladled the hot soup into small bowls, one to share with her favorite niece… me.  As we began to consume the “taste”, her head went back as she moaned, “This is like good sex.” Laughter filled the large kitchen as I silently considered her sanity.

Decades later I realize my now 80-year-old aunt was on to something. Food really does transcend sex. Many women rate the quality of a date by the meal particularly if a wonderful, romantic dining experience for dinner became a prelude to an even lovelier breakfast. Many couples will mull over a late meal in the comfort of their own kitchen once little ones are sound to sleep as a type of foreplay (if you’re lucky). Afternoon delights can and often do culminate with a light meal before or after play.

More seriously, men and women alike who desire to enjoy intimacy (or sex) well past their prime or “peak” absolutely should plan to include food created to keep the heart healthy. How important is the heart to sex? When drugs to enhance a man’s performance first became relevant, a friend shared as his patients began requesting such prescriptions that he requires these men to undergo a complete cardio exam.

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Why?

If the heart is not functioning correctly, impotence may present as a physiological sign that something is wrong.

(Thankfully, he is an ethical and responsible cardiologist.)

Heart disease is no fun for women either; it zaps energy away and without the “oomph,” the libido suffers. Now, no one is happy.

Yesterday, two different women shared with me the seriousness of health issues they are facing, respectively. One lady is in the hospital with a plan to undergo a triple by-pass procedure in a few days. Scary stuff even though such surgical procedures have become far too common and managed successfully by a competent healthcare team… including the patient. Thinking about my two friends and others who are certain to face health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, etc., and all directly linked to our diets, I planned a light, heart healthy meal today.

IMG_7882On our organic menu today is:

A Spicy Lentil Soup

w/Cauliflower Bits

Homemade Focaccia w/Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

A Pinot Noir (or your beverage of choice)        IMG_7880

How we age is certainly within our control. Our genetic “being” plays a significant role in the approach to healthy eating and ensuing healthy living. I had a physician say to me while reviewing lab results, “You either have good genes or you eat well.” I responded, Both! Longevity is in my genetic make-up and what I have learned and practice from observing as well talking with my elderly relatives, is the importance of good food as well seasonal eating. Long before “organic” became an overly priced way of eating, I knew the taste of fresh country eggs from chickens roaming freely around the farm as well the deliciousness of farm chickens; I knew the taste of beef from cows who grazed on open fields eating grass without the “benefit” of hormones, steroids, antibiotics and feed tainted with GMOs. Our dad roasted wild turkeys and my memories of dining on this succulent, dark meat are still intact. The amazing taste of vegetables picked and cooked for eating within minutes or hours was quite familiar to me… Or just standing in a garden, picking and eating… scrumptious! The habit and love for healthy eating began with annual, summer vacations visiting my grandparents’ farm. The habit further evolved when I learned to garden, fish and then came my inIMG_7900troduction to local bison.

The more stress we cope with, it seems natural we should focus more on healthier food choices. I am obviously not a vegetarian, however I make it an effort to have a veggie day as a personal challenge: It feeds into my appreciation for beans, lentils, leafy greens, roots, and cruciferous vegetables… All have great healthy benefits!

I have come to embrace growing older desiring to live healthy as the result of what I am now practicing. Like many caregivers, we are predisposed to putting our needs last. Often we do not have the luxury of romantic nights out or thinking too far ahead. Regardless, the time will likely come again for quiet, leisurely dinners with the person who makes you laugh the most. Take care of you now, to enjoy breakfast for two later. No matter the size of the kitchen, remember in my  TINYKITCHEN, you can have GREATTASTE to live longer with a BIGHEART for love… Take care of yourself.


Lentil Soup

1/2 pound Red Lentils
32 ounces of low-sodium chicken stock
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 to 2 scallions finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped red bell pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt, Pepper to taste
Jalapeño Pepper, (finely chopped) optional and to taste

Sort and rinse lentils thoroughly
Sauté veggies in olive oil until translucent
Pour in lentils and add 32 ounces of a low-sodium chicken broth
Lightly simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
Blend using an emulsifier or blender (If you use a blender, work in small batches to avoid spillage and burns)
Return to heat and reduce to consistency you desire.

Cauliflower “Bits”
Shave one cup or more of fresh cauliflower
Add chopped cilantro, jalapeño pepper, onion and garlic … to taste
Stir in 1 tablespoon flour (I used Spelt)
I egg, lightly beaten egg (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Lightly fry in hot skillet, lightly oiled
Remove. Sprinkle on soup.

Focaccia Bread
Use pizza dough recipe of your choice (Recommend New York Style Pizza Dough) and form individual “pies” or create one large round.

Chop sun-dried tomatoes, olives and/or rosemary
Lightly saturate bread with extra virgin olive oil
Use fingers to slightly punch dough down
Sprinkle ingredients on to your taste and bake 12-15 minutes

Enjoy.

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