Friday, 12 February 2016

Mood enhancing meals for Valentine's Day

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Bertolli with Butter has partnered with Susan Duncan, Professor of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, who has revealed six ingredients you can use in ‘Pheromeals’ (pheromone-laden dishes) for your loved one. Five of the ingredients are vegetarian, which is good news to me...and to the other romantic veggies of the world!

They are:

CHOCOLATE: The sweet, smooth texture of chocolate is psychologically suggestive of sensuality and has been shown to decrease tiredness and increase positive moods for up to 5-30 minutes after eating.

WINE: In small doses has calming attributes which relax us and reduces inhibitions.

CHILLI PEPPERS: Chillies get the metabolism going and increase blood flow – and contain capsaicin which can release endorphins in the brain, perfect for a romantic situation.

TRUFFLES: Contain compounds such as androstenol which are recognized as pheromones.

SPICES SUCH AS SAFFRON, LAVENDER, AND VANILLA: The sensual aspect of spices such as saffron and lavender go a long way to putting you in a romantic frame of mind.  Repeated and extended consumption of saffron has also been shown to increase male sexual function.

They have come up with some recipes suitable for every stage of being in love. I have chosen to make the 'Spaghetti Outta My House' recipe which features tomatoes, full fat yogurt and red wine reduction to produce calmness.

Although it has been designed for the break up stage of a relationship, providing a comforting plate of pasta for an amicable parting of ways (which, incidentally, I don't intend to do anytime soon!) it can also be a soul soother for other times when you need to chill out. The high-carb, low-protein content of the dish produces a calming effect which is accentuated by the wine in the sauce. Exactly what’s needed when a soul needs soothing.


Mood Changing Ingredients in Dish: Tomatoes, full fat yogurt, red wine, Bertolli with Butter

Serves 2

pasta dish


  • 1tbsp Bertolli with Butter
  • 500g plain yogurt
  • 175ml red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • ½ can chopped tomatoes
  • 150g spaghetti


  • Warm the yogurt slightly in a sauce pan, and stir together with the garlic and parsley. Pour in the red wine, and reduce slightly. Once reduced, add the tomatoes and bring to slight heat.
  • Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss together with 2tbsp with Bertolli with Butter.
  •  Place the spaghetti into a large casserole dish and stir sauce through.
  • Serve with a glass of red.


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