Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about feeling bloated and overstuffed. That’s why in my early dinners for the FC, I didn’t make any appetizers at all (besides, the excitement of new love was already constricting my tummy muscles, which is why love is the best diet trick of all!) For early romantic dinners, best to stick with a light, modestly-portioned main course, like risotto or mussels, followed by a fresh salad. No dessert or just one to share. This dinner style shows you’re sensual and sensible, not the Marquis De Sade.


Why is this crucial?


Early dates are all about assessment. Your new guy is judging you, not just by how you look, but by what you eat. Will you be a gluttonous binge he feels guilty about the next day, or a nutritious steady diet that makes him feel energized and full of hope?


But appetizers are also good nerves-soothers. (When the FC and I first met we were both smokers; disgusting I know, and thank God it was both of us or we were have judged each other out of the picture. Without that crutch, maybe we would have needed some finger food.)


Inspired by a recipe I saw in Self Magazine a few years ago,  I love this simple dip/appetizer, where low fat fibre-rich peas add volume (plus colour and taste) to mashed avocado without extra fat. Paired with a bowful of radishes,  it’s gorgeous to look at and good for you.   What’s not sexy about that?


Avocado Pea Dip




3/4 cup cooked frozen peas (not canned)

1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 large clove of garlic, or 2 small
1 tablespoon chopped green onion (just green parts)
1 teaspoon olive oil
generous salt and pepper to taste
12 radishes, rinsed and trimmed, leaving part of the stem for holding (carrots are good too, or sliced red peppers)




Mash or put in a food processor until roughly pureed. Salt to taste.   You can add a teaspoon of lemon for tang. I’m going to throw in a jarred artichoke next time and see how that turns out. It’s a very versatile base to work with.   You can add hot sauce or chopped tomato for variety and to give it a more guacamole-like quality. Serve with rice crackers, toasted pita, tortilla chips or fresh veggies, like carrots, or my favourite, radishes. Double the recipe for a small dinner party.

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