When you're trying to make a date night (or day) special—V-day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc...—you can't go wrong adding some chocolate to the mix. And not just when it's time for dessert. These recipes turn chocolate into way more than just a candy in a heart-shaped box; they prove it can go savory but taste just as decadent. Surprise your taste buds (and your favorite person) with these unexpected chocolate recipes for breakfast, lunch, apps, or dinner. As if you needed another reason to eat chocolate.

Cocoa Chili Flank Steak

Chocolate and steak may sound like an odd combo, but this fancy-looking, easy-to-make meal is actually perfect for Valentine’s Day dinner. You get to make chocolate part of the main course with a cocoa chili rub and a chocolate pesto sauce. Use an extra dark chocolate for the pesto and almonds to give it a nuttier taste.

Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Start your day off with a little savory-sweet action. This chocolate quinoa bowl won’t leave you stuffed, but you will love the flavor combo. It hits all your taste buds with juicy blueberries and crunchy coconut chips.

Mexican Chocolate Iced Coffee

Betcha never thought about shaking up your coffee like this. Coffee gets a richer, saltier flavor when chili powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and cayenne pepper are added to the mix. To make it a little healthier, cut the sugar a bit.

Dark Chocolate Hummus

It sounds weird, but it works. Just don’t let your partner dig into it thinking it's a bowl of mousse or pudding. Serve this rich hummus with pretzels and fruit (like green apple slices) to play up the sweet and salty mix.

Chocolate Risotto With Fried Pears

This is another meal that will have you looking like a five-star chef without going crazy in the kitchen. It really is low-maintenance: Just grab Arborio rice, agave, rice milk, rosemary, chocolate, nuts, and pears. The pears get lightly fried in coconut oil, adding a sweet crunch to the top.

Strawberry Brie Grilled Cheese

Adding chocolate chips to grilled cheese? Uh, yes, please. The salty, rich flavor of Brie balances out the sweetness of strawberries here. If you want to add even more flavor to the savory side, start with sourdough bread instead of French.

Salted Olive Oil Brownies

You may be used to avoiding olive oil in baking recipes, but it’s very intentional here and gives the brownies a bit of a peppery taste. Treat yourself to some fleur de sel finishing salt; it’s pricier than sea salt, but hey, this is a special occasion, and you'll taste the difference.

Chocolate Bacon Bark

Anything that starts with bacon is headed in the right direction. This bark takes two rounds in the oven to make, so think of it as a fun night-in activity to make together rather than going at it solo. The outcome is worth it, though—it’s crunchy, gooey, salty, and sweet all in one.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Not so sure you’re into the savory-sweet idea? Start small with chocolate zucchini bread. It’s still less sweet than a normal chocolate cake or bowl of ice cream and has just the right hint of tanginess thanks to Greek yogurt and the veggies.

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