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Spicy Bananas
Spicy Bananas
Spicy Bananas


Recipe: Chicken in Spicy Honey Fig Sauce; aka Sweet and Sticky Figs


Figs, the sweet, plump, purple fruit said to be Cleopatra’s favorite, was once believed to be aphrodisiacal in ancient Greece and in China. The Greeks associated its soft pear shape with fertility and physical love, and no self-respecting orgy would do without a fig-filled bowl present. The Chinese gave their sweetheart the seed filled fruit to ease inhibition and introduce thoughts of lovemaking. Even in modern times there is no denying that an open fig emulates a woman’s private parts, and a man eating one in front of his lover proves to be a strong erotic act.

Physiologically, the fig supplies the body with iron, potassium, vitamin C, E, and folate, along with a plethora of trace minerals. Men need these vitamins to keep their prostates healthy, and their bones strong throughout old age. Women require the same minerals for capable bones, healthy immune systems, and glowing skin. However, its not the figs’ health benefits that helped gain its aphrodisiac status, but the fruits resemblance to the woman’s nether regions and its plethora of seeds, which approximates fertility.

The gentle taste of fresh figs pairs well with honey, ricotta, and goat cheese. In Italy, Black Missions are served in a cool bowl of water and eaten with bare hands and cloth napkins. I like to dip them in greek yogurt and brown sugar. In this month’s aphrodisiac inspired recipe I pair figs with chicken, wine, honey, and pinch of cayenne pepper to create a dish that tantalizes all the senses and satisfies the hunger.

Chicken with Spicy Honey Fig Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper (optional)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 8 fresh or dried black mission figs, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper on both sides of the chicken breasts.

Add the chicken to the pan, at least 4 inches apart from each other. Saute the chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Set the chicken on a plate to rest while you prepare the fig sauce.

In the same saute pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Place the figs in the pan, cut side down. Saute for 4 minutes or until the figs turn slightly golden brown.

Add the red wine, a pinch of salt and pepper, the white pepper, and cayenne to the pan. Turn the heat to high and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan so that it mixes into the sauce. Cook the liquid for 2-3 minutes until the red wine reduces to a syrup consistency.

Spoon the figs and sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Recipe: Super Hot Chili Peppers; aka Southwestern Pasta Salad


Chili peppers create a marvelous reaction in the mouth and body. They make the tongue dance and the pulse quicken. Sometimes the response is pleasing, giving a little rise out of the person eating it, or adversely, causing a painful reaction. To avoid a fervent burn while cooking with chilies, use rubber gloves and watch what you touch. Otherwise, you might start to burn in unpleasant places (the eyes are the worst).

These seedy, or shall we say fertile, fruits contain concentrated quantities of the chemical capsaicin. When this chemical is consumed it increases heart rate, induces sweating, and increases the sensitivity of nerve endings, thus mimicking the body’s reaction to physical love. Furthermore, it stimulates the release of endorphin neurotransmitters, which provide a natural high as if experiencing a happy event or intimacy.

Historically, chilies were considered aphrodisiacs due to possessing a bounty of seeds, which represent fertilization. The relic ruler Montezuma instructed his cooks to prepare a chocolate drink laced with peppers every night, in which he consumed hastily in preparation for his daily visits to his illustrious lady attendants.

There are several varieties of chili peppers, all with their own level of flavor and heat. For example, the firecracker heat of the diminutive red-orange piquÍn that bursts with firey sultriness at its first touch to the tongue must be consumed with caution. On the other hand, the smoky chipotle adds a distinct earthiness and heat to any dish, but would not be considered a scorcher. In the following recipe, I add jalapeno and a broiled Serrano pepper to kick pasta salad up a notch. Add heat to this recipe by adding seeds from the jalapeno to the pasta or use less of the seeds and veins for a milder dish.

Southwest Pasta Salad

  • 4-cups of Fusilli Bucati pasta, boiled until al dente
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-cup black beans
  • 1-cup of corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1-cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. jalapeno, chopped and de-seeded
  • 1 avocado, flesh cut into equal size squares
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, broiled, skinned, and diced
  • 1/3-cup lime juice, preferably fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup Oaxaca cheese

Add the pasta through the salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl.

Toss the ingredients in the bowl for one minute.

Serve in individual bowls and top with Oaxaca cheese

Maca: Nature’s Viagra + Rich and Warming Chicken Soup with Maca

First appeared on okra magazine.org for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
Maca, a cruciferous root vegetable native to the high regions of the Andes
mountains has been used for centuries by the Incas and indigenous people of Peru to boost energy, balance hormones, and promote fertility. However, within the last two years maca has become increasingly popular in the States for its ability to increase libido and over all well-being.
Incan warriors reportedly consumed maca before going into battle for its fortifying properties. Some also say that after battle they were prohibited from eating it to protect conquered women from their heightened libidos. Maca’s supposed aphrodisiac properties has been associated with escalating reproductive hormone levels, increasing paracrine and endocrine agent functions, and improving quality of sperm. The jury is still out on whether these benefits of maca are fact or fiction, but none of these benefits have proven true in recent and/or small scientific studies.
My personal experience with maca is that it supplies energy, stamina, and a sense of well-being. “To have a healthy sex drive” says Dr. Meryl Rosofsky of New York University and the Institute of Culinary Education, “you need good mood, and relative freedom from stress, distractions, and preoccupations bodily and mentally.” Maca, an adaptogen possessing the ability to balance, strengthen, and support any area of the body under compromise due to stress,  allows people to relax and enjoy intimacy; therefore, we can conclude that this root’s greatest aphrodisiac property is that it helps combat tension and facilitate a good mood.
“The dose of maca that has been shown in placebo-controlled clinical trial to boost libido generally ranges from 250-2000 mg/day” informs Rosofsky. Two thousand mg/day was the amount consumed by male cyclist in a British study that surveyed eight bicycle racers regarding their sexual desire, and then timed them on a 40 km course. The racers where then given a higher dose of a  placebo or of maca daily. After two weeks, the racers rode the course again and completed another sexual desire survey. Compared with the placebo group, the racers taking the powder clocked faster times and reported greater libido.
Maca tastes delicious when added to a mole sauce, in chocolate shakes, nut milk shakes, and sprinkled on top of coffee with cream.This month’s aphrodisiac inspired recipe consists of a warming, nourishing soup that is good for reviving energy during cold winter months.
Rich and Warming Chicken Soup
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil (or any monounsaturated oil)
  • 1-cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. coco powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. maca
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 16-oz of chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 4 cups veal or beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • walnut oil to drizzle on top
  • minced fresh cilantro to drizzle on top
Place a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and let it heat for thirty seconds. Once the oil has thinned out and can cover the bottom of the entire pot add the onion, carrots, celery, and red pepper. Sauté the vegetables until the onions become translucent (usually about 4-5 minutes).
Stir the cinnamon, coco powder, cumin, maca, oregano, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste into the vegetables for thirty seconds.
Add the stock, bay leaf, chicken,  salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce thes heat to a simmer. Let the concoction simmer for no less then thirty minutes.
Serve in bowls with drizzles of walnut oil and minced fresh cilantro.

Pomegranates: History, How to De-seed Them, and Using them in Oatmeal

So exotic of a fruit is the pomegranate that it appears in religious texts, romantic literature, and famous paintings. Its outside appearance keeps secret that inside resides ruby red arils that pop with bright sweet-tart flavor. In Greek mythology, legend has it that Aphrodite planted the first pomegranate tree, thus giving the fruit its aphrodisiac reputation.
A number of ancient religions considered it a sacred symbol of abundance, fertility, and eternal life. Egyptian pharaohs were buried with pomegranates to ensure rebirth. It appears in many depictions of Madonna and Christ, including the famous portrait by Botticelli. And some use the fruit for festive decoration during the Christmas season.
A powerhouse of antioxidants, especially polyphenols, just one glass of pomegranate juice supplies the body with more  cancer fighting agents then green tea or cranberry juice combined. Rich in vitamin C, these little jewels help keep the immune system strong and combat physical signs of aging. Chinese medicine uses the stunning red seeds to settle a stomach ache and lift the mood.
Add a pop of festive scarlet to salads, meats, cereal grains, and desserts. Pomegranate seeds look stunning in the bottom of a champagne glass, sprinkled on top of pancakes, or tossed with pineapple and balsamic vinegar. Pomegranate juice,made more accessible by the company POM, can serve as an alternative to orange juice, especially if you suffer from joint pain or get chronic bronchitis in the winter.
To de-seed this fruit cut through it horizontally so there are two halves. Score each half’s rind in several places keeping the top intact. Cup the open side of the pomegranate with one hand and hit the pomegranate with a wooden spoon with the other hand. Collect the arils in a bowl and use within five days.
Steel Cut Oats with Creamy Yogurt and Pomegranates
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1-cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (the more exotic the origin the better)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 tablespoons of local honey
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the oats. Stir the oats for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add the boiling water and reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep the oats at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring.
Combine the milk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an addition 5 – 8 minutes. Stir the cranberries, cinnamon, and honey into the mixture. Spoon into individual serving bowls and top with Greek yogurt and pomegranate arils.

Recipe: Vegan Basil Pesto; aka Basil to Keep Your Husband From Straying


Experiencing basil, wild on the hills of Rome will convert anyone disinterested in aphrodisiacs. Basil is fresh, exhilarating and rich all at the same time. The beauty of the basil plant with its luscious leaves surrounding tiny white flowers is that it paints a serene backdrop in window boxes and container gardens. Once picked and chopped, the oil in the leaves fill the air and lend flavor to noodles, meats, pizzas, salads, grilled vegetables and fresh fruits. I love to crush fresh basil leaves into my lemonade, or make copious amounts of pesto to freeze in ice cube trays to add to hot noodles on busy nights or when I’m craving a little shot of summer.

Ancient Greek women knew the power of the scent of basil. Traditionally, they would powder their breast with the dried herb to keep their husbands from straying. The Romans used it to procure fertility. Haitians claim basil’s origin is associated with Erzulie, their goddess of love. In India, it’s revered as the sacred herb ‘tulsi’ and is a gift given to the gods Vishnu, Krishna and Silva, and is said to represent ones love.

Basil’s aphrodisiac reputation is more then just ancient folklore, the herb provides medicinal properties that revitalize the body and cure pain. Customarily, it’s chewed raw to release stress and ease digestion. Basil contains camphor, tannin, and thymol which work together as an anti- spasmodic and as a sedative. A tea made with crushed basil works great to ease the transition after a long flight. The essential oil is great for healing head aches and sore muscles. Making the oil out of basil leaves is easy. Just purchase cheap vodka and soak 3 cups of basil in a 1/2 cup of alcohol. Keep it in the back of a dark cabinet and store for one week. Strain the leaves and store in a amber bottle.

In this month’s piece I am leaving you with a recipe for vegan basil pesto. The recipe is doubled so that you can freeze some for later. Use the left overs in white bean soup, on top of soft Italian or French bread, on long spaghetti noodles, as a salad dressing, or a sauce for meats.

Basil Vegan Pesto (You won’t miss the cheese)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, raw or roasted (experiment with the flavor to see which one you like best)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1. Combine all above mentioned ingredients in a food processor.

2. Set the food processor to high.

3. Process for 2 minutes.

4. Pour in more oil if the mixture seems too dry.

5. Salt and pepper to taste

6. Use as a condiment for a variety of different dishes.